Pop quiz. You’re sandy and sunburned, and salt water has turned your hair into a fright wig. It’s 45 minutes past dinnertime, the kids are starving, but there’s nothing in the house. So. Do you pack your family into the car for shameful Mickey D’s or do you order a pizza that’ll take an hour to get on the table?
Here’s where Dinner in Hand (914-380-5084) steps in. This New Rochelle-based subscription service offers fresh meals delivered to your door. The dinners arrive in snazzy, carefully packed thermal bags (see below), and are just the sort of homey meals you’d prepare if you’d had time to shop and cook. How homey? Well, we sampled the Amy’s Asian salad with grilled shrimp, Napa cabbage, jicama, mango, and ginger soy vinaigrette (pictured)—and it was garnished with those crunchy rice noodles straight out of my Nana’s string bean recipe. (We were charmed.) Dinner in Hand’s membership fees are nominal, and range from $3.08 per week for a three-month period to $2.75 per week for six months, though new members are awarded two free weeks of delivery and non-members can pay $5 per order as they go.
Dinner in Hand does not offer restaurant cuisine, which might sound like a dis, until you think about the needs of feeding your family. Its wide-appeal dishes could have been ripped from the pages of Cooking Light or Real Simple. The dinners can be ordered in family-sized or individual portions, with single- serving prices running from $13.95 (for portobellos and ratatouille) to $17.95 (for Maryland crab cakes). Individual meals include two sides, while family-sized servings skew much cheaper (serving four from between $19.95 – $20.95). Sides for family meals must be ordered separately. For an idea of what DIH offers, see this photo: this array of food was priced at $74.80 (including delivery), and was portioned for four adults—but could have fed twice as many.
Dinner in Hand’s only downside might be cost. At about $15 per individual serving, its meals are significantly more expensive than most delivery options. (DIH’s family-sized meals are much cheaper.) But take-out offers minimal nutrition at, admittedly, seductive prices, while the hanger steak with compound butter (that comes with Red Bliss potatoes and field greens) pictured here feels like something I could feed to my family and still sleep at night.
Peekskill’s Brewery’s Captain Lawrence Summer Beer Dinner (Wednesday, July 14, $65 per person, exclusive of tax and tip) Meet Beer wunderkind Scott Vaccaro in Peekskill as he pairs these beers with this menu.
Bridgeview Tavern’s Captain Lawrence Beer Tasting (Thursday, July 15, FREE) According to Captain Lawrence’s newsletter, “This new restaurant has put together a great draft list to go with some killer food—stop in for some samples of CLBC beer!”
The Birdsall House and Captain Lawrence Beer Tasting (July 19, FREE) The greatest minds in New York beer get together for a night of fabulous tasting. Look for Birdsall House’s great, locavorian menu paired with hand-tapped cask beers from Captain Lawrence. According to Vaccaro, “… join us for three casks and a few special beers….if you’re hungry you can pair up some plates of locally raised meats and cheeses to go with the beers!”
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company Weekly Tastings (Fridays 4-7 pm Saturdays 12-6 pm, FREE) Heard about that St. Vincent’s Dubbel? Intrigued by the smoked porter? Stop into Scott Vaccaro’s Pleasantville brewery to sample some of his signature sips—or take the 20-minute brewery tour to see how all those famous beers are made. Contact Captain Lawrence Brewery for more information.
Yeah, baby…we’re talking paper-lined plastic baskets full of white- bread-bunned patties and dogs. Fat onion rings, chipotle-spiked chili, house-made chicken wings, and thick shakes. If this charred, gleaming Hebrew National hot dog—eaten by the road on metal-mesh lawn furniture—doesn’t say summer to you, I don’t know what planet you’re from. Also look for fabulous (and, at $8.99, cheap) lobster rolls at this new Armonk grill-a-teria.
Skip snarkiness, skip irony—isn’t it just great to watch a chef with a knife? I love this clip of Chef David DiBari of The Cookery and the tender way he holds the branzino, his loving little pats, his knowing pulls and prods. Call me weird, but I could watch this stuff all day.