Destinations for pricey tasting menus, tweezer-plated dishes, and curated wine pairings have had to turn their entire business models upside down overnight in order to survive the coronavirus crisis. With restaurants across the region forced to close, the fanciest of dining rooms have suddenly become takeout and delivery joints. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that you can get a taste of restaurants where dinner often costs hundreds of dollars for a fraction of the price. Here are some options:
2132 Florida Ave., NW
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj (Rasika, Oval Room) and chef Frank Ruta only recently opened this modern-American restaurant in the former Dupont home of Restaurant Nora. Now you can find a handful of more comforting, yet refined dishes for takeout, including a Reuben-inspired burger, rigatoni bolognese, and a half roast-chicken. Call 202-916-5675 to place an order by 4:30 PM. Pickup is available daily from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.
1401 Okie St., NE
In order to support his employees, chef Matt Baker is using his Ivy City restaurant’s pickup and delivery menu to highlight dishes inspired by his staff’s families and cultures. You’ll find line cooks’ posole and papusas alongside sous chefs’ enchiladas and roast lamb shoulder. There’s also spaghetti and meatballs and a wagyu flat-iron steak. (Starters range from $10 to $16, while entrees are $21 to $40.) For dessert, grab a pint of ice cream or frozen, ready-to-bake cookie dough. Call 202-763-7942 or email email@example.com to place an order.
122 Blagden Alley NW
The #2 restaurant our 100 Very Best Restaurant ranking is serving a three-course to-go menu for $45. Choose from starters like crispy pig ear lettuce wraps and spring minestrone and main courses such as BBQ’d chicken or red wine-braised lamb shoulder. A recent dessert: a strawberry rhubarb trifle. A handful of bottles of wines are available at bargain prices, along with bottled cocktails. Call in your order (202-450-1015) starting at 11 AM, Tuesday through Sunday.
1340 4th St., NW
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli‘s Italian powerhouse is serving a different meal for two each day. Find specials such as slow-cooked veal or Sunday ragu. The $85 dinner sets come with salad and a side (tax, service, and delivery included). Vegetarian options are available upon request. Add a bottle of wine for an extra $50 or a vintage bottle for $140. Deliveries are made daily between 4 and 6 PM. Same-day orders must be placed by 3 PM on Toast or directly from Masseria.
1509 17th St., NW
Last year, Komi chef Johnny Monis transformed his fine-dining restaurant into Happy Gyro, a vegetarian pop-up serving a $60 prix-fixe menu inspired by Greek-American carryout classics. He probably did not anticipate he’d have to turn the concept into an actual carryout. And never did we think gyros stuffed with tofu skins and celery root Reubens could taste so good. A variety of meatless sides are also available, alongside tall-boy four-packs and bottles of wine (40-percent off). Order online for pickup here.
1015 7th St., NW
Owners Eric Ziebold and Celia Laurent are homing in on comfort foods for their “spirit of Kinship” to-go menus. Options change daily and may include prime rib for two, staff-meal lasagna, or Kinship’s famed roast chicken. Loaves of country bread and ready-to-bake cookies are available too. Meals have been selling out a couple days in advance so plan ahead. Order online here. Pickup available Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 6 PM.
3201 Cherry Hill Lane NW
Chef Johnny Spero makes one of our favorite cheffy burgers around town, and now you can bring that gourmet riff on a Big Mac home. The Georgetown spot is also offering a handful of other dishes, including a half duck roasted in beet juice and licorice, then dusted with fennel pollen. Also look out for a rotating selection of wines and a daily featured cocktail served in a deli container. Check Instagram for menu changes. Pickup available daily from 12 to 8 PM.