During the start of the first lockdown, I remember writing a really long article on what businesses were pivoting to takeaway, as the hospitality industry quickly adapted to the unknown and changed landscape.
One of the big things to come out of this strange time, and which stayed around until restrictions fully eased were the cook at home boxes.
From Dishoom to Five March and Ka Poa, these boxes were the closest thing to a night in a restaurant that any of us could get to at this time.
When things went back to as normal as they could, many chefs spoke openly about looking forward to getting rid of the boxes, with chef Lorna McNee of the now Michelin Starred Cail Bruich saying: “As soon as we reopen, we go back to doing proper restaurant stuff, it (cook at home) won't be there anymore.
"My main focus is the restaurant and where I want to take it with regards to food. The takeaway thing is nice to show people that we are still there, and keep chefs busy but we will be coming back and we are developing new dishes which are really good.
"My goal is to make the restaurant better than it is now, and to just keep just pushing on.”
But some businesses have persisted, and I can see why. Whether you’ve young kids, love cooking or trying new things or can’t make it out as much, it’s nice to be able to recreate some restaurant fayre at home.
One place that has kept up the cook at home option is Eusebi Deli, in Glasgow’s west end.
During the depths of lockdown, I reviewed their regular cook at home kit, so it was nice to see what was on offer for Valentine’s day. It’s not something I usually celebrate, but it is a nice excuse to treat yourself and a loved one to a good meal, and even better if someone else has done all the prep work.
The cook at home Valentine’s menu has some of the dishes available on their specially created menu, which is also being served in the restaurant on February 14.
We went for a seafood, meat and veggie feast, with starters of heritage carrot terrine and baked scallop. The carrots in the terrine were moulded into a perfect rectangle of bright orange and sorbet yellow.
The terrine, which was very easy to assemble, came with a spectacularly sweet and sour agrodolce thick dressing and piquant caperberries - both of which offset the sweetness of the carrots.
The scallop, which just needed about 20 minutes in the oven, was served in its shell and topped with crispy potato. The sweet and succulent single scallop was almost, but not totally, lost to the creamy, nutmeg scented potato. Underneath was some spinach for freshness - all and all a rich start to the meal.
For mains it was a meat and seafood fest, with ox cheek and a prawn and crab cannelloni.
The ox cheek was a tremendous portion, and the meat fell apart just as if you’d expertly prepared it yourself, rather than just boiled it in a bag. The accompanying sauce was rich but not overpowering.
Served with the meat was a celeriac puree, which balanced against the richness of the sauce and a slab of crispy potato, which was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - with endless layers of potato slices.
The cannelloni was stuffed full of a creamy sauce with chunks of prawn, and despite some reservations, I could really taste the crab too.
The pasta was al dente and held its shape well against the robust interior. This is not your average cook in the oven pasta ready meal. It was served with a bitter but pleasing autumn salad of radicchio leaves, half moons of what seemed to be pickled red onion, slivers of carrot and pomegranate seeds.
A colourful addition to the plate that was a complex mix of flavours, and did more than just look good in pictures, as some side salads do.
Finally desserts, which were a passionfruit and coconut heart and chocolate and praline tart. Anything with praline gets my vote and this not-so-small confection was beautifully presented with a biscuit rubble on one half and a thin stick of chocolate balanced across some cream.
Rich as decadent as it sounds, it wasn’t sickly sweet though you will need to be a chocoholic to finish it. The passionfruit heart was lighter - a sponge heart, with a bright and tart passionfruit centre and encased in a bright yellow shell. I didn’t pick up much coconut which is a shame but this is still a lovely dessert for those that prefer fruity over chocolate.
Eusebi is a Glasgow institution, set up in Shettleston and trading for over 40 years. A move to the west end was planned for about seven years before the deli finally opened its doors in 2016 on Park Road.
Last year, they opened a bakery and cafe within the nearby Glasgow University. It’s back to being as busy post covid, but it’s nice to still be able to enjoy their food at home as well as in the bustling restaurant.
And with dishes this well executed but still recognisable as the comforting food they are, it’s easy to see why Eusebi continues to be held in high regard.
Euesbi Deli will have a special Valentine’s Day menu available on 14 February only for £55 per person. The Valentine’s cook at home meal is collection only on 14 February. Find out more and book on their website.
152 Park Rd, Glasgow G4 9HB
0141 648 9999