Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

3 Road Trips for Your Thanksgiving Celebration – The Berkshires, Hudson River Valley and Philadelphia

Cross the Border into Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts is just a short drive from New York. Hop on the Taconic Parkway and enjoy a winding, scenic drive to the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. You might even be tempted to book one of the historic inns in the regions and relax after your Thanksgiving indulgences.

It’s a time to be grateful, to say thanks, and give yourself a break by leaving the cooking to someone else. Here’s where to get your turkey fix at some of the Berkshires’ wonderful restaurants. Or, if you prefer, where you can get your dinner pre-prepared for takeout.

Book a room at a cozy inn like the Red Lion Inn, the Devonfield, or the Chambery so you can have a truly relaxing holiday.

The Red Lion Inn

Red Lion Inn

When I think of a traditional New England Thanksgiving in the Berkshires, The Red Lion Inn immediately comes to mind. The historic Stockbridge hotel is decked out for the holidays and it’s perfect for a family Thanksgiving get-together. The prix fixe menu is available continuously starting with lunch through dinner. Classic New England fare includes starters of butternut squash bisque, New England clam chowder, lobster Newburg or shrimp cocktail with the main feature being roast native turkey with cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, autumn vegetables, cranberry sauce, and sage gravy. If you really don’t want turkey, and it’s sort of a sin if you don’t order it, you do have other choices like slow-roasted prime rib with potatoes and veggies, cedar-roasted Faroe Islands salmon or a vegetarian grilled cauliflower steak. Trimmings adhere to New England tradition, however, with maple-glazed turnips, rainbow chard and rosemary popovers. You can probably guess what the desserts would be… but, if not, choose between apple pie or pumpkin pie a la mode. A children’s menu is also available.

Café Boulud at Blantyre

Café Boulud at Blantyre

If you feel like celebrating and getting out of the house, I suggest you book early for a table at Café Boulud at Blantyre with Michelin-starred Chef Boulud at the helm. Enjoy an American dinner with French panache in one of the Berkshire’s finest restaurants. The three-course menu is a luxe affair reflecting the best of the season. You’ll start with pumpkin soup, endive salad, Scottish sea trout gravlax or duck pâté, each served with a wide range of seasonal accompaniments. The main course continues the feast with a traditional Berkshire turkey with apple and chestnut stuffing, orange-cranberry relish and shallot-rosemary gravy. Non-turkey mains feature a vegetarian-pleasing mushroom and sage risotto, sautéed Nova Scotia halibut or filet mignon. Sides are New England traditional with sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans and pureed potatoes, although the dessert finish feels a bit more international. There’s a traditional pumpkin pie, of course, but you could order instead apple tarte tatin, pecan crème or a decadent molten chocolate cake. Takeout is available too.

Bounti-Fare Restaurant

Bounti-Fare Restaurant

A favorite in the Northern Berkshires on the Adams/North Adams line, Bounti-Fare Restaurant offers you indoor or outdoor patio dining, or takeout for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The choices are just like your home-cooked meal would be, without the stress. You’ll start with butternut bisque or cream of tomato soup, with a bread basket. Then, the star of the meal is the restaurant’s sliced roast turkey breast with herb corn bread stuffing, a Massachusetts favorite, accompanied by pan giblet gravy and cranberry relish. If you’d prefer something other than turkey, you can choose roast sirloin or baked stuffed haddock. Vegetarians can opt for the roasted vegetable risotto. Sides are bountiful with smashed bliss potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole or bourbon-glazed baby carrots as options. And, true to New England tradition, dessert is pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie or pumpkin pie.

Guido’s Marketplace

Guido’s Marketplace

Guido’s Marketplace knows that you really don’t feel like cooking this year, so they’ve made it super easy for you to have a relaxing, traditional dinner. They’ve created what I think is the best Thanksgiving concept ever, something they call Guido’s Kitchen Completes. Here’s the deal – order, pay and pick up in their Pittsfield store. There’s no cooking involved and no need to dress up to go to a restaurant. Even easier, you simply heat up everything in the container that it comes in. What you get: roasted turkey breast, simple herbed stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, homestyle biscuits, holiday cranberry sauce, carrots and butternut squash. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a pumpkin or apple pie. Personally, I’d pay extra and get both. This is the perfect Thanksgiving dinner in my book.

Mazzeo’s Ristorante

Mazzeo’s Ristorante in Pittsfield has also put together a complete feast for you to take home and heat up. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, you’ll have time to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and root for your favorite football team. The package is called Turkey to Go. And it’s traditional all the way with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, glazed baby carrots, Brussels sprouts, home-made gravy, cranberry relish, rolls, and pumpkin or apple pie. Everything is home-made but you can take credit for it when you lay it out on your table at home.

New York’s Hudson River Valley

There’s no need to do the cooking on Thanksgiving. With inventive Thanksgiving dinner options like these, the glorious Hudson River Valley showcases the bountiful farms of the area. Book early and considering adding a stay in one of the area’s b and bs or historic inns like The Maker or Tiger House for a mini-vacation.

Terrapin Restaurant & Catering

Terrapin Restaurant & Catering

Terrapin Restaurant & Catering serves up local, organic cuisine in a former church turned restaurant in Rhinebeck. While the restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, you can count on Chef Josh Kroner to help add to your dinner spread. You make the turkey and then order from Terrapin’s extensive range of side dishes. Think golden nugget squash soup, vegetable terrine and cheddar mac & cheese, for example. You can add vegetarian stuffing and dessert faves pumpkin pie or apple tarts. The menu is staggering.

