For many of us, Thanksgiving will be the first time in a year and a half that we’ll be able to gather with family and friends for a traditional holiday.
AAA forecasts a strong rebound in holiday travelers this Thanksgiving. Many of us, of course, gather in our homes for the holiday, but others may flip the concept and choose to dine out and leave the cooking (and clean-up) to restaurants. As safe as we feel, there don’t seem to be as many places offering the all-you-can-eat banquets that rely on big crowds to be profitable. Instead, many restaurants are offering special menus or seasonal dishes alongside their regular fare. Here’s what a few local eateries are putting forth.
Riviera by Fabio Viviani, in the Hotel Maren on Fort Lauderdale Beach, invites you to come together and give thanks with a delicious prix-fixe menu. The fare includes traditional holiday dishes with innovative twists. Cider brined roasted turkey with giblet gravy will be accompanied by such sides as Italian sausage stuffing, green beans almondine, cranberry sauce, and a special dessert of pumpkin stuffed bomboloni. The prix fixe menu is $49 pp + tax and service. Reservations are required. For more information, check out rivierabyfabioviviani.com.
At Lona Cocina & Tequileria in the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, a Mexican feast will be served Thursday, Nov. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 28. The menu showcases a pumpkin tamale, pulled turkey with tomatillo and green apple sauce, turkey enchiladas, and pavo asado, the chef’s specialty, featuring roast turkey and plantain puree. Lona’s full dinner menu will also be available. More information can be found at LonaRestaurant.com.
The Ray Hotel in Delray Beach will host its first Thanksgiving with a four-course prix-fixe menu for $75 per person from 2-8 p.m. The meal starts with squash soup and a beet salad. The entrée offering is a turkey platter including buttermilk breast, confit turkey leg, mashed potatoes, orange cranberry sauce, brioche stuffing, salsify, and gravy. The meal concludes with a choice of bourbon pecan pie or apple crostata with maple ice cream. Info at therayhotel.com.
Escargot Bistro has a special prix-fixe menu. Seating starts at 4 p.m. and is limited, so reservations are required. The two-course meal (choice of appetizer or dessert and entrée) is $54 per person or $69 for all three courses. Appetizer choices include escargot, gravlax, vegetable quiche, or pumpkin velouté. The main course options are steak, lamb stew, coq au vin or trout almondine. The made-from-scratch desserts include meringue surprise, crêpe tartan or crème brûlée. Make reservations at EscargotBistro.com.
One of the few places going old school and offering the traditional buffet is Naked Crab at the B Ocean Resort. It will have a lunch and dinner buffet with traditional dishes with a little flavor twist. Seating for adults is $65 and children, $30. Three stations will focus on side dishes and starters, entrees, and desserts. Reservations are not required but are recommended at BOceanfortlauderdale.com.
If you’d feel more comfortable gathering at home, but don’t want to be bothered with cooking, several area restaurants and food purveyors are offering to make all, or at least part, of the feast for you.
Brio’s Italian Grille has added a Thanksgiving dinner to its catering menu, including reheating instructions. The small feeds three people and costs $78.99, the large feeds six people for $148. A catered dinner half-pan feeds 10 people and costs $229 while a full-pan feeds 20 people and costs $419. The menu includes turkey, stuffing, broccolini, mashed potatoes, orange cranberry sauce, and pumpkin-spiced bread pudding. Order at brioitalian.com/thanksgiving.
Doris Italian Market’s Thanksgiving packages include cooked turkey or spiral ham, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes or candied yams, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and a fresh-baked apple or pumpkin pie. Packages range from $129.95 - $199.95 and feed a family of eight. Visit Doris Market’s website at dorismarket.com.
Although Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a fully prepared Thanksgiving meal, it does a pretty good job with its 40-ounce turkey and stuffing en croute (turkey breast and cornbread stuffing wrapped in puff pastry). It also comes with gravy and cranberry sauce, so you end up getting a pretty good deal for $13. And, if you’re having vegans or vegetarians over, check out Trader Joe’s breaded turkey-less stuffed roast with gravy.
Bahama Breeze Island Grille is offering a Caribbean-flavored Thanksgiving with an island-inspired dinner for $19.99 that includes sliced jerk turkey, green beans, cornbread stuffing, cranberry-pineapple chutney, and choice of mashed potatoes or cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes. For dessert, there is pumpkin praline cheesecake. The island dinner is available for dine-in or takeout on Thanksgiving Day. Prices may vary by location. Check out BahamaBreeze.com/events/thanksgiving-dinner.
Whole Foods offers a Thanksgiving feast that can feed a dozen for $299.99. The package includes a whole roasted turkey, spiral-sliced ham, seven side dishes, brioche rolls, apple pie, and pumpkin pie.
Union Kitchen & Bar will offer a special à la carte holiday menu, featuring an array of festive dishes and options for even the most discerning palates. Among the dishes being offered are butternut squash soup, poached pear salad, stuffed delicata squash, pumpkin ravioli, roast turkey, yams, and, for dessert, apple cider doughnuts and pumpkin pie. For more info, go to unionkb.com.