A Classic Thanksgiving Meal Reimagined

Chef Cassy Vires turns Thanksgiving dinner up a notch at Home Wine Kitchen.

By Brandi Wills
Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton

 

When chef Cassy Vires and her husband Josh Renbarger opened Home Wine Kitchen--a Maplewood eatery dedicated to traditional, scratch-made cooking with local and artisanal ingredients--in 2011, they wanted to create an environment and experience for diners that brings out the best parts of food and drink in our lives.

Miraculously, they’ve succeeded in doing just that on a daily basis. But for Cassy, the nearest and dearest of food memories revolve around Thanksgiving. And every year, she spends her favorite holiday behind the scenes at Home Wine Kitchen creating a magical and memorable meal for her guests. Where Cassy really shines is taking classic dishes and reimagining them using modern ingredients and techniques. And her Thanksgiving menus never fail to bring her personal culinary style to life.

This year’s Thanksgiving Dinner at Home Wine Kitchen features family-style dining with a cornucopia of beautiful and creative dishes. A breadbasket of bacon muffins, buttermilk cornbread and pumpkin loaf is accompanied with house-made spreads such as apple butter, jalapeno jelly and maple butter. The “it” salad of the moment, kale, is made more traditional with bacon-molasses dressing and bourbon-soaked cranberries. Succulent turkey breasts are stuffed with fall flavors, including apple, duck confit, spicy sausage, fennel and brioche. Side dishes bring a mix of savory and sweet to the table with cranberry-orange sauce, maple-balsamic gravy, creamy polenta with wild mushrooms (a fantastic alternative to mashed potatoes!), sweet potato-peanut puree and brussels sprouts with sweet-and-spicy candied pecans. The highlight of every Home Wine Kitchen Thanksgiving Dinner, however, is chef Cassy’s imaginative pie-and-ice-cream combos. This year you’ll find pecan pie paired with molasses ice cream; pear crostata served up with a scoop of honey-fig ice cream; cranberry crumb given a spin with dreamsicle ice cream; and everyone’s favorite, a thick slice of pumpkin pie and a scoop of spiced ice cream.

Though many of us might only wish our memories of holiday meals were this spectacular, when you sit down for Thanksgiving Dinner with Cassy and Josh, you feel that they are welcoming you--her with her food, and he with his wine--to share in their vision of the most memorable culinary delights.