Why Bother Cooking?
Let Someone Else Fret Over A Holiday Meal
Douglaston Manor is well-known for its lavish holiday parties. Photos by Ira Cohen
By Ellen Thompson
There’s just something about the power food. It has this unexplainable way of brining families, friends and even strangers together, often at unexpected moments.
There are those other moments though, when we know a freshly roasted turkey and a batch of homemade potatoes will bring the ones we love straight to the table, ready to share more than what the day simply held – and those moments when food is at its most powerful tend to mount around the holiday season.
But with the sharing, laughter, and love comes the stress of defrosting that turkey, peeling those potatoes, tossing the salads and pressing together the latkes that have brought everyone to the cluttered table. That’s why we have such things as reservations and catering.
Before you can take advantage of this more-than-easy stress buster, you have to plan on the number of guests that will be packing into your house or filing into the restaurant. Then you should consider exactly how you want to spend your holiday this year, in terms of your taste buds: stay traditional or venture into the ethnic delights of the holiday season, from Chinese and Columbian to Polish or Italian.
From Long Island City’s Water’s Edge, Linden Place in Flushing and the Douglaston Manor in Douglaston, there are a remarkable number of restaurants throughout the borough that strive to share their holiday with you, your family and friends.
At Water Edge, the spirit of Christmas is brought to life through a traditional prix-fixe menu and a Chef’s Special Six-Course Tasting menu on Christmas Eve. The following day the joyous spirit continues, while overlooking a spectacular view of Manhattan with a three-course dinner served from 1 to 8 p.m. Linden Place, Douglaston Manor and the Family Restaurant in Forest Hills are also taking reservations for Christmas Eve and Day, but it is recommended to place them as soon as possible, preferably starting Nov.25.
For the families that believe the holiday spirit resides around their table, catering is another relief of an option. Placing a call to Ben’s Deli, in Bayside, could quite possibly be the easiest thing to do, during those eight days of Hanukkah – that is, next to the cleaning and wrapping.
Ben’s Party Platter Plus is enough to bring together 10 people through an assortment of four dozen hors d’ouevres, a three and a half pound cold cut platter with rye bread or a four-foot party hero, among other options including sides of coleslaw, homemade potato salad and relish tray.
For the more traditional of families there are the catered family dinners for six, which are full meals such as roasted chicken with sides like mashed potatoes, savory stuffing, sautéed broccoli, rye bread or the stuffed cabbage in sweet and sour sauce, potato pudding, fresh string beans, just as good as your mother had been making for years.
There’s even a simple way out on the most powerful part of the meal – dessert. Lu Lu’s, in Fresh Meadows, has been preparing its signature Italian and American masterpieces from, panettone, Italian cheesecake, blueberry, cherry, and pecan pies, as well as miniature pastries and sfogliatelle.
There’s just something unexplainable about separating yourself from the stove for at least one holiday.