Thanksgiving in Manhattan: From Traditional to International
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-tradtional 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!