Big Thanksgiving gatherings are so 2019. Downsizing has its silver linings: Less chance of heated postelection arguments among warring family factions. Fewer dishes to wash. More pie for you!
Recognizing the inevitable trend toward less crowded tables and fewer mouths to feed this year, many restaurants and butchers are offering prepared meals that feed just two to four people, smaller birds and turkey alternatives.
Be sure to check ordering and in-house dining reservation deadlines; they are creeping up faster than those pesky pandemic pounds.
Bouchon and RendezVous will both be open for prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner service with seatings at noon, 2:30 and 5 p.m. $65 per person. Reservations (maximum six per table) are required. Call RendezVous at 828-348-0909 or visit Bouchon online at bouchonasheville.com.
Additionally, RendezVous will cook and pack a three-course meal portioned for two, four or six, which you can pick up, take home, transfer to your own service ware and claim as your own. Orders must be placed by Monday, Nov. 23, for pickup on Wednesday, Nov, 25. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for menu and pricing.
Bouchon, 67 Lexington Ave.; RendezVous, 184 New Haw Creek Road
Foothills Meats not only does the cooking but also manages portion control, so you don’t have to. Holiday heat-and-eat meals include individual servings of sliced, house-roasted turkey topped with cranberry chutney, mashed potatoes and gravy, root veggies and biscuit stuffing for $18 per person. Also on the pickup menu are brined and smoked turkey breasts, family-sized sides and raw turkeys for the roast-it-yourselfers. Order at foothillsmeats.grazecart.com or call 828-357-9029 for more information.
Foothills Butcher Bar West, 697 Haywood Road; Foothills Butcher Bar Black Mountain, 107 Black Mountain Ave., Black Mountain
Thanksgiving marks the beginning of cheese ball season, and Black Bear BBQ has you covered with its fancy cranberry-chipotle goat cheese ball. That’s just one of three starters on the restaurant’s Thanksgiving Made Easy menu, which also features smoked turkey, chicken, sausage and the showstopping Chinese five-spice pork belly. Sides include Grandma Betty’s broccoli casserole topped with Cheez-Its. For the menu and ordering instructions, visit blackbearbbqavl.com. Deadline to order is Saturday, Nov. 21.
Black Bear BBQ, 800 Fairview Road
The Chop Shop Butchery invites you to think outside the turkey and consider smaller fowl like pheasant, quail, duck, poulet and poussin as well as alternate protein centerpieces such as pork crown roast and rabbit. Preorder at chopshopbutcher.com/thanksgiving for curbside pickup Saturday-Wednesday, Nov. 21-25.
The Chop Shop, 100 Charlotte St.
Baba Nahm‘s reheatable feast takes Thanksgiving on a Mediterranean spin with turkey breast roulade, semolina bread and kale dressing, creamy cauliflower and sumac purée, and ras el hanout heirloom carrots. Portions for two, four or eight are $39, $75 and $140, respectively. Fresh-baked breads, desserts and a wine selection are also available. Order at babanahm.com.
Baba Nahm, 1 Page Ave.
Twisted Laurel sets your table with a full dinner — choice of sweet-tea-brined turkey breast or brown sugar-glazed ham — for six for $149. Or there’s the option to pick and choose from an a la carte menu of mains, sides and desserts. The deadline to order is Saturday, Nov. 21, for pickup at either the downtown Asheville or Weaverville location 2-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25. For details, visit twistedlaurel.com.
Twisted Laurel, 130 College St., Asheville; 10A S. Main St., Weaverville
The Rhu invites gluten-free folks to stuff themselves silly with its wildly popular gluten-free traditional stuffing covered in gluten-free turkey neck gravy. The smorgasbord of sides features green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, Lusty Monk mustard-glazed brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, cornbread sausage stuffing, and grits and oyster casserole. Order online by Friday, Nov. 20, at the-rhu.com/thanksgiving for pickup Sunday, Nov. 22 and Wednesday, Nov. 25.
The Rhu, 10 S. Lexington Ave.
Additionally, the Ashville Independent Restaurant Association is maintaining a comprehensive, up-to-date listing at avl.mx/8pf of what local, independent restaurants are planning for Thanksgiving 2020 as well as Christmas and New Year’s.
UPDATE: This article was updated on Nov. 19 to reflect The Rhu’s new order and pickup dates.