Tasting America's Best Restaurants In Cookie Form

All the surprising flavors we found in the Resy Cookie Box, created in partnership with Pain D’Avignon.

This holiday season, Resy teamed up with the Cape Cod bakery Pain D'Avignon to create the Resy Cookie Box. Each festive package contained 12 cookies developed by beloved restaurants across the country. And to sweeten the deal, proceeds from the limited-edition $80 cookie collection benefitted Southern Smoke Foundation, which aids members of the food and beverage industry who find themselves in crisis.

With its steep price point and narrow window for ordering (between December 4-15, 2023), the Resy Cookie Box promised an exclusive opportunity to taste the essence of some of the country's most coveted dining establishments, all without leaving home. But just how precisely can a single cookie capture a restaurant's personality and overall flavor profile? I, along with my Korean-born husband, Sanghoon, and our two children (Jasper, 9, and Daisy, 6) decided to find out, bite by buttery bite.

We began, of course, by opening the delightfully decorated package, which included an expandable guide full of vivid photos of each cookie, along with information on the chef and restaurant who developed the recipe.

The cookie flavors ranged from the more traditional Cranberry White Chocolate, presented by Kasama in Chicago (a restaurant made all the more famous this year thanks to The Bear), to the Persimmon Snickerdoodle by Han Oak in Portland, a tasty twist on a holiday classic.

It's fair to say that our family was impressed with certain aspects of every cookie in the box. My son compared the lingering heat of the Spiced Thai Chocolate by Michelin-starred Kin Khao (San Francisco) with the magic of Willy Wonka. Minutes after taking a bite, the tingle of the Thai spices not only remained, but grew more fiery and intense. The high-end Raf's in New York City created an Amaretti Mandelhörnchen that paired the nuttiness of almond with a soft, almost brownie-like texture that tasted straight out of the oven. A dozen flavorfully crafted surprises were ours to unwrap and enjoy, making it difficult to pick favorites.

Instead, we decided to select three cookies whose flavors left us most eager to try dining in at the corresponding restaurant. Perhaps our picks will inspire you to dine somewhere new, near of far.

Cardamon Date Cookie by Sarma in Boston

Sarma serves Turkish and Mediterranean-inspired meze in the Somerville area of Massachusetts. This cookie was my top choice, and if Sarma's fare is anything like this divine disk, I imagine it's complex and exciting, with layers of fragrant Middle Eastern flavors. The cookie itself profiled the date in a beautifully subtle way, letting the cardamom steal the show with its peppery, citrus notes and hint of spice. This proved a bit polarizing for our tasters who were not as keen on this distinct flavor. But we could all agree it was a daring and memorable cookie with a bite that lingered long after the last morsel.

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Shiitake Chocolate Chip Cookie by Oyster Oyster in Washington D.C.

My children have very different food preferences, but they both agree that mushrooms are the WORST. So imagine my surprise when they were fighting over the final bites of this lightly sweetened, shiitake-based cookie. In fairness, the shiitake flavor was not overpowering, but it did give the cookie an earthiness that paired nicely with the dense chunks of dark chocolate. Oyster Oyster has a mostly vegetarian menu that also includes local oysters, and it's clear the restaurant knows a thing or two about making vegetables shine—so much so that when I unveiled the cookie's not-so-secret ingredient, both of my children gasped in shock.

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"Mushrooms? In cookies?!" my son yelled as he eagerly swallowed a chunk of the rich chocolate and washed it down with milk. Oysters of any kind, mushroom or bivalve, are not high on our kids' menu, but I would definitely take a chance on a family meal at Oyster Oyster.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Pecan Cookie by Cochon in New Orleans

Our final selection of the Oatmeal Butterscotch Pecan Cookie surprised my husband and me. Neither of us are particularly keen on butterscotch, and the cookie itself didn't seem overly creative or unique. But when we bit into the chewy yet crisp oatmeal-based creation, we couldn't help but fall in love.

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This concoction was a love letter to Southern cuisine. With its strong notes of pecan elegantly entwined with a soft hint of butterscotch, we were immediately transported to the steamy, jazz-filled streets of New Orleans. To quote my daughter after her first bite of this cookie, "That's really, really, really good." Cochon serves up traditional Cajun Southern dishes from Chef Donald Link's childhood, and if this cookie is any indication, each dish is bound to take you on a delicious and dimensional sensory trip.

We're hoping Resy releases this box again next holiday season. Have you ever eaten a cookie whose flavors transported you somewhere new?

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