As the summer marches on and social distancing orders continue to stand, even the most inspired home chefs among us are feeling stuck in a recipe rut. It’s easy to rotate the same 7 – 10 meals through our repertoire, but we could all use a jolt of inspiration … and ours is coming in the form of a takeout container. If you’re missing your favorite cafes, bars, and brunch spots, we’ve got you covered with tips to help bring the restaurant menus (and the ambiance!) home to your dining room table.
If your favorite cafe has some French flair, bringing the vibe home is easier than you might think. Keep it simple, yet chic. Set your table with a bud vase of flowers, light some votives, and find a favorite playlist to fit the mood. Make these Parisian Chicken Bites and serve with an arugula salad and a lemony vinaigrette. Or whip up a vegetarian option that plays on the idea of mini quiche with these Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tartlets. And, of course, pop some champagne to channel your inner Francophile.
Intimate, Spanish, savory, with a charming side patio … yes, you can recreate this at home. With some strategically hung twinkle lights and a bistro table set for two, the perfect romantic date night spot could be in your backyard. Share marinated olives, patatas bravas, chunks of Manchego drizzled in honey, Prosciutto Filled Phyllo Triangles, and Chorizo Goat Cheese Rolls for a meal that brings Barcelona to your back door.
You know the joint. From 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., this is the place to see, be seen, and stretch your bottomless mimosas well into the afternoon. To keep in touch with friends and family, we recommend hosting a virtual Zoom brunch. Just because you’re not dining together doesn’t mean you can’t whip up something amazing. We love these oversized Ham and Egg Cups for a quick but hearty option and this decadent, Easy Apple Strudel (because there’s always one person at the table who orders something sweet to share).
What restaurant experiences are you using to inspire your next meal? Tell us on Instagram. And check out our Pinterest page for even more ideas about how to bring your favorite dine-out situation to your dine-in life.