An Non-Traditional Thanksgiving in New York City (includes Pasta!)

My sister Ally has been living in New York City since graduating high school. Occasionally, to get a break from the boring suburb I lived in, I would hop on a bus for the four-hour ride from Boston to NYC, to visit her on the weekends. I loved these quick weekend getaways.  New York City was exciting to me as a teenager, the anything goes fashion, people everywhere, things constantly going on – it made me feel like anything was possible.  It also holds a very special place in my heart because I was born there, specifically in Manhattan.

Ally and I spent these weekends shopping at vintage stores around the city, then heading back to watch Law and Order in her beautiful flat in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Ending our day by ordering some late night Chinese take out, delivered straight to her door, in record time, and always delicious. Unlike London,  New York really is a 24/7  city, meaning you have access to food and shopping at all hours, every day of the week. For a girl like me, who likes to eat when I’m hungry – even if it happens to be at midnight – it’s heaven

Overall,  NYC has some of the best food I have ever tasted – in all my travels. The multi-cultural aspect combined with just the massive population, has produced not only so many restaurants, but so many different kinds of restaurants. Authentic food from all parts of the world, plus the local things like pizza and bagels that for some reason ( some say it’s the water ) are just the best !

One year, my sister and I were both angry with our parents around Thanksgiving. The holidays can be a very stressful, especially with divorced parents and trying to decide who you should spend the time with. We came up with an idea. This particular Thanksgiving, we weren’t going to take the traditional route. Instead, we would spend the holiday together, just the two of us, in New York.  Ally booked us into her favorite restaurant Il’Buco, a super popular and impossible-to-get- a-reservation place, in the NoHo section of the city. Luckily, Ally works in the hospitality business and personally knew the owners of the place (which meant a good deal for us !).  Only one catch, the restaurant had no turkey and normal Thanksgiving meals on the menu, it was Italian food ! I, of course, needed no convincing.

Upon arriving we were warmly greeted by the manager, a friend of Ally’s, which was a really nice touch. Il’Bucco has a rustic, warm , candle-lit, cozy vibe, and the manager sat us at a lovely table. Looking through the menu, my eyes immediately fixed on something interesting. I asked my sister, “What is squid ink pasta?” She answered, “It’s absolutely delicious, you should try it!” I thought why not! I love trying new things – as long as it involves pasta.

When the dish arrived I was shocked. The spaghetti was black! I assumed the pasta would just as usual with a with squid mixed in. Nope – the spaghetti was actually infused with squid ink, hence the black colour. Although hesitant at first , after the first bite I was in love. It wasn’t too fishy tasting and light butter and garlic sauce completed the dish along with the cooked prawns. IMG_6020

I learned that night to never judge a book by its cover, or in this case – spaghetti by its colour! Overall it turned out to be  a very successful and memorable Thanksgiving together. Although not traditional in the least, definitely memorable. If you’re wondering whether to give squid ink pasta a try, I say go for it! You wont regret it.

Also give the restaurant a try at located on 47 Bond St, New York, NY 10012, USA.


Published by Grace Fuller

Hi, my name is Grace Fuller and I am passionate about two things in life - travel, and pasta. Both my parents are avid travelers. My mom is a travel writer and my dad is in the travel business, meaning I began exploring the world at a very young age. Eventually, I was inspired to venture out on my own to such amazing places as Thailand, Morocco, Bali, Italy, Greece, and more. My love of pasta began with my grandfather's recipe for spaghetti bolognese - which my whole family still refers to as "Pop-Pop's Meat Sauce". I learned how to make it on my own experimenting with different ingredients like spinach, olive oil, garlic, basil, and oregano. In Italy, I learned how to make the noodles from scratch. Pasta is my go-to food no matter where I am. I have literally searched for pasta restaurants in every city I have been to including Chang Mai in Thailand and the Greek Islands. Think of this blog as a pasta map of the world where I share insights into my favorite places around the globe and where to find a great bowl of pasta in each!

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