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Monday, November 30, 2020

Sales of Thanksgiving-to-go meals, dishes booming

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Thanksgiving turkey dinner
With fewer people needing huge meals like this, many are getting Thanksgiving-to-go meals, dishes at area restaurants.

 

Since Ron Ozer and Dorinda Dove will celebrate Thanksgiving alone this year, they preordered takeout from Harry’s Savoy Grill in Brandywine Hundred.

“We decided we didn’t want to cook for two,” Ozer said.

For $29.95 per person, the restaurant’s entrée includes turkey, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, sugar snap peas, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy.

The Arden couple are in good company.

 

Many Delawareans are following public health guidelines and eating their Thanksgiving meal with their immediate household.

Faced with fewer faces around the table, customers are ordering entire meals or a few dishes from restaurants and other services.

Preorders are “way, way up” at Toscana to Go in Trolley Square, said owner Dan Butler. Preorders are also respectable at Skipjack in Newark, which is preparing family-style meals for four-to-six people for $140. (Individual items are also available a la carte.)

This year, size matters. Butler created a new package for four to six people.

“We’ve had almost zero ‘large feast’ sales this year,” he noted. 

 

In a nod toward smaller parties, Big Fish Grill in Rehoboth is selling individual dinners for pickup that include turkey, ham, gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing. The cost is $24.95, and customers choose one side. For $10 extra, they get pumpkin-crab bisque or a salad, another side and dessert.

Fork + Flask in Rehoboth is racking up the orders for individual meals or dinners for two, said catering director Kathy McDonald. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Harry K Foundation, which is combating childhood hunger in the state. 

Those with a large household can still feed the family without lifting a roasting pan. Caffe Gelato in Newark offers a $269 meal for 10. However, the restaurant also has a $149 half-order for up to five.

While the menu includes the usual suspects — turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing — it also features house-made ravioli with nutmeg-cream sauce and gelato — what else?— for dessert.

 

To be sure, it’s not all about the turkey. At Harry’s Savoy Grill, Meg Morgan has taken preorders that include steak, the Brandywine Hundred restaurant’s specialty.

In Lewes, Raas is putting an Indian slant on the traditional with a Thanksgiving Eve three-course dinner. Selections include roasted pumpkin-and-coconut soup and turkey tikka masala. The cost is $65 per person.

Even SIW Vegetables in Chadds Ford is getting in on the action. The produce stand is piggybacking on the success of the to-go meal program it offered last summer.

Dinner for two includes smoked turkey breast with herb gravy, sticky glazed pork, cranberry relish, roasted carrots, mashed potatoes, savory mushroom-bread pudding and kale salad with apple, radish carrot and onion vinaigrette. The cost is $65.

Not all restaurants have the kitchen space to make pounds of whole turkeys, but that doesn’t mean they can’t capitalize on the holiday.

 

For the first time, La Fia Bistro in downtown Wilmington has crafted a Thanksgiving to-go menu. Items include freshly baked bread, a charcuterie-and-cheese board and desserts. 

La Fia is also preparing sophisticated sides, such as potatoes au gratin with black truffle cream and roasted Brussels sprouts with apples, turnips and smoked almond-chili butter.

Indeed, adventurous restaurants are staying true to their concept.

Skipjack owner Donny Merrill is whipping up orange blossom honey carrots, Madeira gravy, orange-cranberry compote, and five-cheese macaroni-and-cheese. 

If you’re thinking of ordering all or a portion of your Thanksgiving dinner, pick up the phone now.

Hank’s Place in Chadds Ford has sold out of its Thanksgiving Day dishes.

The early pilgrim gets the drumstick. 


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