To-Go Takes is Resy’s regular feature wherein we quiz the folks behind some of our favorite restaurants about all things related to takeout.
In this edition, we speak to Michael Schall, the co-owner of Clinton Hill gem Locanda Vini & Olii. Below, he shares some of his favorite takeout tips, tricks, cocktails, and regular stops.
Restaurant: Locanda Vini & Olii
Name + Title: Michael Schall, Co-owner
Resy: What’s your favorite dish from Locanda’s takeout menu?
Schall: Right now, it’s probably the chicken liver pate or the Alaskan cod. We have a traditional Tuscan-style chicken liver pate made with capers and anchovies, and it comes with a grape marmalade made by the chef. It’s so simple and rustic, and those two things are what I love about Tuscan food in general. The cod is fresh Alaskan cod braised with tomatoes, olives, capers, and fresh oregano, and served over mashed potatoes. It’s just so light, comforting, and filling all at the same time.
Where are you getting takeout from and what are you ordering?
Since all I eat every day when I’m at the restaurants is pasta or pizza, the last thing I want for takeout is anything close to Italian.
— For breakfast: The breakfast burrito from Corner Grind in Bed-Stuy. It’s nothing fancy, but just has the right amount of everything: cheese, beans, and oh, that hot sauce…
— For lunch: The salmon miso rice bowl from Warude on Tompkins. When we were building out Bar Camillo last year (which is right up the street), I probably had that dish at least two times a week. Their ramen is also great, but they only offer that in the colder months.
— For dinner: It’s Peppa’s in Crown Heights for the jerk chicken plate with rice and beans, cabbage, and a festival. Just the best.
Also, I live in Jackson Heights, so when I have a real night off, my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood (and probably the city) is Mustang Thakali Kitchen on 37th Ave. It’s super-legit Nepali food. I always get an order of momos and the goat thali plate. Their thali plate is the best dish under $15 you can find anywhere in the city. It comes with a stewed meat (I always go goat, but my kids love the chicken), lentils, curried potatoes, pickles, and either rice or puffy bread. Literally every time I eat that dish, I say out loud to myself, “This is so f—- good.” And I’ve been eating that dish on the regular for about five years now.
Best tip to amp up your takeout?
I tend to not add things to takeout dishes. Maybe it’s just ingrained in me not to mess with what restaurants want to put out there. I want to see what they want me to eat. But for some reason, I always crave sparkling water whenever I have takeout. Doesn’t matter what kind of food, it just goes so well with the bubbly water.
What’s your favorite place for cocktails to go?
King Tai in Crown Heights. The vibe there has always been amazing, and their drinks are fantastic and reasonably priced, too. They have a nice little outside seating setup these days.
What restaurant do you wish was open?
I wish I had ordered some of the Indian food Bar Lunàtico was putting out a few weeks back. Red lentils, homemade flatbreads. It looked amazing, and that place is really special. They’re temporarily closed for the moment and I’m really looking forward to them getting back up and running.
What do you miss the most about restaurants?
I miss not worrying about our industry. I miss not waking up every day wondering what the future will hold for all of the owners, workers, farmers, vendors, etc. who have poured their heart and soul into this business. I miss not feeling like I have to “pivot” to survive. I can’t wait for all that to end.
Locanda Vini & Olii is open for outdoor dining seven days a week for dinner (from 5 to 10 p.m.) and for lunch Thursday through Sunday (from 12 to 3 p.m.), weather permitting. Order Locanda takeout and delivery here — and visit their online marketplace here.
Check out the backyard and patio at their sister Roman bar, Bar Camillo, too.