Great Performances

Great Performances

For more to-go deliciousness, culinary ambassador Georgette Farkas has teamed up with Great Performances to create an at-home Thanksgiving dinner that you’ll long remember. Farkas addresses the common Thanksgiving dilemma of assuring that both white and dark meat aficionados are satisfied by presenting carved breast meat and thigh stuffed and braised with herbs and spices with every serving of the main attraction turkey, along with umami-rich gravy and cranberry-citrus zest compote. The feast takes advantage of the bounty of local farms with sides showcasing produce from the company’s organic Katchkie Farm in dishes such as Yukon gold potato puree and orange roasted carrots. You can enhance your meal with starters like smoked trout spread and desserts including a Thanksgiving-appropriate bourbon pecan pie or pumpkin chiffon pie. Vegetarians are not forgotten – the vegan gluten-free delicata squash stuffed with butternut and chickpea risotto is pure Heaven. Pick-up is from the company’s Hudson Valley Farm in Kinderhook.

Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club

Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club

Michael Bruno’s, Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club, in Sloatsburg in the Lower Hudson Valley is offering outdoor dining for the holiday in a warm festive environment. For those not yet ready to dine indoors, the property’s outdoor restaurant, The Cantina, is where you’ll be seated under a roof with heaters to keep you toasty. You won’t need to worry about the weather as you enjoy a selection of traditional dishes highlighted by regional favorites. Start with a choice of garlicky roasted beet dip with hazelnuts or baked brie with wildflower honey and figs, and then move on to the turkey adorned with savory gravy. If you aren’t feeling the turkey vibe, you can choose mushroom lasagna or rosemary-braised leg of lamb. Sides are served family-style including delicata squash, sweet potato puree, charred Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and cornbread. Your most difficult decision will be whether to order the apple pie, pumpkin pie, maple bourbon pecan pie, or chocolate pot de crème for dessert.

The Maker

The Maker

Located in one of my favorite go-to escapes from Manhattan, Hudson, The Maker invites those with a Bohemian sensibility to enjoy the world of makers for Thanksgiving. Founders of global beauty line Fresh, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg invite you to the hotel, which features an exciting menu for Thanksgiving from Chef Michael Poiarkoff, a talented “maker.” For Thanksgiving, the café at The Maker offers a prix fixe Thanksgiving menu that veers from the norm with Thanksgiving usuals plus atypical dishes like Chef Michael’s roasted pumpkin pie with Vietnamese cinnamon or pecan pie with Catskill maple syrup and sea salt.

Bia

Bia

How about a little bit of the Emerald Isle with your American Thanksgiving? The Irish are very closely linked with the United States, especially with the city of Boston, so it makes sense for this Irish fare restaurant to offer a Thanksgiving feast. With a happy smattering of Irish whimsy, a takeaway Thanksgiving turkey is offered at Rhinebeck’s Bia along with other all-natural birds with an Irish-American selection of sides. Unusual to say the least, you can order Amazing Turkey and Irish whiskey gravy and truffled chicken liver mousse, for example, to accompany. I love the way they bill their delicious pies, Gooey Bourbon pumpkin pecan pie (perfect for those who can never decide between pumpkin or pecan) and the Incredible, Classic apple pie. Everything is par-cooked, so you just need to heat up and enjoy. Because it’s Irish, you know that you’ll be able to order a wide range of cocktails, beer and wine to go with your dinner. Sláinte.

Travel South to The City of Brotherly Love

There will be serious gratitude and thanks giving in Philadelphia this year. The City of Brotherly Love wants you to celebrate in style with delicious options that will get you out of kitchen and let you spend more time with your family. Here are some of the places to get your turkey fix either at a restaurant or at home. Book a room now at The Sofitel Philadelphia or The Bellevue for a bit of history and panache.

a.kitchen

a.kitchen

Chef Eli Collins will prepare his signature seasonal dishes for dine-in and takeout from this Rittenhouse Square bistro favorite. The prix fixe restaurant meal exemplifies Thanksgiving tradition with all the trimmings. Think turkey, country bread stuffing, cranberry relish, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato mash. Non-turkey lovers can choose striped bass or dry-aged steak instead, and a vegetarian option is also available. Desserts don’t deviate from tradition either at a.kitchen with crowd-pleasing apple pie, pumpkin squash pie and chocolate cake on the menu. A takeout package made up of choices from this menu gives you an add-on with a heat-up brined half or whole turkey if you feel you must do a little bit of cooking for your family on the holiday. A.kitchen’s sommelier can arrange a wine pairing in the restaurant or bottles of Domaine Paul Durdily Beaujolais Nouveau for your home dinner.

Fork

Fork

Old City’s Fork will be open for indoor and outdoor dining on Thanksgiving. Pre-payment is required for the prix fixe dinner from Chef Ellen Yin’s classic American restaurant. Indoor and outdoor seating are available. Your Turkey Day meal includes three courses with all the holiday fixins. Diners can choose a salad or carrot ginger soup, followed by a traditional turkey dinner with cranberry chutney and gravy. Can’t stand turkey? You can order trout or short ribs instead.

Family-style sides, served for the table, include roasted apples and Brussels sprouts, herb stuffing, Parker House rolls, mashed potatoes and wild rice stuffed squash. Desserts mix traditional apple pie or squash pie with new-fangled salted honey custard pie or dark chocolate budino.

High Street Philly

High Street Philly

High Street Philly lets you create your own home feast inclusive of their popular artisanal bread selection. Currently open only for takeout and delivery, Eli Kulp’s edgy American café and bakery has put together a customizable box of Thanksgiving dishes for at-home dining. The “Everything but the Bird” box starts with traditional Thanksgiving sides like sage brown-butter stuffing, Brussels sprouts and Japanese turnip salad with cider vinaigrette, roast honeynut squash, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry chutney. You’ll decide what else to add such as the half or whole ready-to-bake or pre-roasted turkey, pies (salted honey, apple, kabocha squash) and signature bread service.

