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    Season’s Eating

    Christmas cakes, mince pies, Korean pork roasts for the pod: This year we’re gifting from our favorite restaurants

    This holiday season, our wish lists and gift lists are overlapping in new ways: We want to support the restaurants in New York, London and the Bay Area that we most love and miss in the hope that they can stay open for years to come — and we want to share their deliciousness and generosity of spirit. Here are just some of the ways we’re shipping the love.

    King Celebration Box

    One of our favorite New York City restaurants, King’s rustic Anglo-Italian food is both understated and cozy — and always delicious. Chefs Jess Shadbolt and Clare de Boer met while working at London’s River Café. Like their alma mater’s holiday offering, King’s box is over-the-top generous, featuring a Christmas cake, jars of their house-made ricciarelli (Tuscan almond cookies), nocciola (think Nutella) and quince jam, as well as a King tote and lambswool blanket — the outdoor-dining accessory of the season. They’re also offering the best stocking stuffer: an IOU for just-pressed olive oil — a collaboration with Montalcino winemaker Sesti — that will arrive in January. Ships nationally. $260.

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    King Celebration Box. Photo courtesy of King.

    Momofuku Bo Ssäm

    Until we can gather a group of friends at Momofuku Ssäm Bar to share chef David Chang’s momentous bo ssäm — a slow-roasted, brown-sugar-glazed pork shoulder that gets shredded at the table and tucked into fluffy Martin’s potato rolls and dressed with ginger-scallion sauce and Momofuku’s new crunchy chili sauce — we can recreate the experience at home for 4 to 10 pod people via the fantasy restaurant delivery service Goldbelly. It even includes a fried rice kit for leftovers. While we’re on the site, we might gift a few dozen Momo pork buns and hit the Russ & Daughters page to order a proper bagel brunch for our favorite NYC expats. Ships nationally. From $189.

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    Momofuku Bo Ssäm. Photo courtesy of Momofuku.

    The Four Horsemen Wine Share

    This Brooklyn wine bar and restaurant had truly hit its stride before March: a great Times review, a Michelin star, and a constantly surprising list of natural wines that had deepened into one of the city’s best, with allocations that were hard to find outside Europe. The owners had always wanted to do a wine club, but were too busy running the restaurant and, well, life has a funny way of giving you what you want. Now you can sign up for their monthly share, which includes rarities, B-sides and greatest hits, selected by wine director Justin Chearno. Depending on how many bottles you opt for, your box might include snacks from the chef. Cocktail club available, too. From $40.

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    The Four Horsemen Wine Share. Photo by Damien Lafargue.

    Manresa Bread Triple Chocolate Orange Panettone

    Be honest: Do you ever really love panettone? It tends to be rather dry and joyless. Not so at the bakery offshoot of Manresa, the three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Gatos, Ca. Partner and head baker Avery Ruzicka studs her buttery organic version with dark chocolate, almonds and candied orange, adding cocoa powder, honey and barley malt syrup for a complex, toasty sweetness. For the fully indulgent, she also makes a large-format Breton kouign-amann — that crackly creation of butter-and-sugar-shellacked puff pastry — which will have your grateful recipients overhauling their New Year’s resolutions.

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    Manresa Bread Triple Chocolate Orange Panettone. Photo courtesy of Manresa Bread.

    River Cafe International Gift Box

    Every year, we’ve pouted while deleting the gift-box announcements from this London institution: Until now, the restaurant that changed the way we think about Italian food was unable to ship internationally. Now that they’ve removed the bottle of booze, the bounty can make its way around the world, sharing tastes and treats from chef Ruth Rogers and her merry band. Neon-hued highlights include a bottle of their 2020 olive oil, linen napkins, True Grace candles, and a tote (not to mention the collectible box itself), plus a copper-based farinata pan and chickpea flour, Dada’s Christmas cake and other Italian delights. Those living in the U.K. can select other boxes as well, with all shipping starting on December 7. £450.

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    River Cafe International Gift Box. Photo courtesy of River Cafe.

    Spring Christmas Cake

    Preorders are being taken for London’s most effortlessly stylish chef Skye Gyngell’s inspiring Christmas menu, made from ingredients grown at Fern Varrow Farm, which supplies the hyperseasonal Somerset House restaurant (and, these days, delivery service). When it comes to holiday sweets, while it’s hard to choose between the panettone bread and butter pudding, bars of nougat and a painterly apple-quince galette, we’re gifting Spring’s Christmas cake, made according to Fern Varrow’s frosted, fruit-packed recipe. Available to send as a single slice or a full loaf — as long as your recipient is within a 12-mile radius of the restaurant. From £7.

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    Spring Christmas Cake. Photo courtesy of Spring.

    Lyle’s Mince Pies

    James Lowe’s Shoreditch restaurant brings a modern perfectionist’s touch to seasonal British food, meaning impeccably sourced and thoughtfully prepared. Take his holiday mince pie kits: 12 pre-cut suet pastry discs and caps, ready to be filled and baked at home. Let’s talk about that filling for a moment: The meat comes from retired Jersey dairy cows for a richer flavor (and more sustainable alternative). The mince is aged for up to 12 months with citrus juice, dried fruit and plenty of booze. Included are baking tins and step-by-step photos. Lyle’s has sold these pies at their coffee counter every December since they opened in 2014; this year, these kits will soften the blow of London’s latest lockdown. Ships within the U.K. £45.

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    Lyle’s Mince Pies. Photo courtesy of Lyle’s.
    Christine Muhlke

    Christine Muhlke is a food consultant and writer currently based in Woodstock, NY. A former editor at The New York Times and Bon Appétit and the founder of the Xtine newsletter, she has written books with chefs Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, David Kinch of Manresa and Eric Werner of Hartwood Tulum. Her most recent books include Wine Simple with Le Bernardin’s Aldo Sohm and Signature Dishes That Matter.

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