You Bungled the Turkey, You Turkey. Is It Too Late for Catering?

Photograph by Marcus Nilsson Close

Photograph by Marcus Nilsson


Photograph by Marcus Nilsson


That is, No! You bungled the turkey??

But also, No, it isn't too late -- at least, maybe not. Restaurants including Hill Country, Parm and Momofuku Ssam Bar offer Thanksgiving catering menus, betting New Yorkers don't need the onus of preparing a massive meal on top of the little explosions of guilt and rancor Rockwell would have included had he painted while plugged in to a truth serum drip. Give 'em a call -- you never know.

If you're used to Mom's homemade pecan pie and your cousin's homemade meltdowns, getting the monumental meal catered might feel odd. But if you take the restaurants' word for it, the trend is picking up steam.

"We have seen a steady demand for Thanksgiving catering at home," says Brett Traussi, COO of the Dinex group, Daniel Boulud's restaurant empire, which includes Epicerie Boulud. "Effectively, each year we evolve and expand the offerings."

"Given the demand from our guests, it made sense to offer a pickup," says Larry Wiesler, EVP of marketing and PR for Hill Country Hospitality. He says Hill Country has over 150 catering reservations and 500 in-restaurant reservations on the books. "If you look at New York City and the demographics," says Wiesler, "who has room to cook a Thanksgiving feast in their kitchen?"

There's a catch to all of this ease. (There's always a catch.) Like most conveniences, getting a meal catered is expensive . Hill Country's Thanksgiving catering menu, for five to eight people, includes a turkey, five sides and a pie for $210. Compare that to a 16-pound free-range turkey from Whole Foods for $39.84, a 14-ounce bag of stuffing from Fresh Direct at $2.99 and a 16-ounce bag of potatoes at $3.99. We've already covered the basics without breaking $50.

But if you're desperate, you could try this deus ex turkeyna (no guarantees). Better start dialing. You can tell us how it came to this another time.

James Tarmy writes the Loot blog for's Good Life channel.

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