Thanksgiving dinners and desserts that will take the stress off the home cook

Whether you dine in or take out, there are tons of options to make the holiday meal fuss-free

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      Everybody loves a feast, and Thanksgiving makes for one of the most delicious holiday meals of them all, borne as it was out of a celebration of the harvest.

      But the full-meal deal also involves haystacks of work—prepping, cooking, and cleaning.

      If you’re looking for some shortcuts this year, a few local restaurants and food businesses have got you covered.

      Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio offers a three-course Thanksgiving dinner on Monday (October 8), with exec chef Ricardo Valverde showcasing his Peruvian culinary heritage. Think roasted-mushroom bisque, arroz con pato (rice with duck), and carrot cake for dessert ($59 per person plus tax and gratuity, with wine pairings an additional $48). Reservations are recommended.

      Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar offers an upscale version of the traditional feast on Sunday (October 7) and Monday with butternut squash velouté, roasted Fraser Valley turkey with all the trimmings, and apple tart for dessert. The three-course meal is $74 plus tax and gratuity; items can also be ordered a la carte and with wine pairings.

      Former Mission Kitsilano chef Curtis Luk is now helming the kitchen at Cibo Trattoria, and he’s developed a four-course holiday menu running Saturday (October 6) through Monday. It begins with zuppa di cavolo nero (Tuscan kale soup, cannellini bean, and chicken-clove consommé), followed by potato gnocchi (sage, brown butter, bread crumbs) and tacchnino alla Milanese (turkey cutlet, cranberries, and arugula salad). Finishing things off is crostata di zucca (pumpkin pie with sour cream Chantilly). The prix-fixe dinner is $59 plus tax and tip; a la carte options and wine pairings are also on offer.

      Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House keeps it classic with Monday dinner consisting of squash bisque, roast turkey, and pumpkin pie ($46.95).

      The Sandbar on Granville Island dishes traditional too, with a three-course prix-fixe that includes a choice of starter (butternut squash soup or harvest salad) along with roast turkey, trimmings like bacon-thyme stuffing, and pumpkin pie ($39) on Sunday and Monday. Its sister restaurants, Cardero’s, Seasons in the Park, and the Teahouse in Stanley Park, are offering variations on the theme, also for $39.

      Surrey’s Dominion Bar + Kitchen gives thanks on Sunday and Monday with a three-course meal consisting of your choice of starter, main, and dessert. The selections include: turkey and honey ham; pan-seared salmon; vegan pot pie with a red-wine-and-four mushroom gravy; and Alberta Angus prime rib.  It comes with a cocktail or non-alcoholic bevvie and tea or coffee ($45 for adults; $39 for seniors; $22 for kids 12 and under). 

      Hawksworth Catering is making its Turkey To-Go: a traditional feast for eight to 10 people with a ready-to-serve gourmet bird, seasonal side dishes, and a pumpkin tart with Chantilly cream, all in recyclable packaging complete with a turkey trivia quiz (from $399; three business days’ notice requested).

      Never had turducken? You can get it with Juke Fried Chicken’s Thanksgiving Turducken Feast, a meal for eight available for pick up at the Davie Street location on Saturday and Sunday. The duck inside a chicken inside a turkey comes with country buttermilk biscuits, East Asian peanut slaw, roasted herbed potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts, and turkey gravy. The full-meal deal goes for $149 plus tax, but everything, indulging the turducken, can be ordered a la carte.

      Looking for an even bigger turducken? Windsor Quality Meats is selling a free-range, hormone-free number with turkey from the Fraser Valley’s Skye Hi Farms, a Maple Hills chicken, and a free-range duck. All told, the thing weighs approximately 13 to 14 pounds and feeds about 12 to 15 people. It goes for $200; two days’ notice required. Other options at the shop besides turkeys include turkey breast or thigh rolls, gravy or sausage stuffing, Abbotsford’s Gelderman Farms Ham (vegetable diet, antibiotic free), dry-aged prime rib, duck, and more.

      Make it a Thanksgiving picnic with turkey sandwiches from Thomas Haas, complemented with stuffing, nuts and cranberry chutney ($10.50) along with some truffles filled with cinnamon-spiced pumpkin ganache ($1.40) Or stick with the patisserie’s chocolate creations, such as a pumpkin crate (a chocolate pumpkin airbrushed with cocoa butter and filled with truffles in a chocolate crate lined with white-chocolate straw, $49) or pumpkin cake, featuring layers of pumpkin cremeux, amaretto bavarois, crunchy caramelized pumpkin seed croquant and a roasted pumpkin mousse ($6.20 per slice, $36 for six to seven servings, or $48 for 10 to 12).

      Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without the sweet treats. Chez Christophe has a whole range of goodies on offer, from apple pie bark made with a single origin 42 percent milk chocolate from Ecuador, apples, spice, and finished with a caramelized hazelnut crunch (from $6) to a pumpkin chocolate sculpture ($14.95) to pumpkin tarts with white chocolate caramel cream on top of roasted pumpkin and maple namaleka (a kind of crème) atop gingerbread crumble ($6.20).

      Temper Chocolate and Pastry in West Vancouver has pumpkin pies ($35) as well as pumpkin cheesecake ($7.30 per slice) and a bourbon pumpkin and pecan tart ($38).