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October 30

Home Cooking

SLU restaurants offer up meal and cocktail kits.

Restaurants have had an incredibly difficult time during the COVID-19 pandemic. For a good chunk of 2020, in-person dining wasn’t available for customers due to safety precautions mandated by the state. Some restaurants closed for good, and others managed to stay afloat by pivoting.

One result of this topsy-turvy year for restaurants has been the growing popularity of meal kits. Think full, family-style meals featuring all the ingredients (plus instructions) you need to create a restaurant-quality dinner at home. To be clear, you’re not diving deep into cooking—in most cases meals are already partially prepared, and you just need to put together some finishing touches. These meal kits have become a reliable piece of business for local restaurants while offering customers an alternative to eating indoors as restrictions on in-person dining have loosened.

And it’s not just food that’s going home with diners. Willmott’s Ghost at The Spheres offers up a nice collection of take-home cocktail kits. Try the Willmott’s Negroni (Gin, Campari, Mancino Sweet Vermouth, Martini & Rossi Ambrato) or go big with the Aperol Spritz Kit (two bottles of prosecco, a bottle of Aperol, and citrus garnishes). You can get delicious take and bake frozen Roman pizzas and a variety of Italian pantry items from Willmott’s Ghost, too.

Bar display with bottles of liquors.

The weekly meal kits at Duke’s Seafood have been a hit with customers. The local favorite offers a different kit every week to keep things new and exciting for diners. Kits are prepared and ready for pickup each Thursday. For example, this week customers could order Duke’s Taco Dinner meal kit, which included an expansive selection of house-made condiments like cucumber pico, mango chutney, fresh avocado salad, and others, plus prawns, rockfish, and all the taco fixings. You can even add supplements like chowder, sourdough bread, grass-fed burgers, and more. Next week, you can order chef Bill Ranniger’s famous BBQ ribs, homemade cornbread, and Brussels slaw.

A taco meal kit with all the fixings.

Other restaurants in SLU offering meal kits, family meals, and cocktails-to-go include Jack’s BBQ, Mamnoon Street, G.H. Pasta Co., Cask and Trotter, and Buca di Beppo.

If you’re looking for restaurants that are currently open and offering indoor dining, check out our handy restaurant guide here.

Story by Ethan Chung and photography by Eric Tra, Elizabeth Phung, and Duke’s Seafood.


20 million gallons

of water from Lake Union used to level Denny Hill