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.


Anonymous said...

The menu at MiniBar, on a clear plastic sheet of "paper," listing each of the thirty courses. It made story telling about the meal much easier.

Anonymous said...

When I went to Restaurant Eve's bistro for my anniversary I got a bag of dry scone mixture as an anniversary present. Totally unexpected and sweet.

I had a memorable trip to Babbo in NYC during X-mas time a couple years back where they handed out gift bags of Italian sweet buns. Delicious for breakfast the next morning.

Melissa said...

The shortbread at French Laundry is delicious (I ate mine, and my boyfriend's). At Cyrus in Sonoma, they give a small box of treats as a parting gift.

Anonymous said...

If youre one of the last to leave 2941 they give you a full loaf of their amazing fresh baked bread..

Its amazing

Cooking in DC said...

At The Modern in the MoMa in NYC, customers leave with a delicious lemon brioche cake, and during the holiday season, Pastry Chef Marc Aumont whips up delicious classic fruit cakes for the customers. Mmm Mmm Good!

Anonymous said...

I have eaten at the new Black Salt Tasting Room and enjoyed the ambiance and the food very much. I was appreciative of the parting gift but underwhelmed by the taste. I threw most of it away. Good idea; bad execution.

ramona said...

If you're celebrating an occasion at Willow, they print a special personalized menu for you to begin the meal, and give you a biscotti filled embossed wine glass afterwards. It's a wonderful touch.

Amanda said...

Seems like next morning's breakfast is a popular theme. And the wine glass is a nice touch at Willow.

Anthony said...

It's not exactly prepackaged, but the gummy bears at vapiano are a cute little surprise.

DC Foodaholic said...

I have to disagree w/ the post from Anonymous about the chocolates from the tasting room at Black Salt. We ate there last week, and I loved them.
I'm a chocoholic conniseur and immediately picked up the phone to buy more after eating the last chocolate. Sadly, they're custom made and not readily for sale.