Epicurean Gifts

Gourmet treats from some of Dallas’ finest specialty grocers and epicurean shops make unexpected holiday gifts. 

Gourmet treats from some of Dallas’ finest specialty grocers and epicurean shops make unexpected holiday gifts. 

photography by Tinker Box Studio

Flavors From Afar
Gifts for:
your saucy friends
Why Flavors From Afar: Husband and wife team Gary and Nancy Krabill’s Park Cities boutique is the last of a dying breed: the local epicurean shop. Sure, these days foodies can get their goodies on the Internet, but the Kabrills’ high taste and helpfulness ensure that your gift basket will be one of a kind. Plus, Flavors From Afar’s olive oils, vinegars, tapenades, and spreads are simply the best.
We recommend: Bella Cucina artichoke lemon pesto, $7.99; Nicolas Aliziari extra-virgin olive oil, $28.99; fresh basil olive oil, $9.50; and vanilla fig balsamic vinegar, $17.99.
While you’re there: Sign up for Fresh Goat Cheese Thursdays. Try a tasting of your favorite chévre on Thursday, place your order by Monday, and pick up your cheese the following Thursday.
6705 Snider Plaza. 214-696-2327. www.flavorsfromafar.com.

The British Emporium
Gifts for:
ladies who lunch
Why British Emporium: Forget the skinny lattes. Discover the civilized ritual of afternoon tea. Located in historic downtown Grapevine, this shop is an anglophile’s dream, featuring premium tea, biscuits, and every flavor of jam and marmalade imaginable. Floppy bonnets and overbites will run you extra.
We recommend: a decorative tin of Walkers traditional Scottish biscuits, $17.99; Taylors of Harrogate Imperial Tea Room tea, $8.99; Wilkin & Sons orange and malt whiskey tiptree, $8.99; and James Keiller & Son dundee ginger preserves, $5.99.
While you’re there: Pick up a can of haggis and marvel at the Brits’ intestinal fortitude.
140 N. Main St., Grapevine. 817-421-2311. www.british-emporium.com.

photography by Tinker Box Studio

Jimmy’s Food Store
Gifts for: fans of congili and the Corleone clan
Why Jimmy’s: Like the proverbial phoenix, this Old East Dallas landmark has risen from the ashes of a 2004 fire, and brothers Mike and Paul DiCarlo’s new store is better than ever. You won’t find a broader selection of Italian specialties in Dallas.
We recommend: Mother Teresa’s pesto, $4.99; baba in liquore giamaica (little cakes soaked in rum), $13.99; and Victoria puttanesca sauce, $5.99. Sure, the puttanesca is made in Brooklyn. But to us, that’s the same thing as Italy.
While you’re there: Indulge in Jimmy’s Italian sub. It’s the best in Dallas.
4901 Bryan St. 214-823-6180.

Penzeys Spices
Gifts for:
the inner chef
Why Penzeys: Even if your gift recipient doesn’t know her anise from her annatto, a present from Penzeys will motivate her to hit the burners and get cooking. The Wisconsin-based retailer’s selection of spices, herbs, and blends is awe inspiring. But it’s Penzeys’ gift boxes that make choosing the right present easy.
We recommend: Penzeys’ baker’s crate, featuring three types of vanilla, three varieties of cinnamon, two jars of cocoa, and assorted traditional baking spices, $99.95.
While you’re there: Grab a jar of Sunny Paris seasoning, a blend of purple shallots, chives, green peppercorn, French basil, tarragon, bay leaf, dill weed, and chervil. It’s a very popular spice blend at Penzeys.
12835 Preston Rd. 972-392-7777. www.penzeys.com

Tart Pastry Boutique
Gifts for: your sweetie with a sweet tooth
Why Tart: This North Dallas pastry boutique is a delightfully mod re-imaging of the typical neighborhood bakery. Pastry chef Kristen Rahal and graphic designer Stephanie Weibring (they’re sisters) create cupcakes, cookies, and pies simply too gorgeous to eat. But you’ll find a way, trust us.
We recommend: a gift package, featuring any of its platters and sweets. Our favorites include Tart’s fudge brownies, $2.25, and macaroons, $2.
While you’re there: Try your hand at Tart’s cupcake bar, where you can walk in and decorate your own sugary treat, $3.
5219 W. Lovers Ln. 469-335-8919. www.tartbakerydallas.com.

photography courtesy of Glenmorangie

Grand Tastings 
If it’s bubbly you need, look no further than Grand Tastings, which has almost 50 different sparklings to choose from, including one of our favorites—Schramsberg Blanc du Noir, $36.99. 4430 McKinney Ave. 214-559-3491.

La Cave 
La Cave Warehouse owner François Chandou knows a thing or two about French wine (his family has their own vineyard—Domaine Barbeyrolles), which is always in stock and makes a unique wine gift—$20-$22, depending on the vintage. 1931 Market Center Dr., Ste. 129. 214-747-9463.

Pogo’s has it all—wine, gifts, and more. But it’s the selection of spirits and aperitifs that warrant a visit, including Glenmorangie Margaux Cask Finish scotch. Only 725 were produced, so don’t dawdle, $595. 5360 W. Lovers Ln., Ste. 200. 214-350-8989.

— Julie Blacklidge

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