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Thanksgiving Dinner...One if by Land vs Four Seasons Restaurant?

Last year, my mother ended up in the hospital after thanksgiving dinner. So this year my sister and I decided to take over the tradition. Since my place is small and she's in Boston we planned on booking a restaurant in nyc.

I made reservations for both places the day after Thanksgiving. I figured it would be the best days for our Thanksgiving dinner. We can go to the parade on Thanksgiving and the day after we'll have our traditional dinner. Any personal experiences would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. If you're looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, you're better off dining out ON Thanksgiving Day. There will definitely be upscale restaurants open on that day...what are you looking for in terms of price and atmosphere? Opentable.com will also have a dedicated Thanksgiving list at the end of the month.

    Personally, I find American/New American places that have a "farm to table" or "localvore" philosophy pull it off best (Five Points, Cookshop, Blue Hill, etc.) although my friends raved about Eleven Madison Park's Thanksgiving dinner, too.

    See also:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/569050

    1. I haven't been to the Four Seasons in years, but I have been to One if by Land...horrible food, horrible service. I'd suggest you keep looking! Provide a few more criteria or other choices you are considering and you will likely get some good suggestions.

      5 Replies
      1. re: City Kid

        It's a shame the poster above had such a bad experience at One if by Land. We eat there at least once a year (have since the '80s) and have nothing bad to say about them. It's also one of the most romantic rooms in New York City.

        That being said, comparing Four Seasons and One if by Land is kinda like comparing apples and oranges. If one's never been to the Four Seasons, it's just great. If you've been before, why not try One if by Land?

        Thanksgiving-time is all about the charm of the fall season. Of the two choices you've made, One if by Land is going to embrace all that's charming about the season far better than the relatively minimalist Four Seasons.

        1. re: shaogo

          Opinions vary widely, that's what makes CH so interesting, but I had more than one bad experience within the last couple of years at One if By Land (returning at the suggestion of others). We had one dinner and two brunches there that were pretty awful, and service by supercilious waiters who seemed to care less. I have never understood the "romantic" thing there, because the food and service are such key ingredients in romantic ambiance. From what I have read, I don't think my experiences were exceptions.

          1. re: City Kid

            Agree. Been there twice in the last three or so years, even after changing chefs and its been not good both times. The food is passable but is very overpriced for what it delivers.

            And I for one dont get the romantic vibe.

            1. re: ESNY

              my opinion on this falls right down the middle- i went there for an anniversary dinner last year and while the meal was quite good and the dining room was very romantic there were loud drunks at the bar within earshot of the dining room and the bathroom was FILTHY, FILTHY, FILTHY. Normally my interest is 100% invested in the quality of the food but when you seek out a restaurant specifically for it’s romantic ambience it’s hard not to be distracted and lose your appetite under those conditions.

          2. re: shaogo

            Yes, One if by Land would be cosier but I'm sure the decorations for Thanksgiving will be fab at the Four Seasons. Tough call!

        2. Thanks everyone for getting back to me:) I may have to pass on One if by Land:( We have a party of eight and the space may be tight, not as roomy as Four Seasons. I'd love to keep the date for Thanksgiving but nothing is available...Yikes! I made reservations a month ago. I read that The Four Seasons may have a special menu the day after Thanksgiving and would serve a full Turkey. I have to call and confirm.

          I went to OIBL a few years ago for drinks and it was sooo romantic with the fireplace. But with a large party I"m not sure what to think.

          Thanks

          2 Replies
          1. re: emmy_nyc

            I've have dined at the Four Seasons a few times in the last couple of years and have always enjoyed it. It's old school, to be sure, but the food is good (the duck carved tableside is great), service has always been excellent in our experience, and the pool room remains an attractive and distinctive space (though I wouldn't call it "romantic").

            1. re: Striver

              How was your experience w/ OIBL? Thanks!

          2. I'm having such a hard time now...I just watched a video of the Four Seasons and it seemed really cold, I may have to check it out in person. My family are not the power lunch crowd...my father is hard of hearing, and overall we're loud and happy. Maybe OIBL may have a better ambiance for our personalities. Ughhh! I went online and the day after Thanksgiving is filling up quickly.

            I also looked at Gramercy Tavern

            6 Replies
            1. re: emmy_nyc

              OIBL has pretty terrible food for the prices they're charging. It's long been sort of a culinary joke in NYC and caters mostly to people looking for a scene, not good food.

              For your purposes, I would recommend Gramercy Tavern, Craft, or Blue Hill. All three serve high-end American food using impeccably sourced ingredients and easily blow OIBL out of the water. They're all considerably warmer than Four Seasons in vibe and decor as well.

              1. re: hcbk0702

                I had an amazing dinner at Gramercy Tavern and the space is so beautiful, it would be perfect for Thanksgiving. Although I don't think you could go wrong with Craft or Blue Hill either!

                1. re: newfoodie

                  Note that Gramercy Tavern has traditionally been closed ON Thanksgiving Day. Not sure about Craft or Blue Hill, but I'd have some backup plans just in case. And/or call to ask if they know their plans yet.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    both blue hill and gramercy tavern are closed on tday.

                    1. re: woofer

                      It looks like the OP wants to book the day after Thanksgiving, not on Thanksgiving itself. I'm guessing both Gramcery Tavern and Blue Hill will be open then.

                      1. re: hcbk0702

                        True BUT the OP also wants a full turkey with all the trimmings, which most restaurants only serve on actual Thanksgiving Day.

            2. If you (and the moderators) will allow me to suggest a cab ride over the Brooklyn Bridge, I would recommend the River Café. The view, service and atmosphere are fantastic and the food is quite good.

              1. I came across this restaurant at the Palace Hotel called Gilt...Here are some reviews from Yelp.com, any other CH opinions would be appreciated:)

                http://www.yelp.com/biz/gilt-new-york...

                I remember going to a meeting at the Palace hotel and the courtyard is amazing around the holidays!

                1 Reply
                1. re: emmy_nyc

                  Gilt was much more interesting when Paul Liebrandt (now at the excellent Corton) was executive chef a few years ago. Christopher Lee, the chef after Liebrandt, left for Aureole last year, and I don't know much about the current chef. Gilt does have a dramatic, opulent dining room to its credit and I've heard the food is very good. However, it's not traditional American, so I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for. Gramercy Tavern, Craft, or Blue Hill would be more appropriate for a Thanksgiving-type meal. In fact, Blue Hill might be the best for this.

                2. Here is a whole article on Serious Eats devoted to eating out on Thanksgiving:

                  http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/1...

                  1. I used to go to OIBL all the time (once a month for about a year) and ate at the bar. The food was decent especially when they had a special bar menu. Recently, it's gone downhill. My friend who used to go with me said she went last week and said it was terrible. It surprised and saddened her. I wouldn't recommend it anymore.