By Terry Trucco
Haven’t ordered a turkey yet? Loathe the thought of doing dishes on a holiday? There’s still time to book Thanksgiving dinner – and a room for the night — at a hotel restaurant if you a) act fast and b) aren’t too picky about dining early or late (most prime-time spots are taken).
Like rooms, restaurants at New York hotels come in all styles so you can choreograph Thanksgiving as you wish – splashy or quiet, midtown or downtown, turkey or vegetarian. You can even watch your weight (sort of). Here are five tempting options.
Grand Hotel If you crave tradition with all the trimmings – and what’s more
traditional than Thanksgiving? – consider a grande dame. The Waldorf=Astoria pulls out all the stops, hosting two lavish buffets replete with carving stations, raw bars, hot and cold dishes and desserts galore. Turkey, rainbow trout, Beef Wellington, blue cheese and chive risotto, gravlox, quinoa salad, Waldorf salad (naturally) — Peacock Alley’s mind-boggling array unfolds on white-clothed tables gazing onto the lobby’s famed Queen Victoria lobby clock ($125 adults, $65 children 12 and under). For a more casual backdrop — though casual isn’t necessarily the word that leaps to mind – Oscar’s Brasserie rolls out a similar, edited down spread downstairs overlooking Lexington Avenue ($70 adults, $30 children 12 and under).
The Waldorf=Astoria, 301 Park Avenue at 50th Street; 212 355-3000.
Clubby (with a fireplace) The Lambs Club, the Chatwal hotel’s glam/cozy
restaurant, exudes old-style Theater District magic, more Margot Channing than Disney. Formerly an elite actor’s club, this 1905 Standford White creation boasts a magnificent, stone-carved fireplace (gas-jetted) large enough to roast a pig, lipstick-red leather banquettes, dark walls and Sardi-esque actor renderings. Chef/proprietor Geoffrey Zakarian’s three-course prix-fix Thanksgiving dinner serves up choices like butternut squash soup or grilled quaile, Amish turkey, red snapper or porcini risotto (with optional white truffles), table sides like sweet potato pie and chestnut sausage stuffing and pumpkin cheese cake or chedder crusted apple pie. ($85 adults, $35 children under 12). Bonus: have breakfast at the hotel and you can grab a free hot chocolate or cider to warm you up while you watch the Macy’s parade, steps away from the hotel.
The Lambs Club, 132 West 44th Street; 212 997-5262.
French accented The a la carte menu at Millesime, the Carlton Hotel’s
stylish seafood brasserie helmed by Chef Laurent Manrique, is the closest you can get to Paris at a New York City hotel. But along with favorites like raw oysters, poulet roti and hanger steak Bordelaise, a three-course prix fix Thanksgiving menu is served under the restaurant’s 1904 Tiffany glass dome. Choose from beet and goat cheese salad or chestnut soup, turkey with chestnut, apple and sausage stuffing or prime rib with Parmesan popover and huckleberry bread pudding or pumpkin pie ($49). For children under 12, a $17 buffet includes turkey meatballs, alphabet mac and cheese, sweet potato fries, turkey nuggets and candied apples, pumpkin cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies.
Millesime, Madison Avenue at 29th Street; 212 889-7100.
Comfy Cool Still a looker a 16, the SoHo Grand’s high ceilings, big windows
and generous rooms feel celebratory in a relaxed, downtown way. With two dining areas bookending the lounge, guests opting for the family-style $65 prix fix Thanksgiving dinner can settle in happily. Executive chef Richard Farnabe’s menu offers a cheese board, charcuterie board and pear endive salad for starters, turkey with gingerbread stuffing, prime rib and Scottish salmon as mains, multiple sides including mac and cheese and sweet potato puree and for dessert pumpkin, apple and pecan pies. Prefer Tribeca? The same menu is available at the Grand’s sister hotel several blocks south.
The SoHo Grand, 310 West Broadway; 212 965-3588.
Slim Down Over Thanksgiving? The Eventi lets you try. Their “Don’t Feel Like a Turkey” package features a specially priced spa buffet of 50- and 80-minute treatments, free parking, complimentary hot apple cider or hot chocolate (made with skim milk) and a Thanksgiving dinner at Bar Basque, the hotel restaurant. And to work it off? Complimentary CoreSentrik classes held in the hotel’s fitness center. (CoreSentrik melds elements of yoga and pilates with abdominal exercises and breath control.) Use code PTHX to book a room.
The Eventi, 851 Sixth Avenue; (212) 564-4567.