To say that Joe Gurrera loves Thanksgiving would be an understatement. The holiday means so much to him that he not only celebrates it early, but he cooks the customary dinner twice.
The first feast typically unfolds over Labor Day weekend at his home on Fire Island. There, he whips up a sprawling meal for 70 of his closest friends and family — an event that was sorely missed this year, by both the guest list and the master of ceremonies himself, who canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luckily, the second feast on Thanksgiving Day — a more intimate affair at his home in Bridgehampton — is still a go, he giddily reported on Monday, as is the special menu his gourmet supermarket, Citarella, has offered every year since 1991.
Except, now, it’s coming straight to you. After a tumultuous summer, Citarella unveiled a new delivery service last week, which will cover both Thanksgiving dinner orders and everyday groceries.
“It took a little while for us to do it, but July and August, we were inundated, and I feel a little bit embarrassed that we missed it, because that was the time,” Mr. Gurrera said. “But you know, we could only do so much. Physically, we couldn’t do it before. Now, we can do it.”
For regular grocery delivery, customers must place all orders by Wednesday at noon for Friday drop-off. The supermarket requires a $250 minimum order, plus a $25 delivery fee, which is waived for orders over $500. For those who still prefer curbside pickup, the store has expanded its time slots to include 9 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., as long as orders are placed by 2 p.m. the day before.
The Thanksgiving meal schedule will differ from regular grocery delivery and curbside pickup, explained Mr. Gurrera, who encourages placing all orders as soon as possible because space is limited.
“Besides our fresh, never frozen turkeys, our stuffings are really terrific, I can honestly tell you,” he said. “We have a sausage stuffing, we have a wild rice stuffing that’s vegetable stock-based, which is totally vegetarian, and we have a chestnut stuffing.”
Citarella offers no shortage of fixings, from vegetables of every kind — baked acorn squash, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, glazed sweet potatoes and more — to cranberry conserve, turkey gravy, corn bread and a full range of hors d’oeuvres, spreads, soups and desserts. The supermarket is also rolling out a new autumn lasagna, made with spinach pasta, pumpkin and mushrooms.
“This is all vegetarian, there’s no meat at all,” Mr. Gurrera said. “It’s different things like this that we’re doing now.”
While customers can order à la carte, Citarella will also prepare a $159 meal for four that includes a turkey breast and a range of sides, or a $319 meal for eight, which comes with a full turkey. And for those who are nervous about botching the main dish on Thanksgiving Day, the supermarket has that handled — and will cook it for you, for an up-charge.
“I’m not of the belief — but that’s me, because I’m a nut and I’m a little connoisseur — I’d rather cook the turkey myself, but a lot of people don’t want that,” Mr. Gurrera said. “Personally, if they would ask me, I would dissuade them from getting a cooked turkey because when you reheat it, it’s very difficult to not make it dry.”
The cooked turkey does come with chicken broth to help it steam reheat, though, he noted.
“Don’t get me wrong, what we do is still good,” he said. “But it’s not as good as making it fresh yourself! That’s all. I love being in the kitchen and I really love entertaining.”
To order weekly Friday delivery or curbside pickup, call 631-283-6600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the Thanksgiving menu, visit citarella.com/seasonalmenus.