CHRISTMESS AT THE VAULTS
This may be more of a Christmas shindig than a traditional Thanksgiving feast but, hey, what’s a turkey between friends? Besides, there are few better ways to get a taste of the Deep South in London than an evening at one of soul food specialists’ Slap Ya Papa’s theatrical dining events. One of a range of similar evenings running between now and Christmas, the one running on Thanksgiving itself is sure to up the festive ante. Taking place at The Vaults, in Waterloo, expect a Louisiana-style banquet, live jazz and cocktails. And singing waiters, dancing on the tables and lavishly dressed staff. Kick off with a shot of cinnamon-whisky liquor before getting stuck into honey-glazed ham, Cajun-roast turkey and shrimp remoulade with a whole host of Deep Southern sides (candied yams, Cajun-smoked vegetables and cornbread stuffing to name a few). Save space for dessert, though: it’s set to include traditional Christmas pud alongside candied pecans and Southern Comfort caramel.
24 November – 17 December; slapyapapa.co.uk
SEYMOUR’S PARLOUR – ZETTER TOWNHOUSE MARYLEBONE
This Thanksgiving the folk at the Zetter Townhouse’s wonderfully eccentric cocktail bar, Seymour’s Parlour, will be raising a cocktail (or three) to our friends across the pond with a Thanksgiving cocktail flight. For £30 you’ll get a choice of three of the bartenders’ favourite American cocktails, including a New Orleans Sazerac (rye whiskey, Peychauds bitters and Pernod), a Connecticut-inspired Stone Fence with Bourbon and cider, and a New York Sour from, er, Chicago. A special US-inspired food menu will accompany the cocktails, with the likes of clam chowder, turkey sausage rolls with cranberry, port and beetroot chutney, and classic pumpkin pie available (at an extra cost).
24 November; thezettertownhouse.com
CUT at 45 Park Lane
As you’d expect at this upmarket joint, Thanksgiving at CUT at 45 Park Lane is a dressy affair. Book a table for the restaurant’s Thanksgiving dinner and American chef David McIntyre will kick off with a choice of eight starters (think roasted squash soup, prime beef carpaccio with black truffles and Dorset crab with lobster) before moving on to traditional turkey, sautéed dover sole or Creekstone Farms prime steak, all served with a selection of modern side dishes. Desserts range from spiced pumpkin and ginger cheesecake to pecan pie with maple ice cream and a Russet apple and blackberry crumble with candied almonds. You won’t go thirsty here, either; CUT claims the biggest American wine list in London – choose from Napa Valley Chardonnay, light and earthy Other People’s Pinot from Oregon or a splash-out Syrah Colgin ‘IX Estate’, also from Napa.
24 November; dorchestercollection.com
Cosy Islington bistro Le Coq will give its spit-roast chicken set menu a Thanksgiving twistlater this month. Traditionalists should look away now, as the three course menu has some modern elements: buttermilk chicken wings with Sriracha mayo, or grilled shrimp with collard greens and creamed corn to start, followed by rotisserie-style turkey with a green bean casserole. For pud there’s a deconstructed pumpkin pie – roast pumpkin with ginger spiced ice cream and pie crust. Join other Americans (and wannabe-Americans) upstairs and watch the rotisserie spin, or book the private dining den for a more lavish American feasting menu for the whole clan.
21 – 27 November; le-coq.co.uk
If you’re a big group celebrating Thanksgiving, Big Easy is the ideal place for a raucous feast with its red leather banquettes and merry soundtrack. At all three branches (King’s Road, Covent Garden and Canary Wharf) are offering a £35 American menu this Thanksgiving. That gets you a serious celebration in culinary form – butternut squash soup, pit-smoked turkey with Southern, slow-cooked cornbread stuffing and a choice of three classic desserts – key lime pie, homemade pumpkin pie or Jack Daniels-infused pumpkin cheesecake.
24 November; bigeasy.co.uk
DECATUR AT PAMELA
Try out Decatur’s ongoing residency at Pamela bar in Dalston to enjoy Thanksgiving Deep South-style. Decatur is Birmingham-born Tom Browne’s ode to his time spent in Louisiana. Start with New Orleans chargrilled Maldon oysters with spicy and buttery sauce, and plump and juicy shrimps soaked in New Orleans BBQ sauce with a spicy chilli reduction. Next up are indulgent little stacks of buttermilk-fried chicken ‘biscuits’ (savoury scones to you and I) with a generous drizzle of hot honey, pickles and American squeaky cheese along with creamy, comforting shrimp and grits.
Order crispy fingerling potatoes as a side – pickled long and nobly Ania potatoes (think tiny baked potatoes) that are triple fried and served with mustard mayo. Or chargrilled okra with whipped lemon ricotta, red pepper jelly and cajun spices. Finish with grilled peaches and figs served with a floral citrusy cake, orange mascarpone and freeze-dried raspberries.
Written by Alex Crossley
First published November 2016