Racines opens today with a new approach to takeout

Racines reopens today for the first time since the pandemic started, and their model for delivery will be a bit different: complete meals will be available for pickup three nights a week, with the menu changing weekly. It’s a simple approach that is designed to reduce waste and accommodate a lighter crowd but still offer something special. And it gets the staff back in the kitchen, where they want to be.

“Times are different and we think multiple ways to get our food and drink to people is going to be part of the way restaurants operate in the future,” said executive chef Diego Moya. “Also we just missed the place honestly!”

They are starting with a summer classic: lobster rolls, only in this case prepared with creme fraiche and brown butter, heirloom potato chips and radishes with caper butter. And of course there are the wines. The online menu offers 17 wines by the bottle and three beers, but once your order is in motion, you can make a special request for reduced priced bottles from the restaurant’s 2800-bottle reserves by clicking the “Ask Pascaline” button.

Orders are taken 24 to 48 hours in advance of pick up, and can be placed here. (And not by phone or in person.)


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Salsa verde made from fig leaf oil, lovage and fermented tomatillo. Coming soon to provisions @racines_ny

A post shared by Diego Moya (@diegomoya) on

The restaurant will not be opening outdoors, Moya said, but hours and offerings will be expanded as the weeks go on. By mid-September, they will add a la carte dishes, fun condiments, non-alcoholic drinks and provisions. (Moya’s Instagram post above gives you a preview, and I highly recommend following him for a culinary and visual treat.)

“We are easing back into service and thought that complete meals available for pickup three times a week for the month of August was a good fit for the slowness of the neighborhood given the circumstances and the time of year,” Moya said.

There’s other news: Arnaud Tronche, who opened Racines in 2014 with partner David Lillie of Chambers Street Wines, has moved back to France — a plan that was in the making but was accelerated by the coronavirus. He will no longer serve as managing partner but remains an investor. Moya has been named operating partner, and sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier remains as a managing partner.

And this note from the team on tipping: The staff members that were rehired so far are not traditionally eligible to receive tips, so the restaurant will not accept tips for the time being. Instead, they are asking customers to support the Racines NY Employee Disaster Relief Fund, which will only be used to support team members who have not yet been able to secure full-time employment.