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Thanksgiving Dinner Without The Fuss

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Sure, you could juggle the football game and the in-laws and still do all the cooking for Thanksgiving. But ask yourself this question: Why?

From east to west across Verona there are options for outsourcing some, or all, of your holiday cooking. But you might not want to plan on eating out in town on Thanksgiving: Most Verona restaurants will be closed.

The Pilgrims did not have fried calamari and tortellini for their big day, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t. Verona being Verona, you can have a traditional Thanksgiving, or a feast with Italian overtones. The latter first. Miele‘s can make half or full trays of a wide range of appetizers and pastas. Sonny’s On The Avenue caters off-premises, as does Bella Gente/R’s Place, which may be open for Thanksgiving, management says, because so many customers have asked about it. Frank Anthony’s will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but you can order out beforehand from a catering menu that has a wide range of salads, pastas and sides, and alternate proteins for anyone who isn’t a turkey fan, like a boneless pork loin stuffed with mozzarella and roasted peppers.

If you are a traditionalist, you have plenty of options. Jack’s Cafe is making its signature cream of sweet potato soup and is offering half trays of a variety of sides, including the stuffing; stop in for all the choices. Mardi Gras Fine Foods gave a preview of its Thanksgiving menu at the OLL Oktoberfest. Its menu has the standards like roast turkey, candied yams and pumpkin pie, and a lot of twists, like sweet potato puff appetizers and a Granny Smith apple crumb pie.

Eight Hills Caterers will do the bird or the sides–or everything for you. You can get just a whole turkey, sliced and decorated for $5.50 a pound, which includes the stuffing and gravy. Eight Hills will also do the entire dinner, which serves 12-15 people, for $310.

Hobcaw Cafe will brine and roast the turkey for you–or prep it so you can put it in your own oven and capture that full Thanksgiving smell. Nancy McArthur is turning 40 pounds of cranberries into conserves and desserts right now, and roasting up lots of winter vegetables. Her menu is here.

If an non-traditional, non-Italian Thanksgiving is in order, consider Tortilla Sunrise. Steve Connelly can make you empanadas and flautas, a tray of enchiladas or even pavo en mole, the traditional northern Mexican dish of turkey in mole sauce.

Get your orders in by this weekend and remember: If somebody else does the cooking, you can go to O’Neil’s Thanksgiving Eve Party with a clear conscience.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citranohttps://myveronanj.com
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Forbes.com. Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].

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