No disrespect to your Aunt Alice’s bone-dry stuffing, but it’s time to shake up the old holiday menu. Take your cue from these chefs, getting creative at their new restaurants (or just book a table now).
6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 305/759-2001; dinner for two $80.
The Tradition: Cranberry sauce
Cranberry–port wine reduction Jelly from a can?Nunca! Michelle Bernstein cooks the berries down and spoons them onto chicken-liver mousse at her temple to Nuevo Latino cuisine.
THE HUNGRY CAT
1535 North Vine St., Hollywood; 323/462-2155; dinner for two $70.
The Tradition: Pumpkin pie
The Great Pumpkin Bartender Tim Staehling thinks outside the pie plate: pumpkin purée, lemon juice, and simple syrup with bourbon and a dash of nutmeg.
MERITAGE CAFÉ & WINE BAR
2118 N. Damen Ave., Chicago; 773/235-6434; dinner for two $90.
The Tradition: Roast turkey
Lobster and turkey crépinette Troy Graves’s Picasso to a traditional cook’s stick-figure sketch: medallions of turkey tucked into an airy lobster mousse, and roasted in a sheet of caul fat.
2936 Elm St., Dallas; 214/752-7500; dinner for two $125.
The Tradition: Cornbread stuffing
Roasted pine nut–polenta dressing Tracy Miller folds parsnips, chanterelles, and Broccolini (take that, Aunt Alice!) into creamy polenta at Dallas’s see-and-be-seen venue.