Local dining options think outside the takeout box

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Nearly two years in, fine dining establishments like Seabird are adapting to the ebb and flow of COVID-19 waves. When the latest Omicron variant kept some people from the dining room, Chef Dean Neff decided to bring his creations to the dinner table.

“We know that there are people who are not coming in because they’re no

super comfortable dining inside in the colder months,” Neff explained. “And so we felt it might be a nice way to get some dinners to people who wanted to enjoy our food but do it in the comfort of their own home.”

Through Seabird at Home, patrons can enjoy a three course meal for two by ordering ahead and picking up Wednesday afternoon, enjoying quality food in comfort.

“You know, I take meals home every week for family. It’s nice to not have to cook and not have to think about it,” Neff said.

Along with the meal, Neff curates a playlist for the meal that week, hoping the dinner will be in the details.

“You know, every little thing matters,” said Neff. “And so we feel like that’s kind of a fun way of bringing something new to people at home.”

While Neff brings the dining room to you, Danyelle Sousa is looking to the outdoors, setting up practically perfect picnics anywhere. Sousa started Dixie Rae events during the pandemic, when she had to think outside the basket for date ideas.

“I think you just take those types of things for granted. And then, when it’s not an option to go out anymore, you kind of get creative. And that’s what we did,” Sousa said.

Sousa takes at least a week curating the dining experience, setting up luxury picnics complete with candles, charcuterie boards, and elaborate décor.

“The reaction people give is really amazing,” Sousa smiled. “They’re just like oh my gosh, what is this? What… they have no idea that’s it’s just a picnic.”

The pandemic hasn’t been a picnic, but it has encouraged dining establishments big and small to imagine dinner differently.

Categories: Brunswick, Local, NC, New Hanover, News, Top Stories

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