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March 16th saw many restaurants close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some struggled with offering weekend takeout meals, others closed entirely hoping the closure would be short-term as the country worked at flattening the curve by staying home.
Into a month of closure, Easter weekend, restaurateurs offered family style meals, as a special take-out, to celebrate the holiday. They wait, thinking reopening is right around the corner, but time keeps moving forward, and now Mother’s Day, Victoria Day have passed and restaurant reopening still isn’t allowed as we maintain social distance.
Summer is around the corner; many restaurants are adapting to the new normal of curbside menus. Once offered only weekends, with advance orders, one can now call ahead and have your dinner ready for pick up within the hour.
I’m not one to enjoy take-out, I would much rather eat in a restaurant, enjoying my dinner hot from the kitchen, plated by the chef. Take out is never as good as sit-down, the food stuffed into small containers, cold by the time you get home. My husband insists on re-plating the food and warming in the microwave. Definitely not as chef would have wanted the meal to be enjoyed.
Amazing how many changes have become our new normal during this pandemic. And if the only way I can enjoy our favorite restaurant menus is take-out, then this I must do.
Our anniversary was this past Friday, and I wanted to do something special. Something different from our everyday, stay home, don’t venture out to far, all restaurants are closed for a sit down, wine and dine, celebration meal. I noticed on Facebook that The Artisan House, in Huntsville, was reopening for the season, offering a three-course curbside menu that changed each day.
Friday was chicken cacciatore with tiramisu, Saturday was veal involtini with mille-feuille, Sunday was cabbage rolls, perogies with rhubarb fool. Each meal started with a salad, and Sunday was a beet salad with goat cheese, my decision was made. Definitely a house specialty made with Eat Local Muskoka greens and a dill vinaigrette.
Becki and Reto, owners of The Artisan House, did not disappoint. The order process was so easy, arranging for pick up one hour before dinner, as the cabbage rolls would need some time in our oven before serving. Becki had our meals ready, neatly packaged in paper bags. Using tap credit card payment, I was on my way quickly.
Once I was home, I was able to unpack each delicious course, amazed at the thought that went into the packaging. We ordered three meals, the cabbage rolls were packaged into a foil container, labeled, and ready to pop into the oven. The perogies, topped with grilled onions, packaged the same, ready for the oven. Directions for reheating the meal were attached to the paper bag. So easy!
Once the items were in the oven, I set the table, and removed the beet salad from the packaging, trying to plate as I thought Reto would have wanted. I’m sure, I wasn’t even close.
Dessert was a rhubarb fool. No Joke! A simple dessert of cardamom whipped cream folded with stewed rhubarb, topped with crushed pistachios. An ending so sweet, I forgot to take a picture.
The meal was delicious, more than enough food that we had leftovers. Home cooking, comfort food, just like Mom would make. Becki and Reto offer “Crafted with Love, Served with Passion” at The Artisan House, and they certainly did with this curbside meal. Perfect for a celebration at home during a pandemic.
As restaurants slowly reopen, adapt to patio only seating, and food trucks start to occupy empty parking lots, there are many ways to support your local businesses. Purchase a gift card to use after they have reopened fully. Order takeout to enjoy now. Write a review online or give a shout out on social media. Always be patient, be kind.
CHRISTINE KROPP .. I use my experience as a hotelier, a baker, a hospitality expert, and a world traveller to help curate a life you don’t need a vacation from. My lifestyle blog “The Sweet Life” includes food, fun and festive living.
Website: www.christinekropp.com Instagram: @christine__kropp