Having a restaurant-quality meal made with fresh, local ingredients delivered once a week sounded like a fabulous idea, and that's what has been happening at my home since late May.
The "Tillivery" service brings freshly made heat-and-serve dinners prepared by the chefs at Till Kitchen to the doorstep.
Every week, emailed menus provide a choice of three-course meals, with two entrees (two servings each), soup, salad and a loaf of sourdough bread. The $49.99 meal serves four adults. Delivery is free.
The Tillivery cooler cost $60, which is refunded if the service is canceled. Two ice packs in insulated bags keep the food chilled for up to 12 hours. On delivery day, the cooler, defrosted ice packs and insulated bags are left on the porch, and Tillivery replaces them with the new order.
As with any new program, it started with a few hiccups. The first week, ordering was easy-breezy. The entrees came neatly packaged in foil containers for a 30-minute reheat in a 350-degree oven. A huge, freshly made salad had a delicious dressing packaged separately. The quart of soup was ready to be heated in the microwave. Till is known for its artisan bread, and the delivered loaf did not disappoint. The food was delicious, with enough leftovers for a two-person household to have a second meal.
The next week, though, the food that arrived was not what was ordered. The service center said a missed deadline led to the chef's choice being delivered instead. Nothing was wrong with the food; it just wasn't what was anticipated.
On the third order, the same problem led to a string of emails to the online service center and ultimately a phone order. The system has been fixed since, and now it's easy to place orders.
Another hiccup was the menu, which started casserole-ish. Think enchiladas, pork green chili gnocchi and beef pot roast. Others must have commented on this, because the six monthly entree choices now have meatier options such as lamb meatballs, salmon ceviche, fried chicken in mole sauce, grilled shrimp and even steaks. The soups and salads have been consistently excellent.
With all the fine-tuning, this now is a good option for busy families who want a night off from cooking. It's plenty of food for two people, and larger families - especially those with teenage boys - can order extras for an additional fee. And if you need to skip a week, you can put your order on hold.
Overall, for the price, the service has a lot going for it. Visit tillivery.com to have a look and sign up.