Now that it's November and the election is over, one thing is on every American's mind: Thanksgiving. This year it's fairly early -- Thursday, November 22 -- so it'll sneak up before you know it. If thinking about two weeks of planning, stocking up, and preparing to cook for a large group leaves you in a panic, consider opting for a kitchen-free holiday experience at one of the following local restaurants.
The Farm at South Mountain will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner at Quiessence with three seatings available: 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. Chefs Greg LaPrad and Anthony Andiario are planning quite a feast. Guests have several options to create their ideal three-course Thanksgiving meal. The first course is a choice of mushroom and chestnut soup or roasted beet and apple salad. The four entrées -- all accompanied by family-style creamed greens, whipped potatoes, candied carrots, and cornbread stuffing -- are slow-roasted turkey with sage gravy, baked lobster, wild venison, and creamy "coal fire" polenta. For dessert, there will be pumpkin pie with pecan Chantilly cream and warm apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. Quiessence's Thanksgiving dinner is $65 per person, $29 for children under 12. Reservations required; call 602-276-0601.
There will be a three-course menu available at T. Cook's on Thanksgiving from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. that includes a variety of options. Starters include tart apple and walnut salad, lobster bisque, and lump crab cake. There are six entrées to pick from: pan roasted duck, brioche-stuffed chicken breast, grilled rack of lamb, seared sea bass, grilled beef tenderloin, and a Thanksgiving feast with turkey, ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes, kale, and cranberries. The desserts, including pumpkin bread pudding with pumpkin seed toffee as well as a black cherry, chocolate, and amaretto torte with pinot caramel, are sure to be out of this world. The three-course meal is $75, $25 for children 12 and under, and free for children under the age of 5. Wine pairings are available at an additional cost.
Those with dietary needs have it especially bad when it comes to holiday meal time. How do you dodge the traditional bird that dominates your family's table? How can you make gluten-free side dishes and desserts that still satisfy Thanksgiving cravings? Don't worry about it! Join green New American Vegetarian in Tempe for its fifth annual ThanksLIVING meal. Some items served last year include seitan turkey breast with vegan giblet gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes (gf), brown "butter" asparagus and Brussels sprouts (gf), and organic winter berry and oat granola cobbler. ThanksLIVING will take place on Thanksgiving from 12 to 4 p.m. and includes live music, a craft show, and an art exhibit. Tickets are $24.95 in advance, $28.95 the day of, and $8.95 for children 12 and under. Meals can also be taken to-go.
The Arizona Biltmore has three special Thanksgiving offerings. First is a spectacular four-course meal with wine pairings at Wright's, served from 1 to 10 p.m. For $95 per adult, $50 for children 12 and under, the meal includes at least two choices per course. For example, one diner can choose duck confit, pickled ruby beets and arugula, cracked peppered turkey breast, and apple baked betty, whereas another opts for pumpkin-stuffed ravioli, farmers' green salad, wild salmon, and pumpkin-chocolate tart.
Frank & Albert's will be serving a three-course holiday menu for both lunch and dinner, or diners can choose to order from the regular menus. For $48 for adults, $24 for children, the Thanksgiving meal includes sweet potato pie soup or baby spinach salad, family-style free range turkey with all the trimmings, and traditional pumpkin or pecan pie. Also available at the Arizona Biltmore is a traditional buffet from 12 to 5:30 p.m. At $85 for adults, $42 for children, the buffet includes selected wines, non-alcoholic beverages, and children's options.
Want Thanksgiving to be carefree? Then The Boulders Resort in Carefree is the perfect place to celebrate. The Latilla Room restaurant will have a four-course gourmet meal that will take your Thanksgiving to the next level. Options include butternut squash bisque with lobster brandy cream, roasted free range turkey with sage giblet gravy, buttermilk mashed potatoes, cornbread chestnut stuffing, Grand Marnier cranberry relish, cedar plank Scottish salmon with pinot noir reduction, and apple pecan caramel pie with chocolate-dipped vanilla ice cream. Dinner is available from 2 to 8 p.m. and is $68 for adults, $29 for children ages 6 to 12.
Enjoy a work-free meal at home (something to truly be thankful for) with the farm-to-table Thanksgiving feast at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, which is available to pick up between noon and 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A feast for the family (serves 6 to 8) is $200 plus tax and includes a slow-roasted 18-pound turkey, iitoi onion buttermilk mashed potatoes, creamed corn, desert sage cornbread stuffing, green beans with toasted pine nuts, cranberry and blood orange relish, mesquite sweet yams with agave and cinnamon, artisan dinner rolls with garlic chive butter, and spiced apple, pumpkin, or pecan pie. Call 602-385-5726 to place an order by Friday, November 16.
For those who prefer to dine at the resort, Ko'Sin restaurant has a four-course meal available for lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (3 to 8 p.m.). The meal -- priced at $60 for adults, $55 for seniors, and $25 for children 12 and under -- includes Dungeness crab salad, a duet of filet and Serrano ham wrapped prawns with golden beet and mascarpone risotto, pan-seared elk tenderloin with saffron potato puree, and more. There will also be special options for children, including cheeseburger sliders and mac n' cheese. And for dessert? Pumpkin pie with cranberry Grand Marnier sauce or chocolate bacon pecan pie with maple bourbon gastrique.
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With four restaurants each offering original menus, Pointe Hilton Resorts has a Thanksgiving dinner to suit everyone's tastes. The Thanksgiving feast will be served at Tapatio Cliffs Resort alongside North Mountain starting at noon. Pointe in Tyme will offer a simple traditional menu ($47.95) including roasted leg of lamb, pork loin with apple pear compote, cornbread stuffing, and roasted pumpkin soup, whereas Different Pointe of View's menu ($59.95) is new American, featuring smoked wild boar sausage, sausage and sage brioche stuffing, braised turkey osso bucco with herb parmesan risotto, and dark ale-scented turkey gravy.
At Squaw Peak Resort nearby the Phoenix Mountains, Rico's American Grill will offer a Thanksgiving buffet ($49) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Options will include golden basted turkey, bourbon-glazed gam, spicy poached shrimp, brown sugar and pork belly baked beans, and grilled salmon with creamed corn jus. Hole-in-the-Wall will serve its Thanksgiving menu ($28) from 12 to 10 p.m. with choice of starter, entrée, three sides, and dessert. The family-style dinner includes turkey, pork loin, or brisket with side dishes like 7-Up glazed baby carrots, 3-cheese mac, brûléed candied yams, and corn on the cob. At all four Pointe Hilton Resort restaurants, prices are discounted for seniors and children under 10. Reservations are recommended.