Like many locals, Maureen Shankar and Chef Lauren Peden (chef/owner of Simply Delicious catering) went to the New Canaan Farmers Market last weekend. But what was different about their trip was the fresh ingredients they were shopping for weren’t for them…they were for their new farm-to-chef-to-door service called Fresh Dine.
Although they are currently only delivering their freshly made meals on Mondays and Wednesdays to New Canaan and Darien right now, they have plans to expand throughout Fairfield County. Despite this, Maureen was generous enough to drive out to Greenwich to let us try some of their dishes.
When they arrived, you could see her excitement, especially when she explained that we were her first official delivery on the first delivery day of Fresh Dine.
Maureen and co. packed the food up nicely in insulated coolers with ice packs. So, even if you’re not home during the day, the food will stay perfect until 7 pm. Then, you can simply leave the coolers out before the next delivery for pick up.
Our plan in trying out Fresh Dine was to get a variety of items and meal options to see how the food was. We started with freshly prepared Maine salmon filets over quinoa salad (one single portion for each of us, $11.99). The directions were easy to follow and made meal prep quick. The salmon was delicate and was moist, while the quinoa salad was great with the basil. What we enjoyed the most was the portion size. It was just the right amount of food for one person to be satisfied but not stuffed.
The next day we weren’t as demure with our meal, opting for a Thanksgiving feast. With two single portions again ($11.99 each), we had four turkey breasts with stuffing, whole cranberry sauce, and gravy. We added in their mashed potatoes ($6.99 each) and some corn that we already had to make the feast complete. The turkey was full of flavor and included the crispy skin and the stuffing was good, but a bit soggy. We probably added too much water during the roasting time. The gravy was the real deal and was great on the flavorful, chunky yet creamy, mashed potatoes, though no gravy was really even needed because they were so good.
For lunches we ordered an apple butternut squash soup ($6.99) and quinoa salad ($6.99). Kristien thought the soup was fantastic and wasn’t too sweet at all–it actually even had a slight spiciness to it. Very nicely done. And, while Dan normally gets tired of quinoa salads after a bit, he loved this one. The red peppers added a nice bite, the cranberries added a small tartness, and the onions added that just right kick. The lemon vinaigrette, too, was just right and added a nice flavor contrast that brightened up the dish.
We love the idea here: you pick out the meals you want, FreshDine gathers local, healthy foods and cooks them up and delivers them to you. Because the meals are prepared fresh, you’ll need to plan out your week of meals accordingly (meals last 2-3 days). Delivery is just $3.75 and they do not expect, nor want, tips. Although some might think Fresh Dine’s prices are on the expensive side, if you consider the quality of the ingredients and the love that goes into each dish it’s actually reasonable and still much cheaper than eating out, getting delivery, or even ordering pizza. Also, this is a great service if you’re looking for gluten free and vegetarian food because there are lots of options available. We wish Maureen, Chef Peden, and everybody else at Fresh Dine great luck and we’re excited to see them expand out into more of Fairfield County so we can order from them more frequently!