Showing Gratitude for a JJ-style Feast
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This Thanksgiving, don’t stress about cooking a turkey. Instead, experience JJ Bistro & French Pastry’s extravagant, four-course Thanksgiving meal.
The restaurant — known for its French, Laotian and fusion cuisine — has been open on Thanksgiving Day for the past decade, but the four-course menu changes every year, according to owner and chef Praseuth “JJ” Luangkhot.
“For Thanksgiving, we don’t follow what most people traditionally have,” he says. “Everywhere, you see turkey and ham. We always set aside something special, but the whole (dinner) menu is still available.”
This year’s Thanksgiving menu ($27.95) includes Cream of Chestnut soup as the starting course; a Crab Cake appetizer; Quail Bello as the entrée; and Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake for dessert. The four-course Thanksgiving menu will be available for all of November, Luangkhot says.
“Chestnut usually embodies the feeling of autumn or winter,” he explains. “Although it’s not that cold in Hawaii, I wanted to have an atmosphere of being in the winter season.
“The Crab Cake appetizer is a new dish that we’re having for this Thanksgiving special,” Luangkhot adds. “The appetizer comes with mixed greens, a plum sauce and a red wine vinaigrette dressing. We’re using a Maryland blue crab that’s deep-fried with panko, so it has more texture. Some crab cakes are pan seared, but that feels too soft. I like it crispy.”
Quail Bello (regularly $16.95 single, $19.95 double) is part of the restaurant’s dinner menu and features deep-fried quail, Portobello mushrooms, sweet peas, carrots and red bell peppers in shallot red wine sauce, served with a Parmesan breadstick. Finally, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake (regular price $5.25) features lightly flavored pumpkin cheese-cake topped with pecans and dollops of whipped cream.
“The Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake is one of our top-selling desserts, and we’re now taking orders for the full cakes,” Luangkhot says. “The whole cheesecake is available for $35.”
Nov. 1 also marks the start of a French macaron sale at the bistro. Macarons usually are available for $1.75 each, but customers can get a package of six for $9.95. Flavors include pistachio, strawberry, dark chocolate, créme brulee, allspice (similar to a ginger spice, says Luangkhot) and red velvet.
“Since the holidays are coming, we’re doing a special on our French macarons,” he confirms. “You can get this special package of six flavors until December.”
JJ Bistro & French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave., Honolulu
Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.