Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Where to Celebrate Thanksgiving: Dine, Stay and Watch

If you’re like many of us, you might still not know where you’re celebrating Thanksgiving.  Procrastinators can relax – there are plenty of restaurants in New York City where you can enjoy a full celebration with or without turkey. And, because it’s New York City, there are many non-traditional versions to sample as well.  So, don’t worry if you haven’t bought a turkey to cook yourself or if you missed the deadline to order from a catering house. Just watch the Thanksgiving Parade and chill; your Thanksgiving dinner awaits you at one of these wonderful restaurants.

MIFUNE New York, the progressive Japanese restaurant in Midtown East, is offering a very special Thanksgiving menu. Think turkey and sweet potatoes, of course, but with a Japanese/French spin to it.

Crafted by Head Chef Yuu Shimano (previously of Guy Savoy’s eponymous three Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris), the menu is available on Thanksgiving Day with dinner seatings at 5pm and 8pm, and is priced at $90 per person. Add a wine or sake pairing for an additional $60 per person.

The Thanksgiving menu is an exciting Japanese feast with kabocha pumpkin soup with bacon cream espuma, six varied amuse bouches, sashimi, Saikyo miso sea bass en croute with vin blanc yuzu sauce, organic turkey truffle pie with turkey foie gras gravy, turkey soboro ginger rice and Okinawa kibito caramel ice cream. I’m not sure you’ll want to eat plain turkey, stuffing and gravy ever again!  45 East 44th St.  212-986-2800. www.mifune-restaurant.com

There’s still foliage to be seen at The Pandering Pig located in Upper Manhattan in Hudson Heights, overlooking the Hudson River. So hop the B train to 181 Street and explore a new part of the city as you enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner for the heart.

Chef/Owner Nicole O’Brien will be serving a prix fixe dinner from 4-9pm with main courses such as dindon au vin (turkey braised in wine sauce) or wild pan-seared salmon with Cointreau gastrique, cranberries and toasted walnuts. Each is served with sides including garlic mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, dried apricot and herb stuffing.  Dinner starts with a velvety butternut squash soup. The three-course $56 prix fixe menu also includes coffee, tea, root beer and pumpkin pie or pecan pie for dessert.

To accompany the meal, The Pandering Pig offers an expertly curated rotating wine program as well as a single malt whiskey collection and artisanal beer list.  And, in this very private, cozy restaurant, kids eat for half price on Thanksgiving. 209 Pinehurst Avenue, 212-781-3124, https://www.thepanderingpig.com/

Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side celebrates the holiday with their annual Thanksgiving dinner. From 5:30-8pm, it’s an all-you-can-eat-and-drink dinner that mixes American favorites with traditional deli treats. The turkey and mashed potatoes are a given. But have you ever thought to add Jewish specialties like tsimmes (carrots, dried fruits and root vegetables) or latkes (potato pancakes)?

Katz’s also lets you bring the meal home if you prefer to watch a football game indoors while you eat. Their take-out menu enhances the festivities with the likes of pastrami, noodle kugel and matzoh ball soup. The traditional turkey dinner (gravy, sides, stuffing, and more) is a given. But, in my opinion, it’s probably more fun to eat at the deli and look at the photos of all the notables who have visited there over years (in addition to Meg Ryan).  205 East Houston Street, 212-254-2246, https://www.katzsdelicatessen.com

Also downtown, Harold’s is all about tradition and comfort with a prix fixe family-style dinner for $62 per person. The first course features a holiday antipasto followed by roasted turkey, Italian sausage, ham steak, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, traditional stuffing and more. For dessert, Harold’s will be serving traditional pumpkin and pecan pies as well as apple cobbler and cranberry cheesecake. You may not be staying at the Arlo SoHo hotel where Harold’s is located, but you should definitely explore its public spaces before you leave: the courtyard has been transformed to mimic an apple orchard in the city with pick-your-own apples, hay bales, corn stalks and pumpkins for sale. 2 Renwick St., 212-390-8484, https://www.arlohotels.com/arlo-soho/eat-and-drink/harolds/.

