If you don’t want to put together a full Thanksgiving meal, local businesses can help you fill the gaps. Whether you’re after a complete meal including turkey or just a few dishes to embellish what you’ll cook, plan ahead. Reservations and pre-orders at these popular spots run out quickly, so it’s important to contact them as soon as possible.
Elements Restaurant (907 Main St., Vancouver) offers an a la carte menu for dining-room service. First courses include options like crab and brie fondue with dungeness crab and artichoke hearts ($28).
For sides, chef Miguel Sosa is making traditional dishes like mashed potatoes ($8) as well as ones not typically found on the Thanksgiving table, like butternut squash and mascarpone risotto ($8) and cauliflower gratin with sumac and spiced pepitas ($8).
Elements isn’t serving a big bird at the center of the table, but an elegant interpretation of the classic: turkey roulade with cranberry sauce and pan juice gravy ($20). For the turkey-adverse, there’s a slow-roasted prime rib ($28), roasted king salmon ($22), or housemade beet, white chocolate and chevre agnolotti (a ravioli-like pasta) filled with braised kale and roasted apples in a hazelnut and sage butter sauce ($20).
Pumpkin pie ($10), apple tart ($10) and Baileys cheesecake ($10) round out the meal. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the restaurant (360-258-0989). Online reservations are completely booked, but there still are some indoor and outdoor tables available by phone. Elements’ attractive outdoor space is sealed and heated, creating a cozy dining atmosphere. Seating is one and a half hours for a party of two; parties of four or more have a two-hour seating.
Takeout food and drink offerings from local businesses make Thanksgiving at home easy. A carefully arranged platter of aged cheese and cured meats provides the perfect way to begin a holiday meal. Keri Buhman of C’est La Vie (1307 N.E. 78th St., Vancouver; 360-553-5836) is the local queen of charcuterie boards. She’s offering three different-sized boards expertly arranged with edible flowers and accompaniments like dried and fresh fruit, nuts and other treats to fit the size of your party or your own personal cravings. The small board serves two people ($20), medium serves four people ($40), and large serves six people ($60). Larger options aren’t available, but customers can order more than one of the smaller boards to accommodate their party.
Smokin’ Oak in downtown Vancouver has sold out of smoked turkeys. They went on sale Nov. 2 and were gone almost immediately. Next year, smoked-bird fans will have to move fast to grab these sought-after meals.
Rosauers (101 S. 47th Place, Ridgefield; 360-887-6119) has a full Thanksgiving dinner for six to eight people with choice of ham or turkey and all the sides including fresh-baked dinner rolls ($59.99, $64.99 with a 9-inch apple or pumpkin pie). The store is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but dinners can be picked up earlier that week. The meal comes cold with reheating instructions, so the clever host can easily take credit for making this feast.
I bought a meal from Rosauers last year and developed an obsession with the store’s dinner rolls. This year, however, I’ll be sampling pandesal, a type of roll that’s soft, fluffy, slightly sweet and dusted with breadcrumbs. Through her new business, local baker Bella Tolentino offers boxes of her specialty pandesal filled with a coconut cream or ube (purple yam) filling. These soft rolls originate from the Philippines, where Tolentino — who is Indonesian — spent 10 years studying music and then teaching it.
She notes that her Filipino clients special order the plain buns, which are typically eaten for breakfast or with tea in the afternoon. Tolentino decided to add her own twist by inserting a subtly sweet filling inside the soft roll to create a healthy-ish doughnut. Boxes come with six ($12) or 12 buns ($22), with choice of one flavor or a mix of the two. Orders can be placed by email (email@example.com) or through Instagram (@bites_bybella).
Good food tastes even better paired with a nice glass of wine. Owner Leah Jackson stocks reds, whites, rosés and lots of bubbly from around the region and across the world at Niche Wine Bar (1013 Main St., Vancouver). She recommends one bottle per person for a four- to five-hour meal. A bottle contains about 4½ glasses of wine.
Jackson believes it’s best to buy a variety of wine to please guests who prefer red and those who like white.
Bottles she has on hand for Thanksgiving include a 2017 merlot from California’s Toad Hollow vineyards ($18) that goes well with cranberry sauce and turkey. Jackson recommends this Sonoma County merlot for the Thanksgiving meal because it’s not too bold and has spice notes. In addition, she carries a 2019 Beaujolais-Villages Blanc from Domaine de Thulon in the Burgundy region of France that pairs well with turkey ($20).
Riesling, like a 2019 J.J. Prum from Mosel, Germany ($50), offers a nice sipper between dinner and dessert. Dessert wines like Pineau de Charentes from Prince de Didonne Cellars in Belgium ($36) with apple and pear flavors provide a pleasant accompaniment to sweet desserts. A wide array of Champagne bottles fills Niche’s downtown locations. Jackson believes Champagne works well before or after a meal.
For a personal wine consultation, customers can call or text Niche Wine Bar (360-253-1742). Jackson will provide a curated list to match any Thanksgiving menu.
At Treat (210 W. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver; 360-750-0811), Stephanie McNees is rolling out pie dough this Thanksgiving. Her ice cream shop and bakery will be selling pre-ordered pies in flavors such as Hood River apple streusel, chocolate bourbon pecan and old-fashioned pumpkin (9-inch pies are $28-$32 and 6-inch pies are $12-$14). She’s also offering pints of vanilla bean, cinnamon snickerdoodle and sea salt caramel ice cream to top the pies ($9). Orders must be placed by Nov. 20 through Treat’s website (treatvancouver.com).
Rachel Pinsky: firstname.lastname@example.org