The Olde Bar

The Olde Bar

Philadelphia superstar chef Jose Garces has you covered for at-home dining with a Thanksgiving dinner from his casual Olde Bar in the landmark Old Original Bookbinder’s. The Olde Bar’s take-home dinner is a prix fixe feast with turkey breast and gravy, butter lettuce salad, rosemary Parker House rolls, cranberry-orange relish, challah bread stuffing, salt-roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Desserts are the piece de resistance with a choice of fabulous pies including pumpkin butternut squash, bourbon pecan or caramel apple with smoked cinnamon whipped cream. The feast will guarantee you leftovers for the next day!

Walnut Street Café

Walnut Street Café

Popular Walnut Street Café in West Philly’s University City neighborhood invites Thanksgiving indulgence with both eat-in and take-out options. At the restaurant, an a la carte menu has options to please all ages and taste palates. There’s also a children’s menu. You can select from the likes of baked Brie, shrimp cocktail and sweet potato gnocchi to start, with steak frites, turkey, black bass and a vegetarian acorn squash for the main course. Stuffing muffins, sage brown-butter rolls and mashed potatoes and gravy highlight the café’s Thanksgiving trimmings. For dessert, classic apple pie a la mode and pumpkin pie will be available in addition to seasonal apple cider sorbet and fig coffee cake. The café has also put together a takeout selection should you decide to eat at home. You’ll be tempted to say that you cooked it yourself with the delicious whole-roasted Amish turkey, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potato mash and mac ‘n cheese. It’s pretty wonderful. For dessert, go traditional with apple or pumpkin pie.

And, if you don’t need the turkey…..

Hawthorne Beer Café and Brunchery

Hawthorne Beer Café and Brunchery

If you’re planning to cook your own feast but don’t have the energy or the knack for making dessert, Hawthorne Beer Café and Brunchery will provide the sweet finish with their first-ever holiday pies. Specials for Thanksgiving include Dutch apple crumb pie, streusel pumpkin pie, gluten-free almond apple pound cake loaf and crumb coffee cake loaf.

Road Trip: The Hamptons

Those in the know understand the draw of the East End of Long Island. The Hamptons, sitting on the South Fork of the island, are a group of hamlets, villages and towns lying along the Atlantic Ocean. The area is a perpetual playground for the rich and famous, and for city dwellers who appreciate a beach escape in a rural setting within a short drive of New York City.

The holidays are a special time in the Hamptons. Picture-perfect towns are dressed up in their holiday finest, with homes and trees adorned with shimmering lights. Beaches take on a different cast, with the icy-blue sky and ocean making a vivid contrast to the white sand and dunes. And art galleries and museums put on events to excite even the most casual viewer.

Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

The Hamptons are especially conscious of the safety and health of its visitors. Masks are required in restaurants, shops and during tours and are requested to be worn in all public places. Be sure to check changing requirements and schedules when making reservations.

Dining In The Hamptons

The pandemic has extended the variety of Hamptons restaurants staying open through the fall and winter season. Many have created both indoor and outdoor dining experiences as well as additional takeout options where seasonal menus are enhanced with local beer and wines.

Main Street Tavern, Amagansett

Main Street Tavern Photo By: Ronan Lev

Newly opened, Amagansett’s all-American Main Street Tavern has an expansive beer garden, indoor sports bar and small-town hominess. Menu ingredients are locally sourced and find their way into small bites and comfort food faves like steak sandwiches, lobster rolls and chicken parm. Plan to watch your gridiron giants do combat while munching on Main Street’s superb chicken wings and sipping a classic cocktail or glass of wine from a list smartly curated by Parcelle, the well-known boutique wine shop.

Elaia Estiatorio, Bridgehampton

Elaia Estiatorio

The authentically Greek Elaia Estiatorio restaurant offers dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and an extensive Greek wine list. The restaurant’s quintet of dips (smoked eggplant, cod roe, Greek yogurt, whipped feta and pureed fava beans) is a perfect way to start any cold-weather meal. For simple perfection, the lightly dressed horiatiki (Greek salad) and whole grilled fish will transport you to warmer climes in an instant. Elaia is also offering a take-out Thanksgiving feast, mixing traditional American turkey and ham with Greek favorites.

Baron’s Cove, Sag Harbor

Baron’s Cove

The harborview restaurant at Baron’s Cove resort offers a “Chef’s Table” culinary series with holiday-themed dinners for Thanksgiving weekend, Winter Harvest, Christmas weekend and New Year’s Eve weekend. Part of an all-inclusive three-day hotel package, each meal features what is seasonally best from local farms and purveyors, with personal attention from Chef Nick Vogel. Guests will enjoy accommodations in the resort’s variety of nautically themed rooms, some allowing dogs.

Kissaki, Water Mill

Kissaki Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

A favorite among New York City foodies, Kissaki is all about elegant sushi and distinctive sake. The décor matches the quality of the cuisine with clean lines, stylish Japanese minimalism and creative expression. The unusual futomaki (fat rolled sushi), beautifully presented omakase sets, and creative nigiri taken to a new level with chef’s choice of toppings are crowd pleasers. Non-seafood choices are available, and Kissaki’s menu of chiffon cakes is a welcome and unusual surprise. Socially aware seating includes indoor podlike areas and a chic open-air patio.

