Large gatherings are largely out these days, which hasn’t stopped small groups of people who practice safety protocols from breaking bread together on occasion. Takeout can be a responsible way to entertain right now. Kudos to hosts who eliminate touch points and give guests their own tray tables. As for menus, let the following restaurants serve as places to start.

Just because you’ve been grounded during the pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. Travel is easy enough to do when you order a “tour of the world to go” from Compass Rose, the little restaurant with the big heart and the best way I know to cure any wanderlust. Shrimp in a sassy “cocktail” of tomato, lemon juice, black pepper and ginger represents Mexico while China feels closer with every forkful of crisp green beans blasted with chile paste and deglazed with yuzu juice. Owner Rose Previte thinks of Argentina when she slices into the bavette set off with a bold, cumin-laced chimichurri, Argentina being home to asado and the country where the restaurateur spent her honeymoon.

The itinerary embraces seven generous courses and can be tailored for vegetarians. “I’m trying to be more conscientious about what I eat,” says chef Marcelle Afram, who introduced the meatless opportunity with the help of summer’s produce bounty. Dig her kachumber, a restorative salad and a hat tip to India. And yes, the tour includes khachapuri, the shallow Georgian bread bowl that helped put Compass Rose on food lovers’ maps. The signature is packaged in what looks like a pizza box and comes with instructions for reheating the cheesy raft at home and finishing it with an egg yolk, butter and za’atar spice. Several customers have shared videos of their success with khachapuri at home with the staff, says Afram, who does double duty as the overseer of the kitchen at the popular Maydan.

A dish called Spice Bag prompted a duel between competing forks. Crackling fried chicken, onions and potatoes tossed with five-spice has that kind of effect on diners.

The amount of food in the $80 spread for two could easily feed another two mouths. “Everyone tells us it was their meal the next day,” too, says Previte. (Any uneaten sauce from the shrimp cocktail can be drunk the next day, says Afram, as one might enjoy a bloody mary.)

The worldly restaurant hasn’t seated anyone inside during the health crisis. “Compass Rose is so tiny,” says Previte. She was happy to resurrect outdoor dining recently by placing a single table on the front patio, where takeout orders are retrieved. The table can accommodate four to six revelers at two seatings, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The assembly at the alfresco debut were people who missed traveling and spent the meal reminiscing about past trips and planning future adventures. “It was the perfect first table,” says Previte, who teared up at the sight.

1346 T St. NW. 202-506-4765. compassrosedc.com. Open for takeout and delivery 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Delivery via DoorDash. Accessibility: The single table on the patio, but not the restroom inside, is wheelchair-friendly. Call ahead for curbside pickup. Seven-course “tour of the world” serves two and costs $80.

It’s a good thing Mama Chang in Fairfax stocks its open kitchen with 15 workers. Whereas many menus read like haiku during the pandemic, this list, from chefs Lisa and Peter Chang, is as long and labor-intensive as ever. Variety is everywhere, and so are dishes that put this restaurant on a pedestal. Every visit makes me wish I had more company in tow to explore the possibilities. For now, it’s just two of us over-ordering and enjoying leftovers of sticky rice and chicken swaddled in lotus leaf, and squiggles of peppery pork and crisp bell pepper.

A group should zero in on the family-style dishes. The abundant portions include soft and glossy purple eggplant gathered in a spicy garlic sauce; steamed pork belly packed into its bowl with slices of smoked tofu and pickled mustard greens so delicious you find yourself ignoring the meat and the bean curd; and roast duck, available half or whole. The last brings see-through pancakes, julienne scallions and sweet hoisin sauce for assembling wraps. Throw in some stir-fried vegetables, too, a field of snow peas, carrots and bok choy glossed with a wash of garlic sauce. Perhaps my favorite noodle dish is chicken chow mein. Fermented black beans in the teasing mound of wiry noodles explain the “Hunan” label.

The airy, 200-seat restaurant, which separates patrons by placing potted plants on some tables, includes a private dining room where a single round table can comfortably seat 10 people, preferably diners who are family or living together and following safety protocols during the pandemic. Interested parties should be prepared to have the staff take your temperature and ask for contact information.

3251 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax. 703-268-5556. mamachangva.com. Open for takeout and inside dining 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Delivery via Uber Eats. Accessibility: Call ahead for curbside pickup. Family-style entrees $16 to $40 (for whole roast duck).

“People associate barbecue with a gathering, a communal experience,” says Marc Glosserman, the founder of Hill Country Barbecue Market, the Texas-size dining hall in Penn Quarter that in safer times could welcome up to 330 customers. “Traditionally, it’s about a large piece of meat cooked over a long period of time, then brought out for friends and family” to share. Barbecue, he adds, is neither easy nor easy to do alone, “unless you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.”

Enter Hill Country, where up to 3,000 pounds of meat can be cooked at a time in one of the restaurant’s three smokers and the side dishes could pass for family heirlooms. The most variety comes by way of the combination ’cue, an assortment of a half chicken, pound of brisket, sausage and spare ribs along with a choice of three sides. Even when I haven’t been the person picking up the order, the restaurant feels close, thanks to the scent of smoke offered up by the bagged feast and later, in the smoke-imbued gnawing. Each element has something to recommend it. I like the snap and the sly heat of the coarse red sausage, from Kreuz Market, the esteemed barbecue joint in Lockhart, Texas. The chicken benefits from a dunk in the coffee-colored house barbecue sauce after it’s removed from the smoker fueled with imported post oak wood; the sheen acquires its zest from chipotle and its fruitiness from peaches. As for the brisket, simply seasoned with black pepper, cayenne and salt, some slices unfold like an accordion when held up — the all-important jiggle factor at play. The sides I’m inclined to repeat balance out the meaty palooza. My pets are the bright and crisp “confetti” slaw; the chunky, skin-on, pickle-sharpened potato salad; and the peppery collard greens, each bite weighty with bacon. Those who like their drinks on the sweet side might appreciate the margaritas, sent out in plastic pints.

I didn’t eat inside, so didn’t try it, but the dining room comes with a nifty public sink with a foot pedal — “covid-friendly before covid,” jokes general manager Carrie Westerbrook.

Keep the restaurant in mind for tailgates (even if in just your driveway) and holidays, which Hill Country addresses with themed barbecue boxes. Glosserman says the $145 Rosh Hashanah package includes noodle kugel, mixed vegetables, a honey apple cake and 3 ½ pounds of brisket: “Probably not like mom usually makes,” he says of the centerpiece, “but it’s pretty spectacular.”

410 Seventh St. NW. 202-556-2050. hillcountry.com. Open for takeout and indoor dining noon to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Delivery via DoorDash and Uber Eats. Accessibility: Call ahead for curbside pickup; an elevator on the main floor leads to a wheelchair-friendly restroom. Combo ’cue $109 (feeds four to six).