It's no secret that I'm not exactly a skilled cook, so I get really excited when I'm able to enjoy delicious meals that are prepared by other (aka, more talented) chefs. I certainly love the occasional dinner out, but it can also be great to have a home-cooked meal that doesn't require a ton of time or talent. I was thrilled when CookUnity invited me to try their service, which delivers meals prepared by local chefs and delivered straight to your door - basically, it's a much more gourmet, elevated spin on take-out for a gal on the go who appreciates savoring her dinner but doesn't want to waste the entire night making it by herself.
CookUnity releases a weekly menu to ensure that only the freshest ingredients are being used each day - there are typically two adult entree options, and one kid's meal. Here are just a few mouth-watering photos of some recent dishes:
As a NYC professional, I'm certainly no stranger to having all kinds of food delivered to my home, but the CookUnity experience stood out and impressed me right from the start. I selected my meals from their website and opted for a convenient delivery timeframe - you can order several days in advance to make meal planning a breeze, or you can order up until 3:30 for same day delivery. Not only did I receive a text when my meal was on its way, but I also got a link to track the progress of my meal's delivery vehicle, in real time - how fun!
My food was dropped off in a cute, reusable tote bag by a friendly driver (which is, unfortunately, a rarity in NYC!).
The entrees contained a list of ingredients and handy heating instructions right on top of each package.
I was impressed to see that each entree also came with an additional side dish, which was a surprise since it hadn't been advertised on the website.
Plus, one of the extras on the side was roasted garlic, which is basically my favorite thing in the entire world...yum!
When it came time to prepare the meals, I was super psyched to see that microwaving was the recommended method since I am totally lazy about cooking and will do practically anything to avoid turning on my oven! After heating both according to the time recommended on the packages, the meals were cooked to perfection and ready to be devoured. I was giddy with excitement to discover that after a mere 1 minute and 40 seconds, I could serve a piping hot, lovingly prepared (...by someone else) dinner. I'm pretty sure that's the exact moment when I decided that I had a total crush on CookUnity (though I may have already had a hint from the adorable, crafty ribbons and stickers that adorned each entree box).
Because I did not have to do any meal prep, I had extra time on my hands and was able to pull together a quick tablescape on the patio with candles, fresh flowers, colorful napkins, and the "good" wine glasses. Suddenly, an average Tuesday night at home had turned into a romantic, al fresco dinner date.
When T came home from work, he was totally impressed by the food spread and by the little extra touches I had put into making our dinner special. As for me, I was just happy to be able to spend some additional time talking to him, instead of chopping onions or mixing up a salad!
And let's talk about the food...Gals, it was seriously amazing! For real. Everything was restaurant-quality, and the generous portion sizes allowed us both to have leftovers for lunch later in the week. At only $14 per adult entree and $9 per kid's dish, these meals are very budget-friendly and cheaper than your average NYC take-out. T and I split the pan-roasted chicken and the eggplant parmesan, and agreed that both were total winners. We were particularly impressed that the chicken remained so moist and juicy, even after the microwave preparation.
T and I both loved the easy, laidback feel of the evening, made possible thanks to CookUnity doing all of the heavy lifting with the meal. It totally transformed an average Tuesday into an awesome date night, and I foresee many more of these special evenings in our future since we both agreed that we need more of this deliciousness in our lives.
Oh, and as if they hadn't already exceeded all of our expectations, CookUnity had one more surprise for us...individual mini S'mores for dessert! These were the perfect sweet bite after an incredible meal, plus could they be any more adorable with those mini spoons attached to the top with washi tape?!
It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, which is why I love that CookUnity makes it easier to share quality meals at home while enjoying the company of our loved ones. I think T summed it up best at the end of the night when he said, "It takes time to prepare a meal as good as this...but it doesn't have to be YOUR time."
CookUnity is currently available in parts of Manhattan, and is rapidly expanding! They're generously offering an incredible deal for readers of The Sequin Notebook to try them out...just use promo code TheSequinMates for your first order, and you will receive 2 FREE ENTREES! Do yourself a favor and race on over to their website to check out this week's menu, and treat yourself to a special dinner in...because you deserve it!
Meals were provided for review by CookUnity.