Jewish families love to pass along legends of selfless bubbes who have spent countless early fall afternoons in the kitchen, kneading challah dough, chopping carrots for tsimmes, stirring steaming kettles of chicken soup, burning their fingers as they reach into the oven to check the doneness of the roast chicken or brisket. How those women suffered to prepare the high holiday meals! How they wanted their children and grandchildren to know of their suffering!
As the pandemic age of takeout also extends to Rosh Hashanah dinners and Yom Kippur break-fasts, here’s a list of restaurants in and around Chicago with full meals, complete with soup, sides, and challah. Pop it in the oven, heat according to instructions, and dinner is ready. As was written in the Book of Proverbs, “Who can find good takeout? For its worth is far above rubies.”
Aba: Aba in Fulton Market offers a Mediterranean inflection on the holiday classics — za’atar roasted chicken, hummus — but also matzo ball soup and apples and honey (pie). A four-course meal, including dessert, is $59.95 per person, with pickup Sunday, September 6, or Monday, September 7. Order via Tock.
Beatrix Fulton Market: The Beatrix Rosh Hashanah meal serves up all the classics: gefilte fish, chopped liver, matzo ball soup, burnt honey chicken, slow-braised short ribs, potato pancakes, apples and honey, and two kinds of cake, olive oil and chocolate. The family-style package is $48.95 per person, and pickup is at Beatrix’s Fulton Market location on September 6 or 7. Order on Tock.
Bittersweet: Rosh Hashanah always ends with a toast to a sweet new year. Bittersweet in Lakeview has that part covered: specifically with two types of flourless chocolate cake, apple tart, challah with and without raisins, and both macarons and macaroons. Order online for pickup or delivery.
Jeff & Judes: Rosh Hashanah meal packs from Jew-ish deli Jeff & Judes in Ukrainian Village flew out the door last fall, so ownership has brought back two dinner packages. Patrons can snag sweet and sour cola brisket or apple-smoked chicken thigh quarters for two ($75) or four ($125). Each meal comes with matzo ball soup, challah, roasted vegetables and potatoes, apple honey cake, and more. Secure the bag via Tock.
Max and Benny’s: The beloved Northbrook deli will be open on both Rosh Hashanah (dine-in and takeout) and Yom Kippur (takeout only) and also has a full catering menu available, with chicken, brisket, fish, chicken soup, bagels and lox platters, and more. Order online for pre-holiday pickup.
Osteria Via Stato: Longtime Italian hit Osteria Via Sato will feature three entree selections for the holiday: Chicken Mario (brown butter, lemon), pan-roasted salmon, or slow-braised beef short ribs. Each meal ($44.95 per person) comes with challah, apples and honey, matzah ball soup, chocolate hazelnut panna cotta, and more. Place orders online via ChowNow.
Prairie Grass Cafe: Northbrook’s Prairie Grass Cafe is offering four-course brisket dinners for two ($100) and chicken soup and chopped liver by the quart from James Beard Award winner chef Sarah Stegner. Call (847) 205-4433 to order; pickup is September 7.
Publican Quality Meats: The PQM team is getting personal with family recipes in Fulton Market: owner Paul Kahan’s sweet and sour brisket and butcher Rob Levitt’s grandmother’s kishke. Both are available a la carte, along with chicken soup and Publican Quality Bread challah. Pickup is September 5 through 7; order via Tock.
RPM Steak: Go for the prime meat on Rosh Hashanah with RPM’s sweet and sour brisket in River North. The full meal is $85 per person and also includes challah, matzo ball soup, potato latkes, and chocolate cake. Order on Tock for pickup.
Steingold’s of Chicago: The Yom Kippur break-fast is the sweet spot for the Lakeview bagel shop, which has bagels and lox platters for preorder; they come with all the fixings, plus whitefish, potato, and egg salad ($125 feeds 2-3 people, $225 feeds 4-6). But there are also brisket and chicken for Rosh Hashanah, available in two feast sizes or a la carte. Order on Toast.
The Goddess and Grocer: Choose from family-sized portions of appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts; individual four-course dinner packages; or Yom Kippur platters of bagels and lox or beef tenderloin. Preorder is closed for Rosh Hashanah, but meals are still available for September 8 through 17. There will also be a limited amount of food in stores beginning Saturday, September 4.
The Smith: This New York export’s outpost in River North is offering a takeout Rosh Hashanah package for two ($85) that includes matzah ball soup, “brisket-style” short ribs with horseradish crema, brick chicken, garlic smashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and apple pie with cinnamon mascarpone. Patrons can order meals for pickup and delivery from Monday, September 6 through Wednesday, September 8. The packages aren’t yet listed on the restaurant’s website, so interested diners should call (312) 312-5100.