In March, when the government announced the forced closure of all non-essential businesses and services in a drastic but necessary move to curb the spread of coronavirus, hospitality giant Merivale announced it would close its some 70 venues in operation temporarily.
“It is a particularly devastating time for the hospitality industry, but nothing is more important than health,” boss Justin Hemmes said in a statement at the time. “We wholeheartedly support government efforts to protect our country and will happily play our part to help stop the spread.
His statement continued: “Behind the scenes, we are doing everything we can to get the business in the best possible position to reopen doors, and help rebuild our economy, as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Now, it seems the restaurant group has found a way to do just that, with the announcement of the Merivale at Home initiative, launched today, April 6.
In a statement on the newly launched website, Merivale says: “With the recent restrictions of COVID-19, and our beloved venues on hiatus, we still wanted our guests to be able to experience our restaurant meals in the comfort and safety of their own home.”
The hospitality group’s solution is a range of packed menus, alcohol and produce boxes that are able to be delivered to all of greater Sydney.
There are five menus to choose from that will be updated on the regular. Each menu serves up enough for two people, and are curated by five Merrivale head chefs (Jordan Toft, Dan Hong, Danielle Alvarez, Mike Eggert and Vincenzo Biodini) in the style of five beloved restaurants: Mr. Wong, Totti’s, Bert’s Bar & Brasserie, Fred’s and Vinnie’s Pizza.
The menus (from $70 to $105) are sent safely to your door, and come almost ready to eat “with the finishing touches easy enough for the home cook”. A quick look at the recipes page indicates those final touches include tasks like baking vegetables, chopping and dressing salad, and arranging platters.
The Tottis box, for example, serves up warm grilled eggplant with chili oil and pangrattato, cherry tomatoes with fresh herbs and olive oil, burrata with kombu and olive oil, sliced San Daniele prosciutto and Totti’s Bread, lamb ragu pappardelle, tagliolini with spinach and basil pesto, rocket and parmesan salad, and chocolate mousse to finish. And all for $90.
The meals can also each be paired with specialty drink packs chosen by Merrivale’s master sommelier, Franck Moreau, to complement each of the menus. After a cocktail instead? Bars manager, Sam Egerton, has also created pre-batched aperitifs, perfect for a date night tipple.
There’s also a new at-home sommelier service that connects diners with expert sommeliers who can provide wine recommendations over the phone.
The Merrivale at Home offering also includes produce boxes created in an effort to support and collaborate with the group’s long-standing food suppliers.
“Here, you can order fresh fruit and veg boxes from Parisi, premium meat from Haverick Meats and high-quality fresh seafood from Poulos Bros.”
These boxes, ranging from $60 for seasonal fruit or veggies and climbing to $150 for premium fresh seafood or meats, come complete with tips and recipe suggestions from Danielle Alvarez.
Head to the Merivale at Home website now to find out more and put in your order today.
The current health crisis is evolving rapidly. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.