But if international is more your thing, Boqueria still has reservations available for their Spanish-influenced Thanksgiving feast. For $70 per person, the Barcelona-inspired tapas bar will serve Thanksgiving dinner family-style in true Catalonian fashion, offering Iberian twists on the classics like turkey with mushroom stuffing and olive oil mashed potatoes as well as traditional Spanish favorites like pan con tomate (grilled Stirato bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil), fideua negra (squid ink noodle pasta, shrimp, Manila clams, garlic aioli), and Turrón (almond and hazelnut cake, honey, dulce de leche ice cream, chantilly). Book now at the three Boqueria locations, 171 Spring Street, 646.760.3867; 1460 2nd Avenue , 646.845.9726; 260 West 40th St, 646.233.4078, https://boqueriarestaurant.com

Feeling decadent? You don’t have to go to a restaurant or stay at home to enjoy the holiday. Instead, a staycation at The Plaza brings with it reserved-seat viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Between November 21 and November 23, celebrate a quintessential New York Thanksgiving with two iconic institutions when you book the Carnegie Suite at this storied hotel. You won’t be “home alone” for long!

You’ll begin your day of decadence with breakfast in the Palm Court (or in your room, if you prefer) before joining the throngs with a Plaza thermos and blanket to keep you nice and warm (it’s supposed to be very very cold this year). You won’t have to worry about standing up among thousands of people watching the floats; The Plaza has two confirmed seats at the Central Park South bleachers for you. 768 5th Ave, 212-759-3000, http://www.Fairmont.com/ThePlaza

Dinner after the parade?  Well, you’re on your own for that. But first, take a holiday-inspired stroll from The Plaza down Fifth Avenue to look at the Christmas windows at Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue and to check out the skaters at Rockefeller Plaza (the tree’s not up until Wednesday, November 28 so plan to return for the tree lighting and live performances from 7-9pm). https://www.rockefellercenter.com/whats-happening/2018/11/28/2018-rockefeller-center-christmas-tree).

Happy Turkey Day!

Celebrate Christmas in NYC with the Holiday Train Show, Department Store Windows and Santa Claus

It’s almost Christmas in New York City — well, not really. But Christmas festivities and sales start earlier and earlier each year and decorations are popping up all over the city.

Here are three don’t-miss activities to consider:

Credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

This year, you’ll have to do a bit more planning if your children hope to sit on Santa Claus’s lap.  Macy’s wants to make the process more efficient and handle the huge number of people lining up to visit Saint Nick. Santa makes his appearance at “the world’s largest department store” from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, but you’ll need to reserve online to get a spot. Starting just before Thanksgiving, you can book a spot at Macy’s Santa Land at Macy’s Herald Square, 8th floor, at https://www.macys.com/social/santa-land/. No walk-ins are allowed, so don’t delay. Spots will go quickly, particularly after the ads sure to come during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday. 151 West 34th Street, Manhattan.

Holiday windows are starting to appear all over the city. Now is the perfect time to visit before the mad Christmas rush.  Particularly appealing, Bergdorf Goodman’s “To New York with Love” windows showcase some of New York City’s most iconic places this year, including the New York Botanical Gardens, the Museum of the Moving Image, the New York Historical Society Museum & Library, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Philharmonic. www.bergdorfgoodman.com, 754 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Look for others at Saks Fifth Avenue (“Once upon a Holiday”), Barney’s New York (“Hass for the Holidays”), Bloomingdale’s (“The Greatest Showman”), Lord  & Taylor (“The Best and the Brightest”), and Macy’s Herald Square (“The Perfect Gift Brings People Together”).

The 16th annual Holiday Train Show at Grand Central Terminal is brought to you by the New York Transit Museum.  A favorite among children of all ages (and their parents), the show includes movement, lights, sound and color and gets increasingly crowded as shoppers throng the major transit hub closer to Christmas. In the exhibit, model trains travel through tunnels, from subway stop to subway stop, and around skyscrapers as they meander through New York City locations. The show is free and runs from 6am-8pm, through February 4, 2018. 89 East 42nd Street, Manhattan. http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/event/holiday-train-show/

Really Last-Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Reservations Still Available

If you’re like me, you often forget to book a reservation until the last-minute, or suddenly guests appear and you need more space so dining out works better. For all who find themselves in situations like these, here are a dozen great choices in New York City still offering Thanksgiving meals, with choices reflecting the wonderful ethnic diversity of our city.  Happy Turkey Day!

