Even under non-pandemic situations, Atlas Bistro closes during the summers, and Oppold in the past has offered an in-home dining service during the hot months for those who can't get enough of his cooking. When COVID-19 took hold and restaurants began to close en masse, he expanded his service to include pickup and home delivery. He gave the operation a name inspired by the sous vide preparation technique he uses for these meals: Simmer Down.
The Simmer Down website has heating and cooking instructions along with ideas for plating, consistent with the food-as-art philosophy those who've dined at Atlas Bistro will be familiar with.
“Just because it comes in a plastic container doesn’t mean it’s supposed to stay there,” Oppold says.
Orders can be placed via the Simmer Down website. For the family meal and a la carte options, you can either pick up at Atlas Bistro or have it delivered with a $5 fee. For in-home dining, choose from the online menu or contact the chef for a customized dining experience. The a la carte menu and family meal menus are set, but in-home dining options will change seasonally.
In fact, at the time of this interview, Oppold had just returned from doing a 40-person, in-home wine dinner in Napa for a physicians' conference. They've already asked him back.