Reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s a week after Thanksgiving and I’m finally getting around to my post about it. We went back home for Thanksgiving. Mom wasn’t cooking for hours over a hot stove. There wasn’t any football at all. My mom’s stuffing was the best. I do miss it. I miss my mom too, she passed away five years ago. My sister went up to her in-laws this year leaving my Dad and Brother on their own. So we decided to drive up to NY.  I wasn’t going to drive all the way to NY and then cook and I wasn’t going to ask my 77-year-old dad to do it either.

So, I made reservations. There was one glitch – the place my dad wanted to go was closed for the day. I guess they wanted to be home for the holiday. I found another Italian restaurant that was open. I guess they wanted to make another buck. I crossed my fingers and hoped it would be good. We left home at 7:30 in the morning making good time and arriving in Queens just shy of 11:00 am. Feeling hungry, we stopped for Dim Sum at Pings.  It was our first time eating carbs in a little over a week and it was good. Pings was crowded and we had to wait about 15 minutes for a seat. It was too cold to wait outside so we did a two-step in the crowded entry way until it was our turn. We were the only non-asians in the whole place and every seat was taken. This is a good sign in New York. It means the restaurant is authentic. My son ate about 12 shrimp dumplings. I had lots of tea, chicken feet, dumplings, something that was really good but we didn’t know what it was.

The dinner reservation was for 5:00 pm at Ornella’s. We found a parking spot about two blocks away. Lucky day! It was a small narrow restaurant but we got a comfortable table. My son filled up on the bread and didn’t even touch the shrimp he ordered. I and my brother got the traditional turkey dinner. My husband and father got the swordfish. The wine was a Dolcetto d’Alba, Rizzi, Piemonte, a red, that tasted divine after abstaining for a week. My brother ordered the chestnut pasta, which he let me taste. It is very light and tasty. I ordered the Duck meatballs for my appetizer. They were delicious but huge and very filling. I wasn’t hungry when my entrée  arrived. I tasted the turkey, roasted sweet potatoes, and stuffing. All were good, but the stuffing was not as good as mom’s. I didn’t finish the entrée, because I was saving room for dessert. No, not pumpkin pie, but tiramisu. It was divine. Well, the two or three bites I managed to get tasted divine. My son, who didn’t touch his entrée and said he didn’t want any dessert, grabbed a fork and did fast work on my tiramisu. It was light and creamy and fresh not frozen. Yum. I would definitely go back just for a glass of wine and the tiramisu.

Only drawback was that they had a full bar. I’m not sure what my dad was ordering, but he had several and became more obnoxious as the dinner wore on. The good thing is we dropped them off at the house and stayed at a hotel. Well worth the cost. I really love going out for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone is on their best behavior, the food is portioned out (so no seconds, over eating, or leftovers), everyone gets what they want, and there is no clean up.

At the end of the meal, there was the traditional Italian grab for the check. I tried to get it while my dad was out smoking a cigarette, but he came back and intercepted it. He paid for dinner, but he complains. I don’t really care, the man never paid a dime for my college education – he can buy me a dinner. I was staying at a hotel, it was my poor brother who would have to listen to his grumblings. My Dad is a cheap tipper so I made sure we left a very good tip for the nice family that were working on a holiday. The owner told me his wife was at home with his two other kids and two of his sons were waiting tables at the restaurant. The problem he said were the reservations for groups that never showed up – now that is wrong. He said next year, he’ll take credit cards to hold the reservation. Remember that folks if you make a reservation on a holiday, be sure to cancel if you’ve made other arrangements.

I wish I was able to get pictures, but my phone was dead. I managed to get two pics from my sons Ipod before that went dead too.

One is of the tiramisu. Image

The other is the bag of leftovers that went home with my dad and brother.

doggy bag
doggy bag

If you are in Astoria, be sure to stop in for a good Italian meal as featured on Channel 7 News

My husband really loved the duck meatballs. But how would I make those? Where does one get ground duck?