Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Thanksgiving But Were Too Stressed Out to Ask
Have guests but not the game plan? Whether you want to cook a lot, a little, or not at all, we’ve gathered all the resources you’re likely to need. In these pages, you’ll find recipes from top restaurants, caterers who cover every detail, and even places where they’ll do the nasty turkey prep work for you (do you really want to know where giblets come from?). Thanksgiving is almost here. Aren’t you thankful you have options?
THE CATERING SOLUTION
A Moveable Feast
Why sweat over a score (or more) of dishes on Thanksgiving Day? Do what any sensible person would do—have it catered! The following are Westchester’s best sources for an effortless, fully catered Thanksgiving dinner—and what they have to offer.
Two Good Cooks
251 Main St., Mount Kisco
(914) 666-229; www.twogoodcooks.com
These particular good cooks, Debra Altschuler and Judy Neidert, use local produce in their delicious, fully catered Thanksgiving dinners.
Nibbles: Santa Fe corn fritters with chili-lime salsa and Maine Jonah crab cakes with lemon rémoulade. Turkey: All birds are free-range Bell and Evans turkeys, and come either pre-roasted or oven-ready. Oven-ready birds are more popular: they come pre-seasoned, trussed, and placed in a disposable baking pan; it’s an effortless option that makes your house smell like a holiday. (Plus, re-heated pre-roasted birds can become dry.) Turkey breast is also available for smaller groups and white-meat lovers. Sides and Stuff: Two Good Cooks features locally raised produce from Lawrence Farms Orchards in Newburgh, New York. This year’s highlights include butternut-squash soup; sage stuffing with Michigan dried cherries; wild-mushroom stuffing; turkey gravy; honey-glazed autumn vegetables; acorn-squash purée; sweet potatoes with maple-orange glaze; and cranberry, orange, and kumquat relish. Pie Picks: There are two: homemade all-butter-crust pies, either pumpkin (made with fresh—not canned—pumpkins) or apple (made with locally grown McCoun apples). Both come with fresh whipped cream. Coffee and tea are also provided. Order By/Pick Up: Order by November 17 and pick up at the store, Wednesday, November 22. Cost: $45 per person for a full Thanksgiving feast, excluding staff and rentals. This includes soup, turkey, gravy, choice of stuffing, two types of potatoes, two types of vegetables, dinner rolls with pumpkin butter, cranberry relish, pie, ready-to brew coffee, teabags, sugar, etc. Pros: Two Good Cooks offers thoughtful catering featuring locally grown produce, homemade quality, and lots of choices. Cons: You’ll be paying dearly for it.
Whole Foods Market
110 Bloomingdale Rd., White Plains
(914) 288-1300; www.wholefoodsmarket.com
This popular natural and gourmet supermarket also offers fully catered Thanksgiving feasts.
Nibbles: Wild-mushroom strudel, New England crab cakes, artichoke- and spinach-stuffed mushrooms. Turkey: Diestel Farms turkey, brined and pre-cooked. Sides and Stuff: Whole Foods offers scores of sides. Highlights include roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted corn pudding, sweet potatoes with candied pecans, green beans with almonds, mashed turnips with crispy shallots, roasted butternut squash with dried cranberries, traditional New England stuffing, and cornbread stuffing with country sausage. In addition, Whole Foods stocks vegan and vegetarian alternatives. Pie Picks: Store-baked apple or pumpkin, both made with all-butter crusts. Vegan pies (sans butter) are also available. Order By/Pick Up: Order set dinner packages by Sunday, November 19, and pick up at the store by Wednesday November 22. Whole Foods will have limited operating hours on Thanksgiving Day. Cost: For eight, the cost of a dinner package is $155; for up to 12, $220. Dinner packages include turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish, gravy, butternut squash, sautéed spinach, dinner rolls, and pie. Pros: Whole Foods offers vegan dinner packages for one, so you don’t have to worry about that lone vegan in your group. Plus, set dinners are reasonably priced. Cons: Whole Foods’ dinner packages are handy, but they don’t include hors d’oeuvres, so you might want to supplement with a few of its more interesting sides.
