Shep's matzo ball soup

Shep's matzo ball soup

I know. You’re barely done planning the menu for one holiday, and thanks to the Jewish lunar calendar, you’ve got another starting the same weekend.

Yes, Hanukkah starts at sundown this Sunday, Nov. 28. Technically, it is not Thanksgivukkah — that's the portmanteau for when the first night of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving Day. But since Hanukkah lasts for eight nights and this year overlaps with the long weekend, some of us (OK, me) are considering it a Thanksgivukkah Lite.

Whatever you call it, the bottom line is, it’ll be time for sufganiyot (those are jelly doughnuts), potato latkes and piles of chocolate-shaped gold coins called gelt before you’ve eaten your last turkey sandwich. And fortunately, you have two options for East Nashville Hanukkah cheer this year.

Shep's Deli has a special preorder takeout menu with Hanukkah favorites. Order by Nov. 26 for pickup between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. For $65 you’ll get enough food for two people, including potato latkes with apple sauce, chipotle sweet potato latkes, challah, matzo ball soup, noodle kugel (sweet or savory, so you eliminate the whole conversation about how you prefer it the other way), the aforementioned sufganiyot, and more. To order, email caitlin[at]redpebbleshospitality[dot]com or call 615-525-7945.

If what you really want is a holiday meal that someone else cooks and cleans up afterward, make a reservation for Butcher & Bee for annual Hanukkah dinner. Over the years this fete has changed from what once was a one-night-only communal table thing, to an eight-night menu starting Sunday, Nov. 28. Opt for the Hanukkah menu, which includes between six and eight courses and is a bargain at $40 (as compared to the $45 you’d normally pay for the chef’s choice dinner). You’ll get a combination of sweet and savory dishes including a braised brisket, a 6-inch sweet potato latke with apple butter and pumpkin slaw, roasted Jerusalem artichokes, and pastry chef Katie Fair’s honey cake with orange-blossom honey yogurt and candied walnuts. You’ll be able to order the Hanukkah dishes a la carte too, but if you do that you won’t get little bonus treats such as a cookie with homemade chocolate gelt inside, which is the thing I never knew existed but also always wanted. There’s also a challah course (expect loaves baked in mini Lodge pans).

Executive sous chef Scott Littman (no relation) likes to have fun with this annual menu, and likes that the holiday usually brings an excuse to celebrate in between two higher-profile holidays. Littman recommends you make a reservation to celebrate the Festival of Lights at Butcher & Bee this year, but walk-ins will be accommodated when possible.

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