After reading Alison Roman’s inspiring story about the importance of celebrating a holiday like Passover even in these isolating times, I dreamt her recipes arrived in the form of a blanket from the New York Times, each one illustrated in a different box like a graphic novel. This could be an indication of the part of my brain that is always thinking about “audience engagement” (I am a NYT subscriber after all, could I please get a blanket right now—why not?!). But I like to think it was just a manifestation of her reassuring advice. It’s not just the return of the Passover and Easter holidays that we should take comfort in and be appreciative of, regardless of whether we observe any religion. For those of us who have remained healthy throughout the quarantine so far—that is to say, the majority of us—this is also a moment to acknowledge our stellar social distancing efforts and our ability to endure the uncertainty of our future. It’s time to toast to life, with a pitcher of home-delivered margaritas.
So many NYC bars, restaurants, caterers and specialty food shops actually need us to treat ourselves to their good food and cocktails. Not all of us have the means to do this right now and it is no one’s civic duty to order artisanal anything, of course. But if you can stock your fridge and pantry from these smaller sources, you’ll avoid the Herculean task that supermarket shopping has become and help local businesses keep the lights on until we can all break bread and raise a glass together again. There are likely dozens of delicious takeout meals waiting for you in your neighborhood; here are some other quality provisions you can cook with, snack on, and sip during your spring quarantine.
Cocktails in Motion with Tanteo Tequila and The Wayland
You just wanted to skip to the margarita part, didn’t you? While your local bar or Mexican restaurant will probably sell you margies in bulk, they will not be as fancy or charitable as those from Cocktails in Motion. Each $99 kit will prepare 15 Hibiscus Grapefruit with blanco tequila, or Mango Passionfruit with chipotle tequila or Kale and Ginger with jalapeño tequila margaritas that can be delivered to much of Manhattan and Brooklyn by Saturday. It helps keep the participating bars and bartenders in business and and 10% of the proceeds go to The Lee Initiative, a fund for furloughed hospitality workers. Order here.
Sunday Gravy from Ebb & Flow
A comforting bowl of meatballs and spaghetti sounds like an easy enough dish to make from scratch, but why spend more time in the kitchen than you need to? Order all the fixins from a pro, Estuary Chef Danny Brown who is famous for earning Queens its first Michelin star at his former restaurant. A Sunday Gravy kit includes fresh pasta, prepared Neapolitan meatballs, marinara, shaved 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic bread and side salad, plus an optional bottle of red wine. A $60 family meal feeds four and you can make it any night of the week. Order online from Seamless/ Grubhub, or you can call the restaurant’s takeout cafe, Ebb & Flow. Details here.
Provisions from Naturally Delicious
Naturally Delicious is a longtime Brooklyn caterer whose wedding business is on pause thanks to Covid (I wrote about how the wedding shutdown has affected local couples and vendors here). They are selling out their well-stocked pantry in the form of curated boxes filled with staples for baking, gluten free provisions like hard cider and grains, and happy hour boxes with snacks, beer and wine that you can order for contactless pickup or delivery. Pick out a $75 box for next week here.
Bien Cuit and Joe Coffee have teamed up to offer their delicious bread and coffee, along with hard-to-find, quality ingredients yeast and sourdough starter for delivery. Don’t be dispirited by the sold-out prepared foods, especially for this weekend, there are still gems available like quiche. Order here.
Everyone’s favorite cookbook shop, cafe and dinner party host, Archestratus in Greenpoint, is selling specialty items available for contactless pick up on Saturdays. Choose from choice produce from a California grower, bread from She Wolf Bakery, chives and kale rabe from Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and more. Order here.
Multiple purveyors at Chelsea Market like Saxleby Cheesemongers and Dickson’s Farmstand Meats are selling their items through online shop Mercato for delivery.
Brownsville Community Culinary Center and Collective Fare
Let’s not forget that we can all help feed deserving communities, too. We wrote about a few options for donating meals to healthcare workers and families in need from local restaurants, but Collective Fare lets you purchase healthy meals by the day or week for vulnerable families and first responders in Brownsville, which was already struggling with food insecurity and diet-related illness before Covid arrived. When you donate a meal you can order one for yourself too; the proceeds support the BCCC which trains community members to cook for the Collective Fare cafe and catering company. Order here.