MacMenamin’s Grill & ChefWorks
115 Cedar St., New Rochelle
(914) 632-4900; www.macmenaminsgrill.com
MacMenamin’s Grill is a restaurant and bar that also features a cooking school, a television studio, and a demonstration kitchen. And, oh yeah—it also caters about a thousand Thanksgiving meals each year.
Nibbles: Hors d’oeuvres are extra, and include a shrimp platter (24 pieces, $54); stuffed mushrooms Florentine (one dozen, $15); a cheese platter (serves 8-12, $22); and a fruit platter (serves 8-12, $22). Turkey: MacMenamin’s offers two styles of turkey—Southern-style deep-fried and traditionally roasted. Sides and Stuff: Depending on which style of turkey you choose, MacMenamin’s offers andouille-cornbread stuffing or traditional sausage stuffing, red-eye gravy or classic pan gravy, corn jambalaya or New England clam chowder. Other sides include candied yams, collard greens, string beans amandine, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and cranberry sauce. Pie Picks: House-made apple and pumpkin are the most popular, but lemon meringue and chocolate-chip pecan pie are also available. Order By/Pick Up: Order by Monday, November 20, and pick up on either Wednesday, November 22 or Thanksgiving Day. Cost: MacMenamin’s offers two plans, depending on the size of your group. A 12-pound turkey (serving 8-10 guests) costs $215 ($26.90 per person, if serving eight people) and comes with stuffing, gravy, three sides, and two desserts. An 18-pound turkey (serving 12-20 guests) costs $315 ($15.75 per person, if serving 20 people) and comes with stuffing, gravy, four sides, and three desserts. Pros: MacMenamin’s sells turkey two ways, each with its own paired soup, stuffing, and gravy, plus all its breads and pies are baked in-house. Cons: Hors d’oeuvres are uninspiring and they cost extra, and MacMenamin’s doesn’t offer an oven-ready turkey option.
Q Restaurant and Bar
112 N. Main St., Port Chester
(914) 933-7427; www.qrestaurantandbar.com.
Westchester’s best-loved barbecue joint also does a roaring trade in catered Thanksgivings. Who knew?
Nibbles: Hors deuvres are available from Q’s restaurant menu, and can include barbecue wings (three orders serve 10 as a starter, $25.50), ribs (three full slabs serve 10 as a starter, $60), and barbecue samplers (three orders serve 10 as a starter, $69). Mushroom and butternut-squash soups are also an option ($9 per quart, serves six); they come from Q’s sister shop, The Kneaded Bread. Turkey/Ham: Smoked turkeys and/or honey-bourbon-glazed hams. Sides and Stuff: Cornbread, mashed sweet potatoes, mac-n-cheese, and collard greens are included. For an additional cost, you can supplement from any of Q’s restaurant sides, including grilled corn on the cob, salads, and biscuits. Pie Picks: Apple, pumpkin, or pecan, from The Kneaded Bread. Order By/Pick Up: Order by Thursday, November 16, and pick up on Wednesday, November 22. Cost: Basic set dinner, sans nibbles, costs $125 plus tax for eight people, and includes a 12- to 14-pound smoked turkey, (ham is $150) plus tax) cornbread, mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, mac-n-cheese, and one pie. Pros: Q offers a refreshing take on the usual holiday feast, including a smoked turkey, glazed ham, and Southern-style sides. If you like the restaurant (and who doesn’t), you can be sure you’ll like its catering. Cons: Hors d’oeuvres are extra, and traditionalists might miss stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Plus, you’re on your own for coffee and tea.
Penelope’s Country Kitchen
31 S. Greeley Ave., Chappaqua
This Chappaqua-based country gourmet shop also does full-service catering.
