By this point, everyone knows the holidays will look “a little different” this year. No one is feeling that more acutely than the restaurant industry, which keeps adapting… and adapting … and adapting, while trying to stay afloat. For example, Harvest in Cambridge is offering take-out Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in its 45-year history.
“Harvest has always been a popular Thanksgiving dining destination,” says Harvest Executive Chef Nick Deutmeyer. It’s no wonder— the airy spot down a cobblestone walkway in the heart of Harvard Square is custom-made for the holidays, with its cozy wood-burning fireplace and menu of modern New England classics. This year, the dining room will be open, but Deutmeyer expects about half the usual number of customers, “unless the weather is unusually beautiful and we can open the patio.” Which might happen, in New England, in late November…
To meet people where they feel most comfortable, the restaurant is offering a family-style to-go menu for $75 per person – available to pick up cold on Wednesday, for customers to reheat on Thanksgiving, or piping hot on Thursday, ready to plate and serve. Like the rest of us, Deutmeyer doesn’t know exactly know what to expect, but they’ve put a lot of thought into caring for their customers.
“We don’t know how many take-out packages we will sell, but are guessing that we will sell quite a few,” Deutmeyer says. “If I were to guess, I would wager we will do about 250 covers in house and maybe around 80 to 100 to-go dinners. We have already sold quite a few to-go packages and will be waiting with bated breath to see what the final outcome will be.”
Of course, with the reputation of a restaurant like Harvest on the line, and so much out of the chef’s hands, a lot of planning is going into the details. “We definitely thought about how the food would be re-heated and how to keep a finicky protein like turkey from getting dry,” Deutmeyer says. “We can still give people a delicious Thanksgiving, but know that many folks do not have a lot of practice in their own kitchens. That’s why we are making it as fool-proof as possible.” For example, Harvest is cooking the turkey sous vide, to hopefully keep it juicy when it gets re-heated. ”We are fairly confident that even if you don’t have a lot of kitchen know-how, you will be able to bring our food home and create a Thanksgiving day meal that rivals anything you see in the pages of Martha Stewart magazine.”
Harvest is far from the only place jumping into Thanksgiving takeout fray – most are keeping things traditional, but if you want to go outside the box, Grill 23 is offering a Chateaubriand option for beef lovers. Here is a list of a few top spots to get your to-go meals.
Barbara Lynch Collective: Choose an a la carte selection from turkey to trimmings, including the chef’s classic stuffing, free-range turkeys, pommes purée, and seasonal vegetable sides. To place an order, visit the Barbara Lynch website. All orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Nov. 20th, and will be available for pick-up from The Butcher Shop Nov. 23rd, Nov. 24 or Nov. 25th..
Boston Harbor Hotel: The “Harbor at Home” Thanksgiving Dinner is a complete prepared meal, including an 18-pound Organic Vermont turkey. Guests can top off the experience with Chef Daniel Bruce’s custom holiday magnum wine selections for an additional price. The “Thanksgiving to-go” dinner serves 6 to 8 guests and starts at $365. All orders must be made by noon on Monday, November 23rd by calling Catering at 617-856-7795 or emailing email@example.com.
Grill 23 & Bar: “Thanksgiving at Home” features a complete turkey feast with sides and dessert for $110 for two people and $220 for four people. There is also an option for a Chateaubriand Roast Dinner for $130 for two people and $260 for four people.
Harvest: The family style takeout menu is $75 per person that will include appetizers, sides, turkey and a slice of pumpkin pie. Choose to pick it up cold on Wednesday 11/25 or hot on Thanksgiving. Add a whole pie for $28 each. Choose from Apple Crisp, Pecan, or Pumpkin. Call 617-868-2255 to place your order before Sunday, Nov. 22nd.
Oak + Rowan: Their feast includes turkey, mashed potatoes, squash + leek gratin, green bean casserole, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce, a choice of apple or pumpkin pie, and a board game to encourage a family game night. Feed 2 to 4 guests for $190, or 6 to 8 guests for $365. A portion of proceeds will be donated to a local food pantry, Our Neighbor’s Table and Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Orders must be received no later than Monday, November 16th and are available to pick up in Boston or Newburyport.
Puritan & Company: pick up pies and sides to accompany your own Thanksgiving turkey this year. Online pre-ordering is available now and items can be picked up or delivered on Tuesday, November 24th and Wednesday, November 25th between noon and 8 p.m. Thanksgiving sides to-go will include: gruyere and thyme scalloped potatoes, buttermilk and confit garlic mashed potatoes, maple sweet potatoes with marshmallow and brown sugar, parker house rolls, butter-roasted green beans with crispy shallots and cinnamon apple sauce. Puritan & Company Pastry Chef Brian Mercury will also be offering apple pie, pecan pie and pumpkin pies for takeout or delivery.
Rochambeau will be offering turkey, sides and Thanksgiving pies by Pastry Chef Michele Fadden. Culinary Director Nick Calias has created the ultimate Thanksgiving Feast for Four People with a choice of appetizers, turkey, stuffing, sides and pies. All orders must be placed by Friday, November 20th at 6 p.m. Pickup will take place on Thanksgiving day from 10a until 4p at 900 Boylston Street in Boston.
Summer Shack has been offering Thanksgiving to-go for the past 15 years, so perhaps it’s no wonder they are already sold out of turkey this year. You can still order sides like mashed potatoes, butternut squash and cornbread stuffing, along with gravy. There is a selection of pies for dessert also available for an additional price. Pick up will be on Wednesday, November 25th from 12pm-6pm. Reheating instructions will be provided. Order online or call Cambridge 617.520.9500 or Boston 617.867.9955 to place your order over the phone.
Woods Hill Pier 4: “Everything But the Turkey”— Executive Chef Charlie Foster will be offering some of Thanksgiving’s favorite side dishes and desserts for guests to pick up and enjoy at home. The Thanksgiving “Everything But the Turkey” package serves 4-6 guests and comes with all the fixin’s as well as pie for $110. The Thanksgiving meal can be ordered online at www.woodshillpier4.com or at their Concord location www.woodshilltable.com or by calling the restaurants. Orders must be placed by Saturday, November 21st and pickup is Wednesday, November 25th at either Woods Hill Table in Concord or Woods Hill Pier 4 in the Seaport.