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Thanksgiving dinner at Top of the Mark

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I hardly see any posts about people's experience eating out on Thanksgiving so I thought I'd give my input for next year's diners.

This year Top of the Mark offered a TG buffet that started at brunch time all the way to 10pm. The cost was $89 for adults and $49 for kids. A very good complementary champagne (all you can drink) were included.

The spread WAS very impressive. Overall, the non-tradition TG meals were fabulous. The seafood bar, the cavier bar, in general the seafood. Unfortunatly, the traditional turkey and stuffing were lack luster. (I much prefer when I make it myself!) The cost is high, but you do get a fabulous view and live jazz pianist playin the background. And if you don't feel like making the whole meal yourself, it's a nice place to get dressed up and spend a relaxing Thanksgiving meal.

The menu:

Roasted US Prime Rib of Beef with Port Wine and Baked Potatoes
Roasted Turkey stuffed with Sage and Apple-Cranberry Sauce
Roasted Alaskan Salmon stuffed with Sea Scallop Mousseline and Thai Basil-Lemon Butter
Roasted Pumpkin Bisque with Cinnamon
Seafood Display of Cracked Dungeness Crab, King Crab, Prawns, and Oysters
Caviar Station with Fresh Blinis and Traditional Garnishes
Seasonal Terrines with Cumberland Sauce
Salmon en Bellevue
Assorted Sliced Deli Meats
Alaska Smoked Salmon, Smoked Trout, and Smoked Eel
Lobster Parisienne
Baby Shrimp Cocktail
Assorted International Cheese Display with Bread and Crackers
Assorted Mixed Greens
Roasted Free-Range Chicken and Grilled Vegetable Salad tossed with Olive Tapenade
Sea Scallops and Capsicum Confit Scented with Cilantro
Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Salad with Dill Yogurt Dressing
Caesar Salad with Sourdough Croutons
Clams Rémoulade Salad
Roasted Beef and Bell Pepper Salad with Sesame Oil
Pan Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Velvet Sauce and Mushrooms Medley
Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing
Glazed Sonoma Baby Vegetables
Bowtie Pasta with Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Oregano
Morel Scented Gratin Potatoes
Shrimp stuffed Free-Range Chicken Breast with Basmati Rice and Bisque Sauce
Steamed Halibut with Simmered Spinach and Champagne Sauce
Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict
Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs
Smoked Bacon, Link Sausages, and Canadian Bacon
Fresh Berry Pancakes
Pumpkin Pie
Orange Crème Caramel
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Raisin Cinnamon Bread Pudding
Assorted French Mini Pastries and Fruit Tarts
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Granny Smith Apple and Caramel Pie
Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Mousse Cake
Lemon Tart
Candied Yam

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  1. Thanks for reporting back -- every year people ask about holiday meals, and hardly anyone reports back, so it's difficult to know what to recommend.

    Bottom line: would you do it again?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      I think so, if I don't cook it myself. This year with only three and a half eaters (my sister only eats seafood, no turkey for her) it seemed like a waste of my energy to cook the whole spread.

    2. Holy cow that sounds like a full buffet.

      Thanks for the report.

      3 Replies
      1. re: grishnackh

        Full might be an understatement...but Holy cow sounds about right.

        So OUAB...did you take a nap between rounds?

        1. re: ML8000

          I am pregnant, so my stomach capacity is less than normal. I felt like I didn't eat as much as I could have if I was 'all hands on deck'! My party of four ate for about hour and a half, choosing the more expensive items like seafood and meat. Still it was A LOT of food!

          1. re: OnceUponABite

            What?!!! I thought you'd be eating for two!!!

      2. Love the selections and thanks so much for taking the time to list the menu. I love buffets but always have a problem pacing myself and not leaving room for every little bite that catches my eye. Do you go first for what you know you like or venture out to the unknown and try things for the first time e.g. the smoked eel? There should be a book entitled "Art of the Buffet" and how to attack it. I am really getting in the mood to try a buffet this holiday season. Is the Top of the Mark still the definitive buffet in town? I like the Palace buffet also but it seems to be crowded/rushed compared to what I remember at the Mark. Thanks so much.

        7 Replies
        1. re: foodseek

          My strategy is to take small portions of the things I know I like and those that look particularly good. Taste test and then make a second pass loading up on what was good. However, I usually end up loading my plate more than I mean to initially.

          1. re: foodseek

            I take a lap around the whole room first to see what is available. Then I go for things I like and things I want to try, but definitely things that are more expensive :) No baked potato for me! The trick is to take a very small amount, a bite at the most of something. Then after I've tried everything, I go back for seconds of those that I liked.

            While the menu looks impresive on paper, in person, about half of it is what I'd consider cheap fillers (pasta, baked potatoes, field green salads etc.) I wouldn't waste time or vaulable stomach real estate on them.

            Even though it was a pricy buffet, it was still pretty crowded. But they managed it somehow so the crowd made me feel festival, rather than chowtime at the trough.

            1. re: foodseek

              To me, buffets can be overwhelming. Seeing all that food actually doesn't make me hungry...actually I feel full looking at it all. The best advice on buffets comes from my Dad who suggests sampling small amounts of things that look good then deciding what you really want. There's also something to be said about pacing. Best line I heard about that was at a Hawaiian buffet. The waitstaff/buser came by and asked, "you finished or just resting"...which hooks up with a saying I once heard, "local boys eat until they're tired, not when they're full".

              1. re: ML8000

                Ok, I am taking notes on the game plan which I will share with my DH.
                1.)Take a lap around the buffet casing out the options
                2.) Small amounts at first of items which catch your eye
                3.) Forgo the fillers until later -if space and appetite is still there
                Next question: Are desserts worth saving room for? Sometimes I have been disappointed with bufffet desserts and with my sweet tooth that is saying something. Thanks again!

                1. re: foodseek

                  Good question. I think desserts are where the difference between a "cheap" buffet and a high-quality one really show up. Real butter, real cream, real chocolate and real skill make a huge difference!

                2. re: ML8000

                  "local boys eat until they're tired, not when they're full".

                  You got dat right, brudda.

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    Hey brah', dat ain't da half of it... I had a 5 minute conversation with the craving chef about a conveyor belt buffet (his idea) where the patrons rotate instead of the food (like a sushi joint place).