Nibbles: You can choose among eight à la carte hors d’oeuvres, including an antipasto basket, crudités, chicken sate, and buffalo wings. Turkey: Oven-ready or pre-roasted; gravy is included with both options. Roasted turkey breast is also available for white-meat lovers or small groups. Sides and Stuff: Wild-mushroom stuffing, cornbread stuffing, green beans and pearl onions in roasted shallot olive oil, garlic roasted carrot spears, baked butternut squash with apples and raisins, whipped sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean-and-mushroom casserole, extra turkey gravy. Pie Picks: House-made apple, pumpkin, blueberry, and peach—the latter two made with fruit that Penelope’s freezes in season. Order By/Pick Up: Order by Saturday, November 18, and pick up Wednesday, November 22. Cost: Penelope’s offers a prix-fixe ($25.99 per person) Thanksgiving dinner, which includes apple-squash soup, tossed green or Caesar salad, turkey, stuffing, green beans amandine, whipped sweet or mashed potatoes, and cranberry-orange sauce. Pros: You can get the turkey pre-cooked or ready to roast at home, and gravy is included. Cons: Nibbles are extra (crudités or fruit and cheese platter, $3 per person).
The Rye Country Store
41 Purchase St., Rye
(914) 967-3450; www.ryecountrystore.com
Rye’s local little food shop since 1958, the Rye Country Store also does a whopping trade in fully catered Thanksgiving feasts.
Nibbles: Select from shrimp cocktail, Brie en croute, corn fritters, or crudités with dip. Soups are also available as a first course. Turkey: Whole Bell and Evans turkey, pre-roasted and priced per pound ($3.50). Gravy is available by the quart ($9). Turkeys range from 12 to 30 lbs. Sides and Stuff: Rye Country Store offers scores of sides, ranging from pumpkin and corn breads, to whole-berry cranberry sauce, sausage stuffing, roasted root vegetables, creamed turnips, and mashed potatoes. Pie Picks: House-made pies come in two sizes (6″ and 10″), and in every Thanksgiving variety—including apple, pumpkin, mincemeat, pecan, apple crumb, apple-cranberry, sweet potato, pumpkin mousse, dried fruit, and caramel. House-made turkey-shaped cookies are also available, iced or chocolate-dipped. Order By/Pick Up: Order by Thursday, November 16, and pick up between 7 am and 7 pm, Wednesday, November 22. Delivery is also available. The store is closed on Thanksgiving. Cost: The typical Thanksgiving feast costs $35 per person, and includes crudités with dip, Brie en croute, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and pie. Pros: Lots of sides, lots of pies, lots of choices. Cons: Nibbles could be more exciting, and clients might prefer an oven-ready turkey rather than a re-heated pre-roasted turkey.
Susan Lawrence Catering
26 N. Greeley Ave., Chappaqua
(914) 238-8833; www.susanlawrence.com
Westchester Magazine’s 2006 Readers’ Pick for Best Caterer, Susan Lawrence cooks up hundreds of Thanksgiving feasts each year.
Nibbles: There’s a wide selection of à la carte hors d’oeuvres on the menu, including a Hudson Valley cheese platter and garlic shrimp. Turkey: Bell and Evans turkey seasoned with fresh herbs and stuffed with herb-and-bread stuffing. The oven-ready turkey comes pre-basted in a disposable roasting pan; flowering kale is included to garnish your platter. Extra turkey breast is also available ($44 for pan of sliced breast serving six to 8), and gravy is offered by the pint: $7.95. Sides and Stuff: Susan Lawrence offers 14 sides, from traditional stuffing, turkey gravy, and green-bean casserole, to oven-roasted autumn vegetables and cranberry-raspberry relish. Pie Picks: Old-fashioned apple, pumpkin, maple-pecan, and apple-caramel, plus others like chocolate cream and fresh raspberry. Thanksgiving-themed (e.g., shaped like Turkeys or leaves) butter cookies are also available. Order By/Pick Up: Orders can be placed as late as 3 pm Tuesday November 21. Pickup by 5 pm November 22. Susan Lawrence is closed on Thanksgiving Day. Cost: About $22 per person for the average Thanksgiving feast, including a Hudson Valley cheese platter, smoked salmon and grilled asparagus spread, an 18-pound turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, green beans, cranberry sauce, and two pies. Pros: Susan Lawrence offers a huge selection of dishes to custom-design your Thanksgiving feast, and you can order up until the day before the holiday. Cons: Some customers might prefer the option of pre-cooked turkey.
