‘Dining bonds,’ happy hour to go, and lots of delivery: how to support the food industry during COVID-19

A pepperoni pie from Fornino in Brooklyn. (Courtesy of Marie Assante.)

The days of quarantine amid the spreading coronavirus have been a challenge to many — particularly towards restaurants. 

A government mandate to offer only take out and delivery options has spelled out both an unprecedented and stressful time for the food industry, but there are ways to keep your favorite places afloat through COVID-19. 

One new and crafty solution is purchasing dining bonds

This bold new initiative sees eateries around NYC and elsewhere selling gift certificates that will be redeemed at a higher face value on a later date, just like that of a savings bond.

So, restaurants get capital for immediate use during this required semi-closure and consumers get a gift certificate of a higher value to use when COVID-19 all passes and things reopen. 

While these bonds are being done independently by restaurants, there is an aggregated list of all those participating, such as American Bar in the West Village.

Tuna tartare at American Bar.
(Melissa Hom)

Another unique approach to pleasing homestaying diners is offering happy hour deals to go.

Manhattan’s Brooklyn Chop House, known for offering an extensive array of chopped meat, dim sum, and dumplings spanning from pastrami to bacon cheeseburger and more flavors is doing happy hour to go, delivery deals during this strange interim. 

If you’re concerned that high end food doesn’t deliver well, don’t be. 

Out of the 85 menu items at Brooklyn Chop House, only the restaurant’s Peking duck and crispy beef are the only two foods offered that could dry out during a delivery, according to Brooklyn Chop House co-owner Stratis Morfogen.

The Financial District’s popular breakfast and brunch spot Hole in the Wall will also be doing a freshly made happy hour to go deal as well.

That same logic for delivered freshness can be applied to Fornino brick oven pizza that hails from Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 

Prior to all the recent pandemonium, Fornino owner and chef Michael Ayoub told amNewYork Metro last week that his pies gap between the two styles of a sit down dining experience and reliable takeout option.

That’s due to dough hydration, the chef explained, noting that he uses more than the average New York pie but not so much that it gets ruined in a cardboard box.

A margherita pie from Fornino. (Courtesy of Michael Ayoub.)

Meanwhile, plenty of other fine dining restaurants, basseries, bistros, and premium casual places around NYC are offering fully dedicated delivery options as well as gift cards to be redeemed in future use.

A few staff picks include: the newly opened American Brass along with Beyond Sushi, Joshua Tree East, Wogies, along with many more outstanding dining options throughout the city. 

Oh, don’t forget that alcohol and cocktails can be delivered for the time being as well.