Eat, Drink, Buy Merry

Giving sweet nothings and savory treats? Schlepping to a last-minute potluck? These five shops serve the season’s essentials.

By Laura Cassidy November 17, 2009 Published in the December 2009 issue of Seattle Met

Top of the barrel Pickles, plums, and sweet stuff from the Northwest at Eat Local in Burien.

Winter Garden

This season, drive the 500-mile-diet message home with Rockridge Farms blackberry wine, honey from Moon Valley in Arlington, and wild smoked salmon caught on Seattle boats from Eat Local. At the just-opened all-in-one kitchen and boutique in Burien, shop for gourmet gifts from regional farmers and sip a Stumptown espresso while chefs braise take-and-bake freezer dishes of pasture-finished lamb from Walla Walla and roll roulades from local heritage turkey. Eat Local, 810 SW 151st St, Burien, 206-432-9849 and 2400 Queen Anne Ave N, Queen Anne, 206-328-3663;

Salts of the Earth

Epicureans from all over the globe source Old World vinegars and olive oils, exotic smoked sea salts, and artisan-produced fruit chutneys and ketchup from the online version of Chef Shop, but Seattle gastronomes can walk inside the company’s brand new storefront. Be sure you do so soon; holiday shipments of raisin-studded Italian holiday bread—and carloads of handcrafted French-style chocolates from locally based Armoire Chocolat—never last long. Chef Shop, 1415 Elliott Ave W, Interbay, 206-286-9988;

It’s a Brie Country

The French aren’t known for their sense of humor, but the recently debuted Paris Grocery might be. Sure, imported duck pate, escargot forks, expensive grainy mustards, and over 35 wonderfully stinky cheeses are on offer, but so are silly chocolate-banana candies from Austria and Sir Francis Bacon brand peanut brittle (yep, pork, Spanish-style peanuts, and sugar, together at last). Not so silly: extremely well-priced wine. But what would you expect from the Spanish Table’s petit frère? Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Ave, Downtown, 206-682-0679;

’Tis the Seasonings

Just walking into the globally sourced tea and seasonings shop World Spice Merchants is a treat. Extend the pleasure by selecting coriander seeds, whole juniper berries, bright-pink beet powder, jasmine teas, and custom-blended salmon rub, and packaging them in the same glass jars the shop uses for their aromatic, user-friendly displays. Ready-made gift packs redolent of curries and French pantry essentials are no-brainers, as is an ounce—or two—of the sweet-hot cinnamon blend for toast and some mulling spices. World Spice Merchants, 1509 Western Ave, Downtown, 206-682-7274;

Cut the Mustard

No matter if you’re going for an evening or a weekend, the holidays are no time to show up empty-handed. The Cheese Cellar makes easy work of last-minute hostess gifting; just choose from a few fromage knives and handsome cutting boards, and select a hunk of imported Gabietou or something regional from the Estrella family. Add-ons include Salumi salamis, jars of pickled raisins from Boat Street Kitchen, and homemade gelato. The Cheese Cellar, 100 Fourth Ave N, Lower Queen Anne, 206-404-2743;

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