Where to Get Your Bird
Heritage breed? Kosher? Organic? Smoked? Whatever style of turkey you favor, here’s where to get your hands on the best.
Heritage Foods USA
(212) 980-6603; www.heritagefoodsusa.com.
Heritage breed turkeys offer a rich, complex flavor—what turkeys tasted like before corporations got into animal husbandry. Mail-order heritage breeds are available through Heritage Foods USA and feature Bourbon Red and American Bronze turkeys. Prices range from $109 to $199 depending on the size and breed of your bird. Orders are guaranteed until November 16, but for best choice (8- to 10-pound birds go fast), order before November 1.
1066 Wilmot Rd., Scarsdale (914) 472-2240
. The flavor of turkey benefits from koshering, a multi-step process involving salting and soaking. If you don’t have time to brine your turkey at home, you can pick up a kosher turkey at Supersol, Westchester’s favorite kosher supermarket. Kosher turkeys are priced at $2.39/lb and up, and should be ordered by November 9.
Portier Fine Foods
432/436 Waverly Ave., Mamaroneck
(914) 381-2549; www.portierfinefoods.com.
Even the best-roasted turkey is still, well, turkey. But smoked turkey has some of the salty/smoky complexity of ham, plus it’s an easy, heat-and-eat proposition—you can even serve it at room temperature. (For smaller groups and white-meat lovers, smoked turkey breasts are also available.) Portier’s smoked turkeys come in two sizes, 10-12 lbs. and 16-20 lbs., and must be pre-ordered by November 9. Portier’s turkeys (wild, fresh-killed, free-range) are sold at market price, so call the shop or visit its website for details.
(11 Locations throughout Westchester; visit www.mrsgreens.com for one near you.)
Mrs. Green’s offers Eberly organic turkeys in a full range of sizes. Pre-order yours at any Mrs. Green’s location by Saturday, November 18, and check stores for prices. (Organic turkeys are also available at Whole Foods Market, 110 Bloomingdale Rd., White Plains, 914-288-1300.)
(888) CRAWFISH; www.cajungrocer.com
Endorsed by the Wall Street Journal and The Food Network, this mail-order supplier offers traditional Louisiana “turducken”—or boneless chicken stuffed inside a boneless duck, all stuffed inside a boneless turkey between alternating layers of a choice of fillings (cornbread stuffing, seafood jambalaya, Creole sausage). It actually looks like a gorgeous Thanksgiving turkey, but you can slice it right across the breast. A 15-pound turducken costs $64.95 and serves a whopping 44 people (it is practically solid, after all). Or, for a finger-lickin’ Thanksgiving, Cajun Grocer also supplies effortless deep-fried turkeys delivered to your door. A 12- to 14-pound, deep-fried turkey costs $49.95 and will feed 10-12 people. For delivery by Wednesday, November 22, order before November 13. (Or, if you’re willing to splurge for overnight shipping charges, you can wait to order until the week of Thanksgiving.)
Where to Get the Gravy, Plus
While most people cook their own Thanksgiving turkeys (it’s easy and it makes the house smell divine), clever hosts supplement their birds with side dishes from their favorite gourmet shops. And, while anyone can make gravy, making good gravy is another story. Here are a few great additions to your feast from some of Westchester’s best-loved gourmet shops.
A&S Fine Foods
986 Broadway, Thornwood (914) 747-1449
A&S offers an Italian spin on the classic American feast, including stuffing made with A&S’s famous house-made sausage (they also have vegetarian stuffing). While you’re there, you can pick up turkey gravy, stuffed artichokes, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, string bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. A&S also offers ready-to-roast Bell & Evans turkeys and boneless all-white meat turkey breasts, tidily packed in their own disposable baking bags.
