With patio season upon us, Project Takeout is over. But first, our final batch of recommendations from Globe staff.


Favourites, to start, are the samosas or the vegetarian Shanti platter, which includes delicious and hearty pakora – our toddler, in particular, enjoys these breaded and fried chickpea delicacies. For a more adventurous opener, try one of their varieties of chaat, an Indian street food. We recently enjoyed the balance of flavors of Papri (sweet, but not too sweet, tamarind) and crunch (homemade potato chips), with medium spice.

Saag Paneer is in almost every order we’ve placed with Shanti: These roughly cut cubes of the specialty cheese, immersed in a fragrant spinach sauce, are both good that night and for lunch a few days later. For vegetarians and vegetable lovers, the Aloo Gobi – a dish filled with cauliflower, potatoes and peas – is also worth trying.

For meat dishes, we recently sampled the Shrimp Rogan Josh, with its tangy cilantro and creamy tomato sauce (you can order it without cilantro). But when we’re feeling decadent or festive, we go for Shrimp Korma – a concoction that, like Rogan Josh, can go with any protein and contains cream, ginger and cashew for richness. and a crunch. We also loved the Chicken Biryani, although we round off on the spice and use plenty of yogurt sauce to cool the heat.

Papri Chaat from Shanti.Eli Center

While you can’t go wrong with any of the naan offerings, the simple garlic variety never disappoints, and it’s especially useful for picking up leftover sauce from the aforementioned Korma dish. On a more adventurous kick, we also tried the Peshawary Naan, a sweeter variety with raisins and coconut.

And no Shanti takeout meal is complete without their sauces, which add so much to this meal and beyond: The mixed pickle is different and delicious, but the first container to empty at our table is always the mint chutney. We used leftovers from these little plastic containers to spice up our own meals, like regular rice and beans.

It should be noted that Shanti recently announced that it would be adding a 4% “kitchen appreciation fee” to increase back room staff – an increasingly common addition to the tab in many many restaurants in Jamaica Plain or Roslindale. And keep an eye out for their specials, which are more like culinary programming than blue dishes: we loved their Diwali Feast To-Go, and now they’re also offering do-it-yourself meal kits.

Shanti Restaurant, 4197 Washington Street, Roslindale, 617-325-3900, www.santiboston.com. Appetizers $6-$12, soups and salads $4-$8, roti $3-$6, appetizers $14-$23.


Takeout from Shaking Seafood.Katie Johnson

Seafood Shake, Roslindale

Sometimes it takes a stranger to introduce you to the culinary delights of your own backyard.

When my niece from Arkansas was here over the holidays, she asked if we could boil seafood for New Years Eve, and a quick Google search led us to Shaking Seafood in Roslindale. Suddenly our take-out world just got a whole lot more exciting. This New Orleans boil has nothing to do with the New England variety of corned beef and cabbage. It’s Cajun food, with crawfish, crab, mussels, or just about any type of shellfish you desire, doused in garlic, butter, salt, Old Bay-y goodness, cooked with cobs corn and potatoes, and delivered in a large plastic bag.

It’s not glamorous, but it is Hello.

So who makes Cajun food in Boston? Turns out a Chinese family fell in love with Cajun cuisine after moving to the United States and applied it to their seafood expertise. They live in Boston and Philadelphia and operate Shaking Restaurants. Seafood in both towns.

For New Years, we had a combo of snow crab legs and shrimp with sausage and hard-boiled eggs, all dipped in Shaking Sauce, which combines all the sauce offerings: Cajun, garlic butter and lemon pepper. I can’t imagine having to pick just one. We were skeptical about the eggs, but my niece insisted and we were won over after just one bite. They’re soft and creamy and soak up just the right amount of that addictive sauce. We emptied everything into a big bowl, prepared a pot of rice and swallowed. It’s a messy, finger-eating affair, though we’ve largely ignored bibs, plastic gloves and wet naps in our to-go bag.

When we ordered again recently, we treated ourselves to a lobster and shrimp combo, again with extra sausage and eggs this time, along with corn, potatoes and broccoli. The broccoli seemed like a healthy addition at the time, even though it was swimming in so much sauce it hardly looked like a vegetable – and we didn’t mind at all. Our 6 year old daughter went for the eggs immediately, but luckily she wasn’t interested in the sweet, meaty lobster.

Seafood porridge is a great celebratory meal, provided everyone loves Old Bay and doesn’t mind getting a little dirty. The restaurant does not deliver to us so we went through Grubhub which not only meant higher prices but a limited menu. One day I will try the frozen mango smoothie and the limoncello cake. But for now, I’m content to turn leftovers into a terrific shrimp po’boy lunch — another perk of our ephemeral work-from-home world.

Shaking Seafood, 19 Poplar St., Roslindale, 617-553-2751, (also 1616 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-506-8823) shakingseafood.com. (Boil bags with three types of seafood, $23-$49; fried baskets $12.95-$20.95; desserts $6.95)


Takeout from Steel & Rye.Janelle Nanos

Steel and Rye, Milton

Apparently a long, long time ago, my husband and I ventured south from Cambridge to the wild Dorchester/Milton border area to try a new restaurant we had heard of: Steel & Rye. I walked around the modernized ambulance garage, ordered the bucatini’s and have been obsessed with this place ever since.

Seven years later, Steel & Rye is now one of my neighborhood restaurants, but it still feels special, perhaps even more so now that the pandemic is entering its third year. During the warmer months, I lingered for hours on the terraces, co-owners Dan Kerrigan and Bill Scannell sprawled in the parking lot. But when the temperature drops and I feel like staying home, I just add ham to their takeout menu, knowing it will keep me going for days.

That’s partly thanks to the fact that in the spring of 2020 Kerrigan and Scannell made the brilliant decision to open a bakery and cafe inside the restaurant, which to me means any takeout order also involves a loaf of crispy lemon, rosemary and speckled garlic sourdough. And probably pizza dough too.

But I have a hard time trying to recreate what they have mastered. Their margarita pies have a perfectly charred thin crust and are spiked with garlic and a tomato sauce so mild it tastes like dessert. My kids devour it instantly, so I’m lucky if I take a bite of it.

Fortunately, the pizza serves to distract them from our adult dishes. I’m always weak in the knees for their pasta, so for me it’s the craving-worthy lobster cavatelli, covered in breadcrumbs and with lobster bits mixed in all over. My husband gives in whenever gnocchi is on the menu, so he leans on the fluffy potato dumplings that bask in bolognese and mingle with Swiss chard. The Caesar salad that we ordered to be “healthy” comes with a perfectly sunny boiled egg and sprinkled with thick parmesan shavings. Delicious, all of it.

Did I mention the chips? The thick and salty potato slices are so good we always order two bags, with the chili dip, of course. And part of the fun of getting Steel & Rye takeout is also adding something surprising for the rest of the week. Maybe it’s a six-pack of ginger molasses cookies, a bottle of Vietnamese cold brew coffee or pre-mixed Negronis, or a container of homemade lemon bucatini.

I can only hope to draw some of the same raves back home.

Steel & Rye, 95 Eliot Street, Milton. 617-690-2787, steelandrye.com. Appetizers $3.25 to $16, entrees $15 to $38.


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