Come Thanksgiving, we'll all be paying the price somehow, whether that means rehashing the great brawl of Christmas 1998 at Grandma's or shelling out dough on a fancy dinner out. But this is supposed to be the season of giving, people, of thankfulness, and in the spirit of that, perhaps we should look beyond our trivial familial concerns and focus on the bigger picture. One way to do that—while enjoying a delicious meal to boot—is at Bubby's, who are putting on their annual Pay What You Want Thanksgiving dinner with a very special charitable angle.
For the past four years, both locations of the restaurant have invited patrons to enjoy a full Thanksgiving spread of traditional dishes without being presented a formal bill. "Thanksgiving is Bubby's anniversary; our very first night open 24 years ago was Thanksgiving for friends and family, and we were not open [to the public] at all," Bubby's chef and owner Ron Silver explained to us. "But we decided to open because lots of folks asked us to do it. We didn't feel exactly right charging a bunch of money, so we decided to go with Pay What You Want and donate a bunch of the money to charity."
The restaurant suggests that patrons pay around $75, though Silver says that if someone paid nothing, he'd have "absolutely no problem with that." In fact, he's never heard of someone even underpaying the suggest amount. "Some people have made a point of overpaying and overtipping," he says. Considering many pre-fixe holiday meals clock in around $100, they certainly aren't asking a lot, not to mention the good being done simultaneously.
This year, the night's beneficiary will be NYC Rescue Mission, which Silver and crew chose not only because they're the oldest rescue mission in America but also because they're located nearby Bubby's Tribeca outpost. They'll receive 25% of the night's revenue.
Patrons at the restaurant are also in for something good, including a Free Roaming Turkey and Glazed House-Cured Heritage Ham, both served with giblet gravy and spiced apricot sauce. Other fixings in the spread include deviled eggs, cornbread sage stuffing, buttermilk mashed potatoes and some other hearty sides. Bubby's homemade pies are also on offer, in flavors like pumpkin with pecan pralines and Macoun apple.
Bubby's has two locations, 120 Hudson Street in Tribeca, (212) 219-0666, and 73 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District, (212) 206-6200.