Who doesn’t look forward to Thanksgiving? There’s crisp fall weather, family, Black Friday planning, football and the traditional turkey-and-stuffing-induced coma. But there’s no need to restrict your annual binge to the tried-and-trues. Step outside the comfort zone with comfort foods from elsewhere in the world. The unique restaurants at Trinity Groves can help you do some sampling.
Elotes (Chino Chinatown)
Many Thanksgiving connoisseurs will tell you turkey is just an excuse for dressing. There’s no question side dishes are more important to the meal than their designation suggests. Chino Chinatown’s menu is full of snacks whose flavors are as big as any entree. Chef Uno Immanivong’s take on elotes honors the earthy origins of the dish (a staple of Mexican street cuisine) while taking it to a whole other level. In lieu of the traditional sprinkling of chili powder, Chino Chinatown dusts its grilled sweet corn with tōgarashi, a Japanese spice mixture containing hints of orange peel, ginger and delicately nutty sesame seeds. And that silky texture characteristic of the best elotes? Here, it’s not crema, but a savory and punchy bone marrow sriracha aioli.
Lamb tagine (Souk)
Every great world cuisine seems to have its signature cooking implement. French chefs can’t function without their sauté pans, and Chinese cooks swear you can’t do a proper stir-fry unless you have a wok. In North Africa, some of the most delicious food you’ll ever eat is served in peaked ceramic dishes called tagines. This slow cooker is so associated with cooking in Morocco and Algeria that the recipes themselves have taken the name of the vessel itself. Souk’s achieves an artful balance of meat and vegetables, as well as spicy, savory and sweet. Garnished with
dried apricots, threads of saffron and almonds, Souk’s tender braised lamb makes for an impressive presentation. It’s also a true feast that’s ideal for sharing.
Profiteroles (Resto Gastro Bistro)
Thanksgiving desserts just aren’t as special as they used to be. In a world in which every treat can be doused with pumpkin spice, that wedge of burnt orange pie sweating underneath a mound of “whipped topping” starts to lose its nostalgic glow. But profiteroles are here to restore your faith in the heights that the harmony of pastry and cream can achieve. If you order the profiteroles at Resto Gastro Bistro, you’ll enjoy three miniature cream puffs that have been transformed into particularly refined ice cream sandwiches, set atop a pool of chocolate sauce. The ingredients may be simple, but the result is decadent without being overwhelmingly sugary or rich.
Hard cider (LUCK)
In case you’d like to end your evening at with a nightcap, you might care to check out LUCK’s selection of ciders. On draught is a locally pressed, British-style dry apple cider: High & Dry from Oak Cliff’s Bishop Cider Co. High & Dry is piquant and never sappy. At 6.8% ABV, it’s just strong enough to whet your appetite for seconds. Like many of the beverages at LUCK, you can even get your cider to go, in the form of either a 32- or 64-ounce growler.
We asked a few of our incubator chefs what their personal favorites are to prepare on Thanksgiving. Perhaps their chosen dishes will provide you some Turkey Day inspiration.
“My favorite dish to cook during Thanksgiving is cornbread dressing. It’s special. I only make it once a year, so my husband will eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day.”
—Tracy of Cake Bar
“I love to cook dessert during Thanksgiving, obviously. I make a mean deep-dish apple pie, but my most requested family item is rum balls. They’re rum-soaked brownies rolled into balls and dipped in dark chocolate.”
—Kate Weiser of Kate Weiser Chocolate
“My favorite dish to cook for Thanksgiving is sriracha-fried Brussels sprout chips, because it’s a great way to get my niece and daughter involved and simple enough to prepare ahead. They are so addictively good that they’ve been known to convert non-Brussels sprout eaters to believers.”
—Chef Uno of Chino Chinatown
“I love a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Stuffing is my favorite dish. I change it up each year, adding nuts, cranberries, different spices and vegetables.”
—Linda of Resto Gastro Bistro
“I do a brined and smoked turkey on the Big Green Egg every year. It’s super juicy, smoky and just plain delicious.”
—Chef Omar of Casa Rubia
Turkey and stuffing are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re looking to expand your fine dining horizons this Thanksgiving weekend, come check out the global offerings that only Trinity Groves has to offer.