With scaled-down Thanksgiving gatherings the norm for 2020, many families chose to order out for the holiday.
One of the most popular restaurants called upon to take over for the beloved Turkey Day feast was JT’s Farmhouse in Bayport.
“We put out a super-affordable package,” said Justin Tempelman, owner of the Farmhouse and who also operates JT’s Café on Montauk Highway and JT’s on the Bay in Corey Beach, both in Blue Point.
Complete with all the Thanksgiving staples, the multi-course meal included: maple brined roasted turkey breast, sage gravy, orchard cranberry relish, cornbread stuffing, harvest salad with champagne vinaigrette, a choice of two sides from buttermilk mashed potatoes, sourdough sausage stuffing, pimento mac and cheese, chipotle sweet potato mash, grilled asparagus with lemon truffle, brussels sprouts with bourbon glaze, and garlic broccoli rabe, and maple bread pudding with pumpkin crème anglaise to finish off with sweetness.
All this, to feed a family of four, for only $100
“We did 60 [four person] dinners!” said Tempelman. “We wanted to give back to our local community that has always supported JT’s over the years and through the pandemic.”
When a Suffolk County News reporter took to Facebook for last-minute (Monday of Thanksgiving week) catering options for Thanksgiving, nearly three-quarters of the recommendations were from local residents who had already placed an order with JT’s Farmhouse.
The plentiful portion sizes were also extremely flavorful, with the inventive concoctions of executive chef and partner, Shane LeBlanc.
“Chef Shane is the culinary master over at the Farmhouse,” said Tempelman. “He is the essence of creativity.”
Indeed, all the offerings of the package were traditional in spirit, and fulfilled the decadence and community-oriented attitudes of the holiday.
The pimento mac and cheese was particularly noteworthy, as it held a sharper flavor than most cheddar-heavy recipes, and provided a high-end taste with a down-home appeal.
The maple bread pudding, a welcome dessert from the typical pumpkin pie, was wonderfully light to contrast with its indulgent pumpkin crème anglaise.
“I knew Thanksgiving this year would look different, so I wanted to bring the feeling of family, comfort, and love to the table,” said LeBlanc. “I created our Thanksgiving menu based on food that I grew up eating in Texas—sourdough stuffing, cranberry relish, mac and cheese, brussels sprouts, and cornbread… We planned, prepared, and cooked for days to make sure there was a delicious Thanksgiving dinner to share with loved ones.”
Working with a local bakery for the sourdough bread and brioche for the pudding, the kitchen also brined the turkey in maple/citrus for 24 hours. All sauces, glazes, and vinaigrettes were made from scratch in-house.
Kim Sidden Reiss, who ordered a meal for her family of four, said, “The meal was fabulous—the car smelled like Thanksgiving driving home from when we picked up.” The Sidden Reiss family had spent the morning volunteering at a food pantry and headed over to JT’s Farmhouse afterwards (who had a generous pickup window from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thanksgiving Day).
“We have ordered family meals from JT’s before during the pandemic and we have always been happy with them… and for Thanksgiving we got to grab it and heat it up, quick and easy.”