Our first American Thanksgiving was celebrated at The Palazzo and it will go down in our history books as the grandest Thanksgiving to date. The inagural event, held at the waterfall atrium, was a unique, festive, and sold-out holiday feast fit for kings and queens. We sat side-by-side at two 30-foot masterfully decorated tables with guests from around the world, sharing the joyous holiday occasion with our “Palazzo family” while being surrounded by magnificent décor featuring autumn leaves, bales of hay, cornucopia, and traditional crops of American landscape. Although it could never compare to my mother’s slow-cooked-to-perfection turkey or her moist, melt-in-your-mouth rolls or being surrounded by my brothers and sisters while reminiscing about childhood and sometimes reliving it, The Palazzo created a welcoming environment that reminded me of all things for which I am thankful.
Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil prepared an exquisite feast of Thanksgiving spread served family-style while we listened to the sounds of violinists and carolers. Most guests, me excluded because of “baby on board”, enjoyed sipping wines throughout the feast which included I’M, Chardonnay by Isabel Mondavi, Sonoma County 2010, Siduri, Pinot Noir, and Santa Lucia Highlands “SLH” California 2010; I was happy to indulge in Sprite soda and several glasses of water. Appetizing menu highlights included fresh tomato and corn soup with garlic and basil croutons, Roquefort apple with ginger salad, whole roasted Vermont turkey with sausage sage dressing, and pumpkin cheesecake with marshmallow sour cream.
If the Thanksgiving Holiday Feast was made for kings and queens, the staff were our humble servants, constantly catering to our every request sometimes before we could even think of it. Our table was continuously refilled with innovative holiday selections. Never once did I think, “I wish they had…”. If the thought entered my mind, the food appeared. It was the best magic show a pregnant lady has ever seen.
Conversation and humor filled our end of the table with contributions from Americans, Cubans, Brits, and Canadians. 11 people, covering all ages, spoke freely about life, adventure, travel, and family. Our lives intermingled, if only for a few hours, and we each left feeling like we had gained insight into the lives of others; it had left us with a lasting impression of good nature and kindness from around the globe.
The fall décor set the stage, Executive Chef Olivier Dubreuil prepared the meal, new friends from around the globe and carolers created the atmosphere, and The Palazzo provided the venue. All we needed to do was sit back and take it all in. Maybe we’ll come back year after year for this annual celebration and share in the joyous occasion with our growing Palazzo family. It may be impossible to zip across the continent every year for Thanksgiving, but the four hour drive to The Palazzo is most certainly doable and well worth the journey.
*Photo credit (first two photos): Tomasz Pleskaczynsk/Cashman Productions