Order In: How Cadence Restaurant Is Making Takeout Feel Like a Celebration
Jon Nodler is reimagining what takeout looks like, with weekend specials featuring the best of Cadence's menu.
Welcome to Order In, our new coronavirus-related column where we reach out to restaurant owners and chefs to talk about what they chose to do with their businesses during the crisis, how they made that choice, and what delicious foods you can still get from them via takeout to offer support in this difficult time.
Jonathan Nodler, chef and co-owner at Cadence Restaurant
We decided to do takeout because… It’s just me and Sam (Kincaid, co-owner and pastry chef), so for us to make the decision to do take-out, it’s pretty easy. We can execute it ourselves, plus one other person, our cook Dylan, who has been really instrumental to executing and coming up with ideas. Sam and I live together so it’s pretty safe. When the city shutdown, we had a lot of food in-house that we didn’t want to see go bad, and it was really well-received.
You can order food via … We post the menu on our Instagram, and then we’re taking orders via email or Instagram direct message. We’ll call you and take payment over the phone, and then you come and pick it up from outside the restaurant.
Best silver lining of this is … We actually feel more connected to our guests than we ever did as like, a dine-in restaurant. It’s crazy because you’d think it would be easy to just pop out and say hi to people, but it’s really not. So this has been cool, handling all the Instagram messages and calling people for payment, and we’re in the window waving to people as they pick it up. We’re seeing all these regulars and it’s been an opportunity to engage.
We’re cooking a lot of … tortillas. I love fresh masa, it’s an ingredient and a process that I’m really interested in. We buy corn from Green Meadow Farm, and we’re nixtamalizing and grinding it in house. We bought the grinder back in December, and it arrived the Tuesday after the city shut down, so we’ve been using it a lot and getting a lot of practice at it. We’ve done with fresh tortillas with almost every takeout menu we’ve put together, and we’ve gotten a really positive reaction.
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We’re designing our takeout to be … more of a special occasion. At first we were doing more simple food, but we’ve found that just as people kind of come to us as a special occasion restaurant in normal times, we were doing more meals on the weeks, so we decided to focus our energy on doing more curated, individual offerings every weekend, that will allow us to kind of use more creativity.
You should order … the pig roast. We got a half pig from our friends out at Elizabeth Farms, where they raise these amazing mangalitsa pigs. You’ll get a little bologna, cured meat, some porchetta, some carnitas and the fresh tortillas, a roast coppa, a couple slices of roasted loin. There will be some escabeche and sauces as well, plus vegetable sides like broccoli rabe, potato salad, baked beans. Its like a backyard barbecue kind of approach.