Dining out for Thanksgiving is a beloved New York tradition, but 2020 is shaping up to be the exception.
Restaurants feel the pinch. Take Hill Country Barbecue Market, in Gramercy, as an example. Last year, according to executive chef Ash Fulk, it served nearly 1,000 people on Thanksgiving. This year, as of press time, it’s expecting only 50. “We normally order 300 whole turkeys but won’t do more than 100 now,” he said. “I get it. It’s not enjoyable to be in a restaurant masked, and plus, we have a limit of six to a table.”
David Burke can also speak to the sharp drop-off at his Upper East Side eatery for this food-centric holiday. “We typically have 300 people, but we’ll be lucky to get half that this year,” he said.
In a bid to survive and adapt to what New Yorkers want, restaurateurs like Fulk and Burke are bringing family-style to-go holiday dinners straight to your apartments. And yes, the leftovers will be glorious.
So tip your delivery folks generously, and tuck in! Here are five restaurants offering spreads, complete with sides and fixings, all ready to heat and eat.
Reflective of the chef’s love for indulgence, David Burke Tavern on the Upper East Side is offering a Thanksgiving bonanza he cheekily calls Grab ‘n’ Gobble. The centerpiece is a heritage breed turkey from New Jersey’s Fossil Farms. Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, sausage stuffing, maple whipped sweet potatoes, green beans almondine, a medley of roasted fall vegetables, sauteed spinach and mushrooms, rosemary potatoes with pearl onions and cranberry-orange-ginger relish round out the sides. You also get three pies — apple, pumpkin and pecan — plus cheesecake lollipops.
The dishes come in aluminum pans that go straight into the oven, but most of the sides can be microwaved. For an extra-moist turkey, Burke suggests warming the bird in the oven with a half-inch of water or stock.
David Burke Tavern, 135 E. 62nd St.; 212-988-9021
Cost: $275 for a half-turkey (serves 6-8); $375 for a full turkey (serves 9-12), plus sides and dessert
Order deadline: Nov. 22, pickup only
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