The East Pole on the Upper East Side offers a full American-inflected Thanksgiving menu. For just $85 per person, you’ll enjoy a three-course meal along with sides for the table and an optional four-course wine pairing for $45. Starters include options like Wild Mushroom & Ricotta Crostino with Truffle Oil & Herbs; or Black Barley Risotto, Autumn Squash and Goat Cheese Sage.  Entrees include Heritage Turkey Breast, Roasted Chestnut Ragu and Butternut Squash, or Seared Diver Scallops with Carrot Ginger Mash and Fig Salsa.  Dessert are traditional Pumpkin Pie as well as Goat Cheese Cake. http://theeastpole.brinkleyspubs.com/

Moving East, Tikka Indian Grill in Kew Gardens (Queens) and Williamsburg (Brooklyn) is serving an Indian-inspired version of traditional American fare with a prix fixe, three-course menu for $16.95.  The meal begins with a plate of savory street food. The main course features Tandoori-grilled Breast of Turkey, infused by Indian spices together with sautéed pumpkin and zucchini, and garlic cilantro rice. For a sweet finish, dessert is a traditional Saffron Zarda, a rice dish infused with sweet spices.  BYOB. http://www.tikkaindiangrill.com/

Michelin-starred Rebelle takes you to Paris with a menu referencing classic French dishes and techniques with a nod to Chef Eddy’s time at Spring in Paris. The $78 per person prix fixe menu includes a choice of Kale, Apple and Walnut Salad or Roasted Squash with pears and brown butter for appetizers; Roast Beef, Pan-seared Halibut or Roasted Turkey as a main; and a section of appropriate side dishes such as Foie with fat, Stuffing; Traditional Stuffing; Green Bean Casserole; Sweet Potato Brûlée, Brussels Sprouts with lardons, or roasted mushroom. Served family style, desserts include traditional Thanksgiving favorites, apple, pecan pie or pumpkin pie.  http://rebellenyc.com/

At beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant and wine bar Vinateria, owner Yvette Leeper Bueno and Executive Chef Joshua Bedford will bring a  three-course menu featuring dishes like Roasted Baby Pumpkins stuffed with lamb sausage and farro; Grilled Sardines with lemon and olive bagna cauda, Whole Grilled Dorade with bitter greens; Roasted Leg Of Lamb with saffron cous cous and port reduction; Roast Pennsylvania Duck with toasted chickpeas, red watercress and warm spices; Warm Fig Tartlet; and Lemoncello Tiramisu. www.vinaterianyc.com

We’ll toast with Margaritas this Thanksgiving at the Thanksgiving Fiesta at Rosa Mexicano. It’s a three-course Thanksgiving Fiesta  for $40/person, featuring Sope de Calabaza: pumpkin soup garnished with pomegranate and toasted pepitas; a choice of two entrees: Chile ancho-roasted turkey with choice of mole xico or traditional gravy served with four sides, including Cranberry Salsa, Sweet Plaintain-Huitlacoche Stuffing, Mexican Chorizo Potatoes and Fall Roasted Vegetables, or Enchiladas de Pavo with pulled roasted turkey, topped with mestiza crema and orange-spiced crispy Brussels sprouts; and Empanadas de Manzana for dessert, filled with apples and cranberries and topped with vanilla ice cream. Guests can imbibe a special Thanksgiving cocktail: Blood Orange Cranberry Margarita with housemade cranberry bitters.  www.rosamexicano.com

This Thanksgiving, Michelin-starred chef Eduard Frauneder is serving an Austrian-inspired Thanksgiving feast at the Village’s Edi & the Wolf for $63 that includes. Choose Blue Hubbard Squash Ravioli, Salad with Boursin and acorn squash, or Potato Leek Soup to start. Your entree will be either a traditional Roasted Turkey with stuffing or Braised Short Rib with pommes puree, chanterelles and garlic brown butter. For the table, you’ll enjoy maple whipped sweet potato and roasted Brussels sprouts. Desserts are the restaurant’s wonderful apple strudel or a traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. http://www.ediandthewolf.com

Remember New York City’s Oystering Prowess with a special Thanksgiving and Oyster dinner at Maison Premiere the James Beard Award-winning oyster house and cocktail den of Williamsburg has Chef Lisa Giffen, who has worked under such esteemed chefs at Daniel Boulud and Alain Ducasse, at the helm. This Thanksgiving, Maison Premiere offers a three-course prix fixe turkey dinner for $75/person A selection of fresh-from-the-sea oysters will be available à la carte, a wonderful starter to Butternut Squash Veloute with truffle whipped cream and balsamic; or Foie Torchon with fig compote and pistachio appetizers. The mains offer a seafood choice, Turkey Breast with a less-traditional turkey leg roulade with liver and Mirliton stuffing, or Housemade Pasta with chicken liver, Treviso and Fresno chilies. Desserts are both French and American in spirit, with a choice of Pumpkin Pecan Tart or Rhum Cannelles. www.maisonpremiere.com

Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner in Manhattan

Have you procrastinated about Thanksgiving dinner?  If you’d prefer a “Friendsgiving” or just another way to avoid the family stress that usually surrounds this November family get-together, there are many ways to re-locate your dinner to a more neutral and possibly more delightful location.

