The Best Elaborate Thanksgiving Feasts
As nice as a traditional home-cooked meal is on Thanksgiving, the ordeal often leaves the cook out of the festivities. An average 16-pound turkey needs about seven hours to thaw, and four more to cook, according to the USDA. To circumvent this, many people have recently turned to restaurant dining in order to fully enjoy the company of family. Most fine dining establishments offer a Thanksgiving Day menu in one form another, be it a brunch, buffet, or tasting menu, so we compiled this cornucopia of attractive proposals from around the country.
With Plymouth Rock just a stone’s throw away, Boston is the place to indulge in a feast fit for the Pilgrims. To honor the local history and many local chefs from the area, Lydia Shire is bringing back a menu that was created in 1997 for a Food & Wine magazine cover story. This special tasting menu will feature dishes originally crafted by experts like Susan Regis, Chris Schlesinger, Todd English, and more. "The day I spent with my friends creating this delicious menu is one of my favorite memories,” said Shire. “It makes me so happy to be able to bring it back to life at Scampo this Thanksgiving so that all our guests can get a taste of that special day." The Thanksgiving Day menu at Scampo will be served from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., and is available in three- and four-course options. From $52-$68, $21 for children under 12.
Over in New York City, Daniel Boulud is offering Thanksgiving meals at all of his various restaurants, highlighted of course by his flagship, Daniel. If you haven’t visited in a while, now is a great time thanks to a recent interior renovation by designer Adam D. Tihany. Dinner can be served in either the lounge or the dining room, with a couple different prix fixe menus to choose from. The kitchen begins service at noon, a perfect way to cap off the morning’s Thanksgiving Day Parade festivities. From $135-$165, $80 for children under 12.
Traveling all the way down the coast to Miami, the tropical majesty of the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove provides a warmer setting than its New England counterparts. The hotel’s flagship restaurant Bizcaya will be hosting an elaborate brunch that's likely to require some digestion poolside amidst rays and relaxation, or at the football lounge inside Amadeus Bar. The feast here includes both oven-roasted turkey and brown sugar molasses-baked ham, as well as a special stuffing made with cranberries and corn. If you like Bizcaya’s food but want to stay in, you can also order a turkey to-go! $75 for adults, $35 for children under 12. $135 for Thanksgiving dinner to-go.
Jetting towards the West Coast, Las Vegas is a welcome destination for any holiday, yet the City of Sin spares no expense in giving thanks either. The Palazzo is opening their waterfall atrium gardens for a special holiday dinner on Thanksgiving Day that will bring families together at two large picnic-style benches surrounded by a magnificent décor featuring autumn leaves and bales of hay. The Palazzo’s executive chef has crafted a traditional menu with sumptuous flairs like profiteroles and the family-style dinner includes a pair of Northern California’s finest varietals to wash it all down. The dinner comes with a champagne pre-party, too! From $100-$120, $50 for children 12 and under.
For the truest connoisseurs of fine cuisine, Napa Valley’s Michelin-starred Auberge Du Soleil is offering a special one-night four-course menu that blends the area’s rich produce with fresh ingredients. Executive chef Robert Curry’s menu is as long as his resume of restaurant leadership in the Napa region, with items like miyagi oysters and Japanese sweet potato ravioli sharing table space with the established favorites like pumpkin soup and custard. Wine choices are bound to be seemingly limitless, too, as the restaurant offers more than 40 served by the glass. $115 for adults, $50 for children under 12.
Down in California’s other hot spot of haute cuisine, the resident celebrity chefs of Los Angeles are busy preparing their Thanksgiving menus, notably Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood. The restaurant’s head chef Anthony Keene says that, “Families who eat at least one meal a day together tend to live a longer and happier life.” So when you live to be 100, you can look back and thank Gordon Ramsay at The London for all your joyful memories. Keene’s menu finds a happy medium between lavish flavor profiles and tradition, telling JustLuxe that, “Thanksgiving is time to experiment with flavors and spices and keeping an eye on tradition. For example, our turkey is 'sous vide' then roasted to make it very moist and flavorful, our Maine lobster is poached slowly in butter, and how could I forget the pumpkin pie? Well, you’ll need to taste it.” $95 per person.
Finally, there’s always the option to leave the traveling out of your Turkey Day festivities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the type of dinner you would find in a world-class restaurant. Located just beyond New York City, Bedford Post is a quaint upstate inn holding the mark of Relais & Chateaux. Their executive chef, Jeremy McMillan, is making himself available to assist with your holiday planning and preparation. Chef Jeremy and his team will come to you and the comfort of your own home with a variety of culinary offerings. Packages can be arranged to bring hors d’oeuvres, a buffet, or seated dinner from Jeremy and his staff. “We’re excited to introduce the new catering service to Bedford Post’s holiday offerings, particularly since it allows our guests to host intimate dinners and spend more time at home with their families, which is what the holidays are all about,” said McMillan. “The customizable options, which have all been curated with the best seasonal and local ingredients, take the stress out of planning a party and offer a variety of choices that suit individual tastes.” Hors d'Ouvres $75 per person, Buffet $175 per person, Seated Dinner $485 per person. — Eric Meyers