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 Marco Moreira, the chef and owner at 15 East @ Tocqueville, a merging of two fine dining restaurants into one, currently open for outdoor and indoor dining, pickup, and delivery. Below, he shares some of his favorite takeout tips, tricks, cocktails, and regular stops.
Restaurant: 15 East @ Tocqueville
Name + Title: Marco Moreira, Chef & Owner
Moreira: Since the onset of the pandemic, I’ve had cravings for sushi. I’m really lucky that at 15 East @ Tocqueville we have an exceptional 10-piece bluefin tuna flight. It’s one of our signature dishes and it continues to be one of my favorites.
What are some of your favorite takeout places and what are you ordering from them?
Celeste has been our neighborhood spot since it opened nearly 20 years ago in the Upper West Side. It was the first place I visited once outdoor dining was allowed. They serve amazing wood-fired pizzas and Italian dishes. I also love A La Turka in the Upper East Side for their mixed grill. Café China in Midtown has amazing dan dan noodles and mapo tofu.
What do you find yourself craving now that temperatures have dropped?
It’s a surprising answer but I love pizza during the colder season. Growing up in São Paulo, Brazil, which has one of the largest Italian populations outside of Italy, pizza was a comfort food. While nothing can compare to the pizza in my home city, I do enjoy the offerings from Celeste.
Best tip or trick to reheat and amp up your takeout?
I have a stone in my oven that helps to revive a pizza without overcooking the top. To zhuzh up pizza and other dishes like pasta, scrambled eggs, and salads, I always add a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano Vacche Rosse, which I keep in the fridge.
What’s your favorite place for cocktails to go in the area?
I love a place that serves good negronis or Carpano Antica Formula vermouth — many places around Madison Avenue are known for these. Closer to Union Square, where 15 East @ Tocqueville is located, Analogue, a cocktail and jazz bar, serves Carpano Antica to go.
What single restaurant dish would you walk miles for?
I am Brazilian and I love the confluence of flavors you’ll find in our traditional cooking. Feijoada is Brazil’s version of a cassoulet and is made up of beans with ham hocks, oxtail, chorizo, and smoked pork belly. It’s served with rice, collard greens, and manioc farofa stuffing. You can wash it down with a few caipirinhas. I would walk miles for that. I actually encourage people to check out Astoria’s vibrant Little Brazil neighborhood, where you’ll find a variety of Brazilian eateries. At Point Brazil, you can purchase Brazilian food by the pound.
What was your first meal back once restaurants reopened?
I traveled to an out-of-state steakhouse. It was interesting to experience food in a destination that, at first glance, wasn’t so obviously impacted by the pandemic in the way that you’ll see and feel it in New York City.
What do you miss the most about restaurants?
To be honest, I’m so grateful that I have been able to create a beautifully decorated space with a covered terrace that invites pleasurable outdoor dining. We have ample heating and a sound system and have been lucky to serve guests through the pandemic. Still, nothing feels as good as welcoming back old friends — our loyal patrons and neighbors — and being able to see their faces without masks. I’m looking forward to returning to the normal dining experience and being able to serve our guests where they prefer to be seated, whether this be outdoors or in our beautiful updated indoor space.
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