Friendsgiving (n): the turkey-centric festive feast held by your chosen family – your friends – to celebrate each other. No long days of holiday travel or probing questions from relatives allowed.
This year, our friends at the Lettuce Corporate office hosted Friendsgiving at the Dining Room at Tree Studios.
The best way to avoid a stressed-out host and ensure a good Friendsgiving? A potluck-style dinner where everyone can contribute.
We’ve rounded up our top tips from the Lettuce crew and paired them with Thanksgiving menu hits from our restaurants to make your own Friendsgiving the best yet:
Angela, Digital Marketing Coordinator: Don’t forget the drinks! Create a signature drink for your guests to enjoy or grab a few bottles of vino for the table.
Anthony, Marketing Manager: No one ever thinks about what comes after dinner. Games are a great way to keep the party going. Cards Against Humanity, Jenga and Charades are a few ways to keep your guests awake after dessert.
Ryan, Social Media Manager: Set the mood. Bring some candles, make sure the room is cozy, and make a playlist before your guests arrive! Don’t forget to snap photos and most importantly – have fun!
James, Senior Accountant: I don’t think people highlight the side dishes at Friendsgiving enough. Instead of focusing only on the turkey, I think it’s more fun picking a bunch of side dishes and pairing different drinks with them. Friendsgiving is all about sharing with friends and having a great time.
Sides to Bring: Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread & Sage Stuffing, Sweet Potato Fluff from Bub City
Marie, PR Coordinator: An electric skillet will be your Thanksgiving best friend. The stove will be working on overdrive so having that extra space will be a lifesaver. Throw your sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, or veggies in there and give a job to a guest to watch over it for you. They’ll feel like they’re actually helping out and you’ll have more room in front of the oven to do your thing.
Save room in your stove: Order the Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, the Chopped Salad from Wildfire
Sean, Staff Accountant: You’re going to want to test run your oven at least two weeks before the event! The last thing you want is a broken oven and left with no way to keep everyone’s food warm!
Emily, PR Manager: A stressed-out host makes for an uncomfortable dinner party. Things are never going to be perfect so remember to plan ahead and take long sips of wine in between basting.
Michele, Social Media Coordinator: Chances are if you live in the city, you may not have much room to entertain – or even a full kitchen. Check out smaller venues around your city like Tree Studios here in Chicago, a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen and gorgeous, cozy dining room, to host your Friendsgiving.
Here’s our Friendsgiving Menu:
Pumpkin Hummus – Ema
Wildfire Chopped Salad with roasted chicken, avocado, tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon, scallions, corn, tortilla strips, citrus lime vinaigrette – Wildfire
Delicata Squash Bisque – The Ivy Room
Roasted Kaufman Farms Turkey – The Ivy Room
Sweet ‘Tater Fluff – Bub City
Local Butternut Squash with brown butter sage and black pepper bacon – Osteria Via Stato
Cornbread and Sage Stuffing – Bub City
Four Cheese Mac & Cheese – Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Sweet Potato Casserole – Wildfire
Mashed Potatoes – Bub City
Mushroom Herb Stuffing – Wildfire
Housemade Local Cranberry Relish – Osteria Via Stato
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie – Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Dutch Apple Pie with Mick Klug Farm apples – Shaw’s Crab House
Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with cinnamon butterscotch – Summer House Santa Monica
Homemade Cranberry-Cello – Osteria Via Stato
Tell us, what are your top tips for the ultimate Friendsgiving?