Hot pot was strictly an indoor activity in New York City before the pandemic hit last year but just like other restaurants striving to stay in business, many restaurants serving the DIY meal figured out a way to bring their pots of broth outdoors or as part of delivery kits. Even through the dead of winter, NYC boasted an assortment of hot pot options including spicy Sichuan, lamb-centric Mongolian, and one new creative Taiwanese spin on the dish.
To facilitate the very nature of hot pot — a serve-yourself operation where meats, vegetables, noodles, and dumplings are cooked at the table — hot pot restaurants have made some serious pandemic-friendly adjustments. They’ve purchased portable gas burners that would heat up the fiery broths outdoors and carefully compartmentalized the to-go packaging for all the different raw ingredients. While indoor dining makes a return, some restaurants have abandoned their outdoor setups. It’s best to check with each individual establishment about hours and whether reservations are being taken for indoor or outdoor dining.
NYC restaurants can now offer indoor dining at 50 percent capacity along with outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the NYC Health Department’s website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.Read More