It’s the most delicious time of the year! The palm trees may keep their greenery and holiday snowfall is sure to steer clear of Sarasota County, but Thanksgiving dining traditions are in full swing at our local eateries.
Forget the stress that comes along with holiday cooking: the recipe juggling, the casserole shuffling, the “is the turkey ready, yet?” queries, the persistent dilemma of “where did all the oven mitts go?” – and most importantly, skip the cleanup – by letting Sarasota chefs do the work for you.
A cornucopia of options exists to dine-in or order-out a full holiday spread for Thanksgiving dinner, so take inventory of Sarasota’s dining offerings and get your reservations in early. We’re pretty sure you’ll want to make room for seconds, so be sure to arrive hungry – and don’t forget about dessert!
TURKEY, TRIMMINGS, AND SEASONAL SWEET ENDINGS: WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
Hoping to host a hassle-free Thanksgiving dinner at home? Order a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to be picked up the day before the holiday from Harry’s Continental Kitchens deli. For $26.00 per person, Harry’s Thanksgiving-to-go includes a fresh roasted turkey with apple-walnut stuffing, giblet gravy, green beans almondine, cranberry relish, mashed Idaho and sweet potatoes, cranberry-nut bread, and choice of pie. Harry’s will also serve a three-course Thanksgiving Day feast in the restaurant from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. for $40.00 per person, with an optional $12.00 upgrade to include wine pairings. Call 941-383-0777 by Nov. 18 to order a feast for Nov. 21 pickup at the deli or to make reservations to dine in the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day.
Whether you just need a little help in the desserts department with a scrumptious pie, or a hand for the whole feast – the Der Dutchman kitchen has Thanksgiving covered. Der Dutchman will take orders through Nov. 17 for cold-packed holiday meals to-go that include all of the traditional fixings and a pie selection. The Pinecraft restaurant will also feature an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving Day buffet with roasted turkey and glazed ham, old-fashioned roast beef, and traditional holiday fixings such as candied yams, dressing, seasonal veggies, and cranberry sauce. Adults feast for $22.99, kids 3-10 for $10.99, and ages two and under dine for free. Call 941-955-8007 to make reservations.
Bijou Cafe is a 30+ year cornerstone in downtown Sarasota’s theatre district with a hearty tradition of Thanksgiving feasting. Enjoy roasted turkey (or lamb or fresh fish) with traditional fixings such as fall vegetables and cranberry sauce, finished off with a slice of homemade pie. Adults dine for $29.95 and kids for $14.95 from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Call 941-366-8111 for additional info and to make reservations.
The Columbia Restaurant on St. Armands Circle offers a roast turkey dinner with traditional fixings every year. Columbia’s Thanksgiving stuffing – a family recipe of Italian sausage, ground beef, chopped chicken livers, apples, water chestnuts, and raisins – is a delicious, time-honored tradition included in the meal, which is priced at $23.00 for adults and $6.00 for children under 10. Call 941-388-3987 to make reservations.
Duval’s family-style Thanksgiving dinner is a mouthwatering Chef’s spread of herb and butter roasted turkey, maple brown sugar glazed ham, Chef’s signature sausage stuffing, roasted sweet potato casserole, lemon-scented asparagus, buttered sweet corn, and orange-ginger cranberry sauce. For dessert, guests may choose baked apple crisp – or something a little more “Florida fall” with a key lime pie option. Not in the mood for traditional Thanksgiving fare? Duval’s will also offer a selection of steak, seafood, or pork cutlets à la carte. Adult guests dine on the traditional Thanksgiving spread for $36.00 per person and kids under 10 for $24.00. Call 941-312-4001 for additional info and reservations.
Euphemia Haye sets the tone for a delectable Thanksgiving dinner by starting the first course with a choice pumpkin rum bisque or tossed cranberry salad. For the main course, enjoy hand-carved turkey or roasted duck, served over stuffing or gravy and accompanied with honey-glazed carrots. Choose from pumpkin, pecan, or apple walnut crumble pie for dessert. Call 941-383-3633 for pricing info and reservations.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., offering a traditional three-course, fixed price menu for $42 per person. Enjoy herb-roasted turkey breast, artisan bread with pumpkin butter, house-made sage and brioche stuffing, green beans, and a choice of sweet or Yukon gold mashed potatoes. For dessert, choose pumpkin cheesecake or an apple crisp. Guests under 12 dine for $19.00 from a special Thanksgiving children’s menu. Make reservations by calling 941-358-9463.
Cafe Venice is taking reservations for its Thanksgiving Day special, a limited menu featuring a traditional turkey dinner. The dinner includes roast turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce with a choice of two sides: mashed potatoes, sweet potato, baked butternut squash, green bean casserole, or asparagus. The Cafe Venice turkey dinner is $20.00 per person, with dessert at an additional charge. For reservations, call 941-484-1855.
Salute! in downtown Sarasota will also offer up a three-course, prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner at $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids. Dinner includes a choice of butternut squash bisque or spinach salad, turkey dinner with all the fixings, and apple or pumpkin pie for dessert. Salute! will open early on Thanksgiving Day with hours from 1:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Call 941-366-8111 for additional info and to make reservations.
For $32.00 per person, Thanksgiving dinner at Michael’s on East includes traditional turkey with mashed potatoes, pan gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, dried cranberry and cornbread stuffing. In addition to the Thanksgiving special, Michael’s on East will also offer a featured holiday menu on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve. The holiday menu will include Michael’s on East’s signature dishes and inspired global fare à la carte. Call 941-366-0007 for more info and to make reservations.
Cafe L’Europe will offer a traditional Thanksgiving spread with all the fixings for $39.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids under twelve. The restaurant will also offer a shortened version of its regular menu on Thanksgiving Day. Call 941-388-4415 for additional info and to make reservations.
Cafe Gabbiano will be open from 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, offering a special à la carte menu that features the restaurant’s most popular menu items and favorite specials, as well as the option for a traditional turkey dinner. Call 941-349-1423 for additional info and reservations.
Ruth’s Chris may be known for its steak – but these steakhouse chefs know their way around a turkey, too. For $39.95, adults can enjoy Ruth’s Chris’ Thanksgiving dinner that includes a soup or salad starter, hand-carved turkey, cranberry relish, homemade stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake. Call 941-924-9442 to make reservations.
Stonewood Grill & Tavern will offer a piping hot turkey-and-trimmings spread, as well as the restaurant’s standard dinner menu, on Thanksgiving Day. Call 941-355-3315 for additional info and to make reservations.
THE SIESTA KEY VILLAGE TURKEY TROT PUB CRAWL: A PRE-THANKSGIVING TRADITION
Now that your stress-free Thanksgiving meal is set with a local restaurant, you may be looking for a place to engage in a little (or a lot) of pre-Thanksgiving revelry.
Head to Siesta Key Village the day before the holiday to “party with friends before you feast with family” at the annual Turkey Trot Pub Crawl, where Village watering holes and restaurants including Daiquiri Deck, Siesta Key Oyster Bar, and Gilligan’s will serve up drink specials and holiday dining perks for Thanksgiving pre-gamers. The Turkey Trot kicks off at 9:00 p.m. on Nov. 21 and doesn’t end until the bars wind down in the wee morning hours of Thanksgiving Day.