It’s the second installment of Take Ten, our new daily feature. We’re recommending ten restaurants each day in different Tampa Bay communities that are offering special takeout deals during the COVID-19 crisis. I know there are lots of places offering takeout right now, so please send me your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you had a particularly good experience or know of some particularly delicious deals. Let’s help our local restaurants so that they can re-open at full force when this is all over. Pick up and tip well, everybody! (Most of these places offer delivery, too, through services like UberEats, but you can often get discounts when you pick up; check when ordering.)
Today, 10 in Tampa (in alphabetical order):
The Barterhouse. “2020 zigged, so we zagged,” explains Barterhouse on its Facebook page. One of Ybor’s hottest new eateries has morphed into a “grocery store,” where you don’t pick up prepared meals but restaurant-quality foods you prepare at home, like a meal of two center cut filets, fingerling potatoes, broccoli, chimichurri, black garlic vinaigrette and preparation secrets, all for $35. Call or text 843-327-9384, or DM @barterhouseybor.
Bella’s Italian Cafe. South Tampa’s longtime favorite is offering curbside pickup with a 10% discount, plus sealed beer and wine. Call 813-254-3355 to order from the extensive takeout menu (bellasitaliancafe.com), pull in to one of their reserved parking spots and they’ll bring your order out to you.
Bern’s Steak House/Haven. The legendary steaks of Tampa’s most storied restaurant, plus many of its classic sides and salads, are available for takeout. So is a delectable array of dishes at sister restaurant Haven, like black truffle chicken & dumplings as well as cheese and charcuterie. Both restaurants are offering packaged beer, wine and spirits to pick up and Bern’s Cuts to Go, five varieties of dry and wet aged steaks ready to take home to the grill. Call ahead: Bern’s, 813-251-2421; Haven, 813-258-2233.
Capital Grille. The popular steakhouse at International Plaza is offering curbside takeout featuring signature favorites, family-style dinners for four and uncooked hand-carved steaks, packaged with house-made seasoning and steak butter for home preparation. Every bottle of wine on their list is available for takeout as well. Available 12-8 p.m. daily, 813-830-9433.
Meat Market. The new Hyde Park Village hot spot deemed “the sexiest steakhouse of all” by one critic is offering takeout and curbside pickup from noon-9 p.m. There’s a 15 percent discount when you pick up your order, and bottles of wines and liquor are available for sale with takeout, too. Call to place orders at 813-280-1113.
Mise en Place. Tampa’s gourmet groundbreaker Mise en Place is offering a wealth of delicious dishes for takeout from Chef Marty Blitz, plus you get 50% off the wine list price when you pick up your bottles in person. The Mise en Go menu at miseonline.com has everything from duck confit pizza to filet of beef tenderloin; call 813-254-5373 to place your order.
Rocca. The critics are delirious about this new Italian restaurant in Tampa Heights, and rightly so. And while you won’t be able to watch fresh mozzarella made tableside for a while, you can pre-order from their takeaway menu from noon-4 p.m. for pickup from 5:30-8:30 p.m., choosing from items like their amazing bread with lemon butter and sea salt or their lasagna (with fresh-shaved black truffles on top, if you so choose). There are wines by the bottle to go, too. Call 813-906-5445 or email email@example.com.
Rooster Re-Dux. Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez made national news with their idea of serving takeout from three of their restaurants — Gallito Taqueria, Nebraska Mini-Mart and Rooster & the Till — all from under one roof at the flagship Rooster address in Seminole Heights. You can order from all three to-go menus — say, roast chicken thighs with brown butter cauliflower from Rooster, or a Korean cheesesteak from Mini-Mart, or carne asada from Gallito — and because they’re all Alvarez/Rodriguez joints you know everything will be impeccably made, reasonably priced and ridiculously tasty. And popular — call early or the day’s selections may be sold out. They start taking calls around 11 a.m. at 813-374-8940; pick up at 6500 N. Florida Ave. in Tampa.
Whiskey Cake. In another example of inspired improvisation, Whiskey Cake at International Plaza is selling Quarantine Kits. These contain fresh main ingredients like ribeyes or whole chickens, plus staples like eggs and butter and even, on occasion, toilet paper. The contents change from day to day and the price generally ranges from $45-$65 per kit, though there are alternatives like four 4oz. burgers for $8, and for those in dire need of a Moscow Mule, a bottle of vodka or bourbon plus four limes and two ginger beers (or ginger ales) for $25. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., but call early — 813-535-9955 — because supplies are limited.
And… Kudos to the restaurants Olivia, On Swann and Oak & Ola. They made the difficult decision to close their restaurants during this crisis, but they are partnering to feed their staffs three family meals a week.
Plus, some words of wisdom from Ferrell Alvarez, as quoted in Food & Wine magazine: “I’m hoping that the silver lining to all this madness is that it shakes us all and wakes us up enough to start doing the right thing by each other — you know how during hurricanes, everyone’s so nice, and three months later, that all dissolves and we all go back to being assholes? I’m hoping this jostles us — all of us — in the most positive way.”
Want more ideas for great takeout? Check out the following Take Ten guides for takeout during COVID-19: