Our household has been takeout central since mid-March, and I love it. Continuing to support local restaurants while getting a break from kitchen duty is a magical combination, and we’ve stepped up our game throughout our sheltering-in-place.
We started with pizza, of course, which evolved into acquiring Metro pizzaiolo Chris Decker’s award-winning Sicilian square pie as a frozen bake-it-yourself setup. My wife ordered multiple Mexican entrees from our fave Frank & Fina’s Cocina to last an entire weekend, strategically deciding what we’d eat first (panuchos) so that other dishes (enchiladas) would fridge better. And don’t get me started on Mother’s Day brunch from neighborhood Lebanese spot Khoury’s.
Takeout has been so fun that it’s been easy to continue to stay home when we’re not sure how we feel about returning to our favorite restaurants to dine in. It’s tough to say no when friends ask you out to dinner, but if you’re not ready, you’re not. If you still feel more comfortable ordering and picking up, you’ll be fine, especially if you add some of our favorites to your rotation.
Able Baker Brewing
Downtown’s Able Baker Brewing has been a godsend during the quarantine, an easy-access spot with convenient curbside pickup for tasty local beers and sandwiches. Stock up on the all-purpose Test Site Saison, the addictive Atomic Duck IPA and the rich and malty Chris Kael Impale’d Ale, and taste ’em all alongside beer-brined chicken wings ($11-$29) and a barbecue pork or steak banh mi(both $12). 1510 S. Main St., 702-479-6355, ablebakerbrewing.com.
The most remarkable meal I’ve had in 2020 might have been a takeout dinner from chef Gina Marinelli’s Summerlin restaurant, including margherita pizza; a salad of golden beets with arugula, chunky pesto and fluffy burrata; buttery focaccia topped with roasted tomatoes, olive tapenade and charred feta; another salad with prosciutto, crisp endive, pine nuts and basil; and ridiculously rich pasta alla norma with a melt-in-your-mouth tomato-eggplant ragu. La Strega reopened for dine-in on June 3, but that only improved the takeout situation—because now the full menu is available to pick up and set up your own feast. Consider octopus carpaccio ($13), the Witches Garden veggie plate with whipped chickpeas ($12) or the bucatini all’Amatriciana ($20). 3555 S. Town Center Drive, 702-722-2099, lastregalv.com.
Don’t feel bad about ordering too many dumplings, noodle dishes or Chinese takeout classics like kung paochicken or crispy tofu with Szechuan-style toasted chilis and black bean sauce (both $10.88). Chef Marc Marrone’s inventions hold well until the next day, and that includes the seasonal dessert bao, which is not to be skipped. And what other restaurant can serve you Singapore-style ramen ($12.88), creamy burrata cheese topped with garlic chili sauce to slather onto a legit scallion pancake ($8.88) and one of the Valley’s best cheeseburgers? Only Graffiti Bao. 7355 S. Buffalo Drive #1, 702-323-6033, graffitibao.com.