As is the case with any holiday gathering, Thanksgiving is rife with the potential for disaster, whether it's a dismal turkey or your pushy, Rockettes-obsessed Uncle Rico. Fudged up the lattice work on your apple pie? Dressed to impress but have nowhere to go? In this inaugural installment of Situational Dining, we've looked to New York's restaurants and bars for solutions to all the dining-related misadventures we could anticipate. You're on your own for the other stuff.
Scenario 1: You Just Burned the Turkey and You Need an Open Restaurant, Stat.
Café Boulud: Daniel's more casual UES spot will be open from noon until 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Colicchio & Sons: Both the main dining room and the Tap Room are open until 8:30 p.m.
Benoit: Enjoy a French Thanksgiving at Alain Ducasse's midtown bistro, which will welcome guests as late as 9 p.m.
Scenario 2: You forgot that your Thanksgiving host left you in charge of dessert
and it's Thursday morning.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds: They'll have a limited number of whole pies for sale on a first come, first served basis, from 8 a.m. to noon. You may want to get there closer to the 8 a.m. side of things.
Make My Cake: Pick up dessert in Harlem until 4 p.m.
Two Little Red Hens: Last minute cupcakes, whole cakes, and even pies until 2 p.m.
Scenario 3: Your family has set up shop inside your 600-square-foot Brooklyn apartment, has just put Field of Dreams: Special Edition on the DVD player, and you need to escape for a drink.
Union Hall: The usual bocce and beer in Park Slope.
International Bar: The East Village bar opens at 2 p.m., and will be serving food, in case your best chance for escape happens mid-meal and you're still hungry.
Brooklyn Ale House: The Williamsburg watering hole opens at 7 p.m.
Scenario 4: You've got the morning to yourself while your friends and family brave the Black Friday crowds. You're looking for a bite to eat, but maybe not to talk to anyone.
Maialino: No one will look twice as you read the newspaper over breakfast, taking breaks to drool over the pastries just beyond the bar.
Peels: Enjoy some fluffy eggs inside the restaurant's "build a biscuit" sandwich without enduring an hour-long wait.
The Standard Grill: Who needs company when you can observe the meatpacking scene from your perch at the bar?
Scenario 5: Thanksgiving is over. You're still full, but your friends want to meet someplace cute for brunch.
Northern Spy Food Co.: Northern Spy's kale salad may be just what you need when the last night's carbohydrates are bringing you down and the Beaujolais nouveau no longer seems so new. Do your best to say no to the buttermilk biscuits just this once.
The Smile: The Smile's light breakfast fare may be the perfect antidote to the massive portions you consumed the day before.
Buvette: Eat as much or as little as you like — from a single tartine to a plate of eggs — at this West Village "gastroteque."