Q: Hi Playground! My husband and I and our three kids, ages 11 to 16, are coming to NYC for Thanksgiving to see my Dad and meet up with other relatives. One problem: no one can host dinner at their apartments, so we have to eat out, and I’m a little melancholy. I really want a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Is there anywhere we can get a family-style meal that will make me feel like home? Thanks! ~ NC
A: Hi NC! I know that it must be hard to spend Thanksgiving on the road, but if you have to be away from home, NYC is a great place to celebrate the holiday. There are as many restaurants as there are reasons to be thankful for your family, and many of them offer up roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, and pumpkin pie (plus you don’t have to do the dishes after — score!). Plus, being in New York for Thanksgiving means you can see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person, or stroll Central Park the night before and watch the massive parade balloons being blown up — an only-in-NYC experience.
For dinner, here are a few options that should deliver a traditional turkey feast plus a true NYC state of mind:
Betony: Two words: Pie. Buffet. See, you’re feeling better about Thanksgiving dinner already. At this swank midtown spot, you can choose from a three or four course menu (with turkey as an option, natch) both of which come with unlimited family-style side dishes to share AND conclude with a trip to the bountiful dessert pie buffet.
Carmine’s: Yes, this is an Italian family-style restaurant, but don’t worry, for this holiday both of the NYC locations focus on the “family-style” part and serve an 18-pound turkey (enough for leftovers, score!) and all the fixings for a super reasonable price. Make sure you call ahead when you make reservations since the special isn’t listed on their website.
The Dutch: There’s lots of space for family to stretch out at this charming SoHo spot, and you’ll love the traditional dinner served family-style: big platters of turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cranberry-orange relish, and lots more.
JAMS: On a prime spot on Central Park, right in the new 1 Hotel Central Park, JAMS is offering a 4-course prix-fixe dinner with everything from butternut squash soup to start to a broccoli casserole to share for the table. But consider reserving a table for brunch for Thanksgiving instead of dinner: the parade goes right by the restaurant, and you can wave at the floats as you nibble on bagel and eggs.
Rockefeller Center Cafe: How about some iconic ice-skating with your gravy? Eat at this lovely spot offering a three-course prix-fixe of American standards (including turkey and pumpkin pie), and you’ll have views of the famous NYC skating rink. After dinner, lace up your skates and make some amazing memories. (Note, the tree will be in place for great day-time photos ops by Thanksgiving, but won’t be lit up until the week after).
Hornblower Cruises: For something complete different, but still holiday special, consider dinner and a cruise on Hornblower. You and the family will get a close up look at Lady Liberty on a three-hour scenic tour along the Hudson plus a traditional turkey and fixings buffet.
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(Photo Credit: Holiday Images)