This post originally appeared on January 29, 2019, in the first edition of “Add to Cart” — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
You may have noticed over the past several months, we’ve been publishing more content about products — cooking tools recommended by chefs, tableware spotted at great restaurants, and other items that eaters might find helpful (digital cameras and iPhone hacks to nail the perfect food shot) or simply delightful (who doesn’t love beautiful ceramic mugs?).
Why? Simply put, restaurants and food culture today are more stylish and influential than ever. Our lust for gorgeous cookbooks, for metal straws, for artisan-made pottery, and for expensive hand soap are proof that restaurants can and do inspire everyday consumers. And with our cameras trained on every aspect of the dining experience, there’s even more motivation to recreate the magic — the great dishes or chairs, but also the drippy sous vide poached egg or the perfect sourdough — at home, with all the necessary products.
Which is why we’re launching this newsletter: to bring you product recommendations from some of the dining world’s biggest stars and Eater editors, plus unvarnished thoughts on of-the-moment trends, good and bad. I’m all about discovering the best things to buy — through my always-hungry, never-not-snacking, restaurant-loving lens.
Get in, we’re going shopping.
Things to buy
- Line cooks are the unsung heroes of restaurant kitchens, slicing and dicing almost everything that makes it to your plate. So we asked a few to recommend their favorite chef’s knives. Two that intrigue: the Mercer Culinary Genesis santoku knife (affordable and good for small hands) and the elegant Hammered Damascus gyutou knife by Togiharu.
- I’m drawn to these paint-dipped spoons (which are meant for cooking, but I want to show them off by using them as serving utensils). But that shouldn’t be a surprise given that paint-dipped decor is now everywhere.
- Shout-out to Into the Gloss for bringing this product to my attention: Wine Away, a wine stain-removing spray that jettisons splotches overnight, boasts over 1,000 positive Amazon reviews, and is Eater staffer-approved.
- These pink bar stools — blessedly on sale at Target — are one of those simple (and not super expensive!) items that make a regular kitchen or dining room feel cool. They feature in Eater’s new installment of Shop the Restaurant, in which restaurant editor Hillary Dixler Canavan investigates every design detail of Nyum Bai in Oakland.
Things to know
- The buzz around straws might have peaked last year, but the conversation isn’t over as restaurants and coffee shops adjust to the new policies going into effect in 2019. Case in point: SF-based bubble tea brand Boba Guys just announced they’re making their own reusable metal boba straws, partly in response to state and city plastic straw bans. They’re for sale online as of yesterday and hit all Boba Guys locations this Friday.
- What’s the next status chocolate bar? It’s the kind of question that can exist in this bean-to-bar, post-Mast Brothers world, and one The Strategist aims to answer. They spotlight Casa Bosques and the more attractive Raaka, but I’d also point out Rogue Chocolatier, which — as far as status goes — sells even more exclusive, hard-to-get bars (and has an astonishingly active Twitter account, if you feel like falling down a rabbit hole). Rogue’s also delicious: They’re one of the 24 chocolatiers on this epic list of America’s best chocolate shops and have a new batch of bars on sale right now.
- Am I the only one who missed the drop of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook? The Goop creator released The Clean Plate earlier this month, and to compare the amount of buzz it’s gotten to, say, Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings: Hungry for More is… intriguing, to say the least.