Bistro Eté, Water Mill

Bistro Eté

A year-round go-to for Hamptonites, Bistro Eté goes all out for the holidays with seasonally inflected dishes and home made desserts. Chef Arie Pavlou prides himself not only on his French culinary prowess but also on his facility to create dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. His smoked pork chop is a sculptural feat, topped with a pumpkin cup filled with greens. Seasonal pumpkin flavors also appear in homemade ice cream. Cocktails similarly reflect the season – try the truffle martini if it’s available.

Calissa, Water Mill

Calissa Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

Dining at Calissa is like a quick trip to the Greek isles. Whitewashed and airy, the restaurant offers a menu of all-time Greek menu hits. An expansive garden area is beautifully lit and invites lingering. Gracious service and a perpetual “on vacation” feel set the tone throughout. To keep your spirits light, there’s live music on Thursday evenings. For the holidays, Calissa is taking pre-orders for family-style takeout dinners as well. Create a new holiday tradition with their luscious souvlaki platter, tender cubes of pork with a rosemary confit glaze.

Highway, East Hampton

Highway

Re-opening in time for the holidays, Highway invites a limited number of diners to enjoy their menu of New American favorites made with ingredients from nearby farms and purveyors. The popular East Hampton restaurant serves hearty, seasonally inspired dishes including miso-glazed salmon and spit-roasted chicken with sourdough stuffing, perfect for cold-weather dining. For a sweet finish, the Milk Pail apple crumble is truly drool-worthy. Takeout is available for those unable to secure an indoor reservation, but, don’t worry – cocktails in adorable Highway mini-bottles are included on the to-go menu.

Bamboo, Southampton

Bamboo

Hidden behind Jobs Lane’s many shops, Bamboo satisfies with affordable Asian fusion cuisine, prepared by chefs trained at top sushiyas like Nobu and Blue Ribbon Sushi. Newly opened this summer, the restaurant offers a choice of sakes and an extensive menu of sushi and sashimi complemented by popular dishes like Bang Bang chicken, Mongolian beef and chicken lemongrass dumplings. Indoor seating as well as an expansive covered patio are available year-round.

T Bar, Southampton

T Bar

Popular Manhattan steakhouse transplant T Bar is a sleek yet cozy choice for Black Angus Porterhouse steak, Long Island duck, seafood and delicious desserts. Lighter fare includes a raw bar menu and crispy sushi, salmon burgers, chopped salads and yellowfin tuna tartare. The wine list is extensive as is the choice of craft cocktails. The restaurant’s beautiful terrace and garden add pure romance for warmer evening dining.

Union Steak and Sushi, Southampton

Union Steak and Sushi

Perfect for those who can never make up their mind, the new Union Steak and Sushi offers an elegant setting for steaks and inventive sushi creations. Local ingredients feature on the menu including duck egg rolls with Long Island duck confit. A must-order, the Union Roll is an unexpectedly harmonious combination of lobster and avocado, topped with marinated skirt steak, eel sauce and yuzu mayo. Evenings are enhanced with live piano accompaniment and an extensive cocktail and wine list. For a lighter meal, sibling Union Burger Bar shares the building and offers additional seating on an enclosed deck.

Things To Do
Tastings

Sagaponack Farm Distillery Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

In addition to wine tastings at Wölffer Estate Vineyard and Duck Walk, a new distillery featuring ingredients from down the road, Sagaponack Farm Distillery, offers tastings indoors and outdoors of their truly artisanal spirits. Be sure to try the unusual rhubarb liqueur as well as their aquavit and potato, wheat and cucumber vodkas.

Shopping

Shopping is more than a casual pastime in the style-obsessed Hamptons. Held on the first Friday of every month, First Fridays bring the community out to enjoy shopping, entertainment, dining and more. Small Business Saturday®, sponsored by American Express, takes place two days after Thanksgiving and invites visitors to explore the boutiques and one-of-a-kind shops that pepper the towns of the South Fork.

And do plan to visit the Artisan Market at the Southampton Chamber of Commerce for handcrafted works from locals.

Arts, Tours and Walks

One of the Participating Destinations - White Fences Inn

28th Annual Hamptons B&B, Inn, Restaurant & Attraction Holiday Tour

For two days on December 5 and 6, a privileged few are invited to enter beyond the decorated doors of some of the most popular destinations in The Hamptons. Upon registration, guests will select their preferred location. All tours are guided and limited in number. Tickets are required and can be purchased online.

The Parrish Art Museum

The Parrish Art Museum

Beautifully decorated and lit during the holidays, The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill offers socially distanced galleries with exhibits by local artists and works about local subjects. Of note this season, Lucien Smith’s large-scale Southampton Suite reflects his distinctive paint spraying technique with oeuvres inspired by his new home in Montauk. Pre-purchase a timed entry allowing a ninety-minute visit.

LongHouse Reserve

LongHouse Reserve

LongHouse Reserve invites you on a personal exploration of the 16-acre reserve and sculpture garden in East Hampton where notable pieces by Yoko Ono, Buckminster Fuller and Willem de Kooning are on view no matter the season. Fall and winter schedule and time slots vary so be sure to check the website where you can purchase timed tickets

Southampton Arts Center (SAC)

The Collectors Sale

A benefit for the SAC, The Collectors Sale presents art pieces donated by more than 180 artists. You’re invited to view the collection and purchase online. A select number of works will be displayed in the back gallery of the Southampton Arts Center (SAC) to help you with your decisions.

For the little ones, SAC offers Zoom Bedtimes Stories, read by the authors themselves. Advance registration is required:

November 29 – Mr. Moon & Paint Your World with author/illustrator Michael Parasekevas

December 20 – Enzo and the Christmas Tree Hunt with author Garth Stein

Hiking

The Hamptons has a range of hiking opportunities including an unusual walk along the dunes, cranberry bogs and beach in Napeague. Appropriately named Walking Dunes, the hike changes frequently as the dunes themselves are in constant motion.

