How chefs are blending Thanksgiving and Hanukkah
The last time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah landed on the same day was believed to have occurred in 1888. Apparently, it won’t happen again until over 70,000 years from now. (An extra helping of pumpkin kugel goes to the person who figured out the complicated merge of the secular calendar and Jewish lunar calendar.) All the more reason to celebrate the occasion, coined Thanksgivukkah, and light the second candle of the eight-day Hanukkah celebration while giving thanks. That is, serve the big bird with sweet potato latkes, and spin dreidels while enjoying a slice of pumpkin pie.
From a culinary standpoint, there’s nothing farfetched about merging feast foods such as turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and cranberries with Jewish traditional treats like potato pancakes (latkes), kugel, brisket, and for dessert, sufganiyot (doughnuts) and rugelach. Some area restaurants are getting in on the fun, offering menus that include a few Thanksgivukkah dishes. Here’s a sampling:
From Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, The Fireplace in Brookline is offering three specials — cranberry and cider-glazed brisket, sweet potato latkes with mulled cider applesauce, and pumpkin spice sufganiyot with maple-walnut cream. The Fireplace, 1634 Beacon St. (Washington Square), Brookline, 617-975-1900.
Also for the eight days of Hanukkah, The Modern Rotisserie and New England Soup Factory chef-owner Marjorie Druker has three additional menu items: Pumpkin custard kugel, farmer’s root vegetable chicken soup with wild rice and dried cranberries, and potato latkes with cranberry applesauce. The Modern Rotisserie and New England Soup Factory, 244 Needham St., Newton Upper Falls, 617-558-9966.
The recently opened Beat Hotel in Harvard Square is adding two dishes to their menu on Nov. 27. Look for smoked beef brisket with challah stuffing and cranberry pumpkin tsimmes and maple-smoked salmon with potato, carrot, and parsnip latkes. Beat Hotel, 13 Brattle St. (Harvard Square), Cambridge, 617-499-0001.
Beacon Hill Bistro will be serving Sunchoke latkes with dill creme fraiche and caviar, and pecan pie rugelach on Nov. 27. The latkes will also be available on the restaurant’s Thanksgiving Day menu. Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, 25 Charles St. (Beacon Hill), Boston 617-723-7575.
For Thanksgiving, The Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons is adding pumpkin and sweet potato kugel (see Page 19), chestnut and challah stuffing, and pecan pie with a rugelach crust. Four Seasons Hotel Boston, 200 Boylston St., Boston, 617-338-4400.
On Thanksgiving, Park Restaurant & Bar’s “meat pie of the day” will be a combo of cider-braised turkey, squash, and apple filling with a crispy sweet potato latke crust and a dollop of cranberry relish. Chef Mark Goldberg says that if the pie is a hit, they’ll keep it on the menu for the remaining days of Hanukkah. Park Restaurant & Bar, 59 JFK St. (Harvard Square), Cambridge, 617-491-9851.
At Area Four in Cambridge, chef-partner Michael Leviton will be offering sufganiyot with cranberry maple jelly for dessert; at Leviton’s restaurant Lumiere in West Newton, the menu will feature stuffing tots, a riff on Tater Tots made from mushroom stuffing. Both dishes will be available from Nov. 29 through Dec. 4. Area Four, 500 Technology Square, Cambridge, 617-758-4444; Lumiere, 1293 Washington St., West Newton, 617-244-9199.