15 Palmer Avenue, Scarsdale
(914) 722-0200; www.suttongourmet.com
Balducci’s roomy Scarsdale store (formerly Hay Day) sells scores of Thanksgiving sides, including traditional herb stuffing, cornbread stuffing with fennel and sweet Italian sausage, turkey gravy, creamy mashed potatoes, sweet potato purée, roasted butternut squash, roasted Brussels sprouts with orange and caramelized walnuts, green beans with crispy fried shallots, and orange-cranberry relish. Of course, Balducci’s also has ready-to-roast turkeys, already laid in disposable roasting pans over vegetables.
9 Addison Pl., Larchmont (914) 833-0508
Larchmont’s popular butcher and gourmet shop has everything the well-dressed turkey will be wearing this Thanksgiving, including traditional bread stuffing; sausage-and-chestnut stuffing; cranberry/fruit stuffing; turkey gravy; apple, yam and walnut casserole; roasted potatoes with cherry tomatoes and haricots verts; praline yams, sauté of peas and mushrooms; fresh cranberry sauce; and cranberry/raspberry mousse.
209 Wolfs Ln., Pelham (914) 738-6622; www.pelhamprovisions.com
Pelham’s local gourmet shop and caterer cooks up lots of last-minute options for your Thanksgiving table. Look for fresh cranberry and port-wine compote, roasted garlic smashed potatoes, wild rice pilaf, roasted harvest vegetables, French beans with shallots and pine nuts, and cauliflower-and-goat cheese gratin.
Myong’s Private Label Gourmet
360 N. Bedford Rd. (Rte. 117), Mount Kisco
(914) 241-6333; www.plgourmet.com
Myong’s provides traditional and sophisticated Asian takes on the All-American holiday. Highlights include wild mushroom-and-water chestnut stuffing, traditional turkey gravy, oven-roasted purple potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted butternut squash with pomegranate seeds, stir-fried bok choy, pearl onions in roux, wheatberry with cranberry and pecans, and roasted corn-and-avocado salad.
William Nicholas Gourmet
19-21 Edgemont Rd., Katonah (914) 232-1949
Katonah’s tony gourmet shop offers tons of dishes to flesh out your feast. Expect lots of great sides, including bread-and-sausage stuffing, turkey gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, Southern style sweet potatoes, haricots verts with shallot crisps, roasted root vegetables, and cranberry-orange compote.
EASY AS PIE
Where to Get Dessert
Pour the coffee and pull up a chair. Here’s where to get this year’s best Thanksgiving pies.
Connie’s Bakery & General Store
41 S. Moger Ave., Mount Kisco
(914) 242-2014; www.connies.org
Executive Chef Simeon Manber of Connie’s bakes the ultimate pie snob’s pie: hand-rolled, all-butter crusts (made with a secret brand of high-fat butter for flakiness) filled with fresh, seasonal, locally-grown fruit from the Mount Kisco Farmers’ Market. Yet Connie’s scrumptious pies don’t cost any more than run-of-the-mill pies (9-inch pies are $16), and all of Connie’s profits go to local charities. For Thanksgiving, Connie’s offers apple lattice, apple crumb, pecan, pumpkin, and pear pies. Also perfect for Thanksgiving: Connie’s pumpkin flying saucers with cream-cheese filling. The flying saucers are hugely popular and sell for $2 each.
69 Harney Rd., Scarsdale (914) 725-4074.
Westchester’s favorite pie source for 50 years, Galloway’s is so well established that it only has to open three days a week (Friday and Saturday, 7:30-6, Sunday 7:30-4:30). If you can catch them, you’ll find locally famous apple, apple crumb, pecan, New England mince pie, lemon meringue, banana cream, coconut cream, and pumpkin pies—as well as other, not-traditionally-for-Thanksgiving varieties, like the to-die-for chocolate cream pies, topped with fresh whipped cream. Galloway’s takes orders the rest of the year but not for Thanksgiving. It’ll be open, however, on Wednesday, November 22, to accommodate the horde. One 9-inch deep-dish pie costs $16 (pecan pies cost $17).
