The best services for entertaining at home

Screw getting (too far) off the couch. A new crop of services brings reservation-worthy dining and drinking right to your kitchen
Dinner Bandits
Photograph: Courtesy Dinner Bandits Dinner Bandits
By Marissa Conrad |
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Sometimes you wanna go out—and we're the first to say that New York has some of the best parties in the world—and sometimes you wanna stay home with a gigantic bag of chips watching SVU. But often, you want the joy of eating at one of the best New York restaurants without the hassle of leaving your apartment. As luck would have it, you can now do exactly that, with these high-end (but reasonably priced) options that are a cut above your regular delivery services. So here they are: perfect options for dinner delivery, drinks to your door and actual chefs prepping a meal in your kitchen. Bring 'em on!

Dinner on demand

Photograph: Courtesy The Baking Bean

The Baking Bean

Founded by pastry chef Clarice Lam, formerly of Brooklyn’s the Chocolate Room, the Baking Bean delivers cookies, cakes, s’mores, truffles, pies and more sugary goodness to anywhere in the city, so long as it’s near a subway. Our faves include cherry-ginger pie ($35) and mini strawberry-Nutella cookies ($2 each). bakingbean.com$12 minimum plus $12 delivery fee; 48-hour notice for all orders, earlier for large orders and custom desserts.
 
Photograph: Courtesy Blue Apron

Blue Apron

Get a box of classy groceries delivered to your door weekly containing up to four totally badass but easy recipes, and exactly the right amount of each ingredient. You’ll never have to worry about being stuck in a 4,000-person line at Trader Joe’s again! Though you do have to plan ahead a little—your first box won’t show up until about a week after you order it. blueapron.comStarts at $59.94 per week for three two-serving meals; no minimum subscription length.

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Photograph: Courtesy Caviar Courier

Caviar

Ever wish Momofuku/RedFarm/Mission Cantina delivered? The beautiful future is here: Caviar couriers pick up food from more than 150 nondelivery restaurants and take it anywhere in Manhattan up to 96th Street; a separate list of 40-plus restaurants services parts of Brooklyn. trycaviar.comVarious prices. $5 delivery fee plus 18 percent gratuity.

Patty melts with baked sweet potato fries
Photograph: Courtesy Plated

Plated

Healthy packages from Plated arrive with a recipe plus the yummy seasonal ingredients you need to make it. You can order online for two, four or six people, or pick up ingredients from Plated’s food truck. Meals take between 20 and 30 minutes to make. plated.com. Up to $15 per person.

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Portable Chef

Portable Chef

Looking for farm-to-table fare that includes humanely treated meat? Portable Chef founder Uri Attia has you covered with his range of tasty ready-made meals, delivered to your door. portablechefnyc.com. Prices range from $8 (snacks) to $92 (full day).

Mushroom crusted flat iron steak with cauliflower mash
Photograph: Courtesy Plated

Ritual

Formerly known as Sweet Roots NYC, this healthy, classy service is now expanding beyond the city. Ritual’s chefs plan your menu based on any dietary requirements you have, then source the groceries from local farmers and prep your food—so all you have to do is throw it together when it arrives. beritual.com. $25 per serving.

 

Drinks to your door

Cocktail Courier
Photograph: Eric Kleinberg/Cocktail Courier

Cocktail Courier

Bring the bar to your place with this classy service that delivers exactly enough liquor, mixers and garnishes to whip up a batch of signature tipples from the likes of Middle Branch, Soho House and Nitecap. Recipes are included and deceptively easy, and there’s even same-day delivery for that extra-fancy last-minute booty call. cocktailcourier.com Starts at $7 per drink, minimum 4–10 drinks, depending on the bar. Order by 9pm for next-day delivery. Serves Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

 

Somm in the City
Photograph: Courtesy Somm in the City

Somm in the City

Who knew the 400-square-foot apartment you share with your cat could be so classy? Turn your pad into a dimly lit wine bar with Somm in the City founder Sara Lehman, who shows up at your door with bottles aplenty to uncork. She’s also a private chef, so you can hire her to cook a meal with wine pairings, host an in-home pairing 101 or just bring the vino to complement the Ivan Ramen you’re ordering from Caviar. somminthecity.com $30 per hour for basic sommelier services, plus the cost of wine. Dinners start at $50 per person.

Chef in your kitchen

Dinner Bandits
Photograph: Courtesy Dinner Bandits

Dinner Bandits

This game-changing dinner-party service transforms your home into a Japanese sushi parlor, kitschy summer-camp cafeteria or any other locale you desire. They work with private chefs or your favorite restaurant to cater the food, and they handle the decor, too. dinnerbandits.com Starts at $250.

Kitchensurfing
Photograph: Courtesy Kitchensurfing

Kitchensurfing

This Brooklyn-born app matches you with local chefs to cater a dinner party at your place. (Your soiree must include between six and 16 guests, with at least a week’s notice.) Every chef has a profile with a sample menu, photos, the price per person and reviews, and your chosen chef will bring the ingredients, cook in your kitchen and clean up (hoorah!). Bonus for busy Manhattanites below 116th Street: You can now score same-day, small weeknight dinners for two to six people if you book by 3pm. kitchensurfing.com $100–$300 per person for dinner parties; $25 per person for weeknight same-day dinners

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Photograph: Molly DeCoudreaux Photography

Kitchit

Too hungover to make it to brunch? Try having a trained chef in your kitchen whipping up eggs Benedict and French toast while you stay in your pj’s. Kitchit pairs you with pros who cater a meal at your home and clean up, too. We’re jazzed about its Caribbean-inflected menu, which boasts chicken and waffles with sautéed apples, and orange-jerk shrimp with creamy grits. kitchit.com $70 per person, three-day notice required.

 

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