So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.
For this installment we want to help make your holiday shopping easier by suggesting a few gifts for the gourmands in your life. If you want to pick up a few presents for yourself, too, we won’t tattle.
Finally, you don’t need to become a shoplifter to score one of the designer sneakers used to serve croquetas at Jaleo. This über-über José Andrés Collection Gift Package comes with the famous footwear, as well as Andrés’ cookbook and a brace of Spanish wines. $950.
Every modern mixologist needs this Leather Bar Kit filled with the tools of the trade hand selected by cocktail king Todd Thrasher. There’s a julep strainer, muddler, and bar spoon and more. The witty repartee and shaker flipping tricks are your responsibility. $185.
Joy Division’s classic Unknown Pleasures album cover gets a meaty makeover on this killer t-shirt, which is sure to please carnivores and mopey musos alike. Available at the Union Market on Saturdays and Dupont Market on Sundays. $25.
Who doesn’t want pie for Christmas? Haters and communists, who probably aren’t on your gift list anyway. Chefs Logan Cox and Alison Reed are baking up both sweet and savory mini pies, including rosemary accented smoked albacore tuna and purple potatoes ($11), broccoli prosciutto parmesan ($11), and bourbon caramel pecan ($10 small, $20 large). For advance orders or special requests, email Chef Alison Reed at email@example.com.
Want to classy up your loved one’s cold one? Then pick up one of this barbecue joint’s logoed beer koozies. Whether the recipient likes to toss a few back in a parking lot, the backwoods, or out on the dock, this red foam cup holder helps them look civilized while they do it. $3.
Drop a not-so-subtle hint that you want a romantic dinner in the new year by picking up chef Jacques Haeringer PBS series Two For Tonight on DVD. It’s so easy to follow that even the most kitchen-averse loved one can figure it out. $59.95.
Call it haute chocolate. The Penn Quarter chocolatier makes meltable pops in salted caramel, dark chocolate, and peanut butter to swirl in hot milk to create a decadent drink for the wintertime. These luxuriant lollis come packaged with house-made vanilla bean marshmallows and a mug. $20.
Throughout the month of December, baker-in-chief Brian Noyes crafts limited batches of European stollen – a dense sweet bread pocked with candied orange and lemon, bits of almond, and a moist marzipan core. Simply divine. $22.
Sous chef Russ Ransom likes to jam out and keep things spicy. So he crafted a line of jellies that includes Peachy Chipotle & Blackberry, Jazzy Jalapeno, and Poppin’ Poblano & Apricot. En fuego! $6.50 each.
Pick up a copy of Mike Isabella’s cookbook, Crazy Good Italian, for the Top Chef junkie in your life. The Bravo star will autograph and personalize each copy, so it looks like you spent six hours waiting in line at a book signing to make this present happen. Available online at the link above or in Graffiato or Bandolero. $35.
This Creole accented Arlington favorite will be offering up treats from chef-owner David Guas’ Candy Corner. There are Holy Trinity Pralines (classic, chocolate, chicory coffee, $8), Oreo-inspired Baby Dat-O’s ($7), and Peppermint Bark with bittersweet Valrhona chocolate ($7). They all sound like a sweet deal to us.
The CoHe vegan bakery has created Pupcake Kits to help raise money for the best-named charity ever: Pinups for Pitbulls. Each pack comes with four chocolate cupcakes, peanut butter frosting, dark chocolate, and roasted peanuts, so you can decorate them at home. You must order them online and they’re only available until December 17. $18.
Using locally sourced heirloom fish peppers, chef Spike Gjerde makes Snake Oil Hot Sauce that’s guaranteed to perk up whatever you put it on – a bowl of ramen, a rack of ribs, or your Bloody Mary. Order via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or pick up a bottle at the restaurant. $15.
Can’t decide what to get the foodie in your life? Get a gift basket filled with a little bit of everything – Zoe’s Chocolates, pumpkin seed brittle brownies, house-made pate, a pair of artisan cheeses, bourbon peaches, and much more. $110.
These BBQ Party Packs are the perfect gifts for political junkies of all stripes. Whether you get the Tea Party or the Loyal Liberal, there are two bottles of Original BBQ Sauce, two bottles of Sweet BBQ Sauce and three jars of Spice Rub. $35.