Dining and food culture in Chicago

Savory Santa: Holiday 2013 Foodie Gift Guide

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6 5.6MBZayna Cuffins 2 Zayna CuffinsFor the cheesehead
Pastoral – Celebrate regional cheese and accompaniments with the Best of the Midwest collection ($69.99) featuring goat’s milk, cow’s milk and raw cow’s milk cheeses from Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin. Also included are Potter’s organic crackers and Minnesota honey to drizzle over the selection. 2945 North Broadway, (773)472-4781. shop.pastoralartisan.com

For the dilettante cocktailer
Stu’s – Their Bloody Mary mixology kit ($35) has everything you need to impress your friends at a party, brunch or tailgate. A couple bottles of Stu’s concentrated Bloody Mary mix are accompanied by a fiery ghost pepper sauce since some like it hot. Key lime juice and a sweet corn celery salt rimmer balance out the heat. Pick one up at Binny’s, Plum Market or Anthropologie. stuskitchen.com

For a sweet tooth

Bon Macaron assortment, dark choc, sea salt caramel, smores, cassis currant, PB&J, cherry pieBon Macaron Chicago – While Chicago still lacks a macaron shop, Catherine Cooper makes these colorful French cookies to order and delivers citywide for a $6 fee. Select a mixed box of six ($14) or eight ($18) with flavors including seasonal candy cane, pistachio, caramel, cassis currant and, our favorite, PB&J. We can’t think of a prettier edible stocking stuffer.  bonmacaronchicago.com

Zayna Bakes – We are so over cronuts. Our favorite new dessert hybrid is the cuffin, a cookie and muffin rolled into one. Zayna Salloum marries a crunchy cookie edge with chewy interiors, like a filled cupcake but denser. Snag a six-pack at Plum Market or order online ($12-$15). The specialty flavors are most interesting, including a Nilla wafer cuffin filled with banana pudding and nutty baklava ensconced in phyllo. zaynabakes.com

For the Italophile
Eataly – Mario Batali’s Disneyland for food-lovers opens just in time for the holidays. You can stop in for a bite, browse Italian specialty groceries and pick up a curated gift basket for the Italian food lover in your life. Options range from a pasta pantry ($29.80) to the more elaborate Italy: North to South ($148), which allows you to taste test your way through all of Italy, with cantucci cookies, fig mostarda, peal farro, almond nougat and more. 43 East Ohio. eataly.com
For the wine lover
Lush Wine & Spirits – Instead of leaping lords and piping pipers, wouldn’t it be great to get a bottle of wine for each of the twelve days of Christmas? Owner Mitch Einhorn at Lush has picked out twelve of his favorites from around the world, ranging from a 2006 Austrian Blaufränkisch to a still Pinot Noir champagne that Einhorn recommends serving with pigeon or quail. Bottles can be purchased individually as well and prices per bottle range from $28.75 to $96. 1412 West Chicago, (312)666-6900. lushwineandspirits.com
—Amber Gibson

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