According to the National Turkey Federation, some 88 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving. However, not everyone wants to — or even knows how to — properly prepare and cook the bird. Need more proof? The Turkey Talk-Line at Butterball responds to more than 100,000 questions about cooking a turkey each November and December.
Understanding how stressful a holiday meal can be, hundreds of operators across the country are stepping up to offer their guests take-home and/or dine-in options for the big day.
In Culver City, Calif., Akasha will offer a dine-in and takeaway option, charging $75 per person ($35 for children 12 and under) for a choice of turkey, trout or a vegetarian option and all the fixings, plus a pie buffet.
“I love Thanksgiving; it’s my favorite holiday,” says Akasha Richmond, chef and owner of her eponymous restaurant and AR Cucina, also in Culver City. “At Akasha, we’ve been offering a Thanksgiving menu since we opened, and we usually do around 450 dine-in dinners and another 200-300 the day before in takeout.” The takeout menu is priced per item for ease of ordering.
Nearby at AR Cucina, Richmond is offering an Italian-style dine-in Thanksgiving, charging $65 per person ($35 for children 12 and under). “I wanted the menu at our new concept, AR Cucina, to have all the flavors of Thanksgiving, with an Italian touch,” she explains. “Most of our local produce is the same in Italy right now, so it all makes sense for this holiday. We are doing a Tuscan-style turkey porchetta, which is a great Italian twist to roast turkey, and the flavors of sage and rosemary are perfectly Thanksgiving. Pumpkin tortellini is a great starter, authentically Italian, but again, fits perfectly with the holiday. Pumpkin ricotta cheesecake and pumpkin tiramisu are such great alternatives to pumpkin pie — some say even better.”
In Las Vegas, Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar will offer two dine-in options on Thanksgiving: a traditional turkey menu and a traditional Italian menu. The traditional turkey menu is $39.95 for adults and $14.95 for children under 12, and the traditional Italian menu is $59.95 for adults. “It’s traditional for Italians and Italian-Americans to eat pasta at lunch and dinner on American holidays such as Thanksgiving, says owner Gino Ferraro. “So it was only natural for Ferraro’s to include a seasonal menu of authentic Italian cuisine as one of our Thanksgiving options.” Ferraro says that in the past, Ferraro’s has served between 200 to 300 guests on Thanksgiving.
At the Larder at Tavern and The Larder at Burton Way in Los Angeles, guests can preorder a complete Thanksgiving feast for eight or build their own personalized dinner using an a la carte menu.
"We have such a diverse clientele and The Larder has become a huge resource for our guests. Although we have a full house in the dining room for Thanksgiving dinner, many of our customers want to enjoy Suzanne Goin's delicious holiday dishes with their family at home. We make it as easy as possible for them,” says GM James Saidy.
“In planning the menus, Suzanne makes a conscious effort to offer a variety of choices that meet all dietary needs—including vegans and gluten-free diets that still celebrate Thanksgiving. The Larder has been offering Thanksgiving catering since its opening in 2009, and last year we had 158 orders placed at our Brentwood location."