Thanksgiving Made Easy
So it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving this year? Don’t panic — The Shops at Columbus Circle is here to help. We’ve got some creative solutions that will save the day, as well as insider tips to take the stress out of cooking. You can do this!
Where to Eat Dinner
Stop and consider: Wouldn’t life be better if you let someone else take care of the cooking? Namely, the chefs with The Restaurant and Bar Collection at Time Warner Center. Bouchon Bakery Café is offering a Thanksgiving brunch buffet from 12-2:30 p.m. that is $75 for adults and $45 for kids and will include everything from turkey to French toast. Porter House Bar and Grill will be serving a three-course menu from 1:30-8 p.m. with dishes like roasted natural Lancaster County turkey with bread, apple and sage stuffing. Landmarc opens its doors at 4 p.m., offering the regular menu in addition to Thanksgiving specials (roasted turkey breast with turkey leg hash and cranberry relish, bacon and braised turkey stuffing). Bluebird London will also be putting its own unique British twist on this all-American feast from 5-8 p.m. with London-cured salmon, Beef Wellington, and more.
Brunch and Parade Views
Want to make a day of it? You can’t get a better bird’s eye view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade than at The Shops at Columbus Circle. Landmarc is hosting a special parade brunch, which includes treats like butternut squash shooters and pumpkin blinis and activities ranging from holiday cookie decorating to a holiday-themed photo booth. Tickets are $250 for adults, $175 for children under 12, and free for kids under 2. Bluebird London will also putting on a parade-viewing brunch that has cocktail stations, traditional English breakfast items, and a special kids buffet. It is $300 for adults, $175 for children 12 and under. But make reservations early: These will sell out fast.
A Helping Hand
Planning to cook at home? Williams-Sonoma sells every ingredient and tool you could ever need, as well as cooking classes leading up to the big day, including how to cook pies and desserts (November 8) and side dishes (November 11). But if you want to let them prepare the entire feast for you, it can be our little secret. Put in your order before November 16, and Williams-Sonoma will deliver everything you can imagine, including a juicy and succulent Willie Bird free-range turkey. Whole Foods Market is ready to come to the rescue, too, with all the fixin’s, including natural turkeys, vegan turkeys, you name it. And then there are the pies at Bouchon Bakery, which have developed a cult-like following: caramel-covered apple pie, buttery pecan, and spiced pumpkin pie. Place your order before November 16.
Tips and Tricks
Hungry for more? Here, the chefs and experts share some insider tips for making Thanksgiving dinner even easier:
- “Plan the final day of cooking by setting a timetable for all the dishes. Thanksgiving Day is all about great family time together, so put your cooking chores on a schedule. That way, you have time to enjoy and take into account cooking times, and your food will be ready when your guests are.”—Michael Lomonaco, Chef at Porter House Bar and Grill
- "Delegate! If you’re hosting, have your guests bring desserts or sides or appetizers. This makes it easier on the host, and everyone feels involved and probably spices up the offerings.”—Marc Murphy, Chef at Landmarc
- “Serve what brings you comfort and add your own spin to traditional or family recipes. I like to add black truffles to classic green bean casserole and recommend using fresh green beans from your local farmer's market. Growing up, I fondly remember my mom’s Chinese sticky rice as the stuffing for our turkey. To the rice, she would add Lap Cheong sausage, scallions, dried shiitake mushrooms, frozen peas, and carrots.” —Corey Chow, Chef de Cuisine at Per Se.
- “The turkey should be made the same day because timing is key to serving a perfect bird. When it comes out of the oven, the turkey should be perfectly golden with crispy skin. The turkey needs to rest before being served but should be eaten not long after to keep that ideal texture. No one likes soggy skin.”—Nicolas Houlbert, Executive Chef at Bluebird London
- "Don’t count on your turkey drippings to provide enough gravy for all. Add the Williams-Sonoma Gravy Base to your own drippings to make sure you have enough gravy for all."—Annie DiGiovanna, Culinary Expert at Williams-Sonoma
- "Make the dough for your pie crust ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for one to two days in advance, or in the freezer up to a few weeks. Prepping things ahead will save time and stress, as it often gets busy during the holidays."— Alessandra Altieri Lopez, Culinary Director at Bouchon Bakery & Café