3 carryout options for a stay-at-home date night

What did you do last weekend?

Next to nothing?

Me, too, and so did most of the other folks I know.

Landscaping, Netflix, a walk, two walks, three walks, a home DIY project … whatever your answer, for most of us, it’s a way to fill the time at home that we now have a seemingly endless supply of.

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If you have already diagnosed yourself with COVID cabin fever, consider creating a plan for some carryout for a special at-home date night — with your significant other, your kids or yourself.

We all need nice things right now and a date night fits the bill.

It’s simple. Go on a hunt through the house for table decor and candles. Dust off that fine china you never use. Find some cloth napkins — why not? Use what you have to create a special tablescape. Get creative and have fun. Get the kids in on it and get fancy or silly or whatever fits the bill.

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For the next several weeks we will be detailing different restaurants with information on how they are currently operating and taking orders, as well as some menu items you might consider for a fun evening of takeout.

With Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement earlier this week that restaurants with an on-premise liquor license can now sell two pre-packaged cocktails to go with each meal sold, it means even more nice things for us and for our local restaurants.

Consider getting dressed up and make this meal an event. My husband and I have been doing special dinners with our takeout once a week and putting special time and effort into it. I can attest the attention and the intention makes it feel more special. Theme it up, get creative and be sure to order a dessert or two, because … nice things.

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Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer

The Caroline

5 S. Market St., Troy | 937-552-7676 | Website

Details: The Caroline is offering a special menu for carryout orders. They are open for pickup from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. All orders must be placed by 7:30 p.m. Text Steve at 937-214-0677, call 937-552-7676, or email stevesmith@thecarolineonthesquare.com with your order, name, phone number, and time you plan to pick up. Beer and wine is available for carry-out at retail price.

Order up: Caroline Wings (6 for $6 or 12 for $12) with Sweet Caroline, Buffalo or BBQ sauce; Shrimp scampi linguine with a tossed salad ($15); House made lasagna served with Caesar salad ($14); Caesar salad, Caroline salad, or Too Gouda salad ($10, add seasoned chicken breast for $13, salmon for $16, or as a side salad $6); The Caroline 10 oz. house steak finished with garlic butter and tangled onion rings ($24).

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5531 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp. | (937) 434-4750 | Website

Details: Visit Meadowlark's website for online ordering and payment to grab your carryout. They are open for lunch 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and dinner 4 p.m.-7 pm. Tuesday through Thursday and 4-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They care closed Sunday and Monday. Carryout beer and wine is available at state minimum retail prices. All tips collected will be distributed equally among front- and back-of-house employees.

Order up: Start with those slow-roasted red beets ($7.95) served with horseradish, pecans and crumbled goat cheese or the garlic frites ($6.95). Their chopped salad ($12.95) and Vietnamese noodle salad ($13.95) are favorites and I can't get enough of their spaghetti carbonara ($14.95). For my carryout, I will be getting the butterscotch pudding with broken chocolate toffee topping ($6.95), but there's also the warm banana fritters ($6.95), warm apple crisp ($6.95) and buttermilk chocolate cake with salty toffee sauce ($6.95).

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Roost Modern Italian

524 E Fifth St., Dayton | (937) 222-3100 | Website

Details: Roost Italian has opened the Black Rooster Pasta Bar with pastas the way you want them, as well as other old-school Italian dishes. Online ordering will be open from 4-9 p.m. Tuesday though Sunday. On the restaurant's to-go menu, it's advertising that it's selling larger order portions to feed up to 10 guests with special pricing on bulk orders. Visit roostitalian.com to order online. Beer and wine is available for carryout.

Order up: The menu has three steps. 1) Pick your pasta: Choose from spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni or cavatelli. 2) Pick your sauce: House marinara ($10), a besciamella cream sauce ($10), extra virgin olive oil ($9), pomodoro cream ($10), terra (an olive oil and white truffle sauce) ($13), gorgonzola creama ($12), vegan cashew alfredo ($12), pernod creama ($14), brown butter and sage ($10). 3) Add meat, poultry, seafood or veggies: Roasted crimini mushrooms (+$2), Applewood bacon lardons, spinach and sun dried tomatoes (+$4), herb roasted chicken (+$4), carbonara (+$4), peppers and onions (+$3), spinach and artichoke (+$4), mixed seafood (+$9) and rosemary braised beef (+$9).

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They are also offering specialty dishes to go like Manicotti Verde ($14) — featuring fresh pasta tubes filled with ricotta, parmesan, garlic and spinach topped with marinara. Chicken and pasta al forno ($15), an old school chicken and orzo pasta with a mushroom vote sauce and baked and topped with ciabatta herb gratin with Joyce Farm heritage chicken. Meatball Melt ($14) featuring Roost meatballs sandwiched between griddled sour dough bread with provolone and marinara with a side of Giardinera and roasted potatoes. Desserts to go include their well known and beloved Triple chocolate cake ($7). And if that doesn’t say date night, we don’t know what does.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of exciting outdoor spaces, new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

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