Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dinner by Design

Last night I got together with five friends for a private "meal assembly" party at Dinner by Design. For just over 100 bucks, I assembled 6 meals, each of which was then divided in two for a total of 12 dishes (each serves about three people). The ingredients seemed to be of good (but not great) quality, and the staff was very helpful and friendly. The proof, of course, will be in how the dishes taste. Most of the food is in our spacious new basement freezer, but I decided to leave the Tropical Cod and Apple Caramel Crisp in the fridge for tonight. (Most promising among the dishes I prepared are the Garlic Herb Chicken and Italian Beef Sandwiches). If we all agree the food is as good as the convience and companionship (envision six women chatting, snacking and drinking wine while putting together meals that someone else planned, shopped for, diced and cleaned up after), we'll be back for more.

UPDATE: The Tropical Cod was a B/B-; it was a well-seasoned, flaky piece of fish with a sauce that mostly tasted of mango puree (I may have added too much puree when I made it). Tasty enough to pass as home cooking, but nothing I'd serve to guests. The Apple Caramel Crisp gets an A-. It's delicious, but I prefer the heartier oatmeal-brown sugar crunch of the Moosewood Cookbook recipe I typically use. The crumble on this one was a mixture of oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla wafers and almonds.