Spotlight on takeout: Date night and a new family favorite

3December 2020

One of the things I miss the most with restaurants being closed is an excuse to get out of the house without children.

My job affords my husband and me a lot of date nights, and for that I am very grateful. That said, we have managed to keep date night alive when dining rooms are closed by ordering takeout that the kids probably won’t like and feeding them before we eat, alone, in the dining room.

Helpfully, a few places are offering dinners for two during this time, which makes ordering and sharing much easier. I got to one of those places this week, and am saving another for next.

Also, since the cook does not cook for the brood on the day before Thanksgiving, we found another great family-style takeout option this week.

Please consider ordering as much as you can from local restaurants during this time. If not the ones I mention, then your favorite place. Have you had some great takeout lately? Tell us about it (we love photos, too!) at eat@pioneerpress.com.

Moscow on the Hill

We usually love the romantic atmosphere at Moscow on the Hill, and especially love sitting at the bar. Since neither of those things are possible right now, I was looking into ordering some takeout when I spied a take-and-bake meal for two! It was awesome to bake the restaurant’s amazing cabbage rolls, which are stuffed with meat and wild rice, in my own oven, and we tried the khachapuri, or Georgian cheese bread, for the first time and are completely hooked. The meals come with a loaf of that delicious bread, four giant cabbage rolls, along with the proper carrot-salad and sour cream garnish, and a generous slice of pushkin torte, which is a honey and chocolate layer cake that we were too full to eat after dinner but thoroughly enjoyed as a late-night snack. At $44, this was the cheapest date we’ve had in a while.

371 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651-291-1236; moscowonthehill.com

Family-style chicken tenders and fries from Pillbox Tavern in November 2020. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

Pillbox Tavern

This new downtown restaurant wasn’t in operation during the first round of dining rooms being shut down, so they are new to the takeout-only game. Chef Graham Messenger came up with an idea that my kids couldn’t wait to try out — a chicken tender meal, complete with a pile of fries and coleslaw. The meal comes with 16 huge, crispy and super flavorful tenders, which my teenagers agreed were miles better than their usual fried-chicken fast-food chain. My husband and I appreciated the spicy, Cry-Baby-Craig’s-infused coleslaw. The basket, which fed four of us, and we had a few tenders leftover, is just $39.

400 Wabasha St., #200, St. Paul; 651-756-7566; pillboxtav.com

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