Romance takes considerable effort when you’re surrounded by the same walls for a solid year. Whether creating a special night with a special in-home setting or just donning the fancy stretchy pants, spreads from these restaurants make it possible to recapture just a bit of the ambiance that they used to offer in person, in the before times.
Gorgeous meals are carefully packed into containers and wait to be unveiled in your kitchen, and served by candlelight.
ie Italian Eatery
This South Minneapolis powerhouse earns extra points for a cutely named date package, the “Wine & Dine”. Eaters can expect three courses of goodness, with a shared salad, shared side offering (hello burrata) main dish, and dessert for a sweet finish. A bottle of wine to pair with your meal for two is included as well, with diners’ choice of the bubbly, white, or red categories. There are even some vegetarian picks for those who want a more plant-based evening. Upgrades like high quality olive oil, focaccia croutons, hot sauce flavored with Calabrian chiles, and a rustic loaf of bread make for unique add-ons. For those with an extra sweet tooth, consider ordering additional gelato from the ie pantry. Order online or by calling (612) 223-8504.
This chef collective consistently delivers every time with outrageously delicious food served with a side of excellence and fun. It’s take and bake food options are no exception. Order a hearty family style meal, the menu changes frequently, for easy cooking-together-fun. Order the Sexy Chef Calendar to keep the romance going all year long.
This tropical restaurant in Northeast has upped the takeout game with its Box of Joy. It’s an entire feast laid out on a banana leaf, tucked inside a box, from different Southeast Asian destinations put together by chef Christina Nguyen. One week, the box could take you and your sweetie to Bali, another week it’s a culinary adventure in Malaysia. Boxes are $75 and often sell out quickly. Order for pick up online.
Nothing says classic date night quite like a fine steak. So classic Minneapolis steakhouse Murray’s makes for a delightful romantic pick that’s easy to order online. Sundays only, there’s a decadent surf-and-turf for two option. Add a bottle of wine from their to go menu, most of which are in the $20-30 price range. With 72-hour notice, a raspberry pie and bottle of rosé package are another solid addition for those blessed with the gift of foresight. For extra ambiance, sometimes flowers are even available to order from Murray’s too!
Spoon and Stable
Gavin Kaysen’s original restaurant in downtown Minneapolis remains the height of elegance, even when the food is carefully packed up to-go. Order the always gorgeous, entrees that hold integrity through travel with something sweet from pastry chef Diane Moua, along with something special from the wine cellar. The North Loop location is also across the street from Bellecour bakery inside Cooks of Crocus Hill and a wise dater plans ahead with takeaway breakfast options as well. Order online.
Order appetizers to snack on, like the luscious potato churros or the legendary empanadas, along with hearty portions of beautifully dressed pasta for sharing. Martina has always been known for its cocktails, and the n/a cocktail kits are perfect for building with an assist from your home bar. They even sell that fancy ice for takeout. Or, add a gorgeous bottle of wine to pair with your meal. Order ahead online for curbside pickup.
This neighborhood favorite offers both delivery (online) and pick up options using their walk-up window; for pick up orders, call the restaurant directly at 612-445-8822. Heather’s menu changes daily due to availability from local farm suppliers, but they always offer a dinner special each night. Wednesday nights are especially date-friendly, with the date night special of “buy any two mains and get a bottle of wine for 25% off”. According to Heather herself, her favorite main is the teriyaki salmon bowl, but there are tons of other solid choices.
The Bungalow Club
This intimate Italian restaurant has been doing take out well since early in the pandemic. Chef/owner Andrew Kraft’s pastas travel beautifully, as do the affordable, occasion-worthy wines. The house-made pasta is always a hit. Order pasta and sauce to cook and mix together at home. Order online.
While the restaurant location is closed, the soul and joy of Jamie Malone’s french eatery lives on through boxes of take and make meals at home. Grand Cafe’s meal kits can be as extravagant and include a whole long weekend’s worth of meals, or a fun collection of little snacks. Some boxes also come with wine pairings, flowers, or even little art kits for a fun activity. Preparing the food takes just enough effort that it counts as cooking together, but are easy enough for even the most novice chef. Order ahead and pick up the boxes at Eastside in Minneapolis.
Joan’s in the Park
While not a set date night kit, Joan’s take out menu brings their romantic white tablecloth vibes to your home setting. Order the lobster toast appetizer for an elevated starter, followed by the organic cider-brined roasted chicken meal, which is designed for two to enjoy. Complete this multi-course decadence with the restaurant’s signature brown brown butter pudding dessert. Call 651-690-3297 Wednesday through Sunday, just be sure to order before 4pm. Impressive wine options are also available.
This icon of red sauce dining on West 7th has stayed current with modern trends, making it easy to dress it up for a lovely date night at home. Make like Lady & the Tramp with a perfect plate of spaghetti and meatballs or branch out with a crispy cauliflower appetizer. Don’t forget to order bake-at-home cookies for dessert.
Tongue in Cheek
This Eastside spot serves gorgeous food, and an excellent choice for courses of elegant snacks and comfort food. Start with a flight of teasers, little composed snacks, and move on to pasta or the rotating vegan special — a dish that’s always a hit. Order online.
Tori built its reputation as a tiny ramen shop specializing in poultry-based broth, but its newer location on West 7th has an expanded menu that is built for a beautiful date night takeout. Order classic shoyu broth or kimichi-spiked ramen. Or, make your own broth together and mix in some of Tori’s noodles with a side of pickled veggies. Order online.