Ris – New Takeout Lunch Option in West End?

Short answer is maybe.  More like, yes, but only occasionally (given the price point).

Ris, the new venture by longtime 1789 chef Ris Lacoste, had been threatening to open for most of 2009.  When it finally opened at the end of the year, a group of us went for lunch to try it out — terrific food and nice atmosphere.  Ann, our lunch companion, seemed to fall in love with the waiter whom she insisted partake of some of the Xmas cookies she brought to share with us.

In January, our office rented out the private room for a conference interlude dinner.  Again, a huge success.

Now I learn that Ris is serving takeout.  Same menu?  More casual fare?  Same price point? I embarked on a scouting mission.

The hostess handed me a copy of the regular menu and directed me to the bar where the bartender took my order.  It would be anywhere from 10-20 minutes to prepare the food, he said and yes, they take phone orders.

I had been thinking soup, but not sure how French onion soup would travel.  At lunch in December, I had the most divine clam chowder, with a tiny pat of just melting butter on top – yum … But I digress.  I looked at the sandwiches on the menu, but the burger seemed like too much food and nothing else jumped out at me.  I settled on the chicken pot pie, then sat at the bar with my iced water and watched French soccer on TV.

Maybe 10 minutes later, a server arrived with a small plastic bag — bio bag of course.  It seemed small and awfully light, but I took it back to my office.  Two quart sized containers (eco-friendly, of course), but no utensils or napkins.  A mixed green salad lightly dressed, with a separate container of vinegarette of some sort.  I tackled the pot pie first.

It looked on the small side, but I took a bite — delicious.  Buttery, flaky crust sitting on top of a rich mixture of chunks of chicken and vegetables in a velvety sauce.  It was wonderful – and a great portion size as well.  I finished both the pot pie and salad, lamenting there wasn’t more buttery crust.  But more would have been too much.

So the food was wonderful, the service and waiting experience was very pleasant.  I’m just not sure how often I will want to spend $18 on a take out lunch – no matter how fabulous it is.  But Ris is certainly a nice improvement to the lunch options in this neighborhood.

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