Grandma’s Country Pies of Yorktown
Rte. 202 Peekskill (914) 739-7770
415 N. Central Ave., Hartsdale (914) 289-1818
An argument-trigger among local pie lovers: fans love Grandma’s perfectly textured pumpkin and sweet potato pies, while critics question the shop’s pre-cooked, non-seasonal fruit pies. Grandma’s offers several pie varieties, but for Thanksgiving, the pumpkin and sweet potato are best. Pies cost from $11.50 for apple to $13.50 for pecan; no credit cards.
40 Garth Rd., Scarsdale
(914) 722-8300; www.everythinglulu.com
Lulu’s Executive Chef Jay Muse is offering a sublime treat for Thanksgiving—his New Orleans-style bourbon-pecan pie ($40 for 10-inch, deep-dish pie). This is no run-of-the-mill pie. It’s brown-butter shortbread filled with roasted organic pecans, bourbon caramel, and bittersweet chocolate. As usual, Lulu’s will be thronged—so be sure to get yours first. Pre-order at www.everythinglulu.com.
660 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley
(914) 693-9758; www.rivierabakehouse.com
Westchester Magazine’s readers’ pick for Best Bakery 2006, Riviera Bakehouse creates stunningly beautiful, mile-high pies with perfect buttery crusts. Pies come in two sizes, 8-inch ($10.50) and 10-inch ($17), and in the following Thanksgiving varieties: apple, apple crumb, mincemeat, pumpkin, pecan, and sweet potato/pecan.
Salinger’s Orchards and Bakery
230 Guinea Road, Brewster
(845) 277-3521; www.salingersorchard.com
Just a toe outside the county in Brewster, this orchard/bakery cuts out the middleman by baking its own apples into pies. Expect a wide range of pies including the old Thanksgiving standbys, strawberry rhubarb, apple, pumpkin, pecan, and mincemeat. Plus, the deceitful might opt for one of Salinger’s frozen unbaked pies—you can bake it at home and take all the credit. A 9-inch deep-dish apple pie costs $12.95, most other varieties range between $11.95 to $14.95 for 10-inch pies. Salinger’s stops taking orders the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving but walk-ins may snag a pie, but it’s not guaranteed.
AND TO DRINK?
Which wine to serve
It’s the never-ending debate: what wine should you serve at Thanksgiving? So many dishes, so many flavors, it’s a wine-pairing nightmare. We asked the experts to tell us what they serve at home.
Sommelier Derek Todd
Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills
“For Thanksgiving, people always talk about what to pair with the turkey. But for me, it’s all about the accompaniments: sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, yams; usually some pretty sweet and rich stuff. So for white, I love a nice Riesling, probably German from the Mosel or Pfalz, something with a little fruit. The fruit matches the sweetness in the food and the acidity continually refreshes your palate throughout the meal.”
The sommelier’s choice: Karlsmuhle Kaseler Nieschen Riesling Spatlese (Mosel Germany), 2001 or Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese (Mosel, Germany), 2002.
Executive Chef Peter Kelly
Xaviars at Piermont, Freelance Café,
Piermont, NY, and Restaurant X and Bully Boy Bar, Congers, NY
“Every Thanksgiving my family gathers at Restaurant X in Congers. I always choose a wine that has some significance to our family. The Hensche ‘Hill of Grace’ 1987 was bottled the year I opened Xaviars at Piermont and for that I have much to be thankful. The wine is a much sought-after Shiraz from Australia that I purchased many years ago for inclusion on our wine list. I expect that with almost twenty years of bottle age, the wine will be the perfect accompaniment to a chestnut-stuffed and roasted Hudson Valley-raised turkey.”
The chef’s choice: A magnum of Henschke “Hill of Grace” (Eden Valley, South Australia) 1987
Owner and Pastry Chef Jill Rose
“I approach the wine in the same way that I approach the meal—I like to offer a lot of different choices. For red, I like the Pelaverga because it’s peppery and a bit dry, but it has enough fruit to complement all the sweet dishes on the table. For white, I like the Miner—it’s rich and buttery and has a lot of fruit.”
