‘Moveable Feast’ Brings Fine Dining Home
By April 13, 2023 0 672•
Have you ever wanted to enjoy Michelin and James Beard winning restaurant experiences at home? Meet Moveable Feast, the Hello Fresh or Blue Apron for big-name restaurants. The company, quietly launched earlier this year, is the brainchild of a dozen founding partner restaurants around the country, including locals Tail Up Goat, Albi and Reverie.
“Obviously, my position as both the chef and owner of a founding restaurant, as well as being a founder of the company, gives me a little bit of a different perspective on the enterprise as a whole, but the simple answer is that I really just wanted another outlet for my food while at the same time being able to add on another opportunity to reach a wider audience of diners,” said Jon Sybert, co-founder of Moveable Feast and chef and owner of Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan. “Being able to stand alongside the incredible talent the inaugural Moveable Feast roster represents is also pretty rad.”
Each month, the most sought-after and buzzy restaurants in the country create a dinner party to enjoy at home. The “feasts” are designed to feed four, eight or 12 people.
My husband and I received our own Moveable Feast last month to try and we both agreed it’s a must-try.
The feast arrived in a fun, bright orange box with “Moveable Feast” written in simple script, via UPS two-day shipping, wrapped with utmost care in lots of ice packs. Our meat and potatoes were packaged via cryovac bags to keep them fresh.
The website mentions that the Moveable Feast team will guide recipients through each step, “teaching you a new trick or two,” and helps to create a memorable in-home restaurant experience. Moveable Feast was not exaggerating about this. Not only did the food come with incredibly easy step-by-step instructions, there was also a QR code that led me to a well-packaged six-minute video that guided me through the entire cooking process. The company thought of everything — I was delighted to see four menus on thick cardstock when I opened our package.
The feast we received was from Ernest, a San Francisco-based restaurant with regular waiting lists of 300+ people on weekends. The restaurant is led by Chef Brandon Rice, with market-driven offerings with intense global flavors that reflect a fun, approachable attitude. There were familiar flavors, done with just a bit of uniqueness to keep things fun.
Since feasts are designed for 4-to-12 diners, my husband and I ended up eating the food over the course of a few days (the instructions recommended eating everything within two days). I will say the only item that did not fare well in transit was the chopped salad, arriving a bit wilted and sad-looking.
We started with cornbread and house-cultured butter and honey. I followed the instructions and warmed up the cornbread in our oven. The butter and honey melted perfectly into the cornbread and was the ideal addition to our leftover homemade chili that first evening.
Later that night, I made the dessert — miso chocolate chip cookies. Skeptical of the miso part at first, I was delighted they turned out absolutely divine! They were the perfect combination of sweet and salty — the white miso made the flavor of the cookies rich and delicious. So yummy right out of the oven.
The next day, we had the cacio e pepe profiteroles and Dungeness crab Rangoon dip with crispy wontons and orange sweet and sour. They were all very tasty and the crispy wontons were definitely the standout — their satisfying crunch was better than many Chinese restaurant versions.
Saturday evening, we had our own little date night at home with the prime NY strip steak with Ernest steak sauce and potato terrine with some mixed vegetables of our own. I followed the directions for the steak, changing things up just a little with a brief minute or two on our Cuisinart grill. The potato terrine was placed in a cast iron pan as designated. We couldn’t believe how incredible the steak turned out — it tasted like we were sitting in San Francisco in Ernest’s dining room. The green steak sauce did not specify exactly what flavors were in it, but it tasted a lot like a chimichurri sauce.
While the potatoes did not turn out as pretty as the video and pictures, they were wonderfully scrumptious. The steak was the true standout though — mouthwatering and flavorful, paired so well with the martinis I made to go with the meal.
One item Sybert is looking forward to including in his own feast is citrus, which he said he’d have a difficult time doing in D.C. “One of the fun things we get to do as chefs working with Moveable Feast is to discuss what advantages the Moveable Feast kitchen being located in Napa provides,” he said. Sybert cited differences in climate and growing opportunities. “While I deeply love the bounty the Mid-Atlantic provides us, it’s just plain fun to be able to work with some new ingredients that simply don’t grow in my area,” he added.
Next time, we will be inviting friends or family to join us. I can’t wait to present another feast, menus and all, for a dinner party. As someone who loves to entertain, Moveable Feast was a winner. Click below for a photo gallery of the feast.
All photos (except chef photos) are by Kate Oczypok .
Moveable Feast currently offers seasonal memberships at $1,400 per year (one feast per season at $350/feast) or all in memberships at $3,960 per year (once a month at $330/feast). More information can be found here: https://www.moveablefeast.io/.