15 carryout options during COVID-19 worth checking out

Here are a couple of the creative takeout options.
Merchant's bodega boz
Photo courtesy of Merchant/Lucille

In March, all Wisconsin restaurants and bars were ordered to close to the public due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped chefs and restaurant owners from creating innovative new ways to serve Madisonians. Restaurants have built new websites from scratch and eateries you never would have expected to deliver are figuring out ways to offer elegant dishes to individuals. More than 200 local places are conducting carryout operations, and we’re spotlighting just a few of the creative options. To see a full list of options, visit here.

Since there’s a chance you can’t go to a Cinco de Mayo party, Canteen can bring the party to you any day of the week. Upgrade taco day with a DIY taco pack. For $40, feed four to five people (or treat yourself and keep the leftovers) with a taco 12-pack that comes with all the fixin’s. You can choose two of Canteen’s classic proteins, like barbacoa beef brisket or chicken pastor, but consider cauliflower as one of your picks. It’s crunchy, flavorful and you don’t feel like you’re missing out on meat. Double the fun with a margarita kit pairing. You’ll make 10 margaritas from the kit, plus you’ll be left with half a bottle of tequila and Patrón Citrónge. Taco ’bout a good time. To get one of the kits, call 285-5703 or visit bit.ly/OrderCanteen. 111 S. Hamilton St., 285-5703

Christine’s Kitchens
The only thing better than supporting one local business is supporting many local businesses. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Christine’s Kitchens — a shared commercial kitchen space and food business incubator — in partnership with FEED Kitchens and the Market Ready Program, is offering a collaborative delivery program. Get bread from Stalzy’s Deli & Bakery, some Farmer Johns’ cheese, empanadas from Caracas Empanadas, Rude Brew Kombucha, Madame Chu Delicacies’ sauces and sweets from Roots Chocolates delivered straight to your door. Order from more than 20 different local food producers and get it all delivered at once. Orders can be placed before noon on Tuesdays at christines-kitchens.com for items to be delivered later in the week. 2817 E. Washington Ave., 630-4824

DarkHorse by Sal’s
If you’ve yet to try DarkHorse by Sal’s, now’s the time. The restaurant was opened in February in the former Sujeo space by culinary trio Patrick DePula, John Jerabek and Jed Spink, Best of Madison 2020’s bronze winner for best chef. As the sister restaurant to Salvatore’s Tomato Pies, and with three brilliant local culinarians behind its menu, DarkHorse guarantees a flavorful delivery. Get a grab-and-go for four people for $45 with your choice of entree. Main dish options might include dishes like five-spice brisket rigatoni with nori butter and SarVecchio and smoked scallion crème fraîche. You’ll get soup, salad and freshly baked cookies with the meal, too. You can also choose a take-and-bake option if you want to save your meal for a bit later in the week. Order online at darkhorsemadison.com. 10 N. Livingston St., 305-8885


Fairchild dessert

Photo courtesy of Fairchild

It’s an odd sight to see a gorgeously plated dessert in the bottom of a cardboard takeout box. Restaurant menus like Fairchild’s aren’t typically made for carryout, but it certainly has been fun to see chefs get creative for the time being. The takeout dessert comes in two pieces — a plastic container for the freshly made coffee ice cream and a takeout box for the chocolate pavé plated beautifully with pieces of hibiscus, candied hazelnuts, Nutella powder and swirls of hibiscus fluid gel. “It’s not easy,” co-owner and co-chef Itaru Nagano says about plating a dessert like this inside a takeout box. “Your hand keeps hitting the sides of the box.” The Monroe Street restaurant was open for about two weeks before it had to close its doors to in-house dining. Fairchild posts daily carryout menus featuring small plates, pasta dishes and decadent sides like mushroom risotto, beets and potato gratin, plus an ever-changing dinner-for-two option. Call in or place your order for pickup at fairchildrestaurant.com. 2611 Monroe St., 819-636 -AB

Heritage Tavern

Takeout options from Heritage Tavern

Courtesy of Heritage Tavern

During the coronavirus pandemic, Heritage Tavern is all about barbecue and brunch. Heritage breaks from its more traditional menu to offer family-friendly meals. For dinner, enjoy ribs, pulled pork, wildflower honey-glazed cornbread, market vegetable and cabbage slaw with creamy mustard seed dressing and a dessert duo of cookies and brownies. If you also miss going out to brunch on the weekend, Heritage brings brunch to you with quiche boxes and brunch cocktail kits. Pair a Heritage bloody mary with house-made mix, vodka, house-pickled veggies and Fox Heritage Farms meat sticks with a quiche box consisting of quiche, honey-glazed ham steak, bacon, English muffins, toast, whipped honey butter, seasonal jam and herb-fried potatoes. Get all the brunch staples you’re craving with ease. To order call 283-9500 and press 1. 131 E. Mifflin St., 283-9500


