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Talking Turkey

Let someone else do the cooking for you



Illustration by John Coulter

Thanksgiving is about friends and family. Football and fun. But on the fourth Thursday of November, the highlight is when everyone gathers ’round the table to enjoy a succulently roasted turkey and a mix of fine fixins. But not everyone relishes the task of planning, shopping, and preparing such an extravagant feast. Not to mention cleaning up. Instead, let’s give thanks for these area restaurants offering special Thanksgiving Day menus. 

A Thanksgiving Day reservation at Southport’s Artisan is a win-win for the entire family. The carefully crafted menu begins with a seasonal salad of local greens, acorn squash, and pumpkin seed vinaigrette before moving onto apple cider glazed turkey with apple, buckwheat, and wild rice stuffing. Add delicious sides like bourbon whipped yams and roasted Brussels sprouts and you’ll barely have room for dessert—but do try. Fluffy Pumpkin Cheesecake is their specialty. 275 Old Post Rd., Southport, 203-307-4222, artisansouthport.com

The Spinning Wheel in Redding offers a special four-course menu at its beautiful farmhouse restaurant. Starters like pumpkin stuffed ravioli in a creamy sage sauce or mushroom risotto are just a taste of what’s to come. Of course, there is roasted turkey with all the trimmings, but you may be tempted away from the traditional by the apple-apricot stuffed pork loin or homemade chicken pot pie. Vegetarians will love the stuffed acorn squash main dish. Apple or pumpkin pie à la mode complete the meal. 109 Black Rock Tpke., Redding, 203-664-4000, swredding.com

Guests dining at New Canaan’s Roger Sherman Inn begin their meal with delicacies like a foie gras tart, a slow roasted vegetable salad, or seared scallops with thyme roasted cauliflower. Next, choose from a full traditional turkey dinner complete with sweet potato puree and cranberry apple stuffing, or opt for the pan seared sea bass or filet mignon. Delectable sides like crispy polenta cakes and truffled mashed potatoes complement the other entrées. Finish with pumpkin maple pie, brown butter apple cobbler, or a sumptuous white chocolate cranberry bread pudding. 195 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan, 203-966-4541, rogershermaninn.com

Bernard’s in Ridgefield offers both eat-in and take-out options each Thanksgiving. Make a reservation to dine in the elegant dining room (private rooms also available), or order a gourmet meal to serve at home. Upon arrival, dinner guests are welcomed with beef brassola gourgères while they peruse rest of the menu. Appetizer choices include lobster fricassee served in mini pumpkins and an organic Scottish trout trio (gravlax, smoked, and sesame crusted). For your entrée, opt for Bernard’s roasted turkey and all the fixings, however, pumpkin crusted halibut with butternut squash risotto or beef Wellington are enticing alternatives. The extensive take-away menu includes whole roasted turkeys, three varieties of stuffing, several vegetable and potato options, plus several appetizers, soups, and salads. 20 West Ln., Ridgefield, 203-438-8282, bernardsridgefield.com

Another option for your in-home festivities is Stew Leonard’s catering. Both the Norwalk and Danbury locations offer a full Thanksgiving meal to go, with a large variety of appetizers, salads, breads, side dishes, and desserts, in addition to whole roasted turkeys, sliced turkey breast, and spiral cut hams. To start, consider a gourmet cheese platter, chilled shrimp, or crudites and dip (we love the blue-cheese dip). As you’re carving the turkey, your guests can help themselves to sides including sweet potato mousse, julienned vegetables, country-style stuffing, and orange cranberry sauce. For dessert, it’s all about the pies! Caramel apple walnut, pumpkin, and cherry are just a few of the sinfully sweet selections. Orders are available for pick up or can be delivered. 100 Westport Ave., Norwalk, 203-750-6168 stewleonards.com/departments-services/food-catering

If you’re ready to tackle the turkey, but would rather outsource the sides, area chefs have you covered. Bonda in Fairfield may not be open Thanksgiving day, but you can still enjoy Chef Jamie Cooper’s cooking. All the fixings are available for pick up the day prior, and include instructions for reheating on turkey day. Roasted butternut squash soup, cornbread stuffing with pecans and sausage, and Brussels sprouts with smoked bacon and pine nuts are just a few of the offerings to go. 75 Hillside Rd, Fairfield, 203-292-9555,
bondarestaurant.com

Tina’s Gourmet Kitchen also prepares “everything but the turkey.” Side dishes like garlic mashed potatoes and haricot verts almondine, plus homemade turkey gravy are all on the menu, and there’s also dessert. Try Pumpkin Pie with a Gingersnap Crust or Apple Pie with Streusel Topping. What’s best? Everything is delivered to your doorstep. 203-331-0031,
tinasgourmetkitchen.com

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