Retro-inspired fruit and vegetable graphics on these 8-inch plastic salad plates are designed to add zest to picnics. From the late Ben Morris of Savannah College of Art and Design, the Ben Collection plates are dishwasher-safe, but not for the microwave.

Ben Collection salad plates, $9 each at Hello World, 257 S. 20th St., 215-545-5207; and Hello Home, 1004 Pine St. 215-545-7060,

- Dianna Marder

Chocolate sipper

Max Brenner, the new all-chocolate-all-the-time cafe and emporium, is a perfect cocoa storm of high design and clever marketing. There are practically as many varieties of chocolates as there are ways to consume them, from "hug mugs" for hot-chocolate chugging to syringes for a direct injection of bittersweet ganache. This Alice cup even has a Cheshire Cat smile in the top. Follow instructions for the cocoa granita shake, and the message printed on its side - "Drink Me" - makes a sip of chocolate Wonderland all too evident.

The Alice cup, $12.50, and iced chocolate powder kit, $10.90, at Max Brenner, 15th St. between Walnut and Locust, 215-344-8150.

- Craig LaBan

nolead begins

Extra virgin value

Produced by a Portuguese winemaker from the Douro region (the land of Port), this extra virgin olive oil is always a good value for a finishing drizzle, with vivid grass and pepper notes that land more gently than its Spanish and Tuscan cousins. It's at an even better price now, though, as Di Bruno's Italian Market store discounts the remainder of its current vintage. Get it while it lasts.

Carm extra virgin olive oil, $17.99 for a half-liter, at Di Bruno's, 930 S. Ninth St., 215-922-2876.

- C.L.