Where to dine out for Turkey Day
Thanksgiving is just around the corner...or, to be precise, on Thursday, November 23. That's just two weeks and a day away! Are you getting ready to serve an abundant feast to family and friends? Or are you contemplating the idea of skipping all the prep and clean up by dining out instead? If so, then here's a handy guide to a few of Santa Fe's restaurants offering a Thanksgiving feast. Wherever you choose, don't forget to make your reservations early, as tables do fill up...
At 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar, tuck into a three-course Thanksgiving prix fixe feast that starts with a choice of a warm Brussels sprout salad with spiced almonds, avocado and a smoked mushroom vinaigrette or chestnut and parsnip ravioli with poached leeks and turkey consomme. Chef/owner Louis Moskow has come up with a creative twist on the holiday turkey, serving it cordon bleu-style, so it's stuffed with house-made turkey ham and Fontina and accompanied by mashed potatoes and green beans, all covered with a truffle demi glace. If it's traditional turkey you're after, Moskow's happy to prepare the classic version and serve it with all the trimmings, including stuffing and cranberries. (Just to sure to request that turkey dish when you make your reservation.) You also could choose an entree of pan-roasted salmon with spinach, baby potatoes, turnips, beets and carrots along with saffron fennel hollandaise. For dessert, you can't go wrong with pumpkin mascarpone mousse parfait with a graham cracker crust and poached cranberries. But you might want to try the spiced, red wine-poached pear galette with caramel pecan sauce as it, too, will send you out into the evening with a smile of contentment on your face. Even the young ones in your party will dine well at 315, as Moskow's created a children's menu to sate their little stomachs.
For a treat, spend the holiday with The Compound, where James Beard award-winning chef/owner Mark Kiffin offers a three-course Thanksgiving prix fixe dinner of mouth-watering choices. Starters include Guinea gen with house-made pappardelle, hen confit, grain mustard and apricot and pine nut sugo and roasted fall root vegetable salad—a combo of carrots, turnips, house-made whipped ricotta, watercress, horseradish dressing and toasted hazelnuts. Then it's time for turkey, in this case a roasted organic Embudo Farms version served with autumn root vegetables, Spanish chorizo stuffing, cranberry-orange relish and caramelized onion-giblet gravy. Or try the local cider-brined pork tenderloin with sweet potato gratin, Moroccan date mustardo and smoked ham hock reduction. Vegetarians will love the wild mushrooms and stone ground polenta with black truffle relish, shaved Parmesan and organic arugula. For dessert, pumpkin pie is of course on the menu, but you'll also be tempted by pear-pecan strudel with a phyllo crust and brown butter ice cream as well as caramel cheese cake with local apple pearls and apple cider glaze and other creative concoctions.
Over at Amaya at Hotel Santa Fe, you can dine pretty much all day, as the restaurant serves a Thanksgiving feast in two rounds—from 11:45 am to 2:30 pm and again from 4 to 8 pm. You'll find something for everyone, from the made-to-order omelets with applewood smoked bacon, pork sausage, ham, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and other ingredients to such starters as apple and butternut squash bisque with spiced pumpkin seeds, peel-and-eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and smoked Scottish salmon with a trio of sauces—cocktail, mignonette and St. Louis. The cheese assortment features Stilton, Morbier, sage Derby, port wine Derby and other varieties, along with olives, fruit jams and grapes. The charcuterie selection offers a trio of sausages—pheasant, andouille and morcilla—as well as Genoa salami, hot capocollo, mortadella, mustards, olive and more. At the carving station, you'll find sage-roasted turkey with pan gravy and cranberry sauce as well as mustard and pepper-seasoned prime rib au jus with horseradish cream. Or, dine on entrées that include guajillo-roasted buffalo short ribs with corn and black bean tomato salsa; cedar planked Scottish salmon with lemon beurre blanc; and achiote-seasoned roasted guinea hen with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and a veal demi reduction. An array of familiar sides includes mashed potatoes, chorizo and apple stuffing, corn bread and thyme stuffing, green bean almondine, charred Brussels sprouts with pancetta and dates and sweet potato casserole.
It's pie in the sky if you dine here, as choices include bourbon pecan pie and pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream, along with apple and pear cobbler, vanilla crème brulée, espresso pot de crème and even a full-on sundae station where you can assemble your own using Oreo cookie crumbs, sliced bananas, gummy bears, whipped cream rainbow sprinkles, chocolate and vanilla sauce and the requisite maraschino cherries.
At the Drury Plaza Hotel, you have two dining options. The first, served in the hotel ballroom from 11 am to 2 pm, is the Autentica Cucina Mexicana Buffet, which features traditional Thanksgiving dishes with a Mexican flair. Starters include Baja on Ice, a line-up of lime shrimp, cilantro crab legs, oysters with bacon and chipotle, and clams with apple and serrano chile, all served with corn chips. There's also roasted pumpkin guacamole with avocado, cumin, fennel, chile and cilantro, served with tostones. Check out the omelet station, where you can choose to add ingredients to your eggs such as jamones (ham), smoked bacon, cebollas (onions), queso (cheese) and hongos (mushrooms). The stars of the show include chile-rubbed turkey with mole gravy; orange-marinated pork carnitas with chorizo apple stuffing and salmon tomatillo with creamed roasted onions. Don't forget the trimmings because you have an abundance of choices, from Chihuahua cranberry relish and Yucatan mashed plantains to stuffed purple potatoes with cebolla pudding, piquant corn bread, Brussels sprouts with chorizo and more. Dessert options include squash bread pudding with Mexico City eggnog sauce, flan with cajeta whipped cream chocolate tres leches cake and more.
At Eloisa, savor chef John Sedlar's elegant Thanksgiving dinner served from 4 to 7 that begins with a choice of corn bisque soup with pimento crema and heirloom popcorn or a Santa Fe Waldorf salad with apples, walnuts and tortillas. For entrées, select classic turkey with white wine mushroom gravy and black beans; salmon au vapeur with celery, sage and chestnuts or pan-seared New York strip with red wine jus and fried shallots. The upscale trimmings include brioche stuffing, celery root purée, mashed potatoes with cippollini onions and more. With pumpkin tart with cognac crème, mole ice cream with caramel popcorn and chocolate torte with burnt lime sugar, you're practically required to save room for dessert.
And finally, if you are having guests for Turkey Day but don't feel like much like cooking, grab Thanksgiving to Go from Joe's Dining. For 16 years, chef/owner Roland Richter has been providing hosts with complete meals that can serve 1 to 30 dinners. Order Joe's New England chowder, black bean soup or award-winning Thai shrimp bisque as a starter. Then choose from organic Heidi's turkey, maple glazed ham or roast duck à la kumquat with such trimmings as country stuffing and gravy, orange cranberry sauce, sour cream mashed potatoes and more. For the final pièce de résistance, your options include pumpkin pie, bourbon pecan apricot pie and chocolate triple layer butter cream torte. (Be sure to order before Monday, Nov. 20 and make a note to pick up your feast on Wednesday, Nov. 22, between 1:30 and 9 pm.)