All words by Elsie Yang
You should absolutely play with your food.
That, at least, is part of the ethos behind the new delivery and carry-away experience being offered by fine dining establishment Seven Reasons. Proving that takeout and fine dining are not, in fact, oxymoronic concepts, Chef Enrique Limardo and the star-studded team behind the widely-lauded culinary destination have managed to put together a COVID-era meal kit that is worth your attention, your appetite, and your money.
Whimsically titled “Playte @ Home,” the two-box offering consists of a deconstructed five-course dinner. And when we say “deconstructed,” we don’t mean it in the sense of a nouveau tiramisu with a jar of mascarpone accompanying a package of lady fingers and a thimble of coffee liqueur. Instead, this is a literal take on deconstruction — Chef Limardo’s team presents you with all the necessary components to create some of the restaurant’s most famous dishes at home, but with your own creative flair.
Each Playte @ Home kit comes with two carefully packed boxes that contain the requisite ingredients, all neatly packaged, to make five dishes: you’ll start with Patacones Playeros, or plantains made infinitely more interesting with the addition of a black garlic sauce and a vegan mayo; then move onto The Ceviche, a surprisingly large portion of acid-cured fish that you’ll dress up with a tasty (and aesthetically striking) purple sweet potato puree. As you move into the larger courses, you’ll find Eat Your Calabaza, a seemingly unassuming butternut squash topped with a pecan dressing. But cut into the squash and you’ll find a treasure trove of basmati rice with golden raisins, all dressed in a surprisingly spicy shishito vinaigrette.
Oh, and it just so happens that Eat Your Calabaza is vegan, unlike the main dish — The Duck Dilemma. A well-seared piece of duck warms up nicely in your oven for about 15 minutes, and can be arranged alongside a crispy potato, and a caramelized red onion that is filled with an onion puree.
The sweet finale comes in the form of The Merengue, a crisp, well-baked concoction of egg whites and sugar that sits atop a brownie base, and is topped with both mango and chocolate custards.
While the dishes themselves are delicious, what truly sets this experience apart from all others is your ability to make the meal entirely your own. Each of the packaged dishes come with their own sauces and garnishes, which are clearly marked using clever color-coding. An easy-to-follow set of instructions also comes with a QR code, which you can scan to be directed to an Instagram account that offers step-by-step instructions on how to assemble and plate each dish. But of course, all these “instructions” are really just suggestions. The point of Playte is, without a doubt, to let your inner chef (and really, inner artist) run free.
All of Limardo’s signature sauces and emulsions are packed in squeeze bottles that you can use to create clever designs — whether that means spelling out your name, or creating a black garlic landscape to accompany your fried plantains, or making purple swooshes as pillows for your ceviche. While there may be rules in the Seven Reasons kitchen, there are certainly none in the comfort of your own home, which makes the entire fine dining experience all the more fun.
And if you’re planning on grabbing takeout from Seven Reasons, don’t forget the cocktails. They’re artfully “bottled” in mason jars with the garnish attached to the lid, so just as with the rest of your food, you can recreate a Seven Reasons-worthy cocktail in your kitchen.
So whether you’re looking for a creative date night activity, need to impress your in-laws, or just need to take your own culinary prowess to the next level, Seven Reasons is more than capable of helping.
Featured image via Seven Reasons