Gone are the days when you might have dared to bring that ubiquitous, leaden fruit cake to a party. Today, with so many extraordinary gourmet emporia dotting the avenues of Gotham — not to mention the availability of interesting, international goods on the internet — there are boundless possibilities for effortlessly securing the toothsome ambrosia and the flavorful nectar of the gods.
Gifts of delectable chocolates, fine Scotch, Champagne, or luxurious assortments of savory sauces and condiments, for example, are not necessarily meant just for a recipient on our gift list — we now buy tasty and tempting goodies for ourselves all year long. Here are a few things that are nice for friends, holiday work functions and family gatherings, but are twice as nice for ourselves.
Ruby et Violette bills itself (deservedly) as “the indulgent baker” and you will agree when you taste the company’s remarkable, melt-in-your-mouth brownies and cookies. Fill the “Versailles” box with 36 cookies or 18 brownies, choosing from flavors like First Kiss, Mimi’s Molasses, and Geisha Seduction. $127.75. 718-728-6250; rubyetviolette.com
With only 134 bottles produced, the five-liter collectors’ edition of Numanthia, from the Toro region of Spain, will be highly sought after this holiday season. Made from century-old vines grown in a unique terroir, the wine is especially pleasing to the palate. Presented in packaging designed by French artist Zoé Ouvrier. $600. Sherry Lehmann, 505 Park Avenue (59th/60th Streets); 212-838-7500; sherry-lehmann.com
Indulge in Caviar Russe’s delicious combo gift: foie gras, smoked salmon, and fresh caviar (your choice), packed in an insulated travel bag with house-made blini, crème fraiche, and mother-of-pearl serving utensils. From $125. 538 Madison Avenue, Second Floor (54th Street); 212-980-5908; caviarrusse.com
Over 40 pieces of chocolate are housed in this pretty, 17”-round keepsake box from Vosges Haut-Chocolat, enough to satiate even the sweetest tooth of them all. Bite into the soft caramels, exotic truffles, peanut butter bonbons, seductive toffees, and scrumptious marshmallows, in the Ensemble du Chocolat, $145. 132 Spring Street (Greene/Wooster Streets); 212-625-2929; 1100 Madison Avenue (82nd/83rd Streets); 212-717-2929, 888-301-9866; vosgeschocolate.com