Glouglou, Glouglou.There was then an equally unanimous “But we’d LOVE to attend a Thanksgiving feast, if you are inviting.” Which is a lovely sentiment, but most of the expats I know tend to stick together for this one holiday—even those of us married to French men and living lives ensconced in the local culture. But for locals really craving a taste of Thanksgiving, or Americans on their own sort of pilgrimage, there are several options for a good old Yankee holiday.
The Bistro Saint Martin, near the Canal St.-Martin, is a local French bistro in every way, yet it has been hosting Thanksgiving feasts to rave reviews. And in the Marais, there’s an American-style haunt best known for its very famous name, Thanksgiving. There are also a handful of American-style dinners that get into the spirit, but they tend to fill up months in advance. Breakfast in America has two locations, while Joe Allen is the hands-down favorite for its high-quality fare. Remarkably, the one place that still had spots open at a late date was the incredibly elegant and historic (Gustave Eiffel designed the ceiling) restaurant of the Hôtel Vernet.
If you’d like something more casual, or if you’d like an atmosphere that is ultimately more social than a mere restaurant, some expats actually host the event in their homes. For example, you could visit Patricia Laplante-Collins, who is famous for her literary salons on the Île St Louis.
Finally, there is the authentic homemade Thanksgiving. The turkey is the major challenge, given the size of your average Paris kitchen, so for that I always order out. In years past I have used the butcher who has a rotisserie stand at the Richard Lenoir market, a butcher on the rue de Varenne in the 7th Arrondissement and a rotisserie shop on the rue de Lourmel in the 15th. This year I’ll be trying the butcher on the rue du Commerce, also in the 15th. Be sure to order your bird the Tuesday before, at the very latest.
Most fruit and vegetable vendors now carry fresh cranberries, but just in case, Thanksgiving, the restaurant, also has a boutique for that and anything else you are missing from across the Atlantic. On the left bank, the Real McCoy also specializes in meeting our Thanksgiving dinner needs. Oh, and if you suddenly get the urge to stroll the Louvre or climb the towers of Notre Dame, leaving no time for cooking, Thanksgiving also caters meals for as few as two.
33, rue de Varenne, in the 7th.
Maître Mathieu Rotisseur
4, rue de Lourmel, in the 15th.
70, rue du Commerce, in the 15th.