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Week of November 12, 2001
thanksgiving restaurant roundup
Thanks for Being There
For those of us who can barely toast a Pop-Tart, let alone roast a turkey, New York's restaurants have always been there. And this Thanksgiving, downtown's dining-out options are especially — and surprisingly — tempting. For the first time in its layer-cake-laden history, TriBeCa's sweet little country café, Kitchenette, will be serving dinner as well as sending it out. The Harrison, which defiantly opened its French doors only a couple weeks ago, is also talking turkey. And although Le Zinc — which takes pride in being open from dawn to dusk 365 days — was closed one day last year, on Thanksgiving, it's making up for lost time: "We're definitely open," says chef Michael Sullivan. "We want to do something nice for our neighborhood; we want to be open even more." The following downtown restaurants are serving turkey with all the trimmings (except for the Peking Duck House, which is standing firm on its choice of poultry). If you need us to draw you a map, we have.

Perfectly old-fashioned, delectably all-American four-course $50 prix fixe menu, or $70 with pairing of New York State wines.
20 Cornelia Street

Capsouto Frères
Choose white or dark meat, or both, and discover which goes better with the featured wine — the brand-new 2001 Beaujolais Nouveau. $21 prix fixe; desserts, $6.50.
451 Washington Street

The Screening Room
Overeaters, after the pumpkin cheesecake, need only propel themselves ten paces for a screening of a film. $55 prix fixe; $35 for children; movie tickets additional.
54 Varick Street

The Harrison
Besides sampling turkey breast with fig stuffing, try whole roasted branzino, leg of lamb, and ricotta cavatelli with veal cheeks. $40 prix fixe.
355 Greenwich Street

Peking Duck House
For nontraditionalists: the house specialty with the customary pancakes, greens, and plum sauce. Not a free-roaming gobbler in sight.
28 Mott Street

The Odeon
Thanksgiving is for hipsters too. Grab a smoke at the bar between the butternut-squash soup and the roasted organic bird. $45 prix fixe.
145 West Broadway

Le Zinc
Side-dish heaven. Choose three for the table from a list of ten, and pass to the left. We're going for the sweet-potato spoon bread. $38.50 prix fixe.
139 Duane Street

Family-style roast-turkey dinner. Worth the trip for the pies alone. Choose pumpkin, apple, cherry, or pecan. $45 prix fixe.
80 West Broadway

Fraunces Tavern
Recently restored historic tavern, as New Englandy and close to the original Pilgrim feast as you can get without wearing buckle shoes. $55 prix fixe.
54 Pearl Street

World Yacht
For nondysfunctional families only: Once your dining cruise sets sail for the Brooklyn Bridge, there's no escaping the in-laws. $67 prix fixe.
Pier 81, West 41st Street


object of desire
Who Knew?

Is there a fugitive from Barney Greengrass lurking in City Bakery's kitchen? First it was kippered-salmon sandwiches and a massive bagels-and-lox display, then mamaligah and farmer cheese; now it's that old deli standard salami and eggs (pictured), part of the terrific new weekend brunch menu. Savory chef Ilene Rosen serves the dish pancake-style (just like the 2nd Avenue Deli) on an individual pizza pan with a side of mustard. What were you expecting — Miracle Whip?
City Bakery
3 West 18th Street


best of the week
White Truffle Festival
Monday, November 12
Fungus alert! San Domenico NY's annual White Truffle Festival includes a silent auction of the delicacies (plus selected Barolo wines), and a phalanx of Piedmontese chefs preparing truffle-rich dinners all week. Proceeds benefit the Twin Towers Fund.
San Domenico
240 Central Park South
212-265-5959 (call to reserve)


new york magazine event
City Harvest Auction
Thursday, November 15
It's the voicemail equivalent of foie gras: A personalized greeting recorded by Julia Child, and it's up for auction at City Harvest's Bid Against Hunger 2001, being co-sponsored this year by New York. Babbo and Gramercy Tavern are among the 40-odd restaurants offering tastings at the event, which will also feature live and silent auctions of Julia's signature vocal cords, a trip to Monaco, a private gourmet dinner and more. All will benefit the disaster relief effort and the city's hungry. 6-9pm. Tickets range from $150 to $1,000: Call 212-213-3958.
The Puck Building
Grand Ballroom
295 Lafayette Street

Ask Gael
My mate insisted we cancel France for now.
Drop a small, velvety globe of oyster enrobed in a gel of red-wine-and-shallot confit into your mouth and . . . quite suddenly, you are in France. Yes, parked on a faded chartreuse banquette at a faintly desolate "44" in the Royalton, you will find the taste of France in nubbins of frog's leg and foie gras in a frothy cream, and in startlingly ethereal slivers of foie gras, on the $79 prix fixe of guest chef Jean-Michel Lorain (pictured) and his seconds. It's easy to imagine you are somewhere in Burgundy, specifically the Michelin two-star La Côtes St-Jacques in Joigny. Recruited before September 11, as one of a series of all-star opening acts leading to the launch of Blue Door with Claude Troisgros in a spruced-up lobby, Lorain's team will cook till star whisk Marc Meneau of L'Espérance takes over on December 3. "So many of our clients cannot come now to us, so we wanted to come to you," Lorain explains. "Does that seem right?" Seems merveilleux to me, a chance for local truffleheads to catch up with old friends. There's a $44 prix fixe lunch, too, "44"-standard or French.
44 West 44th Street

Bites & Buzz Archive

Week of November 5
Payard's Brazilian visitor; Jimmy's Uptown's soulful scene; Da Silvano's cookbook; Gael gets some Afghan comfort
Week of October 29
Where to load up on carbs; Beppe's pumpkin panna cotta; Gael on Zitoune
Week of October 22
Cipriani's cheap eats; small Craft advisory; Café Spice's tasting menus; Gael visits Nam
Week of October 15
Three spots for comfort food; The Last Course Cookbook; Gael's top ten escapes

and more ...

Photos: Patrick Rytikangas; Carina Salvi.

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