As the pandemic rages on through the Thanksgiving holiday, several area restaurants and caterers are stepping up to cook the big meal for families who would rather avoid the task.
Thanksgiving dinners will look a lot different this year, with many opting for to-go options, and area restaurants are ready to fill the need
Belvedere Café and Restaurant in New Britain has a holiday menu available for takeout and Owner Ella Konferowicz was already taking calls for special orders by early November.
“We are offering a special dinner to-go and then we will be closed for Thanksgiving Day,” she told the Herald. “A lot of people are ordering for parties of 8 to 10 or even just for a couple. I think they want to take a break from cooking, and we are thankful for the support in this difficult time.”
Connecticut recently instated Phase 2.1 and holiday guidance to lessen the spread of covid-19.
Private gatherings both indoors and outdoors are limited to 10 people. Restaurants offering dine-in service must place tables six feet apart and maintain a maximum of 8 people per table.
Foodies, an Italian marketplace and kitchen that recently opened in Bristol, will have trays of its specialties ready to pick-up the day before Thanksgiving and through the holiday weekend.
“We are just trying to make things a little easier for people who are spending even more time with family this Thanksgiving,” Catering and Special Events Manager Catherine Carlucci said. “For Thanksgiving, our trays menu can help make things a little easier for families. While the groups may be smaller, the effort to have good cooked meals remains the same.”
Foodies’ brand new catering menu is extensive, with family-sized take-and-bake trays featuring Italian specialties like eggplant rollatini, chicken Milanese and lasagna.
Emily’s Catering, also in Bristol, is offering several different menus for the holiday, including a Traditional Thanksgiving and one entitled, “If the Pilgrims travelled through Europe on their way to America Dinner” featuring a tur-duck-en and some unique sides.
At The Rooster Company in Newington, Thanksgiving reservations can be made for a sit-down meal from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant is operating on a limited capacity of 50 percent per state guidelines, according to John Martin, one of the owners and managers.
“Our approach to the holiday this year is to keep doing quality, farm-to-table food,” Martin said. “We’re known for our Thanksgiving and we’re just trying to keep it going and get through this time like everyone else.”
A carry-out feast for four adults includes carved white meat turkey, Young’s Farm cornbread and sausage stuffing and more. Special batched cocktails are also available to-go.
Rooster Co. will be taking reservations up until a few days before turkey day or as soon as they sell out.
The DoubleTree by Hilton in Bristol is another landmark known for its Thanksgiving feast. This year, the kitchen will be cranking out to-go family packs featuring bone-in turkey breast and all the fixings, along with a choice of pumpkin or apple pie.
“You know what they say, the best meals are the ones you don’t have to worry about!” the Doubletree posted to Facebook this week. “Take this holiday off and leave the dishes to us!”
Pagliacci’s Restaurant in Plainville is offering its own turkey dinner for takeout and dine-in, reservations only.
The Que Whiskey Kitchen in Southington will have whole smoked turkeys and side dishes available in carryout kits.
“We know that more people are staying in and gatherings might be smaller this year, but we also know the holidays shouldn’t be all about stressing in the kitchen,” said Mary Ellen Fillo, spokesperson for Que Whiskey Kitchen, which along with the Wood-n-Tap Restaurants is part of the Harford Restaurant Group.
“You can pick up a nice dinner and maybe do a little more visiting and a little less cooking,” Fillo added.
A portion of each ‘Que’ purchase will go to FoodShare, to help those in need.
A handful of area eateries that local residents might look to for a Thanksgiving reservation have opted out of the holiday this year, for various reasons.
East Side Restaurant in New Britain, once popular for its Thanksgiving festivities, remains closed at this time.
J. Timothy’s in Plainville, another mainstay for seasonal gatherings, is closing on Thanksgiving so staff can enjoy the holiday off with their loved ones.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.