Have you ordered your turkey yet? We hope so — last week, we recommended a number of places that sell local, sustainable birds, but many of those vendors were on the way to selling out. And assuming you have the poultry under control (or aren’t responsible for roasting the fowl), it’s time to start thinking about sides. And if you’re short on time — or lacking in kitchen space — we’ve rounded up treats from 10 different spots in NYC that make good additions to the Thanksgiving table.
Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie ($30), Little Pie Company, 424 West 43rd Street
Giving this staple pie a sour cream twist isn’t the newest trick, but it’s enough to lure devotees to Little Pie Company’s spartan store, a favorite in Hells Kitchen since 1985. The dairy doesn’t just lend creamy tartness; it also adds a luxe heft to intricate, swollen layers of slivered Granny Smith apples, walnut streusel, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Pre-order as early as you can — these go fast.
Pumpkin and Cranberry Tart ($38), Dominique Ansel Bakery, 189 Spring Street
Dominique Ansel’s Willy Wonka-esque objets d’art — cronuts, magic souffle, etc. — have achieved celebrity status, and it’s a shame that some of his other cakes and tarts don’t share the limelight. The Daniel alum has been known to put haute twists on American classics, and so we strongly encourage you to opt out of his traditional pumpkin pie for his pumpkin cranberry tart, which is lighter than its traditional counterpart. The cranberry adds a tart twang to the rich pumpkin mousse, and the filling is highlighted by a dense, buttery shortbread crust in lieu of Graham cracker — stylistically French and characteristically Ansel.
Chocolate Pecan Pie ($32), Two Little Red Hens, 1652 Second Avenue
This storied UES establishment is designed as quaintly as the name suggests — a tiny, warmly-lit storefront space centers on a large display of cakes, cupcakes, and pies laid out on tiered wire-racks. And the chocolate pecan pie ($5 per slice, $32 for a whole pie), a Southern staple available all-year round, sells out every morning within hours of the store’s opening. Each bite of the revered pie is texturally astounding: Crisp, chunky pecans are wreathed in a buttery filling. Generous nuggets of slightly-melted Callebaut bittersweet chocolate seal the deal, elevating this pie to a level that will convert even the snobbiest pecan purists. If the shop does sell out, consider the pumpkin cheesecake ($5, $32 for a whole cake), which is rich, fluffy, and nutty. And again, plan ahead: Sunday, November 20 is the last day to send in your order for Thanksgiving week.
Flagship Cheeses Gift Box ($59), Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, 900 Broadway
Beecher’s champions the artisanal American spirit, which makes these wares ideal eats on a holiday celebrating, well, American spirit. Though not nearly as pungent or heady as their French counterparts — camembert and brie might not be appropriate for Thanksgiving fare — the cheeses here are robust their own way. Flagship, Beecher’s signature, is a semi-hard cow’s milk aged 15 months; it’s complex and crumbly, and the smoked variety goes well with charcuterie. The Flight of Flagship gift box gets you two pounds of cheeses in four varieties with crackers. And while you can order online, we strongly recommend paying a visit to the Flatiron outpost to sample these varieties and to see the cheesemongers at work. Pick up some jams while you’re there.
Truccio Santi Loaf ($4), Sullivan Street Bakery, 533 West 47th Street
We can’t stop thinking about Sullivan Street’s vanilla-cream bomboloni ($3.50), but let’s not forget that this bakery makes the best bread in town (and the shop is a purveyor for Babbo, among others). So if you’re tasked with bringing something simple this holiday — or you want to add a really excellent touch to the table — head here and opt for the festive Truccio Santi, a small round loaf studded with walnuts and raisins. Dense, fragrant, and intensely nutty, this bread is also incredibly nuanced — Sullivan throws black pepper and cinnamon into the mix. Like many of the items there, it’s good enough to eat on its own, no butter required.
Pate en Croute ($34/pound), Epicerie Boulud, 1900 Broadway
Daniel Boulud, king of charcuterie, knows a thing or two about decadent pates and pastries, and the Lyon native’s pate en croute is the crown jewel of selection at Epicerie. Tender guinea hen and pork plus wild mushrooms, mellow garlic, brandy, and rich foie gras are all tightly packed in a buttery, flaky puff-pastry adorned with braids and latticed like a gingerbread house. Don’t even try replicating this at home.
Jamon Iberico (machine $95/pound, by hand $120/pound), Despaña Fine Foods, 408 Broome Street
Cured meat is one of the easiest pick-ups for a last minute appetizer, and since it’s Thanksgiving and all, it’s a good time to try something exquisite, rare — and breathtakingly priced. Despaña Fine Foods serves the city’s highest quality jamon Iberico, a cut that’s far oilier and more intense than prosciutto, because it comes from pigs that are fattened by high quality acorns (bellota), and the meat is cured for at least two years. Get your jamon sliced by machine or — the recommended old-fashioned way — by hand, producing wisp ribbons of enough salt and fat to prime your fellow guests for more. And if you have nutrition-conscious eaters in the mix, placate them with the fact that the monounsaturated fats in jamon are like the fats in extra virgin olive oil: healthy.
Assorted Marshmallows in Seasonal Flavors ($11/box), Three Tarts, 1 West 59th Street
Pleasing a gaggle of kids? Three Tarts’ doles out exquisite, fluffy marshmallow pillows of almost any flavor imaginable (yuzu, anyone?), and it’s for that reason that the purveyor earned a coveted spot at the Plaza food hall. We’re psyched about the winter flavors — cinnamon, espresso, mango, raspberry, and rosemary chocolate — which taste especially good when they’re torched to a dusty, meringue-like crisp and placed between two graham cracker squares.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam, ($28 for 4oz jar), Anarchy in a Jar, Multiple Locations
Sold at Whole Foods and Beecher’s (among other spots), Laena McCarthy’s vast selection of 16 jams and chutneys are all hand-made and hand-packed with local fruit. Flavors range from grapefruit and smoked salt marmalade to spiced beer jelly to pear jam with chipotle and cinnamon. The classic strawberry balsamic remains a top-seller and a cult favorite; unlike conventional jams, the preserves here aren’t cooked down as much, which allows for fresher, texturally distinct bits of fruit. Lemon juice and balsamic help round off the sweetness; swipe this on a plain slice of bread or pair it to goat cheese spread.
Salted Caramel Apple Pie ($35), The Baking Bean
You’ll want to peruse all of Clarice Lam’s treats before you settle on what you’ll bring to Thanksgiving dinner: The model-turned-baker specializes in whimsical takes on classics. Apple pie macarons, pumpkin pie pop tarts, and sweet potato and orange buttermilk biscuits are all solid orders, but the baker is also turning out a Thanksgiving-related deal: Order an apple pie for $35, and you’ll get a jar of accompanying salted caramel sauce plus free delivery; you can schedule your pie to come sometime between two days before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving day at 5 p.m.