South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO)

South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) - Nature Walk

SOFO’s nature walks encourage visitors of all ages to work off their holiday indulgences with a program of guided tours. Social distancing is required and masks and gloves are provided. Be sure to register in advance as spaces are limited.

Day After Thanksgiving “Walk It Off Walk” – Friday, November 27 – tour the Long Pond Greenbelt on a moderately fast-paced hike.

Annual Thanksgiving Celebration and YES! Walk – Saturday, November 28 – all ages are invited to tour Vineyard Field, right behind SOFO, with SOFO environmental educators. The YES! Young Environmentalist Society has their own walk for ages 10-16.

Full Frost Moon Hike – Monday, November 30 – join a leisurely one-hour hike in Vineyard Field to soak up some conversation and moonlight.

For additional hiking information, visit:

East Hampton Trails Preservation Society

Walking Dunes Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

Southampton Trails Preservation Society

Shelter Island trails

Shadmoor State Park

Where To Stay In The Hamptons
The Baker House 1650, East Hampton

Baker House

The elegant Baker House embraces the winter season with ‘Intimate Moments at Baker,’ a focus on togetherness and family. A striking bed and breakfast with architecture inspired by 17th-century Cotswolds, the Baker House was originally built in 1648 and has a storied history. Serving first as a residence for a sea captain, it later became a tavern, a meeting hall and a site for religious services before its transformation into a lodging establishment in 1996. Baker House provides a mix of refinement and comfort with indulgent amenities including an onsite spa. Popular during the colder months, Baker House’s fire pit is a go-to for guests to enjoy hot beverages while wearing inn-provided pashminas.

Baker House Guest Room

Southampton Inn, Southampton

Southampton Inn

Bring the whole gang to the Southampton Inn for a Thanksgiving mini-holiday with a special overnight package and a four-course turkey dinner at Claude’s Restaurant. But you’ll probably want to stay longer than one night at the family-friendly Inn which offers the personal attention of a bed and breakfast with the services of a hotel. The 90 guest rooms each have a slightly different décor. The inn’s restaurant is popular for its signature weekend brunch which features locally sourced ingredients. Bikes and helmets are available for guest use.

Southampton Inn Guest Room

The Ram’s Head Inn, Shelter Island

The Ram’s Head Inn

If you’re longing for an island getaway but don’t want to worry about changing quarantine requirements, the Ram’s Head Inn is the right place for you. Take your vehicle on the ferry, or hop the inn’s complimentary shuttle and go car-less. Shelter Island’s 17-room waterfront inn is distinguished by its relaxed yet luxurious accommodations and polished service. This season, the Ram’s Head has added four heated outdoor dining igloos and a heated cocktail igloo, available for two-hour bookings.

Ram’s Head Inn Guest Room

New American cuisine is featured with brunch on Sunday. A children’s menu is offered with early dining hours to accommodate families. Live music in the lounge on Friday and Sunday adds a festive touch.

Enjoy the Bounty of the Hamptons This Thanksgiving

Don’t feel like cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year? We completely understand. We’re exhausted, confused, stressed, but we’re still hungry. Take a drive to the Hamptons, instead, and check out these fabulous restaurants offering a feast that takes advantage of the rich bounty of the area. And indulge with a celebratory meal before or after Turkey Day as well.

Calissa

Calissa Photo By: Meryl Pearlstein

For a change of pace, Calissa invites diners  to create a Greek-inspired Thanksgiving meal at home with their prix fixe menu.  Mezze options include pantzarosalata beet dip, tomato salad and savory fall pies. Mains include roasted sliced turkey with Mediterranean herbs, slow-roasted pork shank with gigantes beans and thyme, and beef keftedes with Aleppo pepper and feta. Accompaniments add even more of a Greek flavor with gigantes beans and briam with roasted vegetables, feta and tomato. Indulge in Calissa’s dessert options like Melomakarona Greek holiday cookies with spices and honey.

T Bar

T Bar

T Bar Southampton’s outdoor space is nothing short of fantastic and that’s where I suggest you book your holiday feast this year. If you prefer, there’s also indoor dining but the outdoor heat lamps make it cozier than you might imagine.

The prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner offers a mix of the restaurant’s favorite dishes and ones created specially for Turkey Day. Start your meal with butternut squash soup and  grilled tiger prawns, or indulge in the restaurant’s signature yellowfin tuna tartare. For your entrée, you have a choice of Amish roasted turkey with Brussels sprouts, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.. If turkey isn’t your thing, there’s also salmon with zucchini and mushroom risotto, or filet mignon with mashed potatoes and haricots verts. Desserts are a specialty here with a choice of pumpkin pie, warm apple crisp, chocolate mousse or the beautiful banana parfait mille feuilles.

North Fork Table and Inn

North Fork Table and Inn

Thanksgiving to-go at North Fork Table and Inn shows off what Chef John Fraser is famous for, his veggie-forward expertise with a seasonal sensibility. The a la carte menu takes full advantage of the area’s farms plus the maritime location. You can create a selection of appetizers with stuffed mushrooms, broiled clams and smoked salmon mousse, a perfect prelude to the main event, a whole roasted turkey. Adorn the bird with smoked sourdough stuffing, classic giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Veggie options include roasted Brussels sprouts, sherry-flamed mushrooms, spiced kabocha squash, and green bean almondine. For dessert, local farms have supplied the ingredients, which feature in  the caramelized apple or pumpkin crostatas.

