Last-Minute Turkey

The elegant dining room at The Harrison in New York City
The elegant dining room at The Harrison in New York City

by Meryl Pearlstein

Do you know how long it takes to safely defrost a twenty-pound turkey? Don’t try to stuff it in your microwave. Instead, make a reservation at one of our top Thanksgiving restaurants near you. And don’t forget to pick up one of our recommended Thanksgiving wines.
For our friends in New York, we offer a top 10 Thanksgiving restaurant list and more of the best places to chow down tomorrow. Here are even more details of some of our picks. Enjoy your holiday. We hope you have lots to be thankful for.

Wall & Water: At the new Andaz Wall Street hotel, Chef Maximo Lopez May prepares a farm-to-table Thanksgiving culinary adventure between 1pm and 7pm. The menu will be offered for $65 per person or $32 for children 5-12. Start with “The Larder” (raw bar) with handpicked Fishers Island oysters, smoked salmon and trout, poached shrimp, red and white anchovy salad, and Hudson Valley cheese and charcuteries. Next, move to “The Family Table” where you will create your own salad before heading to “The Kitchen,” where you will be presented with oven roasted turkey, grilled swordfish, braised veal leg, vegetable soup, roasted root vegetables, creamy parmesan grits, mashed new potatoes, and steamed green vegetables. Finish your meal at “The Chef’s Table” with home style apple pie, berry crumble, chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, or make your own sundae.

Brasserie: For a true NYC experience, head to the Seagram building where you will find Brasserie, an icon in the NYC restaurant scene since 1959, notable for both its cuisine and its striking design. Feast over Chef Luc Dimnet’s elegant menu with influences from his native region, Alsace. The three-course menu is $46 per person. Appetizers include acorn squash soup, petite onion soup gratinée, butternut lettuce salad, duckling confit, and wild mushroom crepes. Entrées include roasted turkey, Scottish salmon, divers sea scallops, pumpkin and forest mushrooms risotto, and roasted prime rib of beef. End with a pumpkin tart, apple tart, or pecan tart.

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon: For an elegant and grand Thanksgiving celebration, the Four Seasons Hotel is where Chef Xavier Boyer, personally trained under Joël Robuchon, steals the show. The Thanksgiving menu will be offered for $155 per person and a wine pairing can be added for an additional $85 per person. The menu includes La Chattaigne (chestnut velouté, smoked cream with celeriac and cardamom), Le Saint Jacques (scallop cooked a la plancha with truffle jus and butter-braised leek julienne), La Volaille (blue foot chicken ballottine stuffed with foie gras, sautéed mushrooms, and truffle), Le Chevreuil (venison medallion, poached pear in red wine, and sweet and sour sauce), Le Potimarron (pumpkin mousse with crunch pecan nuts and cinnamon ice cream), and Le Café Express (espresso coffee served with nougat).

BLT Market: BLT Prime‘s sister prides itself on its farm-raised and locally grown ingredients. The restaurant may be housed in The Ritz-Carlton, but don’t be surprised when you see an old plow near the entrance or water being served in milk bottles. The $95 prix-fixe menu includes a choice of three starters (celery root, chestnut, and apple soup; wild mushroom risotto/mushroom cappuccino; and aged goat cheese beignet and duck confit salad); three entrées (roasted turkey with chestnut-sausage stuffing, cranberry-grenadine sauce, rosemary gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts; dry aged roasted prime rib with confit garlic jus and caramelized onion and bacon popover; and bacon wrapped wild salmon); and four desserts (chocolate feuilletine rocky road; McIntosh apple cake; caramelized Meyer lemon crepe soufflé; and hazelnut pumpkin pie).

The Harrison: Chef Jimmy Bradley creates an inventive Thanksgiving menu at his TriBeCa hotspot. The $75 prix-fixe menu includes a wide variety of choices highlighting the fall season. Appetizer choices include celery root soup, braised pork belly, acorn squash salad, potato ravioli, avocado salad, char-grilled octopus, and sunflower salad. Sample entrée selections are roasted free range turkey, double cut pork chop, grilled New York trout, Creekstone NY strip steak, sautéed skate wing, and butter roasted sweet potato. Add on any of the tasty sides: haricots verts (green beans), shallots and shiitakes, “smashed” sweet potatoes, truffled orzo, roasted Brussels sprouts, or Yukon gold potato purée.

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