Whether or not you can cook well, restaurant food is a whole different animal. With indoor dining shut down in New York City and frigid weather stuck on pause, many of us rely on take out.
The Grey: Savannah take out, all the way from Savannah
We’ve been taking out from local restaurants, but we also yearn for food from far flung places. Since travel is curtailed, mostly I’ve dreamed about where I want to travel, once Covid-19’s insidious curve flattens for good. So I was totally pumped when I heard that Intersect by Lexus, which specializes in rotating chefs from around the globe, had a new chef in residence, Mashama Bailey from The Grey.
Though The Grey is in downtown Savannah, Chef Mashama is a NYC native. And the new take out only menu, has just two choices a week, one of which is vegetarian.
Bang for the Buck
The three course menu at Intersect by Lexus is $65 a person, a bargain considering the tabs of over $250 at many top tier NYC restaurants. Our vegetarian meal started with a simple salad with shaved parmesan and a side of homemade pickles. The red wine vinaigrette was packaged separately to keep the lettuces crisp.
Every part of the meal was attractively packaged, from the boxes for the food and drinks to the bottles for cocktails and wine to the insulated tote that I can now use to pick up grocery orders. We even got a menu card with our meal on one side and instructions for heating and serving on the other.
The Main Event
Our entree, Middlins Risotto with plenty of Maitake mushrooms and a hint of truffle was absolutely stunning. It came with smoky collard greens that had a vinegar drizzle that we added after heating. Collards are ideal for reheating since the softer and silkier they are, the better. There was also homemade sourdough bread and a container of very fresh butter.
We shared a D-I-Y cocktail, the Chatham Artillery Punch. Intersect sent a bottle with a mixture of cognac, bourbon and rum, a split of sparkling wine and lemon wheels. I poured the mixture into glasses, popped open the sparkling wine and garnished. Though we don’t have Tom Collins glasses, the cocktail was lovely.
We also had a wine pairing, with 3 clear bottles labeled with each wine. My one suggestion is that the red wine, a Tessier 2019 Cheverny Rouge Le Point du Jour, was sent chilled, along with the white wine and madeira, but it tasted better when left to warm up. A note on how to serve would have been helpful.
Always rooms for dessert
Our elaborate dessert included a piece of chocolate layer cake, along with candied pecans, chocolate sauce that we heated up, fresh chocolate whipped cream and bittersweet chocolate crumble to sprinkle on top. I may not have plated it as well as a professional, but my taste buds were none the wiser.
All the extras
Our meal came with a link to Chef Mashama’s Spotify playlist. Macy Gray was on it, (of course) along with many female vocalists: Aretha, Christina Aguilera, Gloria Gaynor. It set the mood for an amazing experience.
We even got a package of homemade granola, chock full of dried fruit and seeds, for breakfast the next day
Pick up or Delivery
The fantastic meal needed to travel home in style. Lexus loaned me an NX hybrid, which provided a smooth and luxurious ride. The hybrid engine actually gets better gas mileage in the city, 33 mpg, versus 30 on the highway. The Lexus has the latest safety technology, like automatic braking with pedestrian detection, road sign assist and high beam headlights that switch to regular when oncoming vehicles are detected. The the all-wheel drive made me feel confident on icy roads.
We also used the Lexus to drive to Magazzino Italian Art, in Cold Spring, NY. The heated seats kept us cozy and the large sunroof allowed the sun to stream in. And auto folding side view mirrors keep your shiny new car pristine.
Note: Lexus provided a Lexus NX Sport and comped my meal. Opinions expressed are my own.