A separate beverage menu offers many at-home Thanksgiving choices. Local RGNY, Macari Vineyards, Channing Daughters and One Woman wines are offered along with Old Country choices. You’re encouraged to have some fun with finish-at-home cocktails like the chai cranberry punch bowl, ginger appletini or Wild Turkey old fashioned. For a bit of whimsy, the sommelier has created a blind wine tasting kit, too, with instructions for how to taste, what clues to look for, and guided maps.

Bistro Ete

Bistro Ete

Chef Arie Pavlou has put together an at-home feast that’s traditional with just an inkling of his Mediterranean orientation. The prix fixe meal gives you bacon-wrapped turkey breast medallions, rice stuffing with chestnuts and sage, and chestnut-sage gravy. Add mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and brandy-glazed Brussels sprouts as sides, options like pumpkin-butternut squash-apple cider soup, and Chef’s homemade ice creams and you’ll have a dinner that will hopefully give you some leftovers for the next day.

Highway

Highway

If you’re tired of Thanksgiving and want to spruce up your meal repertoire before and after with non-turkey dinners, Highway has you covered. But, don’t worry. If Thanksgiving is all you can think about right now, Highway will send a private chef to your home to put it all together for you. Your menu can be customized and will, of  course, include Highway’s homemade pies and ice cream. The chef will even bring a bottled “Turkey Crossing” cocktail.

But the real holiday attractions from Highway are the restaurant’s night before and night after dinners, giving you an option that doesn’t have anything to do with turkey. The “Classic Highway Night Before Thanksgiving” takeout  meal offers roasted chicken, eggplant parmigiana, salad and apple crumble. But I’d go for the “Post Thanksgiving Asian Night” feast, personally. You can order Peking duck, miso-glazed salmon or Thai chicken stir fry, all worthy alternatives to turkey. Complement it with  crab and papaya salad, Asian slaw, baby bok choy and you’ll have a break from all that stuffing and cranberry sauce. Enjoy the “Night After” either in the restaurant or at home.

Seven Places for Thanksgiving Dinner in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Thanksgiving this year will be celebrated in unusual ways. Our gatherings won’t be as large. We will be separated from extended family, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be virtual. But we can still enjoy a delicious holiday either at our homes or in some of New York City’s recently re-opened restaurants.

Here are seven ideas to ensure a festive and satisfying celebration.

MANHATTAN

Cote

You might not think of a Korean steakhouse as a go-to for Thanksgiving Day, But Simon Kim’s feast will make you reconsider. Including turkey in the form of turkey mandoo (dumplings), the prix fixe menu is purely Cote combining four cuts of steak (hanger, 45-day ribeye, flatiron, and galbi) with a variety of Korean accompaniments. Instead of the usual mashed or sweet potatoes, you’ll enjoy kimchi jjigae, egg soufflé, japchae (noodles), rice, kimchi, scallion salad and spicy housemade ssamjang). For dessert, no worries. You’ll have pie and ice cream as you should on Thanksgiving. Festive cocktails will be served as well. Reservations are required.

Cote

If you prefer to dine at home, Cote offers meal kits for six, with a choice of roast prime rib and sides or a more Korean take with Niman galbi jjim, Chef David Shim’s USDA prime short rib cooked overnight with sweet soy sauce, shiitake mushrooms, daikon, carrots, gingko nuts and chestnuts. Pick up and local delivery are available for the day before Thanksgiving at this Flatiron star.

The Standard Grill

The Standard Grill

The Standard Grill invites you to dine indoors or outdoors to observe a truly American Thanksgiving dinner, enhanced with the restaurant’s seasonal favorites. You’ll love the roasted traditional turkey with gravy, fall veggies and cranberry sauce. Non-meat eaters have of-the-season choices like Maine lobster salad with celery remoulade and wild apple, or baked salmon with creamy morels and sorrel sauce. Dessert sticks to holiday favorites pecan and pumpkin pies. Reservations are required, and the outdoor area is heated. You can walk off your dinner with a stroll along the adjacent High Line.

Wayan

Wayan

If you’re set on staying home, why not invite the family over for a Thanksgiving out of the ordinary. Cedric and Ochi Vongerichten’s Wayan offers a take-out, family-style dinner with a menu of Indonesian-inspired classics. Turkey is featured, done up in a roasted Indonesian style. Sides include Brussels sprouts with morning glory terasi, perkedel stuffing, mashed potatoes (yes, they’re really there!), roasted delicata squash, spiced cranberry acar sauce and long pepper gravy. The feast serves eight to six. Cocktails and whole pies for dessert can be ordered as well. Plan to return to SoHo for Wayan’s exciting non-turkey dishes.

The Polo Bar

The Polo Bar

It’s no surprise Ralph Lauren’s The Polo Bar stays true to tradition for Thanksgiving. After all, this is Ralph Lauren, the embodiment of Americana in dress as well as food. The restaurant will prepare classics done Polo Bar-style including Green Circle Farms free-range turkey, Calvados gravy, maple-sherry glazed baby Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing, popovers with maple butter, pumpkin cheesecake or Charleston bourbon pecan pie. Side dishes can be added to the family-style meal along with wine or cocktails. Add a Polo Bar touch with menu favorites including shrimp cocktail, Ralph’s corned beef bites, kale and autumn root vegetable salad, pigs in a blanket, honeynut squash soup, pumpkin cheesecake, classic cheesecake, old-fashioned five-layer chocolate cake and coconut cake. You can order a six-person or a 12-person feast. Pick up will be arranged for either Wednesday or Thanksgiving morning.

