By Lisa Kava
As COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming pace, lives have become topsy-turvy in a matter of days. Nothing is normal and things are changing by the minute.
Rules for restaurants have changed a number of times over the past few days. Last Friday it was announced that restaurants must operate at half capacity. Then, on Sunday night, Mayor de Blasio announced all NYC restaurants must close by Tuesday at 9 AM and will be limited to takeout and delivery. On Monday, the deadline was changed to 8 PM on Monday.
Upper West Siders who would like to support local restaurants during this challenging time may want to purchase gifts certificates directly from the restaurant that can be used at a later date. Tarallucci e Vino on Columbus Avenue at 83rd Street, Carmine’s at Broadway and 91st, and Smoke Jazz Bar on Broadway at 106th Street have all mentioned this option and any restaurant would likely appreciate the gesture. It is a great way to give immediate income to your favorite local spot.
Restaurants are trying to come up with creative ideas in these challenging times. “I want to keep my people employed,” said Luca Di Pietro, the owner of Tarallucci e Vino, which plans to remain open for takeout and delivery. Di Pietro is offering his servers and bussers the opportunity to work as delivery people in order to give the delivery business to his employees rather than an outside service like Seamless or Grubhub.
“Last night food sat on the counter for 45 minutes waiting for Grubhub,” Di Pietro explained. “At the moment delivery service will be limited to a certain radius walking distance. But Di Pietro is looking into the possibility of using bikes. “All deliveries will be placed in bags that are stapled shut and dropped at the doormen so that there is the least amount of social contact. For takeout orders, one person will be allowed in the restaurant at a time to pick up.”
Carmine’s Upper West Side location plans to continue takeout and delivery service. “Orders can be placed either by phone or online and will be carefully packaged with increased sealing to protect guest safety,” said a spokesperson from the restaurant. Those who are looking for additional ways to support Carmine’s might consider purchasing Carmine’s cookbooks at https://carmines.securetree.com in addition to gift cards, the spokesperson added.
The popular sister restaurants Tessa and Asset have decided to combine their menus into one for takeout and delivery, explained Patrick Duxbury, the general manager. Asset will be temporarily closed and all takeout and deliveries will operate out of Tessa.
Tarallucci e Vino is offering a large lasagna which serves 12 people and can be cooked at home or frozen, according to Di Pietro. “This is a great option to have in your home and in the freezer.” Di Pietro is exploring the possibility of adding a similar option to the takeout and delivery menu, a new item called a Pinsa, a lighter Roman version of pizza made with rice flour, wheat flour and soy flour.
Many restaurants in the neighborhood will temporarily close. “I want to keep my staff and myself safe,” said Carmen Ortiz, General Manager of Il Violino. “We are a family-owned restaurant and it has been heartbreaking all that has been going on.” In a note to customers Ortiz wrote, “When it becomes safe to re-open we all very much look forward to welcoming back our loyal customers and friends.”
“We will temporarily close,” said a representative from Nice Matin on Amsterdam Avenue at 79th Street citing that the restaurant does not have enough takeout and delivery business to warrant remaining open at this time.
“In an attempt to maintain some normalcy and help you eat better we will deliver dining, bakery, grocery and deli products straight to your home,” Salumeria Rosi on Amsterdam Ave at 73rd Street wrote to West Side Rag in an email. Orders must be within a 10 block radius and at a minimum of $50. “While our full menu is available on the major platforms (Grubhub, Caviar, Postmates) and our deli counter is still fully stacked and operational for takeout; we will also supply and deliver to you items from simple organic eggs and butter to batches of our soups and pasta.” Customers may place orders by calling (212) 877-4800 or by emailing the restaurant, and should allow a three-hour window for delivery. Orders may also be placed the night before by 8 PM for delivery the next day by 1 PM.
Below is a preliminary list of Upper West Side restaurants that will temporarily close and those that will continue with takeout and delivery. This is evolving and can change at any moment, so please keep us updated on the status of neighborhood restaurants you may hear about.
CONFIRMED WILL TEMPORARILY CLOSE
Good Enough to Eat
CURRENTLY OPEN FOR TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY
Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen — (all orders by phone will get 15% discount and gift cards purchase will have 20% discount also.)
Thyme and Tonic
Tarallucci e Vino