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Thanksgiving: One place to dine, but many takeout options

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Staffer Anna Belle and owner Marie Eiffel of Reddings are more than ready for Thanksgiving.
Staffer Anna Belle and owner Marie Eiffel of Reddings are more than ready for Thanksgiving.

There are a number of chefs on the Island willing to cook your Thanksgiving dinner or provide side dishes and desserts. But only one — Ram’s Head Inn — is ready to welcome you to its dining room for that special holiday meal.

The place where so many people have celebrated special events in their lives for almost three decades, the Ram’s Head is offering Thanksgiving dinner this year, said co-owner Linda Eklund.

This year, there will be a traditional Thanksgiving feast and then some, Ms. Eklund said.

The meal starts with maple butternut squash soup and local greens with toasted pumpkin seeds and sun-dried cranberries served at your table. Then there’s a buffet featuring the traditional roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings, roast pork and local seafood and, of course, fresh farm stand vegetables.
Dessert will feature an assortment of homemade delicacies.

The price is $60 for adults and $25 for children under eight. Service begins at 11:30 a.m. for the early birds and continues until 6 p.m.

The Islander will be open Thanksgiving morning until 1 p.m. so if you want breakfast, a snack or lunch, that could be your choice, according to owner Ashley Knight. The restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday until 3 p.m. The night before Thanksgiving, the Islander will be closed after 3 p.m.

If you’re not going out to dinner and don’t want to leave the Island, you can still escape cooking chores yourself by calling a number of the Island’s chefs who will cater your meal — everything from soup to nuts — or provide you with side dishes and desserts to complement your own turkey.

Reddings has been negotiating hard with its suppliers, according to owner Marie Eiffel, who said she believes her prices will be very competitive.

She’ll be offering organic turkeys and all the usual side dishes — stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables and salad. As for desserts, she’s planning on pumpkin and pecan pies, but if there’s something special you want, let her know and she’ll do her best to provide it.

Orders can be picked up on either Wednesday or Thanksgiving morning.

You can also look to Schmidt’s Market for your turkey and fixings. Come in and order your raw turkey and it can be prepared with a butter and herb dressing on a bed of vegetables. Other side dishes will also be available.

Pick up your order by noon Thanksgiving Day, according to Chef Zach.

Amanda Hayward at Commander Cody’s and Kyle at Kyle’s are chefs you can turn to for desserts. Both will be baking up a storm and can provide pies and cakes to whet the appetites of you and your guests.

Amanda will be baking traditional apple pie and cranberry apple pie, sweet potato bundt cake with a cream cheese frosting, pecan pie, sweet potato and pumpkin pies, cherry walnut spice pie and ginger cake with a caramel glaze. She’ll need your order three days in advance, but if you fail to get your order in on time, you might still luck out two days ahead or even on Thanksgiving morning if she has any leftovers.

But don’t expect to pick and choose if you wait until the last minute, she warned. Whatever’s left is for sale, but that may not be much.

She also prepares shrimp cocktail platters and will have bay scallops available, but, again, she needs your order ahead.

Pick up is on Thursday between 9 a.m. and noon.

For Kyle, it’s those tempting dessert items, typically pies and cakes, that she’s ready to bake for you and your company.

While most restaurants will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, several will be serving Wednesday night and, beginning Friday, throughout the weekend, so if you tire of leftovers, you’ll have ample variety from which to choose.

Ali Bevilacqua and Keith Bavaro, who operate SALT at the Island Boatyard in season, are getting rave reviews from their fall and winter customers at the Shelter Island Tavern at La Maison Blanche.

They’ll be serving dinner the night before Thanksgiving beginning at 5 p.m. After the holiday, they’ll be open for dinner starting 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, they’ll serve lunch beginning at noon and their Sunday brunch also begins at noon.

Jimi Rando will be open at Sweet Tomato’s for Wednesday night dinner between 5 and 10:30 p.m. Then he’ll be back Friday between 4 and 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, from noon to 10:30 p.m.

But if you’re craving their shrimp corn chowder with your Thanksgiving meal, you can order it in advance for pick up early Thursday morning. Whether your party is a few people or 100, Jimi said he’s ready to provide.

On Friday night, he offers a prix fixe dinner for $25 between 5 and 7 p.m.

The Vine Street Café is also closed Thanksgiving Day, but will be keeping its regular hours the rest of the weekend. And its market will be open for take out items.

Breakfast, lunch or a snack is what you’ll find at Stars Café where Lydia Martinez said she and husband Pepe are working from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Christmas. They’ll make a small exception this year on Thanksgiving, when they’ll still be open, but will close by 2 p.m.

It’s a demanding schedule to keep, Ms. Martinez admitted. “But what can you do? People are here.” And at Stars Café, the couple takes seriously the need to provide coffee, pastries, soups, sandwiches and other items that lure customers year round.

If you are dining at home or would like some decorative flowers to adorn your house for the season, you will want to place your orders early with Becky Smith at Shelter Island Heights Florist to ensure she can get exactly what you want.

The general call is for flowers that give the house an autumnal look, she said.

Some people opt to bring in their own vases so arrangements have a personal touch, Ms. Smith said.

Most opt for centerpieces or what she calls “the Martha Stewart look” that can feature a few pieces running down the table.

Just think about what look you want as soon as possible, is her advice.