With less than two weeks until Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23, now is the time to plan what you're going to do for your family and friends. Whether you want to host your own feast or will be traveling to someone else's home for a party, you don't have to do all the work alone...or arrive empty-handed. From cheese and charcuterie platters to a table-setting expert to full-on meals that you can order in advance, there are many ways to slay the holiday without much effort. Just keep in mind, many of the services have cut-off dates this week, so get out the checklist and start ordering as soon as possible.
Cheerful Tipples for Toasting
Sure, you can have a booze-free Thanksgiving, but why would you want to? If you're looking for something really special for that hostess gift or to pop during dinner, grill wine expert Mary Allison Wright of the Proper Pour at The Source (3350 Brighton Boulevard). Not only does her compact shop have unique offerings, but she can help you build your wine list and lead you to the perfect bottles. Another great place for those looking for guidance is Mondo Vino, at 3601 West 32nd Avenue. The knowledgeable staff can help pair wine, steer you toward a local spirit or recommend beers for the feast.
Of course, if you just want to make sure to stock up on local booze to go with your Thanksgiving party, consider these: On the wine side, Kingman Estate Winery has a great lineup of reds to choose from; Infinite Monkey Theorem offers one of the only sparking wines — Bubble Universe — made locally (and everyone knows bubbles go with everything); and if you would like to pair your turkey with a nice crisp white, procure a bottle of Plum Creek Winery's dry riesling.
For beer drinkers, the options feel boundless, since so many craft breweries exist in the state. For something really special, Highlands Wine & Liquor (4650 West 38th Avenue) offers a large selection of large-format and rare beers, and the staff knows what's what. And if you get on the ball, Denver Beer Co. and Long I Pie are hosting a pie-and-beer-pairing event (tickets are available for the brewery's Platte Street and Arvada locations) on Saturday, November 18, perfect to get some hands-on tasting to help you make Turkey Day decisions.
Fantastic Finger Foods
Whether you're looking to plump up your pre-dinner options or plan to take something to someone else's fete, many local places are helping to make it easy and delicious. Il Porcellino Salumi (4334 Wesr 41st Avenue) is doing salumi platters ($45 for a four-to-six person platter or $100 for a spread for twelve or more) with assorted house-cured meats, rillettes, pickled vegetables, pâtés, bread, pickled mustard seeds and crackers. On the cheese side, The Truffle Cheese Shop (2906 East Sixth Avenue) will custom-build a spread depending on the size of the party and what you like. The offerings can include cured meats, dried fruit, nuts, olives and palate cleansers, as well as oodles of cheese.
Justin Brunson's Culture Meat & Cheese (inside the Denver Central Market at 2669 Larimer Street) also makes charcuterie and cheese boards, but you can order giant salads, too ($35 for four to six people and $70 for eight to twelve). Choose from a fruit-and-nut job with arugula, candied walnuts, dried fruits, blue cheese and walnuts; a chopped Italian with romaine, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, castelvetrano olives, fresh mozzarella, finocchiona sausage, ham and a red-wine vinaigrette; or a simple mixed-green option. These and a few more Thankgiving offerings are also available from Brunson's Masterpiece Deli (1575 Central Street).
Like the others, Cured (1825 Pearl Street, Boulder) also will whip up a crazy-good plate of cheese and charcuterie for your get-together, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Fluff up that holiday table with freshly made dolmas; Rancho Gordo heirloom garbanzo-bean hummus with rainbow carrots and crackers; artichoke dip with garlic and lemon; and a stunning salad of quinoa, Cure Organic Farm beets, chèvre, toasted hazelnuts and lemon (prices vary).
Okay, so you've decided you want to have your entire meal signed, sealed and delivered this year. No problem. For those looking to get the whole shebang, consider getting a traditional meal sent right to you from SupperBell ($149.95). The lineup covers four to six adults and consists of herb-brined turkey, broccoli-cauliflower gratin with roasted garlic and tarragon; Yukon gold mashed potatoes with crème fraîche; stuffing loaded with green apples, sausage and sage; bacon-and-thyme-laced Brussels sprouts; citrus cranberry sauce; and gravy. The only thing missing is the pie.
