Ever since Matt wired the electric percolator to our family's Apple IIe computer back in 1984--with explosive results--we've taken the long view on computer innovation: some amazing technological advances are merely half steps, best left alone until the real miracles are engineered. The Internet, rife with great new ideas, is a good example of this phenomenon. One could spend hours searching for French-roast coffee beans on-line, for instance, when the store across the street stocks 10 different varieties.
Still, we're enthusiastic about some great new Web sites that cater to our passions for cooking and restaurants. But don't install the undercounter computer monitor in your kitchen yet; check out and bookmark these cool sites first.
When we're looking for new food products, we log on to ChefShop.com. Glitzier, better-known on-line shops like Tavolo and the Williams-Sonoma site ship many of the same delicacies, but ChefShop's precise, imaginative tasting notes set it apart. You can find rare, intensely flavored foods like Michel Cluizel's 72-percent-cocoa chocolate pastilles as well as varietal juices from White's Fruit Farm in Suffolk, England--without a hint of the dot-com copywriter's impersonal sell.