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

For a luxe Thanksgiving at home, Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park’s “To Go” spread revolves around an organic, free-range turkey that will make you feel like a culinary superstar. Cooking instructions from Chef Daniel Humm are provided. Sides are pre-prepared so you don’t have to do all the work yourself, and you’ll get an array of EMP hits plus vegetable dishes, traditional accoutrements, brioche rolls and pie for dessert. If you’re feeling particularly spicy and celebratory, you can add caviar and truffles to your order. Cocktails and wines complete the indulgence. You can order a feast for four-six people or eight-ten. Pick up is either Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. And here’s a nice Thanksgiving benefit: for every meal kit purchased, EMP donates ten meals to New Yorkers in need in partnership with Rethink Food.

BROOKLYN

JAMES

JAMES

Prospect Heights’ James has created a gorgeous holiday box of farm-driven delights for delivery or pick-up. Founder Deborah James is all about family and neighborhood, and her feast encourages good feelings with a menu of celery root soup, roasted Brussels sprouts dusted with honey and chili, whipped Yukon potatoes, bitter greens, roasted baby beets, heirloom roasted potatoes, focaccia stuffing with sausage, chestnuts and crispy sage. Taking center stage is a Sullivan Country young turkey topped with handmade salts and butters. Desserts include spiced pumpkin cake, fallen chocolate cake and roasted apple crisp. Pick-up can be scheduled for Wednesday or Thanksgiving afternoon.

Le Crocodile

Le Crocodile Private Dining

Williamsburg brasserie Le Crocodile takes advantage of its Wythe Hotel location, offering Thanksgiving dining indoors in its heated outdoor garden or in its new private dining option, Le Crocodile Upstairs, in converted hotel rooms. The prix fixe menu begins with winter squash soup with black truffle and Waldorf salad. The classic Thanksgiving feast continues family-style starring heritage turkey, carved to order, with cranberry sauce, sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes, honey and maple glazed carrots and green bean casserole. For a dessert finish, there’s a choice of ice creams, pear frangipane tart, and pumpkin pie with brandy cream. Reservations are required.

Thinking about Bringing the Kids to New York City for the Holidays: Here’s What You Should Know

With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s looming, there are more than enough great reasons to bring the family to New York City. Beyond seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, shopping for dolls at American Girl Place, or donning ice skates to twirl around the rink at Rockefeller Center, there are many things to do that will let you explore beyond crowded Midtown.

The Rockettes

New York City is a real toy box of activities for families. It’s a showplace of the world’s best: a fabulous introduction to great eats, culture and diversity and, without a doubt, fun! So get out, explore, and experience the magic of the Big Apple.

Where to Stay with Kids

Many NYC hotels are family-friendly, offering free cribs on request, high chairs, strollers and other baby-related gear. Younger ones are often free so be sure to inquire. Teens and tweens get perks, too. Specials vary by season and by week. Check out the hotel’s website for the best prices.

Gansevoort Hotel

The Gansevoort Hotel (18 Ninth Ave; 212-206-6700) in the trendy Meatpacking District will hold special appeal for older kids. The area is super-cool with interesting boutiques and the newly reopened Pastis, a perfect place to sit and watch the city’s beautiful people. The hotel itself offers all the requisite baby supplies (including cribs, diapers and bath supplies) and older kids get Sony PSPs and Nintendo Wiis to use during their stay.

The Mandarin Oriental Lobby

With a bird’s-eye view of Central Park and Columbus Circle, The Mandarin Oriental (80 Columbus Circle; 212-805-8800), welcomes kids with an age-appropriate gift and keeps them busy with children’s DVDs, crayons and coloring books. It’s also well situated at the Time Warner Center with its many shops, restaurants, and wonderful holiday decorations. And you’re close to Central Park for an easy stroll to the Christmas Market or even a carriage ride inside the park.

Eventi Hotel Livingroom

Eventi, a Kimpton Hotel (851 Sixth Ave; 212-64-4567) caters to the junior set with the Tween Trap, complimentary rentals of a range of gadgets including Instagram printers, iPad Minis, PlayStation Vita, Beats Pill Portable Bluetooth speakers, Beat by Dre headphones and night-vision goggles. It’s also a dream location if you’re heading to an event at Madison Square Garden.

The Giraffe Hotel Lobby

In the quieter Flatiron neighborhood, the boutique Giraffe Hotel (365 Park Avenue South; 212-685-7700) entertains kids with its selfie-inspiring giraffe sculpture on the roof, kids’ menus and large rooms. To make sure you soak up some of the city’s outdoor pleasures, Madison Square Park is a few minutes’ walk away with an expansive playground, dog run, and the original Shake Shack.

Where to Eat with Kids

Food is a key part of any trip to the Big Apple. Where else can you try dishes from so many countries?  Skip the fast-food or fast-casual chains that you can find anywhere and visit the one-offs that make NYC so special.

Totonno’s

Coal-oven pizza was invented here, and Brooklyn offers some of the best. Try Totonno’s (1524 Neptune Ave, Brooklyn; 718-372-0606) in Coney Island after a walk along the boardwalk. Totonno’s knows just a little bit about pizza – it was founded in 1924. Or if you’re spending the day shopping or touring Little Italy, opt for a tomato pie or a clam pie at Manhattan’s oldest pizzeria, Lombardi’s (32 Spring Street, Manhattan; 212-941-7994) dating from 1905.

Jin Fong

Chinese dim sum is also a kid-pleaser. Did you know that NYC has three Chinatowns? In Flushing, Queens, join the crowd at Joe’s Shanghai (136-21 37th Ave, Flushing; 718-539-3838) for their rich soup dumplings, or in Manhattan go piece-by-piece at Jin Fong (20 Elizabeth St, 212-964-5256), where servers wheel a parade of dumpling carts to your table (hint: get there early to avoid the long lines). For the more adventurous, head to Brooklyn for a veritable Chinese feast of small plates at East Harbor Seafood Palace (714 65th St., Brooklyn, 718-765-0098).

