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Takeout from A Lure Restaurant keeps the whole family happy. (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

As spring continued on, we all missed those North Fork date nights. Remember those? Dinner at, say, American Beech with a bottle of Bedell Cellars cab franc on the table and the daily grind in the rearview mirror.

Instead, these past several months — for literally all of us who live, work or play here — have been spent at home. mostly, that meant cooking three meals a day ourselves; lots of rice, beans and protein with fresh local farm stand produce on the better days.

There was, however, one saving grace for those of us foodies who really missed those meals out: takeout.

Cuisine to go was our lifeline when we just didn’t have the right ingredients or the will to cook. Takeout was our substitute maître d’ on those rare nights when we did throw on real clothes and cobble together something resembling a date night.

Sweet and spicy shrimp from A Lure Restaurant (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

Thank you to all the North Fork restaurants that fed us these past few months. We can’t wait to return to your establishments, tip your staff generously and let you once again help us escape the everyday.

Here are several of our staff members’ picks for favorite takeout meals during the quarantine.

Takeout pick: Everything from A Lure, Southold

Staffer: Tina Contento, Sales Executive

“My go-to takeout during quarantine has been A Lure. My family all craves something different. I enjoy the lump crab cake, my daughter craves their fish and my son loves their sweet and spicy shrimp. We’ve also indulged in the Key lime pie and flourless chocolate cake. Yum!”

Takeout pick: Chicken cutlet, pulled pork, and shrimp BLT tacos from Mesquite, Wading River

Staffer: Grant Parpan, Content Director

“For me, tacos are the ultimate takeout item and Mesquite is the closest and best place for me to get them. They’re also built for takeout. When they closed for a week in April, I nearly had a panic attack. It’s well worth the effort to get to downtown Wading River if you’ve never tried them.”

Takeout pick: Black bean burger from Love Lane Kitchen, Mattituck

Staffer: Michelina Da Fonte, Associate Content Director

“During these challenging times, I find myself craving comfort food.
I recently ordered the black bean burger with garlic fries from Love Lane Kitchen and it was equal parts delicious and comforting.”

Takeout pick: Fried chicken family meal from Main Road Biscuit Co., Jamesport

Staffer: Felicia LaLomia, Lifestyle Reporter

“The chicken is juicy with a crackly exterior. The biscuits are flaky and warm, perfect to slather with the honey butter. And the kale slaw is a million times better than basic coleslaw.”

Takeout picks: $6 Sunday burger special from Cliff’s Elbow Room, Jamesport and Eggplant parmigiana from Il Giardino, Aquebogue

Staffer: Debbie Schulz, Sales Executive

“I couldn’t pick just one. With the burger special, you get a fresh house-ground beef burger, french fries, and a pickle! I also love to support a local institution like Cliff’s. But I also had to throw in a little Italian comfort food. Whenever we order from Il Giardino it’s hard to decide what to order, because everything is amazing.”

Takeout pick: BBQ duck quesadilla from Little Lucharitos, Aquebogue

Staffer: Kaitlyn Burke, Sales Assistant

“I can’t decide if it’s the sweet barbecue sauce, the melted cheese, the locally sourced duck or a perfect combination of all three, but I find myself wanting to order this more than anything else. Oh, and a mango margarita, but that goes without saying.”