It's just not the holidays until Bobby gets his coconut gold bars from Fran's Chocolates in Seattle. Known the world over for her extravagant chocolate confections, Fran hand-makes these gold-wrapped bars of creamy coconut and white chocolate. As Bobby says, they’re dangerously addictive.
Bobby thought he could throw down the Lobster Queen herself, but Cal Hancock's award-winning Port Clyde Lobster Macaroni and Cheese proved him wrong. Her online and mail-order business ensures everyone can try her beloved mac 'n' cheese as well as lobster coconut curries, corn chowders and risotto.
Fans of French dip sandwiches have Philippe Mathieu to thank. As the story goes, in 1918 Mathieu accidentally dropped a French roll into the roasting pan. The customer didn't mind the wet bun and today, neither does Wolfgang Puck, who likes his sandwich with horseradish mustard.
Bobby's dream of inventing his own ice cream flavor came true at the Ben & Jerry's headquarters: buttermilk blueberry cheesecake. Dessert lovers can take the full behind-the-scenes factory tour to see how their favorite flavors are made and stop by the gift shop to take a pint (or three) to go.
Typical round truffles need not apply here. At Copper Cauldron Candy Co., owner Jim Martin has been serving truffles in a triangular truffle bar. It's perfect for slicing, and even better for layering creamy ganache over ingredients like candied ginger, pineapple and macadamia nut praline.
As an absolute expert of edible drink straws and caramel marshmallows, Hammond's Candies is also home to the "heavyweight champion" of lollipops. They've been perfecting lollipops since 1920 and the giant Birthday Cake Lollipop beats them all — it's roughly 800 lollipops rolled into one.
At Alinea, Ted Allen downs his favorite appetizer: Hot Potato, Cold Potato. Ted says it's a bit like a circus on your plate, but it's more like a high-wire act. Alinea takes chilled potato soup and suspends a hot melon-balled potato with black truffle above it. It's hyper-modern and hyper-good.
If the decor doesn't evoke memories of yesteryear, maybe the signature Icebox Cake with whipped cream and chocolate wafer cookies will. Or, like Bobby on Boy Meets Grill, snag a vanilla cupcake after buying a pecan pie. Who could blame you? Billy's has become one of New York's sweetest sensations.
There is so much food at Quincy Market that ''you could spend all day in here and just eat from one end to the other.'' Rachael decided on a strawberry smoothie made with fresh fruit and yogurt from the Monkey Bar. With so much variety, ''the hard part is trying to make a choice.''
Few can resist the allure of The Little Owl, and Alton Brown and Michael Symon are among the fans who make a beeline for the restaurant at brunch time. While Alton opts for the whole-wheat pancakes adorned with berries and a splash of syrup, Michael favors a meal that’s more on the savory side. He can’t get enough of the sliders, which feature saucy meatballs nestled in pizza-dough buns. These hearty bites go well with the restaurant’s take on chilaquiles: spicy tortilla chips served with eggs.
A Financial District institution, Delmonico’s is one of the most influential restaurants in the United States. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt sat in its mahogany-covered dining room to feast on signatures like steak and lobster newberg.
In a "twist of fate" Eleni turned her side baking business into a million-dollar New York success. Her hand-iced cookies have been called "conversation cookies" for their level of detail, whimsical shape and pop-culture decals. Not a cookie fan? Her towering cupcakes are just as sweet.