And For Your Parting Gift

Like it or not, gift-giving season is upon us. But what's not to like about getting a gift when you least expect it? Like at the end of a meal at a restaurant?

I'm not talking about a mint on your check. A thoughtful parting gift is a smart touch that can make dinner all that much more memorable.

Take The French Laundry, which sends guests home with signature shortbread cookies, tied up with a bow. Sister restaurant Per Se does macaroons. Alain Ducasse doled out fresh brioche at his now-shuttered New York restaurant.

But you don't have to travel — or drop $500 — because we have some noteworthy gift-givers in our midst, as well.

Guests of BlackSalt's new tasting room receive a bag of beautiful chocolate shells (pictured above) made by pastry chef Susan Wallace. The shells are made with white chocolate and coconut; dark chocolate, pecan and caramel; and milk chocolate with peanut butter filling.

For the month of December, D'Acqua will feature an eight-course Feast of Seven Fishes menu ($75). Diners who order the menu will take home a small jar of chef Enzo Febbraro’s house-made holiday fish seasoning.

If you're celebrating a special occasion in Restaurant Eve's tasting room, you may find yourself the lucky recipient of a charming gift: scone mix and instructions, a sample of Caffe Pronto coffee and Irish Kerrygold butter. It's practically a complete breakfast for the next morning.

And Komi's portable, housemade lollipops spiced with flavors like cinnamon and saffron always make me smile.

Ever received a memorable parting gift from a restaurant? Do tell.