Terrance Brennan Gives the TV Dinner Business Another Go

The FreshDirect glamour shot, left, and the gritty Grub Street version.
The FreshDirect glamour shot, left, and the gritty Grub Street version.haha Photo: left, Travis Benton Skinner; right, Everett Bogue

The last time we checked in on Terrance Brennan and his line of ready-to-go FreshDirect meals, the chef was rejiggering one of his recipes after negative feedback from the Grub Street staff. Now that a new line is out, we felt it only right to give The Big Cheese another review, much as Adam Platt revisited Picholine after Brennan revamped it last year. The results of the tasting, as last year, were mixed.

FreshDirect sent us four entrées: goat cheese ravioli with grilled summer vegetables and parsley pistou; monkfish in Basque broth with pearl couscous and piquillo peppers, both $10; skin-on chicken breast with pomegranate-chili marinade, $5.49 per pound; and beef hanger steak with a smoky Spanish marinade, $9.99 per pound. The Grub Street staff was divided. The big winner was the ravioli, which inspired one junior staff member, recently released from an internship, to exclaim, “It’s the best TV dinner I’ve ever eaten!” Which might be faint praise to Terrance Brennan, but we know where he’s coming from. (Brennan himself tells us that the ravioli is his favorite.) The other entrées got mixed reviews, ranging from “I like the little slimy things,” to “Not bad,” to “Love it! Going to order it right away!” Least popular was the hangar steak, whose flavor was compared, variously, to beer, metal, donuts, and a cab driver. Which, we are guessing, is probably not what Brennan was after.
Earlier: After a Grub-Drubbing, FreshDirect Rejiggers Recipe