Even before the pandemic, Paul Abramowitz was often dissatisfied with delivery meals. “Everything came in cardboard boxes or in plastic clamshells. It was always cold,” says the 65-year-old entrepreneur. So he teamed up with esteemed chef Robert Allen Sulatycky to launch the Finishing Gourmet, a new delivery concept that aims to bring the steakhouse experience home.
“To develop a recipe that your team prepares on the line and a server serves to a table 25 feet away is very different from developing a recipe that is going to be served 25 minutes or 25 miles away,” says Sulatycky, 57, who coached Team USA in the Bocuse d’Or culinary competition.
The company deploys a fleet of eight vans with friendly drivers to ferry meals anywhere within 15 miles of the 90038 zip code, the Hollywood area where the kitchen is based. (Diners can also opt to pick up meals, but delivery is preferred.) Custom-designed packaging keeps food at the right temperature.
Meals are delivered in a large canvas bag filled with black boxes of beautifully plated food. A jumbo-shrimp cocktail garnished with delicate flower petals ($29) arrives chilled and undisturbed in a chic ceramic bowl. Sauces ($5) and sides ($19 to $39), like creamy, scalloped russet potatoes with basil, are presented warm in elegant glass jars. USDA Prime and American Wagyu steaks ($69 to $139) must be seared for a minute on each side, yielding a perfectly cooked rib eye or filet. Meals even include a heavy steak knife to keep, and, if you order creme brûlé, a torch to caramelize it before digging in.
Though the pandemic was a catalyst for launching, Abramowitz and Sulatycky are confident that at-home dining isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “This is here forever. We needed to create a new category in food delivery,” says Abramo-witz. “We’ve raised the bar.”
911 N. Sycamore Ave., Hollywood, thefinishinggourmet.com.