Thanksgiving Day is, quite possibly, the best holiday. You get all of the trappings of a cold
weather holiday (socially acceptable gratuitous indulging, the smell of spiced baked goods in the air, time with family and friends) without the pressure of presents. Plus, it’s easy to count your blessings when you let someone else do the cooking. Here are some of five of Atlanta’s best options for making your Turkey Day simple.
No one has to know that you’ve left the Thanksgiving feast in Executive Chef Nick Leahy’s capable hands — that is if your friends and family believe you’re a wizard in the kitchen. He and the team at Saltyard make it simple to get just what you need. Pick from “The Turkey,” (pictured above) which includes a 10 – 14 lb. free-range turkey and luscious brandy and thyme gravy ($85) or “The Sides” of blistered haricot verts with sage and brown butter, roasted root veggies with honey glaze and garlic butter, potatoes with smoked salt and herbs de Provence and dressing made with sourdough bread and herbed mushrooms ($85). Or, choose to order “The Whole Deal” — including all of the above — for $160. Whatever you choose, order early and pick up on November 23, complete with reheating instructions.
2. The Iberian Pig
Photo: Heidi Geldhauser
Every year it seems, we hear about a possible shortage of turkeys, inciting a bit of panic in
Turkey Day traditionalists. However, a whole suckling pig from The Iberian Pig in Decatur might make you forget the gobblers forever. With a week’s notice, the team will fire-roast a 6 – 7 lb. pig with a bit of Spanish flair ($325), with larger piggies — up to 15 lbs. — available at various prices. If you want to leave the whole “Pig Day” menu to the pros, $75 will get you a generous salad, two sides (choose anything from the restaurant’s extensive tapas menu) and dessert.
3. Star Provisions
Photo: Brian Woodcock
Leave it to Star Provisions and Bacchanalia’s Chef Anne Quatrano to take Thanksgiving dinner to the next level. In addition to sides ($9.95 for small, $19.90 for large) including buttered rutabagas, dressing with apples and sage, braised local collards, creamed onions, Brussels sprouts and bacon and garlicky roasted cauliflower, and traditional apple, pumpkin and pecan pies ($20 each), you can pick up the Rolls Royce of birds. Quatrano sources Heritage Breed Black Turkeys from a small North Carolina family farm, so she can confirm they’re organic, free-range and humanely raised. The turkeys come raw (brined or unbrined), but the super-knowledgeable team at Star Provisions is ready and willing to offer tips on how to cook them to perfection. Don’;t leave without a dozen — or two — of the signature thyme-onion rolls.
4. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
Leave the smoking to the pit masters at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q this Thanksgiving and avoid the potential for a meat-related disaster (we all have that one crazy uncle…). Choose from a 10 – 12 lb. Whole Smoked Turkey ($75) or Smoked Turkey Breasts ($22/lb.), both of which come with creamy giblet gravy. Or, take a walk on the wild side with a 6 – 8 lb. Whole Smoked Ham ($60), which is cured in house, rubbed with Fox Bros.’ signature dry rub and smoked with the bone in. Order at 404.414.0826.
5. Southern Art
Photo: Southern Art
If it’s true that baking is as much art as science, and the pastry chef team at Southern Art in Bulkhead just may have achieved virtuoso status. For the third year in a row, the restaurant presents their annual “Pie Stop,” which offers towering gourmet cakes and delectable pies, all inspired by Chef Art Smith’s time-honored recipes (he used to be Oprah’s personal chef, so you know they’re great). Order online, beginning November 19 and choose from Ellijay Apple Crumble Pie ($25), Sweet Potato Pie ($28), Bourbon Pecan Pie ($35), Chocolate Decadence Flourless Cake ($42) and Cinnamon-Glazed Maple Spice Cake ($36). Fair warning: These might be a little too perfect for you to pass them off as your own.