With the summer passing by just as quickly as an afternoon storm, fall is here, and with it, comes pumpkin spice lattes, sweater weather and the High Holidays. While all of that feels familiar, this year’s holidays feel different with the weight of the pandemic disrupting plans to celebrate with loved ones.

Gefilte fish at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Even if we can’t be together to wish each other a sweet new year, there are still many ways to celebrate the sweetness of Rosh Hashanah in the safety of our own homes. We could all do without the additional stress and worry of frantically trying to find a brisket or struggling with braiding a six-strand challah for Rosh Hashanah. Instead, consider supporting a local restaurant and ordering a carryout holiday meal guaranteed to leave you stuffed and stress-free this holiday season.

For a kosher feast, Char Bar offers Rosh Hashanah catering for all of the great holiday classics. Enjoy a dinner package that includes brisket or chicken, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, kugel and a round challah. You can also order individual items from the menu, like chicken schnitzel, challah stuffing and roasted vegetable souffle, to put together your dream holiday dinner. Orders need to be placed online by Tuesday, September 15 for delivery or pickup on September 17 or 18.

Israeli restaurant Sababa is celebrating the holiday with a feast full of Middle Eastern flavor. The pre-fixe menu for $45 a person includes roasted beet salatim, fresh hummus, fire-roasted carrots glazed with turkish coffee tahina, beef brisket and a sweet challah studded with dates, honey and cinnamon. Call to place an order.

Tatte Bakery & Café’s honey apple cake

Neighborhood Provisions gives you a choose-your-own adventure menu, with Chef Jarrad Silver from Birch & Barley developing a selection of favorites like matzah ball soup, potato latkes, pomegranate-braised chickpeas, harissa-roasted carrots, smoked beef brisket, babka bread pudding, rugelach and more. They currently deliver to DC, Arlington, Alexandria and Montgomery County and also offer pick-up options at some of their restaurants.

Place an order online with “Jew-ish” deli Call Your Mother (and don’t forget to call your own mother!) by September 16 for their Rosh Hashanah dinner. You can get a family meal for four with brisket, pastrami fried rice, salsas, cucumber salad and a round braided challah or place individual orders for each separate item. Don’t forget to add on an apple cake covered in a rich cream cheese frosting.

Several of the Lettuce Entertain You restaurants in the DC area are offering Rosh Hashanah meal specials for dine-in and carryout. Pick up some wild Alaskan halibut and chopped liver from Joe’s Seafood, go for the classic braised brisket and challah at Mon Ami Gabi or treat yourself to the slow-braised beef short ribs and bake apple crumble at Summer House Santa Monica, or get a party platter of braised brisket and carrot tzimmes from Wildfire for larger groups.

You’ll want to put out your nicest dishes for the Rosh Hashanah feast from Equinox. Priced at $55 per person, start off the year with fall flavors like red curried pumpkin soup with riesling-poached local apples, falafel crusted Viking village swordfish with cider-glazed brussels sprouts (there’s also a vegetarian option) and apple-quince cake with halvah caramel. Place your order online.

Everyone needs something sweet to end the night with, and kosher Sunflower Bakery is selling all the holiday classics. Place an order by September 14 for one of their honey cakes, honey cookies, decorative sugar cookies, cupcakes, tarts and pies and of course round challah. They also have holiday cookie and cupcake platters if you’re celebrating safely with a larger group.

Sunflower Bakery’s cookie tray

Tatte Bakery & Café, a Boston transplant newly open in the West End, is also offering round challah, honey cakes and apple pie. Place orders online or by phone by September 15 for pickup between September 17 and 20.

As Mekhilta Yitro says, “All beginnings are hard,” so make Rosh Hashanah 2020 as easy as can be by ordering a comforting meal of takeout from one of your favorite restaurants. Now, more than ever, these local businesses need the support of their community members to keep them alive. Give yourself a break from the kitchen and let a professional do the cooking this year. Who knows, you might even find yourself with a new Rosh Hashanah tradition!

Char Bar and Sunflower Bakery are kosher certified. The other restaurants mentioned are not.

Top photo: Mon Ami Gabi’s Rosh Hashanah spread