The fall and winter holiday seasons are upon us and I’m looking forward to one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.  Everyone has their own unique traditions associated with this national holiday. Originally Thanksgiving was a time to give thanks and celebrate the bounty of the preceding year’s harvest. We may no longer all have the strong ties to the farming cycles and harvest seasons that Thanksgiving has its roots in but for many this day is still a time to gather with family and friends to give thanks for what bounty the year has brought us.

As the chef in the family I often get tasked with making a majority of the food for our celebration. I love it but also have to start prepping days in advance to make sure I get everything done for the big day. I’m sure this is not an anomaly for many who get marked as the “Thanksgiving Chef.” I personally enjoy being the designated person, but totally understand how it could be daunting to spend all of your time off getting ready with recipes, shopping, cooking and then cleaning.

Three years ago, we started a tradition at Urban Plates by opening our doors Thanksgiving Day and offering a Thanksgiving Turkey Plate. Over the years we have enjoyed sharing our food with you, your family and friends on this holiday. This year we are looking forward to introducing a few new menu items and continuing our tradition of offering you made-from-scratch, wholesome food using clean ingredients so you can create a Thanksgiving meal that you feel great about enjoying and sharing without all the kitchen time that goes into being the chef.

We’ll be open Thanksgiving Day from 11am – 7pm serving our Thanksgiving menu of herb roasted free-range turkey breast, scratch-made gravy, cranberry relish, mushroom stuffing, roasted carrots and golden beets, sweet potato mash, macaroni and cheese, Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon, and mashed potatoes. In addition to serving these holiday menu items we will also have our full menu available along with whole desserts.

We are offering several menu categories that you can enjoy while dining in the restaurant or at home with family and friends. Our chefs are looking forward to taking care of the cooking for you so you can spend more time celebrating and spend less time in your kitchen.

Our Turkey Plate is served with house made gravy, cranberry relish, mushroom stuffing, any one side and grilled rustic bread. This plate is perfect for dining at the restaurant or taking out.

If you are looking to bring Urban Plates home, we have several options to accommodate larger groups. Our Turkey Family Meal serves four and includes roasted turkey breast, house made gravy, cranberry relish, mushroom stuffing, any one side and grilled rustic bread. This meal is available for takeout only.

Our new Turkey Family Feast is designed to serve up to 8 guests in your own setting. We are offering this meal for the first time this year in response to guests’ requests to serve larger groups a made-from-scratch Thanksgiving dinner without the complication of having to cook. Our Turkey Family Feast includes a whole, unsliced, herb roasted free-range turkey breast, a loaf of our rustic bread, gravy, cranberry relish, a large pan each of mushroom stuffing and any 2 sides of your choice. Everything will be par-cooked and ready to reheat in your kitchen. Our chefs have written clear instructions on how to reheat everything so you can feel at ease and enjoy your holiday.

We are also offering larger portion sizes of our favorite holiday sides in case you are making your own turkey or perhaps in need of contributing a side to an event. We will be offering by the quart our mushroom stuffing, roasted carrots and golden beets, sweet potato mash, macaroni and cheese, brussels sprouts with turkey bacon, and mashed organic potatoes. All of these are great additions to the Thanksgiving table.

If you are looking to complete your Thanksgiving feast or maybe just want to indulge a little, all of our pastries will be available in the individual sizes as well as whole desserts. Our famous mango tart is a unique treat for this special day and an alternative to the traditional pumpkin or apple pie. We hand slice ripe mangoes and artfully layer them in a floral pattern on our handmade tart shell filled with rum whipped cream filling.

We are also showcasing our seasonal Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Buttercream and our Pumpkin Walnut Cake (vegan, gluten free) has returned. This cake was crafted to satisfy your sweet tooth craving without the guilt. Inspired by a Thanksgiving favorite, pumpkin pie, it has all the flavors we look forward to this time of the year.

All of our Thanksgiving menu items will be available to enjoy starting November 26th. We will be running these menu items for a limited time only, finishing up on November 28th.