Blue Smoke Photo: Melissa Hom

BBQ lets the kids eat with their fingers. Blue Smoke (116 East 27th St; 212-447-7733) is a great introduction with specially designed children’s portions and meals. If you’re in the middle of Times Square, Virgil’s is your go-to for kid-friendly BBQ with special menus and BBQ tastes from all around the country.  (152 West 44th Street, Manhattan, 212-921-9494). And while you’re in the area, be sure to visit the TKTS booth at West 47th Street for the chance to score discount tickets to family-friendly shows like Frozen, Aladdin, Harry Potter and Wicked

Serendipity 3

For dessert, a touristy “must” is Serendipity 3 (225 East 60th St, 212-838-3531), famous for its frozen hot chocolate, made with more than 30 kinds of cocoa. The concept makes no intuitive sense but it works, and it’s delicious. 16 Handles, a self-service frozen yogurt emporium, is a favorite among families, too, with creative toppings like mochi, Fruity Pebbles cereal, and fresh fruit.  There are numerous locations around the city.

What to Do with Kids

Staten Island Ferry

It’s a good idea to get an overview of the city to get your bearings, and you can do it for “free” by water. Splurge on a taxi downtown to the famous Staten Island Ferry. It costs nothing to grab a seat and see the skyline of New York and the Statue of Liberty, all from the warm, comfortable interior of this legendary vessel. Once you reach Staten Island, just grab the next ferry back to Manhattan.

Central Park Sculpture - Alice in Wonderland

You can create a full-day educational and fun scavenger hunt for the family at the city’s central gathering place, Central Park. Even if it’s cold outside, you’ll see throngs of local kids climbing over the park’s beloved sculptures of Alice in Wonderland, the Three Bears, and Balto, so join them! Then wander through the various playgrounds to the Central Park Zoo and Children’s Zoo (fee required), buy a ticket for a performance at the adorable Marionette Theater at the Swedish Cottage, or take the kids to watch the sailboat races at the pond.

American Museum of Natural History Origami Tree

From the park’s Western edge, it’s a short walk to the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th St; 212-769-5100). What child doesn’t like dinosaurs? But there’s much more to keep the little and big ones engaged. The wildlife dioramas are classic, a fascinating mix of educational and creepy, and the Hall of Gems is always a thrill. If it’s butterfly season, wear a brightly colored t-shirt to attract them to your shoulders. Be sure to venture downstairs to see the intricate holiday tree made of origami.

New York Hall of Science Art of the Brick; Dino. By: Nathan Sawaya

Head to the boroughs outside Manhattan for some more child-friendly attractions: the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th Street, Corona; 718-699-0005) in Queens and the Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, 718-367-1010) are musts for curious kids.

New York Transit Museum Photo: Marc A Hermann

At the New York Transit Museum (Boerum Place and Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn Heights; 718-694-1600), set in an historic 1936 Brooklyn subway station, kids can explore all manner of urban transportation from buses to subways and trolleys.

For some park time while in Brooklyn, the ever-expanding Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO is a mecca for families and has terrific views of Manhattan plus a historic merry-go-round. On the other side of the river, at the tip of Manhattan, the futuristic Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park is a crowd-pleaser for all ages.

How to Get around with Children

The city is designed for walking. Most of the streets in Manhattan are laid out in a grid, so you can find your way around pretty easily. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a warm coat, gloves and a hat – you’ll be all set.

The outer boroughs are connected by far-reaching subway lines that run all day long. If you get lost, that’s half the fun. Don’t be shy about asking a New Yorker for help; rumors to the contrary, people in New York City are super helpful and love showing off their city.

If the kids are getting tired, there are lots of taxis and ride services (Uber, Lyft, Via) to bring you back to your hotel. Download the Arro, Uber, Lyft and Via apps to your phone for easy summoning.

If you’re traveling with kids, suitcases and, perhaps, a guidebook in hand, get in the queue at the airport for a yellow taxi. From JFK, there’s a flat fee of $52 to New York City plus tolls. Surcharges apply depending on the time of day. A taxi from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) will cost upwards from $35 or $55, respectively, plus tolls and surcharges depending on your final destination. A new Lyft partnership from LaGuardia has reduced the fee somewhat.  Ubers and other ride shares also service the airports.

Something Special

High Line

It helps to see the city from higher up, especially if you’re a little one. The wondrous High Line, a walking park built in an abandoned elevated train track, traces a route along the city’s Hudson River, with plantings, food carts and art. If you’re cold, you can stop off by the new Hudson River Yards and refresh at the kiosks and counters at Mercado Little Spain or duck into the shopping mall.  For another vista, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for an astonishing view of downtown Manhattan. And then walk back – you’ll get an entirely different impression of the city.

Cool Mess

Are your children budding chefs? At Cool Mess (137 East 62nd St; 212-355-9834) on the Upper East Side, you can don aprons and make your own ice cream.

Take Walks Backstage Tour

There’s nowhere better than Manhattan to give your kids an introduction to theater, TV and the movies. Are they wannabe actors? Take the kids backstage with Take Walks at the New Amsterdam Theater, home to Disney productions such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins. Here they can try on costumes and play with the actual props from some of these shows.

Older kids will love the Central Park TV and Movies Sites walking tour. They’ll recognize the Literary Walk from Glee, The Smurfs and Trainwreck; the Boathouse from Home Alone 2; the Plaza Hotel from Home Alone and the Bethesda Fountain from Stuart Little. And there are lots of photo ops to make their friends jealous.

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/

Planning a trip to NYC?