Tory miller holding roasted chicken

Photo by Keni Rosales

With the motto “Take care of your family, we’ve got dinner,” L’Etoile wants to treat your entire family to a meal. The upscale restaurant on Capitol Square is offering family meals that feed three to five people. L’Etoile changes its menu weekly so you can order it week after week and get something a bit different each time. There’s also a vegetarian option for families aiming to eat more plant-based meals. Some of the past dinner options have included Korean-style pulled pork bulgogi with charred broccoli salad, whole roasted chicken and cauliflower bulgogi with roasted mushrooms and spinach. Orders go live on Mondays, with pickup options Wednesdays through Saturdays. Family dinners have sold out multiple times since launching, so make sure to book your dinner early at letoile-restaurant.com. 1 S. Pinckney St., 251-0500

Lucille and Merchant
Chef Andrew Vogel of Merchant and chef Gorman Hayes of Lucille decided to put their heads together to develop a takeout and delivery menu combining favorites from the two restaurants. While you can find Lucille’s classic pizzas and Merchant’s signature dishes, the standout is the special “Bodega Box” created with students and members of the service industry in mind. Each box has rice, beans, fried plantains and a daily protein for $10, but those in the service industry and students get it for $5. “We need to take care of our own, first and foremost, so that we can continue to take care of the community as a whole,” Vogel says. If you’re missing Merchant’s cocktails, get ready for shake-at-home craft cocktail kits featuring some favorites like the Merchant mimosa, the vodka regret and la paloma. Call 283-0000 or visit merchantmadison.com for delivery or curbside pickup at Lucille’s to-go counter. S. Pinckney St., 283-0000

Surya Cafe
As some takeout options can’t account for dietary restrictions, consider trying Surya Cafe, which offers a gluten-free, plant-based and refined-sugar-free menu. At its Madison location, Surya is offering takeout that combines ready-to-eat options with complete-at-home offerings. Order full entrees that just need to be heated up or get the pieces to build your own sandwich, like the house-made beet burgers made with beets, carrots, chickpeas, oats, onions, jalapeños, and sunflower and sesame seeds. Another option is the chef’s meal with grains, orange miso marinated tempeh, roasted and raw vegetables and miso ginger dressing. If you’re craving the mango golden milk bowl or heavenly date bar, some classic Surya Cafe staples are still available. Order online at surya-cafe.com. 3241 Garver Green, 709-7476 *Surya is temporarily closed

Sweet Home Wisconsin
Sweet Home Wisconsin on Regent Street is giving 50% discounts on all direct phone orders to those who work in health care. The restaurant has created a fund so individuals can donate, too; donations go into a queue so hospitals can place orders for free meals for staff members. The restaurant has raised more than $1,800 for COVID-19 workers through individual donations and Sweet Home Wisconsin has been matching each donation. If you’re looking for something to eat, order through EatStreet, Uber Eats or call ahead for takeout. The standouts at Sweet Home Wisconsin are the links — choose from a Tailgate Beer Brat, vegan Italian sausage, Chicago dog, Wisco dog or a Fancy Francheezie Dog that’s wrapped in bacon and topped with two types of cheese. Sweet Home Wisconsin also offers a Friday fish fry preorder for those who crave a little bit of normalcy right now. 910 Regent St., 819-6622

Get it To Go

Batch Bakehouse
Get all your favorite Batch goodies Friday through Sunday. You can pick up in-store or get them delivered. Grab some bread for the week or treat yourself to some pies, brownies or cookies. Pre-orders are required and some items sell out quickly. 1402 Williamson St., 257-1652

Brasserie V
Get a family-style meal kit from Brasserie V with touch-free curbside carryout. Brasserie V established a “Pay It Forward” meal option to provide meals to community partners in need. The program will also give the kitchen team an additional day of work each week. 1923 Monroe St., 255-8500

As the closure of dine-in restaurants impacts individual service members, Harvest launched Harvest Go to help the 18 people who work at the restaurant. The handling fees and gratuities go straight to waitstaff. 21 N. Pinckney St., 255-6075

Liliana’s now offers family and individual portions of some of its classic Creole dishes, along with comfort staples like beef stroganoff and macaroni and cheese. Every day, chef Dave Heide is offering different soups with a pay-what-you-can price point. You can also add a donation to your order to pay it forward with soup for someone in need. 2951 Triverton Pike Drive, 442-4444

Short Stack Eatery
Get your favorite breakfast items delivered to your door from Short Stack Eatery. If you want a complete surprise, order the blind special. While you can call ahead to ask if the blind special is sweet or savory, it’s fun to discover what you’re eating at the moment it arrives. 301 W. Johnson St., 709-5569 *Short Stack is closed April 20-May 5

The Statehouse
Each day of the week, get a different family-style dish from The Statehouse. You don’t have to leave your vehicle, as the food is brought straight to your car door. Fridays are family-style fish fry nights (try saying that five times in a row). 1001 Wisconsin Place, 535-8200

Maija Inveiss is digital content editor of Madison Magazine. Editor Andrea Behling contributed to this article.