Thanksgiving kicks off a season of holiday delights. Ski Santa Fe opens its doors promptly at 9 am on Thursday Nov. 22, providing the option to make some turns and burn some serious calories before sitting down to an evening or afternoon feast. On Friday Nov. 23, the Plaza's Christmas lights are fired up, marking the official beginning of Santa Fe's winter festivities. And for the epicure with a lazy streak, there's a lot to be thankful for, such as a food scene replete with delicious local options within easy reach. Below are a few highlights for last-minute, face-stuffing good times on Turkey Day, whether dining out on the town or feasting at home.
If you feel like outsourcing the cooking part of the holiday, there's a bounty of top restaurants offering Thanksgiving feasts. In addition to a three-course prix fixe menu, La Casa Sena (125 E Palace Ave., 988-9232) offers a complete meal takeout service. Choose from three dinner menus that serve eight to 10 people, each featuring a different entree course. For $179.99, nosh on a red chile-glazed turkey, for $199.99 the restaurant offers a roasted Colorado bone-in lamb leg, and for $194.99 you can get half lamb, half turkey. But get on it: You have to order by Nov. 17. Sides include truffle-infused mashed potatoes, green chile gravy and blue cornbread stuffing. Or make a reservation to visit in person and, for $75 a head, gorge on herb roasted free-range turkey, smoked duck breast or grilled Scottish salmon. But of course, get on that too, because they were nearly at capacity on Monday.
Another fabulous dining menu awaits at El Nido (1577 Bishops Lodge Road, 954-1272), which offers a $60 three-course prix fixe that includes a vegetarian entrée of butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter and caramelized walnuts, not to mention the more classic offerings of herb roasted turkey and braised lamb shank. There's plenty of pumpkin to go around, too, including a soup course, gelato and pie. Make that reservation STAT!
For home cooks scouring for the right raw materials at the last minute, local grocery stores have sweet Thanksgiving deals as well. At Kaune's Neighborhood Market (511 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-2629), order a cage-free turkey at $2.69 a pound, sourced from Amish farms in Minnesota. Friday Nov. 16 is the cutoff date to order, but the deli offers plenty of prepared meats, sides and salads to otherwise create a meal.
If you're feeling especially lazy, most stores feature entire pre-made meals, priced according to however many they feed. Try the Thanksgiving plate specials for $17.99 a person at La Montañita Co-op (913 W Alameda St., 984-2852), which feature Mary's Free Range Turkey from Pitman Farms in California, plus mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, maple glazed yams, green beans and rolls. There's also a vegetarian and vegan option, which substitute a sliced mushroom loaf in place of turkey. Find also pre-made side dishes priced at $9.99 a pound, such as green chile and butternut squash enchiladas, calabacitas and vegan wild rice and piñon crusted green beans. Pre-ordered holiday offerings at the co-op are available until Monday Nov. 19.
But if you're hard-pressed at the last minute to come up with the means to make a feast, Whole Foods Market (753 Cerrillos Road, 992-1700) takes Thanksgiving orders right up until Tuesday Nov 20. Find two turkey options, a conventionally styled at $2.49 a pound, and a hormone- and antibiotic-free organic option for $3.49 a pound. But be forewarned: Braving the parking lot during the holiday rush is not for the faint of heart.
Finally, for keeping it as local as possible, the Tuesday Santa Fe Farmers Market (1607 Paseo de Peralta, 983-4098) comes to an official close on Nov. 20, marking a perfect time to pick up any last-minute farm-fresh pumpkins or squash, apple cider, local honey, ristras and a wide array of meats, produce and cheeses from neighboring farms.
Finally, for desserts, Chocolate Maven (821 W San Mateo Road, 984-1980) boasts a wide array of treats, from a caramel chocolate pecan pie ($17), a flaky, green chile spiced apple pie ($24) and an assortment of croissants, muffins and rolls ($16) for lazy morning feasting. They request you order at least 24 hours in advance, and the earlier the better to preserve everyone's sanity—and if you want to pick up even as late as Thursday morning, they'll be there, either with your pre-ordered pie or a stack of take-away treats ready for the procrastinators.
Freshly baked treats are also available at Dolina Bakery & Café (402 N Guadalupe St., 982-9394) and include a shaker pie filled with zingy Meyer lemon-flavored filling ($36) and a sour cream coffee cake flavored with cinnamon spiced pecans ($25). You need to order a pie at least a day in advance, and they're closed Thursday, so decide by Tuesday what you would like.
For the gluten-free and vegan looking to score some safe-space styled holiday treats, local pop-up bakery Drift and Porter is scheduled to be open on Sunday Nov. 18 at the Railyard Artisan Market (1607 Paseo De Peralta, 577-4809) to preside over an array of jewel-like treats priced according to size from $6 to $10, including mini apple pies and fritters, chocolate whoopie pies with pumpkin buttercream and cinnamon buns.
But whatever your preferences, Thanksgiving in Santa Fe promises to fully deliver on flavor and fun.