BY REBECCA CAHILLY
The best holidays to me are those when there is peace in your heart and chaos in the kitchen. Here are a few of my favorite dishes, dining places and treats that will make great gifts for the friends, family and foodies on your list.
These are great, as long as you know the recipient will use them.
Here are a few worth giving or trying for yourself:
Coco Asian Bistro, Fort Lauderdale. My personal favorite is chef/owner Mike Ponluang’s Thai Red Curry, but everything on the menu is sublime. www.cocoasianbistro.com.
Valentino’s Cucina Italiana, Fort Lauderdale. You don’t even have to read the menu – just let them tell you what you
should eat and drink. www.valentinoscucinaitaliana.com.
Seafood Bar at The Breakers, Palm Beach. A classy escape where you can slurp oysters while enjoying a view of the sea. www.thebreakers.com.
Starbuck’s. I know, I know, what an unoriginal gift. But lattes are not cheap and any Starbucks addict (like yours truly) will appreciate having her peppermint latte spend offset for a month or two. www.starbucks.com.
Tom Jenkins’ BBQ, Fort Lauderdale. This is the best barbecue and home cookin’ around. The scene is fast and slightly intimidating, but as long as you know “whatchya want,” you’ll be more than satisfied. They cater too.
Where to provision
Entertaining at home this year and want to avoid the grocery store’s frozen selection? When cooking for the holidays, or most days, these spots are on my circuit but worth the trip if you don’t have the equivalent near you:
The Fish Peddler East, Fort Lauderdale. Fresh, fresh, excellent and fresh. Did I mention fresh?
Smitty’s Old Fashioned Butcher Shop, Oakland Park. Great cuts of meat and a good wine selection for a special dinner or any occasion. www.smittysmeatsandwines.com.
Bob Roth’s New River Groves, Davie. Offering delicious Florida citrus, alligator-tail snacks and a great selection of fruit pies, including a legendary Key lime pie, along with stone crabs when in season and a fantastic homemade mustard sauce. Mail order available. www.newrivergroves.com.
Delaware Chicken Farm & Seafood Market, Hollywood. All natural poultry products, meats, seafood and amazing stone crabs. Place your
holiday order early. www.delawarechicken.com.
Alcyone Dessert Wine. “Touched with a bouquet of winter flowers, Madagascan vanilla bean and apple mint indulged with a warmth and savor of white cacao soufflé …” From Uruguay, this fabulous dessert wine is not readily available in the United States, but you can find it at The Best Cellar in Wilton Manors. $29.95. 954-630-8020.