Best Prepared Foods - 2002
Carmine Giardini's Gourmet Market
Part Zabar's, part Xanadu, this stupendous compendium of comestibles is a testament to the opulence and abundance of the American 21st-century good life. Here -- serendipitously located at the intersection of Prosperity Farms Road and PGA Boulevard -- is where your amber waves of grain, your fruited plain hit the table and the palate. Of course, the pot of food at the end of the rainbow is in a yacht harbor in a municipality that christens its main public thoroughfare after the ruling body of a ruling-class sport. Of course, the leisured white folk of the country-club set steer their SUVs this way at day's end, weary of the sun and the cart, to pick up a gourmet delicacy or two for dinner: black-and-white sesame-seared tuna, herb-crusted sea bass, rapini-and-sausage-stuffed breast of chicken, and meats Milanese, Francese, parmigiana, and piccata. There's an extensive wine selection, produce section, and bakery near at hand. It's pricey -- prepared foods top out around $19.99 per pound -- but hey, it costs to eat the dream.