Here are some of my favorite restaurants in New York City that are offering fantastic turkey dinners:

The Dutch

Andrew Carmellini’s popular SoHo restaurant is offering a prix fixe dinner for $95 per person ($50 for kids 12 and under).  Served family-style, the main course selection includes a typical spread of Thanksgiving treats. Roasted turkey with chestnuts and oyster mushrooms; mashed potatoes and gravy; Brussels sprouts with bacon, horseradish, and pickled mustard seeds; spoon-bread stuffing with andouille sausage and green peppers; spaghetti squash; and cranberry-orange sauce will make sure you don’t miss mom’s cooking. A choice of appetizers ranges from oysters to salads, steak tartare, soup, and pasta.  Nostalgic about keeping tradition?  Have the apple pie or pecan pie for dessert.  Or venture into more exotic turf with a pumpkin donut or devil’s food cake. Tax and gratuity, not included. 212-677-6200, 131 Sullivan Street, Manhattan. www.thedutchnyc.com .

Rotisserie Georgette

While you may be tired of turkey, this is the place to have it as Georgette Farkas’s rotisserie preparations are the standouts.  It’s also truffle season, so many of the dishes have optional truffle supplements. The three-course menu is prix fixe at $84 per person (kids are $40 per person) and includes a choice of chestnut soup, pate, or two salads to start; your entrée (roasted turkey with all the fixins, chicken for two with black truffle stuffing and black truffle pureed potatoes for a $45 per person supplement, prime rib, branzino, or farro for the vegetarians).  Desserts are variations on the traditional like a pumpkin mousseline torte with gingersnap crust, or a non-traditional chocolate pot de crème.  Sides like sweet potatoes with spiced marshmallow crumb crust, or turkey sausage with black truffle stuffing are extra as are tax and gratuity. 212-390-8060, 14 East 60th Street, Manhattan. www.rotisserieg.com

The Polo Bar

Thanksgiving might be the time to score a reservation at this not-quite-a-club, impossible-to-get-into restaurant.  The hotspot from Ralph Lauren is strong on Lauren’s holiday favorites including butternut squash soup, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing with pork sauce.  Drinks are included, from a Champagne toast to cider, with nuts and olives on the side. Dress your equestrian best and enjoy the setting.  It’s yours on Thanksgiving for $150 per person, tax and gratuity extra. 212-207-8562, 1 East 55th Street, Manhattan. www.polobarralphlauren.com.

Kefi

How about a Greek Thanksgiving?  Two prix fixe offerings from $35 to $95 include appetizer, entrée and dessert.  To maintain the Thanksgiving spirit, Michael Psilakis starts you with something turkey, here a turkey abgolemono soup that’s a riff on Greek egg lemon soup. Follow that with roasted turkey, done pretty traditionally with mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables and gravy, and finished with a choice of two traditional Greek desserts, walnut cake with walnut ice cream, or yogurt with nuts and fruit.  212-873-0200, 505 Columbus Ave, Manhattan. Taxes, gratuity extra. www.kefirestaurant.com

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

If an Italian celebration is more to your liking, Il Buco’s sibling restaurant offers a cozy setting for Thanksgiving dinner. Sit at one of the rustic communal tables and enjoy a multi-course dinner for $85 per person.  A selection of salumi or cheeses is served family-style to start.  Also served family-style are the sides — sweet potatoes , kale and quinoa, and buckwheat stuffing with figs and sage — and desserts, chocolate tarte, roasted pears with rosemary caramel, and persimmon soufflé cake. You pick your own starter – black bass crudo, vegetable soup, or chestnut angolotti – and your own main, baccala in a spicy tomato ragout with clams, rotisserie-roasted heritage pork, or Hudson Valley turkey with caramelized endive and apple. Tax and gratuity are additional. 212-837-2622, 53 Great Jones Street, Manhattan, www.ibucovineria.com.

