Thanksgiving Guide-Timesaving Take-Out


by Kirsten Carbone

You’ve got a full house but just can’t face myriad trips to the supermarket and days slaving over the stove. You don’t have to! Get your full-on feast from any of the following:


Former NYC private chef and owner Deke Haylon recently returned to the shoreline to take on gourmet take-out at Haylon’s Market in Niantic, and this just-opened spot already has a following. For Thanksgiving, choose from turkey and gravy prepared 4 ways: Herb Roasted with Maple Gravy, Citrus Marinated with Giblet Gravy, Capon with Garlic Gravy or Cider-Glazed with Noble Jay Lager Gravy. Order from an array of hearty fall soups and sides from their online menu, like Swiss Chard and Leek Gratin, and starches like Polenta with Wild Mushrooms and Robiolo Cheese or Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes.


Also very new is the Marketplace at Guilford Food Center. Meet a friend for lunch and shop for holiday edibles at this hybrid grocery-café. Opt from 4 different kinds of turkeys: free-range Willie Birds, Bell and Evans, Plainville or Gozzi’s. Marketplace will also carry a variety of stuffings, mashed root vegetables, their own gravy and fresh-baked pies (Pecan, Pumpkin or Apple).


Count on tradition with a capital T at Walt’s in Old Saybrook. Something is done right at this shoreline institution where over 1,000 pounds of Walt’s housemade gravy is sold each year. Yup, you read that right. Available for pre-order every year are Waybest turkeys between 10-28 pounds ($3.19/lb). Not inclined to roast a whole bird? Order any combination of parts or even complete dinners, with comforting sides you’d expect like Mashed Potatoes, Sausage or Bread Stuffing and Whole Cranberry Sauce, Butternut Squash with Marsala Wine or Butternut and Acorn Squash Medley with Maple Syrup and Brown Sugar. (860) 388-3308.


Guilford’s La Rosticceria will be selling both Heritage breed turkeys from D’Artagnan and all-natural turkeys from Ekonk Hill in Moosup. What’s the difference? Our great grandparents likely had Heritage birds on their Thanksgiving table; the meat on these is richer and a little darker. But if you are feeding a large group or prefer more white breast meat, an all-natural Broad Breasted White turkey from Ekonk Hill is the way to go. These birds are also pasture-raised with a healthy diet and lots of fresh air. Also look for sides like Wild Mushroom Stuffing, Cranberry Compote or Pumpkin Ravioli with Shitake Mushroom Sauce. And any of their new individual serving-size tarts will make dessert a breeze: Apple Crumb, Bourbon Pecan or Fruits of the Orchard. $3.50 each.


Thanksgiving to-go is a 30 year tradition at Elizabeth’s Cafe. Whether you’re looking for take-out for two, or just the roasted bird, you’ll find it here, plus brown-buttered gravy, three kinds of stuffing, and all the traditional and not-so-traditional sides (Puree of Celery Root and Apple, Maple-dijon Roasted Rainbow Carrots) plus classic pies and their famous XL sized cup cakes. Vegetarians in your party will happily tuck into Kabocha Squash and Spinach Lasagna.


At either of the Cooking Company’s Haddam or Killingworth locations, you can order appetizers like Lobster Bread Pudding, Goat Cheese Flatbread or Cherry Roasted Mushrooms. Also choose from accompaniments like Herbed Green Beans, Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole with Streusel Topping, and two stuffings: Apple Bread and Corn with Stuffed Sausage. And any of these desserts will do nicely: Chocolate and Mixed Nut Tart with Butter Crust or Rustic Pear Fig and Walnut Tart.


Coffee’s Country Market in Old Lyme provides an enormous dinner for 10 – 12 at a set reasonable price of $285. You’ll be serving up an 18 lb. brined and herb-rubbed bird with homemade gravy, cranberry walnut chutney, butternut squash bisque, PLUS a choice of four sides and stuffing. A pumpkin pie AND mile-high apple pie accompanies the feast.