Our Herb Roasted Turkey Breast is the center of our Thanksgiving Plate. Our turkey is raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. From hatch to harvest, the farmers take great care to ensure the birds are raised to the highest standards, including a strict vegetarian diet without animal by-products. We prepare our turkey by marinating it overnight with sage, parsley, thyme, honey, butter, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper and a pinch of red chili pepper flakes. After marinating, we then slow-cook it overnight to ensure the turkey is very juicy and bursting with flavor. Then we finish the turkey at a high heat in our oven to seal the herb crust and cook it until the skin is crispy and golden brown. To keep the turkey at its peak of flavor and moisture, we hand-carve it to order. Turkey is high in protein, low in fat and a great source of vitamin B, which makes it a healthy choice with the added benefit of balancing post meal insulin levels.

Some of us can’t go without the infamous Thanksgiving turkey, but the sides are what really get me excited!  It’s the perfect way to highlight the seasonal produce like sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, apples, pumpkin and root vegetables. I love having a bunch of options to choose from and tasting my way through the plate. Our menu at Urban Plates reminds me of Thanksgiving in that you have a variety of choices available. Some are indulgent, like our macaroni and cheese, while others, like our roasted carrots and beets, are on the lighter side. Whatever you might be craving we’ve got options.

My favorite side we are featuring this year is the mushroom stuffing. This recipe is our twist on a traditional style stuffing.  It’s made with hand cut rustic bread, roasted mushrooms, grated organic apples, onion, organic carrot, celery, fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and honey-butter cornbread made at each restaurant by our pastry chefs. We bake our stuffing with scratch-made chicken stock and finish it with a light brushing of butter to get the perfect blend of crispy golden-brown edges and a moist center. We chose to utilize cornbread in addition to the traditional use of bread to create a unique flavor profile with a hint of sweetness from the cornmeal. The earthy mushrooms are balanced by the refreshing tangy apple and rounded out with a savory herb flavor. It’s the perfect accompaniment to turkey!

Our cranberry relish is the perfect complement to all the savory indulgence of Thanksgiving. Cranberry harvest starts as early as mid-September and peaks in November just in time for Thanksgiving. Much of what is grown gets processed into juices, sauces and jellies. We use raw cranberries, whole oranges and organic apple that are unprocessed and intentionally avoid cooking them to maintain the full natural benefits of the phytonutrients which offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. This relish is packed with vitamin C and E. We lightly sweeten the relish with organic sugar, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and add a pinch of fresh mint. All of our Thanksgiving meals come with this delicious relish.

What would a Thanksgiving meal be without the gravy, right!? We use cage-free chicken as the base combined with organic carrots, celery, onion and parsley slow simmered to create a rich and healthy scratch made chicken stock. We then make a roux, browned butter and flour, to thicken the chicken stock and reduce the sauce slowly with sage, bay leaf and black pepper. The final result is a gravy that is irresistible with our turkey and over our mashed potatoes.

You are welcome to select any of our Urban Plates sides to pair with the special Thanksgiving items. Many guests tell us they can’t refuse our signature mashed organic potatoes and gravy.

Perhaps that’s because we make them the old-fashioned way with freshly peeled organic potatoes, lightly whipped together with whole milk, butter and seasoned to perfection. We take no short cuts in making this classic side and you can tell we make them fresh multiple times a day.

This year we have added a sweet potato mash to the hot side options. This is a great alternative to traditional mashed potatoes and offers the health benefits of being lower in carbohydrates and high in nutrients with a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. We prepare them by roasting them and them blending them to a velvety puree with coconut milk and salt and pepper to finish them. The coconut milk adds a beautiful creaminess and keeps them vegan and gluten free!

 

Our Pumpkin Walnut Cake consists of velvety pumpkin mousse made with pumpkin puree, raw cashews, nut milk, coconut oil and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, turmeric and vanilla bean. These delicious sweet warming spices also have the added health benefits of lowering blood sugar levels, being anti-inflammatory and also aiding with digestion. Unlike traditional mousse our version is thickened with raw cashews instead of heavy cream, making the Urban Plates mousse dairy free! We then layer the mousse with walnut cake made with pumpkin puree, organic olive oil, walnuts and sweeten it with dates and raisins instead of cane sugar. The cake is finished with raw pumpkin seeds and edible flowers. We are proud to say this cake is made without dairy, gluten, eggs or refined sugars and we bet you can’t tell they are missing!

Our intention is to offer you clean and from scratch food at a great value. Holidays are an especially important time and we understand that it can be difficult to find real food to serve for these special occasions. Our chefs are honored to cook for you, whether you are dining with us or planning on enjoying our food in the comfort of your home.