It’s often referred to as “liquid gold,” and indeed, prices for gourmet olive oils come close. But once your palate becomes accustomed to the taste of a fine oil, there is no chance of going back to the plastic-bottle variety. Go beyond olives and try Mustapha’s Argan Oil, derived from the Moroccan argan tree. And don’t forget a dark, rich balsamic vinegar such as Tondo.
surlatable.com; Tondo black Balsamic of Modena, $80/8.4 oz., Sabatino & Co., sabatinoandco.com; Pornanino extra virgin olive oil/Italy, $35, Via Girasole Gourmet, viagirasole.com; Mustapha’s organic argan oil, $45, mustaphas.com; Las Doscientas Arbequina extra virgin olive oil from Chile, $18, fosterfinefoods.com, latienda.com; Calivirgin premium extra virgin olive oil from California, $28/500 ml, Coldani Olive Ranch, calivirgin.com; Fig & Olive Koroneiki from Greece, $14, Fig & Olive, bestoliveoilstore.com
For those to whom meals are a short detour on the way to desserts, this assortment of sweets will not disappoint. From a decadent 24-layer chocolate cake to tender and buttery Yoku Moku Cigare cookies, you may just be tempted to skip dinner and go straight to the sweet endings.
platinecookies.com, served on Janice Minor Capiz Epergne serving bowls and stand, $365, neimanmarcus.com; Strip House 24-layer chocolate cake, $100, (212) 406-7900, striphouse.com, on Michael Aram Black Orchid cake stand, $225, with server, $62, michaelaram.com; assorted Bissingers chocolates, caramels, and chocolate-dipped oranges, $10 to $36, bissingers.com; St. Regis macarons, $18 for a box of 12, at Paces 88 American Bistro in The St. Regis Atlanta, (404) 563-7900; Estate napkins, set of 12, $60, neimanmarcus.com; Yoku Moku Cigare 20-cookie tin, $27, at Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Horchow; (center) Ghyslain Chocolat des Beaux Arts Le Montage and Truffle Harmonie boxed collections, $13.50 to $38 a box, ghyslain.com, and Kreta olive oil truffles, $18, bissingers.com