It’s a good month for restaurant empires getting into the retail space. New York Italian restaurant Via Carota just launched bottled cocktails, and famed noodle bar and pantry ingredient purveyor Momofuku has swirled their chili crisp in chocolate bars. If you’re looking for the best chocolate bar you’ll eat in 2023, you’ve officially found it. Those are just a couple of things getting us excited about this month’s installment of What’s New.
As a reminder, some of these items we’ve tried, but some are so new that we haven’t gotten our sweaty little hands on them yet. Regardless, all of the products mentioned are from brands that we know and love. Whether you’re in search of a gift for your favorite dinner party host or you just like to keep your pantry on trend, consider this a timely shopping guide.
Like Nelly and Tim McGraw, this was a collaboration I did not see coming. While distinctive flavors like bananas foster and rose cardamom are nothing new to Raaka bars, we never imagined chocolate treats would pair so well with the umami-rich heat we get from Momofuku’s chili crisp. But wow does it work—this Chili Chocolate Crunch bar is one of the best things I’ve eaten this year. Don’t be alarmed by the mention of chilis and garlic. To me, the dominant flavors are sesame and the intense fruitiness of Raaka’s signature unroasted chocolate. The quinoa sprinkled throughout adds crispy texture, like a Crunch bar that’s gotten an extreme makeover. —MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor
Making fluffy white rice, crispy bacon, and moist, flaky salmon in the microwave is simple (and actually very good) with Anyday’s microwave cookware, which just so happens to be backed by Momofuku’s David Chang. Now, the brand is making meal prep even easier with their new silicone freezer trays, which allow you to portion, store, and freeze batches of everything from ground beef chili to blanched-and-squeezed greens. When you’re ready to reheat your frozen morsels, just pop ’em into a pot, pan, or microwave-safe container—and voilà. —Tiffany Hopkins, commerce writer
You want to go to Via Carota for dinner? Get in line, along with everyone else in New York and all the in-the-know tourists too. Owners Jody Williams and Rita Sodi can’t add 300 more tables to accommodate us, but they’re expanding their empire to allow us a taste of Via Carota at home—first with their cookbook, which our restaurant editor calls “magical,” and now with their bottled cocktails. The white negroni and the vodka martini—very wet, very dangerous—are the standouts, as are the bottles themselves. Williams and Sodi have plans to sell soap dispenser attachments so the bottles can be reused, because they are geniuses. —M.C.F.
I’ve always wanted a Solo Stove fire pit, which lights with ease, produces great heat, and is almost entirely smokeless. But limited (and shared) outdoor space meant it was never really in the cards for me—until now, thanks to Solo Stove’s latest addition to their lineup. The Mesa XL is a portable tabletop fire pit that weighs less than 2 pounds and is only 7 inches in diameter. I see many, many s’mores in my near future. —T.H.
Last December, I put the Great Jones Stoneware Sweeties Set—which includes a very cute casserole dish and pie dish—on my holiday wish list. I’m happy to report I received both. I’m also happy to report the launch of Great Jones’s new glassware category, which includes colorful, two-toned measuring cups and oil and vinegar drizzlers made of sturdy borosilicate glass. I’m into the fact that both products are charmingly reminiscent of chemistry lab beakers. If I don’t end up getting these for myself, they’ll be on my holiday wish list this year. —T.H.
There’s a lot going on with this limited-edition macadamia and cashew nut butter from Portland-based Ground Up. The freeze dried strawberries take it in a PB&J direction, but the black pepper is ample and prickly. I’ve been stirring it into oatmeal, but I could also see it taking a classic nut butter cookie somewhere spicy and savory, akin to this peanutty smoked paprika cookie recipe from Sister Pie. —M.C.F.
The Yeti Rambler is one of the best insulated water bottles around. This month, they released a new stackable 10 oz. Rambler with the same double-wall vacuum insulation. It’ll keep your drinks hot or cold for a whole day and sports the same magnetic, leak proof lid—but now they’re a lot easier to stack and store. —T.H.
Caraway, known for trendy, nonstick ceramic cookware, just released a duo of equally attractive ceramic-coated steamers—one big, one small. The steamers are designed to fit neatly inside the brand’s Dutch oven and saucepan. I’m loving the idea of a little steamer, sized for single servings of steamed dumplings, veggies, and rice cakes. —T.H.