Chef/restaurateur Frank Bonanno is the culinary director of SupperBell, and the chef is offering other ways to get his cooking, too. You can pre-order Thanksgiving dinner from Russell's Smokehouse (1422 Larimer Street) and pick it up on the day of Thanksgiving. The four-to-six-person meal ($210) includes smoked turkey with brown gravy, cornbread dressing, butternut-squash hash with pecans, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, dinner rolls and a choice of pie — maple bourbon pumpkin, salted caramel pecan or apple. If you want a Gallic twist to the holiday, order the four-to-six-person spread from French 75 ($210). The lineup features roasted turkey with gravy, brioche stuffing, goat-cheese creamed spinach, a baguette with truffle salt butter, whipped potatoes and one of the aforementioned pies. Get details for both options (as well as for Wednesday's Pie) on the Bonanno Concepts website.
Brider, 1644 Platte Street, is cooking up Thanksgiving dinner per-person style. That means everyone gets rotisserie turkey, pumpkin pie, housemade brioche rolls ($20), and then you can add on sides such as mac and cheese, mushroom and apple stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and candied yams for just $5 per person. Call 303-455-3048 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order, which will be ready on November 22.
Not everyone can indulge in a classic Thanksgiving feast. Some need options that are gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan and vegetarian. Just Be Kitchen (2364 15th Street) has a four-person Thanksgiving spread ($100) that caters to the grain-free, gluten-free lifestyle with a paleo menu. The meal includes turkey, sage-apple stuffing with an arrowroot and almond base, bone-broth gravy, sweet-potato gratin, cauliflower and turnip mash, and sweet apple crumble. To order, visit the Just Be online ordering site and click "Market Items." The number of meals they'll be making is limited, so reserve soon for pickup the day before Thanksgiving.
Vital Root, 3915 Tennyson Street, has also whipped up a vegan meal that you can order online for $25 per person, consisting of a mushroom lentil loaf with porcini gravy; roasted Brussels sprouts with coconut bacon; cauliflower coconut milk mashers; and pumpkin almond pie. Get your orders in by November 20 for pickup on November 22.
Perhaps pie crust seems daunting, or maybe you just want to try something a little unique for this year's dessert. No matter the reason, getting a pre-made pie or other sweet treat is a great idea. Order now to get one of Long I Pie's salted honey lavender or chocolate pumpkin pies, or gluten-free drunken nut. Better yet, get a flight of mini-pies for complete indulgence. Online orders can be made until 5 p.m. on November 16; pies can be picked up at Long I Pie's kitchen inside Fort Greene, 321 East 45th Avenue.
Over in Congress Park, Humble Pie, at 3550 East Colfax Avenue, has a lineup of classic desserts as well. Choose from spiced pumpkin, salted caramel apple, cherry lattice, chocolate bourbon pecan and more ($25 each). You can also order a gluten-free pie if the mood should strike you. Order on the Humble Pie website for pickup at the shop.
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And if you want a vegan dessert to add to the spread or to take to a Friendsgiving, consider ordering a perfect specimen from Beet Box, a vegan bakery at 1030 East 22nd Avenue. You can reserve desserts like gluten-free pumpkin gingerbread, caramel-filled pumpkin cake with chai frosting, and more. Just make sure to place your order soon. See the Beet Box website for ordering info and deadlines.
When all is said and done, perhaps the thing you need help with the most this Thanksgiving is hosting the fete. A great place to turn to is Cloth + Gold, a lifestyle company that provides party-planning services, stunning table settings, curated consumables and moral support for the big day. And when the meal is done, you simply pack up the dirty dishes and the company takes everything away — leaving you time to dig into your leftovers.