Editor’s Note: As Cleveland deals with the outbreak of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, everyday life is being disrupted. In our new series “How It Feels,” we’re talking to students, teachers, nurses and those on the frontline of the pandemic to see what it feels like to live life in isolation and transition to new ways of working, thinking and living.
Last year, when his Lakewood eatery and cocktail bar Distill Table won Best New Restaurant, Eddie Tancredi was changing the way we looked at local food with colorful, inventive plates that pulled ingredients from regional farms.
Starting March 19, the restaurant is launching a takeout or delivery meal service. The service has two offerings: six three-course meals for $75 a week or family-style prepared entrees that serve four to five people ($50) or eight to 10 people ($100).
Designed to be “heat and eat” without having to worry about shopping or clean-up, subscribers to the weekly meal service get six hot-and-ready plates, available in chicken, seafood, beef, paleo, gluten-free or vegetarian options. Order options, which will rotate weekly or bi-weekly, are available online, and Distill needs 24-hour advance notice for orders.
Tancredi talked to us about what it takes to switch from a dine-in destination to a take-out spot on the fly and the importance of sustaining our communities.
I just wanted to see what people are going to be looking for at this time of crisis. There's going to come a point where you're going to want the convenience of food, where you don't have to go to a crowded grocery store and wait in lines and get products. Even once everything goes back to normal, I feel restaurants are going to change the way people eat, the way people go out. People are so cautious now. This is a once in a lifetime thing where for the rest of our lives we're going to have this in the back of our mind of what was happening. Hopefully, it slows down where we can get back to our day-to-day lives. But our day to-day lives are never going to be the same. Just think of how many people's jobs this is affecting. All the purveyors, all the vendors, all the markets. I mean, grocery stores are doing well now. But depending on how long this goes on, if people don't have jobs, people are then going to be very sparse in what they're ordering. It's going to be just what you need to get by and things because there's no timetable on any of this. I feel people are going to live their lives a little differently in the future based on what's going on right now. I feel like fine dining has kind of come down this path over the last 15 years. But I feel it's going to come to a next level where it’s comfort-style foods, with really fresh ingredients, but done in a good way where people aren't going to be so concerned about all the nonsense and the fuss because they're just going to want to just get back to a nice, nutritious meal that you can enjoy with people. - as told to James Bigley II
Watch as we break the news to Tancredi that his restaurant won Best New Restaurant in 2019.