Just because the holidays are over and done with doesn’t mean you can’t still throw a holiday-style feast. But come January, you’re probably sick of home cooking — and you’re certainly burnt out on turkey, that most overrated of festive fowl. Here, for variety’s sake, are five of New York’s best hotel chefs, each with a different (and completely turkey-free) take on the post-Christmas celebratory dinner. (Your editor’s birthday falls near the end of this month, if you’re really reaching for an excuse.)
Midtown — April Bloomfield’s spirit animal is clearly the pig, and omnivores line up for her nose-to-tail menu at the Breslin, the famous gastropub at the ever-hip Ace Hotel New York. Like the Spotted Pig, its West Village sibling, the Breslin boasts a healthy British influence — witness the famous beef & Stilton pie — as well as some dishes for hardcore swine-lovers only, like the iconic pig’s foot stuffed with shallots and Brussels sprouts.
To read: A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories by April Bloomfield
Midtown — The intimate multi-room restaurant of the NoMad Hotel has built its reputation on the back of a different barnyard character: the humble chicken. Raised in Amish country, stuffed with brioche, foie gras and black truffles, the result is without a doubt one of the best chickens in the galaxy. Still too turkey-like? Don’t worry. Chef Daniel Humm — Eleven Madison Park’s three-star chef — also does a mean lobster, which he poaches with salsify and potatoes and accompanies with brown butter bisque. You’ll be talking about it until April.
To read: I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes by Daniel Humm & Will Guidara
TriBeCa — At the Greenwich Hotel, winter remains festive well into the new year, with cookies and hot chocolate for the kids, and post-holiday shopping outings for the parents. For Locanda Verde’s star chef Andrew Carmellini, on the other hand, cold-weather hospitality is all about the comfort of burrata and peperonata, a plate of girandole with duck sausage, or the sublime steak tartare Piedmontese, served with hazelnuts, truffles and guanciale (pork jowls).
To read: Urban Italian: Simple Recipes and True Stories from a Life in Food by Andrew Carmellini
Williamsburg, Brooklyn — Looking for a bit of modern French? Head to the lower level at King & Grove Williamsburg, in the official neighborhood of the waxed moustache, for dinner at Elm. Chef Paul Liebrandt, a gifted student of Marco Pierre White and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, will spoil you with a four-course dinner: Jerusalem artichoke velouté with caviar, scallop gnudi with truffles, duck with slow-roasted figs, and a caramel corn millefeuille. It’s cooking elevated to high art, also available with a view into the kitchen at the more casual Little Elm.
To read: To the Bone by Paul Liebrandt & Andrew Friedman
Midtown — After stints in Alaskan fisheries and barbecue joints in Texas and Georgia, Chad Minton is now the executive chef at The Shop, Andaz Fifth Avenue’s farm-to-table restaurant, where his light touch with veggies and emphasis on top-quality ingredients have taken him far. Everything is locally sourced in distinctively New York style — smoked fish from Russ & Daughters, pastrami from Katz’s, pickles from (who else?) the Pickle Guy…. What to order to fight the January chill? You can’t go wrong with Chef Chad’s butternut squash bisque, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, and a spiced maple mousse. Slurp!