An American Turkey in London: 11 Places for Thanksgiving Dinner
Let's face it, Thanksgiving and Britain aren't natural bedfellows.
Americans probably don’t want to be in London for Thanksgiving. As for us Britons, that last thing you need is a turkey dinner before Christmas. Right?
Well, not exactly. David McIntyre, executive chef at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, says his restaurant is always packed with both locals and expats for Thanksgiving, which quickly sells out.
"We've been doing it since we opened in 2011 and it's been popular since day one," he says. "About 90 percent of people go for the traditional fare."
So if you want to celebrate Thanksgiving this Nov. 26, here are 11 restaurants you might like to try:
The three-course menu features traditional dishes with a twist by Executive Chef Thomas Piat. A butternut and chestnut velouté with duck confit is followed by a dégustation of turkey including breast and leg galantine with all the trimmings; white sausage and sage stuffing, Brussel-sprout fondue, sweet potato purée and cranberry compote. Desert is pecan pie. The menu is available all day on Nov. 26.
This Covent Garden restaurant, an import from New York, is celebrating its Franco-American roots with a four-course feast on Thursday, Nov. 26, only. The menu features all the usual suspects plus an option of baked cod with thyme and Parmesan crust.
This charming mini-chain of cafes is serving a Thanksgiving dinner in two outlets (St Paul's and Holborn) and it is safe to expect some fine pastries. The Bea's Thanksgiving Dinner includes turkey & mash cupcake as well as pumpkin soup and turkey.
Price: £34.50, including a drink
This American-style barbecue restaurant with outlets at King's Road, Covent Garden and Canary Wharf offers a Thanksgiving menu served family-style, featuring butternut squash soup and herb-roasted turkey with Southern slow-cooked cornbread stuffing.
Executive Chef Nuno Mendes has created a Thanksgiving feast. Centre stage is hay-roasted organic turkey with sausage, truffle and foie-gras stuffing, buttered brioche and a sour berry jus (£32) with sides of maple bourbon sweet potatoes (£6) and green beans almondine (£6). Pecan Pie with Bourbon Cream is £9.
This is one of London's oldest American restaurants, tracing its history to the distant days of, well, 1991. It is housed in a quirky and dramatic building that was at various times a papier mache factory and a casino. The ambitious three-course menu offers plenty of choice, including blackened shrimps with sunchoke and truffle cream, shaved Blue Mountain truffle and pistachio crumbs. It is available on only Nov. 26 itself.
Chef Wolfgang Puck's CUT is one of the finest restaurants in London, with prices reflecting that. The Nov. 26 Thanksgiving Menu is a wondrous thing, with a wide choice of dishes. There's just one catch, assuming you can get a table: the cost.
Price: £90 (Unless you pick wagyu beef, where there is a £95 supplement for the Japanese version.)
American Executive Chef Seth Levine has created a seasonal feast. (He's a former Hell's Kitchen competitor with the scars to prove it.) It features fig brulee; autumn greens salad with spiced butternut squash, goat curd and apple cider vinaigrette; butternut squash risotto; and roasted turkey with cranberry sauce and chestnut brioche stuffing.
Price: £35 Served from Nov. 24 to 26.
This pop-up promises lashings of South Carolina hospitality with a Thanksgiving dinner, accompanied by craft beer, small-batch Virginia bourbon and cocktails. The menu features slow-cooked turkey chilli with homemade sage cornbread; plain green beans become smoked cheddar jalapeno. And there is Pumpkin Pie on the menu. The dinner is on Nov. 21 at Maple & Fitz.
This American restaurant in Marylebone is serving a special menu for lunch all day on Nov. 26 and 27. The menu includes a glass of sparkling wine, smoked turkey with oyster and country ham stuffing with collard greens and pumpkin pie.
Price: £50 (£25 for children)
This casual restaurant has been celebrating Thanksgiving for more than 15 years, including selling takeaway pumpkin pies. Both outlets are serving a special menu where the options include butternut squash soup, roast bronze turkey with chestnut stuffing and pecan pie.
Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Bloomberg. Follow him on Twitter @richardvines
(Corrects number of restaurants in 5th paragraph.)