4 (Less Than) Traditional Thanksgiving Dining Spots & 1 Classic/ Janel Bladow
Forget the bird! Hold the mashed. Sack the stuffing.
Sometimes it’s fun to break with tradition. While everyone else is gobbling down turkey and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, why not try something different? Especially if you don’t feel like cooking.
Many - if not most - restaurants in the Hudson Valley are closed this Thursday (Nov. 25) but Hudson Valley Happenings just happened to discover a few that will be open and happy to serve you. We found five tasty dining spots for the adventurous. Who knows, lamb kabobs or Gamberoni e Fagioli may become your future go-to meal of gratitude. And P.S. For those who can’t break from tradition and also don’t want to cook, we have a classic for you. Read on. Happy Thanksgiving!
American comfort food
14184 Route 9 North
Hyde Park, NY 1253
Surely you can get sliced turkey with creamy gravy and mashed potatoes at the Eveready Diner but why bother when you can choose from street tacos and meatball sliders to chops and ribs. And you’ll still be indulging in tradition - diner food that is. Comfy at its best. Fountain favorites to pies and puddings, it’s all here in this retro-classic, deco-inspired diner. So have the pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving sake or dare to be different - gobble up a chunk of “Death by Chocolate” cake. Open till 10 pm.
Zaytune Mediterranean Cafe Greek & Kabob Style
53 Main Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
Forget the turkey! At this homey, friendly spot, owner Sammy will feed you well and you’ll be so thankful! Dip right into homemade hummus with a fluffy pita. Then dive into a steamy bowl of super yummy lentil soup. Or share a mixed appetizer of vegetarian cold moussaka, hummus and baba ghanoush. Must have a tasty lamb kabob. But if you’re a veggie, there are so many delish options as well. Save room... (oh heck, go ahead, stuff yourself, it’s Thanksgiving for goodness sake) for the baklava or pistachio cake. Lunch only on Thanksgiving 'cuz the family is closing early, 3 pm.
276 Malden Turnpike
Saugerties NY 12477
Skip the turkey leg! Instead, go Italian, Bella! With recipes perfected for more than 40 years from Italy to Manhattan, Annarella Ristorante treasures its Tuscan-inspired menu. And they certainly earned those bragging rights. Fresh, refined and fabulous regional dishes will tickle even the finickiest diner. Starters like Polenta al Ragu di Salsiccia - gorgonzola stuffed polenta smothered in sweet sausage and porcini mushroom sauce - devine. All the pastas are housemade and the secondi dishes cover land and sea - from salmon to steak. Make reservations; open Thursday 2 - 9 pm.
BJ’s Soul Food
213 Main St.
Beacon, NY 12508
BJ’s has been around more than 40 years and there’s a reason - it’s damn good! This family-owned restaurant makes food for the soul...from the best fresh fried chicken and waffles to creamy baked mac and cheese. Load on the greens but save room for the lemon cake. But if you feel guilty skipping turkey on Thanksgiving, no worries. Brenda and fam are dishing up a traditional roasted big bird with all the trimmings too. Best get there early; open Thursday 7:30 am to 6 pm.
1006 State Route 9H
Ghent, NY 12075
With the third and fourth generation of the Kozel family (Czech meaning "male goat") running this long-established, all American restaurant - one of the very few Fifties-style supper clubs still in existence - you have to go for tradition. Imperative. Usual menu has everything from wings to crab-stuffed shrimp but Thursday, they’re going full-on bird. Two seatings, 12:30 and 3:30 pm, feast on roasted turkey, homemade dressing, mashed taters and all the fixings. Hey, sometimes, some of us just crave the classics!