Cloud Terre restaurant collection tableware
A fantastic gift for anyone who’s commented on the artful plates and bowls at Patowmack Farm or Ashby Inn. The Arlington studio designs lines for both restaurants, which are available for individual purchase online. We have our eye on a chiseled bowl from the Ashby collection.
Take-home ramen kits from Toki Underground
Perfect for ramen lovers who want something beyond the instant stuff. Chef Erik Bruner-Yang creates packages for making his popular bowls at home, complete with ramen noodles, homemade powder soup base, togarashi, chili oil, and nori ($30). The kits can be picked up at his new Union Market shop, Honeycomb, and preordered by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Italian gift baskets from Lupo Verde
Wait times at this popular 14th Street osteria can get long, but chef Domenico Apollaro packs gift bags with everything needed for a winter’s night feast at home: homemade ragu, a bottle of Sagrantino di Montefalco wine, locally made limoncello, house-made marmalade, and three different cheeses and cured meats ($125 to $150). You can also customize your own basket. Call for details.
Chefs adore Korin’s Japanese knives (as do we), but don’t overlook the beautiful collection of tableware, some of which we recently encountered at Minibar. While dinner at the latter runs upwards of $300 per person—an amazing gift, if you can afford it—this gold-flecked bowl used in one of the tasting courses is just $36.
Restaurant gift certificates
Sure, $25 at Best Buy may seem like a gifting cop-out, but no food lover would turn down a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Hotspots like Le Diplomate and Fiola Mare offer in-house gift cards—the latter is currently running a bonus promotion before December 20—while others such as Rose’s Luxury and Dino’s Grotto employ local company Giftrocker, which can customize experiences such as a cocktail tasting in addition to funding meals.
Stocking stuffers from Bayou Bakery
Candied Creole pecans, peppermint bark, snap cookies, “porkorn,” and more sweet treats come prettily packaged from this Arlington bakery, ready to stuff into stockings ($7 to $10). You can also pick up a number of savory sides and pies for a holiday feast while you’re there.
Biscuit mix from Society Fair
Biscuits (a.k.a. the new doughnut) can be easy to prepare thanks to this buttermilk mix kit with local honey for spreading ($14.99). If it seems too small a token, check out the Fair’s local Randall Lineback cowhide for a cool $1,850.
Rapahannock River oysters glasses
The same handsome glasses used to serve draft beers at the Union Market oyster bar can be purchased for home ($6, or $20 for four). They’re wonderfully versatile for water, iced tea, mixed drinks, and cold brews.
Osechi boxes from Sushi Taro
Gift into 2015 with these traditional Japanese osechi, beautiful (and delicious) bento-like boxes filled with seafood and vegetable dishes traditionally eaten on New Year’s Day ($270). Boxes can be preordered for pickup on December 31, noon to 8.
Discount tickets to Sips cocktail party
Culinary stars Joan Nathan, Alice Waters, José Andrés, and more gather for Sips on January 24, a mixologist-fueled cocktail party at the Newseum benefiting DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table. Anyone using the code GIFT through December 24 receives a 20-percent discount on VIP tickets (typically priced at $200 per person).
Vintage glass punch bowl from Etsy
Vintage punch bowls are a popular centerpiece on several local bars, including Hank’s Oyster Bar and McClellan’s Retreat. Recreate punch-time happy hour at home with this tasteful 1940s set from Etsy ($250). Less-expensive versions are also available on the site.