The chef’s choice: Fratelli Alessandria, Pelaverga (Piedmont, Italy) 2004 and Miner Wild Yeast Chardonnay (Napa, CA).
Owner and Executive Chef Matthew Karp
“I do something at home that might not be a traditional pairing with turkey, but sometimes I like to think outside the grape: I serve a Barolo. I feel that the grandest bird in the world deserves the grandest wine and makes for a very happy occasion.
The chef’s choice: Cheretto Barolo Zonchero (Piedmont, Italy) 1997.
Executive Chef Dan Petrilli
“It has a nice, spicy, black-cherry note that’ll go with just about anything you’re going to serve on Thanksgiving. Plus, I like to serve hot spiced rum apple cider before.”
The chef’s choice: Klinker Brick Winery (Lodi, CA) “Old Vine” Zinfandel.
Restaurateur John Crabtree
Crabtree’s Kittle House, Chappaqua
“My family traditionally celebrates Thanksgiving on the Wednesday night before, since we’re all at the restaurant bright and early on Thursday morning preparing for the seven-hundred fifty or so guests who will enjoy their traditional meals at the Kittle House. For the white, I will generally choose a Riesling from Alsace. This year it will probably be the Zind Humbrecht. It is medium-bodied, so not too heavy, but maintains some richness and suppleness. It is floral and spicy on the nose, and sensual on the palate with a cleansing minerality on the finish.
“For the red, I lean towards Syrah. This year I have been incredibly impressed with many of the offerings coming from Washington State. One of my favorite Syrahs is the ‘Doyenne’. It’s lush with blackberry fruit and pretty, spicy nuances. While it is young, it’s jammy, medium-bodied, and finishes with a very pretty, berry fruitiness.”
The restaurateur’s choice: Herrenweg de Turkheim 2002 by Zind Humbrecht and ‘Doyenne’ 2002 from Delille Cellars in Columbia Valley, Washington.
WINE SHOPPING SOURCES
The Wine Boutique
131 E. Main St., Mount Kisco
16 E. Parkway, Scarsdale
(866) 922-4971; www.zachys.com
Westchester Wine Warehouse
53 Tarrytown Rd, White Plains
A HOLIDAY ON THE TOWN
Perfect Thanksgiving Restaurants
All of these Thanksgiving spots offer cozy rooms, rustic charm, and wood-burning fireplaces to make you feel at home. Best of all? After your feast, you can just pay and walk away.
Crabtree’s Kittle House
11 Kittle Road, Chappaqua
Where better to celebrate our All-American holiday than at Westchester’s favorite 18th-century inn? The Kittle House was built when our founding fathers were still alive and kicking—in 1790, to be exact. But don’t let the rustic rooms fool you; the restaurant’s four-course Thanksgiving prix-fixe dinner offers four choices per course—showcasing the inspired American cuisine that made the Kittle House famous. This year, starters include blue crab/smoked trout cake with cracked mustard sabayon, sweet-potato gnocchi, and butternut-squash soup. Main courses include roasted free-range turkey with brioche/sausage stuffing and grilled tenderloin of Angus beef with cippolini onion sauce and arugula purée. Thanksgiving prices are $62 for adults and $38 for children, exclusive of tax and beverages.
500 Steamboat Rd., Greenwich, CT
The restaurant’s massive stone hearths (salvaged from an old French château) mean that everyone will be dining fireside at L’Escale. Executive Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo’s inspired French fare takes a distinctly American spin for the holiday, featuring traditional favorites and pristine local produce. In past years, Thanksgiving menus have included harvest pumpkin soup with Maine crab, curried apples, and walnuts; and roasted herb-rubbed turkey with chestnut-raisin stuffing, kabocha pumpkin purée, and ginger-cranberry relish. L’Escale’s three-course, Thanksgiving pri