By Lina Zeldovich
You enjoy gathering the entire family together at the Thanksgiving table, but this year you are not in the mood to spend hours over a hot stove and dealing with all the clean-up aftermath. Sometimes there’s just a lot going on, and having your Thanksgiving dinner out is a viable alternative to help reduce the stress in your life. Let the best chefs of New York City do the job and prepare Thanksgiving dinner for you and your kin. The city restaurants offer a range of Thanksgiving dinner options. With a New York gourmet variety, there are enough choices to satisfy every connoisseur’s taste, from a traditional turkey feast to such special offerings as vegetarian, kosher or organic, and international flavors ranging from French to Italian to Russian.
Enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving meal ($46 prix fixe) at Brasserie, featuring roasted turkey with sweet potato, classic stuffing and giblet gravy with cranberry relish. For appetizers choose between acorn squash soup, duckling confit with wild berry mustard or wild mushrooms crêpes. For those wishing to go beyond the traditional turkey, there are also diver sea scallops with parsnip and brussels sprouts, pumpkin and forest mushrooms risotto and roasted prime rib of beef, followed by a three-tart choice for desserts: pumpkin, apple and pecan.
100 East 53rd St.; 212-751-4840
Nuevo American Thanksgiving: Aureole
To expand your traditional Thanksgiving choices a little further, try Aureole, one of the Manhattan’s most sophisticated restaurants, featuring Charlie Palmer’s progressive American cuisine. Aureole offers an impressive menu of slow roasted prime rib, Canadian hard shell lobster, crispy black sea bass with red bliss potatoes. Appetizers feature seared foie gras and yellowfin tuna tartare, and desserts offer such choices as pumpkin cheesecake and poached pear. But, if anyone in your family craves the traditional dishes, Aureole serves an organic farm-raised turkey with sausage stuffing, broccoli, cranberries and potato puree. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 1-8pm.
135 West 42nd St.; 212-319-1660
Thanksgiving on Ice: The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center
Enjoy a memorable Thanksgiving dinner at Rockefeller Center with views of the iconic skating rink from your table at The Sea Grill. The $79 prix fixe menu offers a tasty balance of surf and turf: carpaccio of black angus beef, slow-braised veal osso buco, rosemary and juniper rack of pork. Seafood selections include: olive oil poached Scottish salmon, crab salad, yellowfin tuna sashimi and a selection of oysters. The turkey comes with giblet gravy, purée of golden potatoes, herbed chestnut stuffing and cranberry-kumquat relish. When you are done with desserts, and ready to burn some calories, what could be more timely than a spin around the ice – right outside the window?
19 West 49th St. at Rockefeller Center; 212-332-7610
Lakeside Thanksgiving: The Central Park Boathouse
While it may be a bit too chilly to rent a gondola to sail on the lake after a delicious dessert, a lakeside Thanksgiving is pleasant, charming and even romantic. The view is as good as the traditional turkey and trimmings the restaurant offers. Prix fixe dinner is $65 per person (half price for kids under 12).
Central Park near Fifth Ave. and 72nd St.; 212-517-2233
Grand Central Thanksgiving: Metrazur
Enjoy your Thanksgiving at one of New York City’s most famous landmarks - Grand Central Station. Metrazur, another Nuevo American restaurant, offers Carolina free range turkey confit with dry cherries, pecan stuffing, whipped potatoes and cranberry sauce. It also offers a variety of gourmet dishes such as Berkshire pork with chestnut honey juice, roasted beef tenderloin with Yukon gold potatoes, Chatham cod and wild striped bass. Appetizers range from lobster consommé to foie gras, and desserts offer such unusual delicacies as burned maple marshmallow and Grand Marnier ice cream. Pre Fixe $65.00 per person; $29.00 per child 12 and under, served from noon to 9:00 pm.
404 Grand Central Terminal, East Balcony; 212-687-4600
Italian Thanksgiving: Beppe
Beppe’s executive chef Marc Taxiera has created a menu inspired by the Italian Thanksgivings he experienced as a child – including clams oreganato, homemade gnocchi with Mama’s Sunday sauce, and the traditional Turkey dish as well. Best of all, Beppe is offering a 50% discount on all wine served on Thanksgiving. Dinner will be served from noon until 10pm on Thanksgiving Day for $80 per person.
45 East 22nd St. between Broadway and Park Ave. South; 212-982-8422
French Thanksgiving: Bistro Les Amis
Bistro Les Amis, a charming SoHo French bistro, will be serving a $39.95 Thanksgiving pre fixe from noon to 11pm. The menu includes mixed green salad, a yummy carrot ginger soup and a stuffed turkey breast a la Forestiere – with garlic sausage and mushrooms accompanied by sweet potatoes, butternut squash and cranberry sauce with pears and cardamom. A la carte menu of cognac crusted filet mignon, steak frites and grilled lamb chops is also available.
180 Spring St.; 212-226-8645
Russian Thanksgiving: The Russian Tea Room
Whether diners seek a pumpkin pie or cheese blintzes, The Russian Tea Room Thanksgiving menu offers a tasty meal infusing the American Thanksgiving traditions with Russian delicacies. The Russian Tea Room offers the menu below at $95 per person ($50 per child) served from 11am to 9pm, offering the usual favorites such as roasted turkey breast with chestnut apple stuffing accompanied by whipped Yukon gold potatoes, plus the delicious Russian specialties, such as red borscht and chicken Kiev.
150 West 57th St.; 212-581-7100
Arts and Culture Thanksgiving: Cornelia Street Cafe
A cultural as well as culinary landmark, Cornelia Street Cafe has a daily schedule of poetry readings, book events and music performances as well as rotating art displays that feature a new artist every month. The Village Voice called it “the best of New York food,” Time Out included it into the Top Hundred NYC Restaurants. The menu’s highlight is roasted breast of turkey with cornbread stuffing, sweet potato purée, baby string beans and cranberry-orange relish. If that doesn’t excite you, there are other delicious alternatives ranging from lobster bisque and warm goat cheese and beet salad to mushroom acorn squash risotto with shaved parmesan, miso-glazed salmon and pistachio crusted rack of lamb with truffle-scented mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. But, save some space for desserts as the selection is truly decadent. Choose from traditional pumpkin pie with whipped cream, eggnog crème brûlée, warm Hudson Valley apple crisp with ice cream or grape sorbet. Pre Fixe is $60, children’s menu $25, served from 2-8 p.m.
29 Cornelia St.; 212-989-9319
Kosher Thanksgiving: Talia’s Steakhouse
Talia’s, a glatt kosher steakhouse on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is serving an affordable kosher Thanksgiving feast. Choose from six seatings during the day and enjoy a glatt kosher four-course prix-fixe menu ($59 per person, discount for kids) featuring classic turkey (white and dark meat) with all the trimmings. Tired of the bird? Try their roasted leg of veal with mashed potatoes and grazed carrots, broiled fish (salmon, tilapia, tuna, or snapper), chicken Marsala with wild mushrooms, cornish hen, angus beef, or pasta choices: rigatoni alla vodka or lasagna Napolitano. Choice of chocolate soufflé, apple tart, tiramisu or chocolate dome for dessert.
668 Amsterdam Ave.; 212-580-3770