WE Eat: Thanksgiving Week in NYC by SPV

When my family comes to visit, I take advantage of the week by fitting as many reservations from my "must visit" restaurant list as possible. When they touched down in NYC for the week of Thanksgiving (and my brother's birthday), we had a whole lot of New York culinary plans on the itinerary. 

My parents were doing their own thing in the city the first couple of days, to celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary (yay, parents!). So their second night, I just met them for a drink and quick bite at Center Bar. I did not love my first cocktail of absinthe+champange, so opted for my typical tequila (which made the first minutes of barre pretty silly). We ordered a lamb shwarma wrap, caviar with all of the fixens (my first time!), and pork buns. In the future, I'll probably stick to cocktails at this spot and, and if I'm lucky, venture next door to Per Se for dinner. 

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When I got off work the next day and Max landed from his red-eye, we met at the Trump to shop around SoHo and eat tacos (and drink tequila) at our favorite spot in Nolita, Tacombi. Serious recommendation for those of you craving a good street taco in the city. 

That night, The Polo Bar quickly made it's way up the list of my NYC recommendations. This one was the hardest reservation to snag Thanksgiving week, with good reason. The quality of the food was outstanding, but that is not hard to come by in New York City. What sets Polo Bar apart from everyone else is the laid back, casual and comfortable feel of the highly esteemed restaurant. I cannot do the write-up of the experience justice without sounding like a complete buffoon. The highlight of the food was the caviar, served on fingerling potatoes with crème fraîche; this was one of the nicest combinations of flavors I have ever consumed in my life.  

The fam and I had Thanksgiving dinner at the fall-decked-out Park Avenue Autumn (this restaurant completely transforms, from the name and menu to the decor, each season - so rad).  

Because we're not huge fans of actual Thanksgiving food (sorry, dad), over the last few years the four of us have made doing our own thing the tradition. While I certainly miss the family component of a giant messy dinner at one table with cousins and aunts and uncles and gparents, now that we're spread about, it is nice to spend the holiday with just the four of us.

Last year, we visited Max in Spain, where he was studying in San Sebastian. Now THAT was a week worth of food blogging. On actual Thanksgiv, we had a million course meal at 3-Michelin-star-rated restaurant, Akelarre. I swore I wouldn't eat again until the following year. 

However, I happily indulged in a non-traditional Thanksgiving feast: acorn squash with ricotta and brussels sprouts, halibut with shaved black truffles, and a cube of chocolate (filled with chocolate). Started with spicey pear sangria, ate it with wine, and washed it down pre-Hunger Games with a tequila soda (and junior mints at the movie...understand why I'm now detoxing?)

For Max's birthday dinner on Saturday, we went to the Vincent favorite, American Cut. It was so fun, this is the only photo I managed to take: 

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Here are some more mismatched photos from the weekend (that all contain some form of sugar or alcohol)...

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For Max's actual birthday on Sunday, we washed the week's worth of food down with plenty of beer at the Jets vs. Dolphins game. Don't know if I'll ever be able to go to an NFL game again, considering sitting front row will be impossible to beat.  

There you have it ! Another non-thanksgiving-y Thanksgiving Week for the books.