They don’t call it “Turkey Day” for nothing. On Thursday of next week—exactly eight days from today—millions of Americans will stuff their faces with roast turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pie. The fact that many will drift off shortly after dinner is totally unrelated to the presence of super-high doses of the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan in turkey—a presumption that was long ago debunked as a myth.
I maintain that most will nod off as a result of boredom, of eating the same old same old year in and year out. If that includes you—if you seek a break with tradition—here are several possibilities for shaking up your Thanksgiving.
Go Mano a Mano with Tradition
Korean food for Thanksgiving? That’s the option awaiting you not just on Thanksgiving Day but from the Wednesday preceding to the Sunday following at the curiously named Mono+Mono. Actually the complete name, Mono+Mono Analog Music Pub & Eatery, is curiouser still.
So is the menu, which must be booked for groups of four at $100 per table. You receive a whole Korean fried chicken, a whole Korean grilled chicken (that way there is no fighting over drumsticks), a Mono+ Mono House Salad, a seafood pancake, a vegetable pancake, and dessert: ho-doo-gua-za, a traditional Korean walnut bread, along with frozen yogurt and espresso.
There is also something advertised as “carve yourself turkey,” which sounds vaguely dangerous. Tables must be booked a week in advance, so if Mono+Mono strikes you as appealing+appealing, then get cracking. Mono+Mono is located at 116 E 4th Street, bet First and Second Aves,212-466-6660.
Count to Three in French
As the sometime French Restaurant Examiner, as well as a certified Francophile, I have to confess that my ears pricked up at the thought of French food for Turkey Day. That’s what’s cooking at Theater District veteran Café Un Deux Trois.
For a modest $28.95 per person, dinner can open next Thursday with roasted butternut squash soup or pumpkin ravioli in sage butter, proceed to shrimp brochette or lamb navarin, and conclude with floating island or pumpkin cheesecake.
Those are half the options on the restaurant’s Thanksgiving Day menu, which also includes (for the diehard traditionalist) roasted turkey with homemade turkey sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry compote, and gravy. Café Un Deux Trois is located at 123 W 44th Street, bet Sixth and Seventh Aves,212-354-4148.
You say your goal is to stay awake for the kickoff of the 8:30 game, which this year will feature, nota bene, New York’s very own Jets? Maybe the solution is to eat a big brunch rather than dinner. That will you have plenty of time to digest your food, take a nap, and be fresh at game time.
As to where, one distinct possibility is Murals on 54 in the Hotel Warwick. The restaurant’s brunch, priced $47 ($17 for kiddies 6 to 12) includes an assortment of cold foods, hot dishes, a carving station (turkey and roast beef), and a dessert bar.
Chilled items include Tuscan grilled vegetables, shrimp and crab claws with cocktail, and assorted charcuterie. The hot include grilled salmon, roast pork loin, ricotta-filled ravioli with roasted pumpkin crema and pepitas. Murals on 54 is located at 63 W 54th Street, bet Fifth and Sixth Aves, 212-314-7700.
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