When COVID-19 caused on a run on paper products last month, Hawks Public House customers received a cheeky surprise with their takeout fried chicken: a roll of toilet paper. Today, the midtown restaurant and its upscale Granite Bay counterpart, Hawks, are no longer including TP with every to-go order. Instead, owners Molly Hawks and Michael Fagnoni are concentrating on a takeout program they created in response to the pandemic shutdown called Hawks at Home. It’s a heat-and-eat dinner that feeds four for $60, with two options that change weekly. This week’s menu features chicken cordon bleu with whipped potatoes and mushroom gravy, and St. Louis ribs with coffee bourbon barbecue glaze and potato salad. Each meal comes with a large green salad and champagne vinaigrette. Past offerings have included beef bourguignon, chicken parm and rigatoni with pork ragu.
“We knew it would be impossible to offer our regular menu to go, and we figured everyone’s eating at home with their families,” Hawks explains. “So we’re steering our program toward meals for families of four.” For Easter this weekend, they’re expanding their Hawks at Home menu to include holiday brunch and dinner items such as pancake batter, quiche Lorraine, a 5-pound rosemary ham and carrot cake.
Hawks says she and Fagnoni, who furloughed most of their staff last month, have had to be nimble and imaginative in response to the shutdown. “This is not a business model that would sustain us long term,” she says, “but for the short term, it works.” To help customers finding it difficult to track down scarce pantry items at grocery stores, they’re also selling flour, sugar, fresh eggs, milk, coffee, butter and, for Easter, a dozen hardboiled eggs, ready for dyeing and decorating. But no toilet paper.