Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 7, 2013 06:50 PM

Most inventive / non-traditional "free" items at restaurants?

When I say inventive and non-traditional, I mean things that are not either a bread basket, or one of those ubiquitous amuse bouches.

For example, the one that immediately comes to mind is the pound cake that Bouley gives you as a "parting" present, or the chocolate goodies that Modern passes out before you head home.

Any others out there that you can think of?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. EMP's granola!

    Craft also gives you a muffin or something similar.

    Jean Georges will give a small bag of chocolates, to the ladies, only, IIRC.

    Doesn't Per Se pack up your unfinished chocolates to go, as well?

    Clinton St Baking Co also will give away leftover muffins at the end of the day.

    Mermaid Inn has chocolate pudding and one of those red fortune telling fish.

    See also:

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      It's funny, but I have never eaten the jar of granola from EMP.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        We have so many empty Bell jars from EMP granola we asked if we could give them back (they said no : ) ).

        1. re: Spiritchaser

          You can give them to me! I keep them—great for storing dressings, making quick pickles, etc. You can never have too many as far as I'm concerned.

          1. re: loratliff

            They are just standard pint mason jars right? You could even do regular canning with them.

    2. Louro starts you out with their "Portuguese butter" a spread with lard spices and pork, is quite delicious and something I've never seen anywhere else.
      Jungsik's amuses ,i.e. fried chicken is really good.
      Recette on Evenings with Jesse, gives you a cake much like Boulez to go home with

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. The "parting gift" is about as ubiquitous as an amuse bouche at high-end places these days. The first ones I recall were Gramercy Tavern's breakfast muffins, but since then they've become de riguer.

          Probably the most interesting ones (at least in terms of not being a typical baked good or chocolate) are EMP's granola, and once (last year?) around X-Mas when Aquavit gave us, along with some cookies, little spice pouches to make Glögg at home. That was a fun idea.

          1. Bouley gave us a really nice wooden box with wonderful chocolates.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Spiritchaser

              That just reminded me that we got somethings similar from Danube (RIP) a while back, but it was mignardises and not chocolates.