Call me the Ebenezer Scrooge of the turkey world, but I just don’t get warm and fuzzy over a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins. My childhood Thanksgiving memories involve sitting at the kids table while two dozen relatives picked the turkey clean before passing it our way, plus stuffing that was lukewarm by the time it got to me. Why the hell would I want to spend hours in a kitchen to get nostalgic over that? That’s not to say I don’t celebrate the holiday. I have plenty of things to be thankful for this year, one of which is the creativity of Las Vegas chefs. So, for those who want to observe the holiday without taking a trip down memory lane, here are a few of the more interesting options.
Lucille’s will put a Southern spin on Thanksgiving by offering several smoked turkey dishes. You can get it on a sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce ($8), in a casserole ($17), or on a platter ($22). If turkey’s not for you, check out the smoked ham. And finish your meal with sweet-potato pie. In Red Rock Resort, 220-7427; in the District at Green Valley Ranch, 257-7427.
If you want to ditch all of the holiday formality, head to Holsteins for a Billy Burger. It’s a turkey burger on a bun with cranberry relish, bread stuffing and giblet gravy ($16). Wash it down with a pumpkin pie bam-boozled shake ($11), made with pumpkin pie filling, Crown Royal Maple whiskey, graham-cracker crumble and pumpkin-seed brittle. In the Cosmopolitan, 698-7940.
Chef Joe Elevado will add some Asian flavors to his holiday meal this year. The turkey roulade comes with Hawaiian bread/Peking duck dressing and five-spice gravy ($32). From the sushi bar, check out the Thanksgiving Roll ($26), which features that same dressing wrapped in soy paper and topped with turkey breast and crispy shallots. Or try the Plymouth Rock Shrimp Hand Roll with avocado, kaiware sprouts and creamy sweet-chili sauce ($10). In Encore, 770-5340.
Chef Brian Howard is ditching turkey altogether in his three-course Thanksgiving dinner ($55). Instead, the entrée will be a trio of goose. It includes confit of goose leg pavé served with red kurri squash and mustard seed, pan roast of goose breast with goose stuffing and pomegranate glacé and goose bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts. Appetizer options include duck and chicory salad, pumpkin soup or foie gras ($25 extra). For dessert it’s pumpkin pie with warm pumpkin ganache, fall-spiced ice, vanilla streusel and Chantilly cream. In the Cosmopolitan, 698-7910.
Honey Salt is celebrating the fact that Thanksgiving falls during Hanukkah this year—something that won’t happen for another 70,000 years. So they’ve created a special Thanksgivukkah menu that will be available November 25 through December 2. The three-course meal ($40) starts with potato latkes with toasted pine nuts, watercress, horseradish and cranberry sauce. The main course will be braised short ribs with Brussels sprouts and butternut squash puree. And you get a choice of pumpkin cheesecake or Hanukkah donuts for dessert. A wine pairing is available ($20). 1031 S. Rampart Blvd., 445-6100.
Brit Gordon Ramsay will reinterpret his signature Beef Wellington in honor of the American holiday. The Turkey Wellington ($45) will feature sous vide turkey breast and cranberry wrapped in puffed pastry, and will come with sourdough stuffing, chive crepe, sweet-potato purée and glazed root vegetables. In Paris Las Vegas, 877-346-4642.
Wolfgang Puck is offering a different Thanksgiving menu at each of his local restaurants. But the desserts at three of them will be the same. The feasts at Spago, Postrio and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill will all end with a pumpkin pie “bar” that features a layer of cream-cheese mousse, cranberry gelée and white chocolate sauce. It’s the creation of Puck’s new pastry chef Kamel Guechida. Spago, in the Forum Shops at Caesars, 369-6300; Postrio, in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian, 796-1110; Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, in MGM Grand, 891-3000.