Just because you’re stuck at home for your birthday, doesn’t mean you have to stick some candles in an old loaf of banana bread to celebrate. Besides, now you don’t have to worry about making a reservation or splitting a giant check twelve ways. From living room omakase sets to chocolate-Basque cheesecakes, here are a few special take-home meals that would make for a great birthday celebration.
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If truffled deviled eggs, caviar, and a 32-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye sounds like a birthday treat, then Jeffrey’s might be the perfect spot for you. As far as the steak, you can sit back and let the pros handle it, or they’ve recently added a take-home-to-grill option to their steak menu (at a discount), so now you can play MasterChef at home if you feel inclined. Order online, throw in a martini kit, and set your Zoom background to Don Draper’s office - you’ll have everyone fooled at your virtual birthday party.
East Side Italian restaurant Intero has a limited menu available for curbside pickup, including the spaghettini with aged cheddar and fermented kale that we love. If you’re celebrating with family or housemates, they have a variety of family meals as well, ranging from “classic” to “fancy” depending on how special your occasion is. And don’t forget, they’ve got a great menu of chocolates that you can add as a pre-, post-, or mid-dinner treat. Or just eat chocolate for dinner. It’s your birthday - you do you.
You might not be able to enjoy the full dine-in experience at Uchiko, but they’ve recently started offering a six-course takeout dinner for two, available Friday-Sunday. The $85 package includes favorites like the hama chili and the 72-hour short rib, as well as a bottle of wine and a ready-to-bake breakfast for the next morning. There’s also the option to add even more courses (and drinks) if you want to forget about your planned trip to Tokyo that’s definitely not happening anytime soon.
Comedor’s popular bone marrow tacos are available in DIY meal kits that you can cook at home. Everything comes individually packaged and pre-measured, with step-by-step instructions that will convince you that bone marrow should now be a part of every meal. It even comes with a curated Spotify playlist that will make you forget you’re having your birthday dinner in your living room.
They might be labeled as ‘Date Night’ sets, but we think Hestia’s 60-day dry-aged wagyu ribeye-for-two kits would make an equally-great birthday meal. And each comes with chocolate Basque cheesecake from sister restaurant, Kalimotxo, so you don’t even have to go out and order a birthday cake. Candles, however, are not part of the package.
We all wish we could celebrate another year around the sun at a sushi bar with some sake, ordering the omakase, and talking to the chef about where they get their scallops. But just because we’re stuck at home, it doesn’t mean we can’t still get the full sushi bar experience. One of Austin’s best omakase spots is now bringing its 12-piece meal to a living room near you. It’s available for pickup or delivery, and there’s even the option to add a sake pairing (the scallop talk, on the other hand, might have to wait).
The downtown Italian restaurant Red Ash is not playing around with their Big Night menu, featuring various cuts of 50-day dry-aged beef - starting at 32oz and culminating in a 45oz monster of a steak. It comes with a caesar salad as well, because life is all about balance. And of course, there’s a choice of pasta and tiramisu to finish it all off. They claim this feeds two or three - if you can finish this with just one other person, we tip our hats to you.
The suadero tacos at Suerte have developed something of a following, which undoubtedly left many people crushed when they temporarily closed their doors to both dine-in and takeout service. They’ve since reopened with a limited menu of take-home DIY meal kits, like lemon cheesecake cookie dough, migas, and of course, the suadero tacos. Online ordering opens up on Tuesday afternoons for the following weekend, and popular items sell out quickly. If you don’t want to end up with a suadero-less plate for your birthday, make sure to set an alarm.
As the old Texan saying goes, “If you love someone, grill them a steak.” Actually we made that up. But it’s true. Also, if you love someone and it’s their birthday, you should think about grilling them a really nice steak. And you can find some of the best steaks in Austin at the butcher shop/restaurant Dai Due. Since they’ve pivoted to being more of a grocery store, you can get all kinds of things to put together for a birthday dinner - including produce, prepared foods, and baked goods. No birthday cakes, but they do sell flour and sugar, as well as brown butter pecan ice cream.
Be careful surprising someone on their birthday with a huge spread of smoked meat from Franklin, for they may just have a heart attack. Getting smoked meats from here used to involve a serious commitment - you’d either have to get up early and wait in sometimes epically long lines, or you’d have to plan way ahead and pre-order weeks ahead. These days, the restaurant has switched to curbside pickup only. You still have to think fast, but now you can order three days in advance. Slots, especially during the week, are generally easy to get.
Even if you can’t spend your birthday exchanging sultry glances in the dimly-lit Milonga Room beneath Buenos Aires Cafe, you can at least try to recreate some of the food at home. The Argentine Beef Box comes with just about everything you need for a home-cooked, meat-induced sweat - multiple cuts of steak, a sausage wheel, house-made bratwurst, and blood sausage. The box comes with cooking instructions and suggestions, and you can even add more meats, as well as ready-made or dry chimichurri. And don’t worry, everything comes packaged individually so you can stretch it out to a birthday week.
With sunshine on the horizon, you could even consider a patio or backyard celebration for your big day. While Lenoir’s popular and affordable prix-fixe menu is currently unavailable, they have a picnic meal kit that includes bread, a variety of sandwich spreads, dessert, and a bottle of wine. This is, however, a BYO-picnic blanket situation.
Clark’s Oyster Bar has always been a pretty great backdrop for celebrations, what with the fun raw bar, comfortable outdoor seating, fantastic cocktails, and stellar seafood. Clark’s is takeout-only at the moment, which also unfortunately means no oysters or seafood towers. Nevertheless, you can still celebrate at home, because you just spent $90 on caviar, $36 on a lobster roll, $58 on a margarita kit, and $19 on their best-in-class burger. Eat outside and commit to the nautical theme by wearing a captain’s hat and nailing a ship’s wheel to the front of your house.
Loro has new specials, including a prime rib dinner for two - with horseradish-yuzu cream, salad, grilled vegetables, and cookies - that would make for a pretty great birthday celebration. The restaurant also has gin and tonic slushies available for takeout, as well as 25% off bottled wine and sake.