Thanksgiving Feasts To-Go
by elle eichinger
The Trump Hotel's takeout Thanksgiving items are becoming an annual tradition for some Chicago families.
Thanksgiving is a time of family, tradition, and home-cooked holiday spreads. Chefs at high-end restaurants fight a constant battle each year to make their holiday offerings appealing enough to top the emotional connection to family recipes and a crowded living room of relatives. This year, though, we’re noticing a growing trend—chefs at many Chicago hotspots are creating to-go Thanksgiving feasts. The meals can be picked up before guests arrive on Thanksgiving Day…and passed off as your own, if you so choose.
Trump International Hotel and Tower
The Trump Hotel was ahead of the curve when it began offering its prepared Thanksgiving meal four years ago. In fact, according to director of food and beverage Bruno Roulleux, many people have come back for it year after year, inadvertently adopting it as their new tradition. “We aim to keep the menu very traditional,” Roulleux says. “The dishes are served family-style to keep with the tradition of having large portions shared at a communal table.” Of course, those “traditional” menu items are given the gourmet treatment by Trump’s five-star culinary team. This year, offerings include an organic, farm-raised, maple-roasted turkey and a sumptuous sage-apricot and chestnut cornbread stuffing in addition to tried-and-true sides such as giblet gravy and cranberry chutney. But if you’re ordering out to avoid tradition, Trump offers an alternative: slow-roasted, salt-crusted prime rib with au jus and creamy horseradish instead of turkey.
Turkey dinner for 2-4 people, $265; for 6-8, $345. Prime rib dinner, for 6-8, $425. Order by Friday, November 16. Pick-up is Thanksgiving Day, 11 AM-1 PM. To order, call 312-588-8114.
What better place for a perfect turkey than at a Michelin Guide-recommended restaurant that specializes in game meats? Frontier’s farm-to-table philosophy translates to holiday dishes full of fresh, local ingredients that aren’t far from what you might make at home...that is, if you happened to be an acclaimed chef. The feast’s main event is an Amish turkey, which chef Brian Jupiter smokes to perfection. Rather than a comprehensive, pre-packed meal, Frontier’s side dishes—among them a rich five-cheese mac, and a sweet potato puree—are available a la carte. “Most families have their signature dish that they still like to prepare,” Jupiter says. “So we won’t take away from that aspect.” For Jupiter, that traditional dish is stuffed mirlitons: “It’s a staple every holiday for my family back home in Louisiana,” he says.
15 lb. turkey, $75; 20 lb. turkey, $95. Order by Monday, November 19. Pick-up is Thanksgiving Day, 9 AM-12 PM. To order, call 772-772-4322.
Chef Bill Kim spends his Thanksgiving with his family, indulging in Puerto Rican and Korean fare. So it naturally follows that at bellyQ, traditional American Thanksgiving favorites get a shot of his signature cultural flavors. For bellyQ’s first Thanksgiving-to-go, “we wanted to offer something that was still rooted in Thanksgiving tradition, yet had our signature Asian barbecue influence,” Kim says. The manifestation is plates such as glazed sweet potatoes with Pho spices, and broccoli gratin with basil, Parmesan cheese, and signature bellyQ spices. The crown jewel, though, is the slow-roasted turkey breast with garlic and cumin, served alongside the sausage-fennel stuffing with toasted brioche. Kim’s meal leaves nothing to be done in the kitchen. “I don’t necessarily think that [holiday] traditions need to involve cooking the whole dinner from scratch,” he says. “As long as you are with your loved ones and enjoying each other’s company, that’s what matters most.”
Dinner for appx. 6 people, $25/person. Order by Sunday, November 18 at 9 PM. Pick-up Thanksgiving Day, 11 AM-3 PM. To order, call 312-563-1010.
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.