the grub street diet

Complex Editor Noah Callahan-Bever Makes Sure There’s Always a Meatball Option for His Infant Daughter

At Sasabune. Photo: Melissa Hom

As the chief content officer and editor-in-chief of Complex, and father to a 16-month-old daughter, Noah Callahan-Bever’s schedule is understandably a bit hectic. This week, though, he found time to vacation at his house on the North Fork with a big group of friends, and he went all out: grilling fajitas, steak, and lobster, and eating “like, six different pizzas.” Back in the city, in dad mode, he shared meatballs with his daughter and treated himself to sushi delivery after interviewing a rapper. Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet:

Thursday, August 11
At 7:30 a.m., I have a smoothie for breakfast: protein powder, half a banana, blueberries, and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

My guy friends and I are on a long-weekend bonding trip — Maine Boyz VI — to my house on the North Fork of Long Island. The first five trips were to my uncle’s house on Mount Desert Island, but my wife and I bought this beach house last October, and many of us had kids, too — so to save on travel time and expense, we’re keeping it local. We stop at a farm stand to get tomatoes and at Mattituck’s Italian market, Lombardi’s, for bread. We make open-faced tomato sandwiches and hit the pool.

At 8 p.m., I cook for the now-six-person crew. It’s fajitas and pico and guacamole from Kenji López-Alt’s Food Lab recipe, cooked on the grill. I’m super-drawn to his book because the way that he presents recipes and food prep is more from a science angle, rather than being about food as art. I’m more of a linear thinker than an abstract thinker, maybe. Over the course of the last seven or eight months, I’ve tried to add a new recipe into the mix every few weeks — so that my wife and the baby and I can have awesome restaurant-quality food at home, and also give the baby lots of different options, and hopefully develop her palate to be broad and adventurous.

Friday, August 12
At 9 a.m., Joe LaPuma makes a bagel-and-scallion-cream-cheese run to Goldberg’s in Mattituck, and I make scrambled eggs and bacon that we bought at Bayview Farms on the way to the house.

The guys make a run to Ammirati’s sandwich shop on Love Lane at 2 p.m., and we all eat pieces of a couple Italian heroes.

We drive to Greenport and have drinks at the outdoor bar American Beech at night, and then eat dinner at the pizzeria 1943. We order, like, six different pies.

Saturday, August 13
Leftover bagels are brought back to life with a toaster, but I can’t be bothered to cook eggs. Several cups of coffee.

The guys hit Duffy’s Deli in Jamesport for sandwiches. I split an Italian on a roll with Donnie Kwak.

For dinner, Dart Parker and I cook for the squad. I do a caprese-pasta situation (with fresh pasta and mozzarella from Lombardi’s, and tomatoes, garlic, and basil from Bayview Farms), and four pounds of skirt steak. Dart cooks ten one-pound lobsters that we picked up at Braun Seafood in Cutchogue.

Brendan Frederick picked up ice cream from Magic Fountain and an apple pie for dessert. I have some ice cream, but I am not really one for pies.

Sunday, August 14
Another bagel with scallion cream cheese for breakfast. Iced coffee that someone grabbed at Starbucks is in the fridge.

By 5 p.m., I’ve returned to the city to take over childcare, as my wife has a flight to Las Vegas. My 16-month-old, Lennox Grae, and I end a very hot stroll at her favorite restaurant, the Meatball Shop, and I have the spicy pork with red sauce. She has the beef with red sauce.

When she was maybe 8 months old, we got a meatball pie, and she saw us eating it, so I gave her a little piece and she destroyed it. She actually not only destroyed it, but then she insisted that we give her some of the pizza, too. Since then, pretty much wherever we go, we try to make sure that there’s a meatball option for her. We live in Chelsea, right around the corner from Meatball Shop, so that has become a go-to early-evening spot if either one of us is alone with her and we just can’t be bothered to do the cooking.

Monday, August 15
At 7:30 a.m., I make Lennox scrambled eggs and a mix of berries and yogurt, followed by a peach. For me, smoothie for breakfast.

Lunch is from Little Beet. I always get the grilled salmon and cold soba noodles. It’s not great, but it’s healthy and consistent. I try to be extremely healthy up to dinner every night. I’m weirdly rigid in my routine, so I will pretty much eat the same thing every single day. But I’m a believer that if you’re going out to a nice restaurant, you should eat what is awesome at that nice restaurant. If you’re at Carbone, you might as well just get the veal Parmesan and the meatballs and have the best meal of your life.

I get home late from interviewing a rapper and can’t be bothered with cooking, so I hit Postmates for the sashimi dinner from Sushi Seki.

Tuesday, August 16
I make Lennox scrambled eggs and a mix of berries and yogurt again. Another smoothie for me.

Lunch is at Sasabune. The food is typically great. It’s an omakase sushi spot that my wife put me onto. There’s not anything there that is particularly fancy, or that would in any way denote anything outside of just a local neighborhood sushi place, but the fish is absolutely phenomenal. Because it’s in a relatively weird and unhip area, we never have to fight for reservations. We more or less just show up. We live right near Seki on 23rd, and Seki is pretty good, but there’s a lot more pomp and circumstance around the whole thing.

I was supposed to have part two interviewing that rapper, but he flakes. I already have a sitter in place, so I call my friend Toshi, and we meet at Bubby’s by the High Line. The food is fine, but nowhere near as good as the one in Tribeca used to be. I get the double Bubby burger, but I only eat one of the patties, because it is a completely unwieldy monster to eat. It’s weird there. They have one fried-chicken option. There’s no chicken-fried steak. There’s no chicken-fried chicken. It’s kind of a bummer.

Complex Editor Noah Callahan-Bever’s Grub Street Diet