Want to See the World’s Largest Gingerbread Village? It Opens November 13 in Queens

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, although it feels like the Fourth of July. Did we skip Thanksgiving? It’s so confusing, but at least we have the time to start our holiday shopping (Christmas, Black Friday) without wearing a winter coat or heavy boots.  And you can also get your holiday inspiration going by visiting the New York Hall of Science starting November 13 to see what might just be the world’s largest gingerbread village. Again.

Jon Lovitch, master chef and creator of GingerBread Lane, has achieved the Guinness World Record for the past two years for building the largest continuous gingerbread village in the world. While others have contended that theirs might be larger, GingerBread Lane has been the winner hands down, meeting all criteria: only edible ingredients, handmade craft, and contiguous structures.

Last year’s village was laid out in a circle, allowing a complete circumlocution around the village. This year’s version promises to be even more creative, covering 500  square with more than 1050 houses, a double-decker carousel (like the historic one on the Coney Island boardwalk), and the S.C. Kringle & Co. Department Store reminiscent of New York City’s own long-departed Gimbels of the 1900s.  Also new will be a candy factory you can see inside of as you climb the stairs to view the exhibit.

The exhibit runs from November 13-January 10, 2016.  On the last day at 1pm, all gingerbread houses are given away free.  The line starts early, sort of like getting into a Rolling Stones concert.  Kids unable to visit due to illness or other personal situations can contact info@gingerbread-lane.org to have a house shipped to them. www.gingerbread-lane.org.

New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 47-01 111th Street, Queens; www.nysci.org.

A Thanksgiving Escape to Rhode Island: Ocean House

Thanksgiving in New England has a nice ring to it, especially when your New York City hotel or apartment seems a bit cramped when the family convenes. One of our favorite places to visit is the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, an easy drive or train ride from the Big Apple. The “new” Ocean House, a 2010 reconstruction of the 1868 original, conveys the sense of a beach resort of a different era, but with decidedly 21st-century appointments and finish.

The Ocean House

Image: oceanhouseri.com

The Ocean House, a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux resort group, sits on a bluff surrounded by mansions of this tony Rhode Island community. A true grand dame resort, the Ocean House caters to guests of all ages. Afternoon hot chocolate and cookies are a favorite among the littlest visitors, while grownups can fill their days with morning Tai Chi and beach walks as well as hours at the resort’s spa, gym, or indoor saltwater swimming pool. Accommodations are family-friendly with oversized suites or guest rooms. Colorful art from the owner’s personal collection adorns the public spaces and guest rooms.

For Thanksgiving Day, November 28, dining takes center stage at the Ocean House, drawing on the resort’s focus on farm-to-table cuisine and New England tradition.

Considerably different from the first spartan Thanksgiving shared by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in Plimoth, Massachusetts in 1621, two bountiful Thanksgiving Day meals invite you to enjoy your turkey “by the sea” with Ocean House panache.

Thanksgiving Buffet

Image: oceanhouseevents.com

If buffets are your thing, the all-day brunch in the Ocean House Seaside Ballroom is a dazzler.  You could easily make a meal from the copious raw bar with clams, oysters, and jumbo shrimp. But you’ll need to pace yourself as you move through the selection of salads, short ribs stew, pasta, fish, pork, seasonal vegetables and more because you know what awaits at the finish line: carving stations offering roasted turkey, glazed ham and corn bread, and a pastry selection of pies, tarts and miniature crumbles. The buffet is priced at $70 per adult; and $35 per child age 4-12. Children under 4 eat free. Taxes and gratuities are extra. Noon – 5pm.  http://www.oceanhouseevents.com/index.php/events/detail/854

The second option is to request a window table at the more formal five-course lunch and dinner in the oceanview Seasons restaurant.  Seatings begin at 11:30am and end at 6:30pm. Adults and children each have their own menus with traditional turkey dinners and other dishes to complement. The prix fixe meals are $90 for each adult and child aged 10 and older.  Children under 10 order a la carte from the kids’ menu.

Weekend getaway packages are available.  For dining reservations or accommodations, visit http://www.oceanhouseri.com/contact-us/.

Ocean House, 1 Bluff Ave, Westerly, RI 02891; 401- 584-7000 or 888-552-7000 (reservations),  http://www.oceanhouseri.com

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