Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gobble . . . on the go


I don't know about you, but I'm more like one of those "one in 10 people likely to dine out on Thanksgiving" stats the talking heads conjure up every year. It's my most favorite holiday in the world, but it's an effing mess to clean up after.

Sooo, what's the alternative?! A number of restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, for those looking to settle in for a seasonal supper as well as full-scale, to-go feasts, so the only thing left to clean up are the smiles on everyone's faces . . .

Dine out:

Go for the French-focused feast at Bistro 110, who's offering a three-course menu in its casual setting that's tres gay Paris. Menu items include traditional French onion soup, oven-roasted turkey breast, sweet potato Dauphinoise and crème brulée. $36.95/adults; $12.95/children.

David Burke Primehouse's doing the holiday family-style, but what we love particularly is what they're gonna do for you the day after. They're sending all diners off with a "fixins" sandwich that's stuffed with roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce on toasted bread. The prix-fixe menu includes butternut squash bisque, Thanksgiving Caesar salad, truffled noodles, roasted turkey, spiced ham, slow-roasted prime rib and pumpkin crème brulee tart. $38/adults; $14/kids. Reservations strongly recommended.

Gold Coast newcomer Eve—from the team behind the magnifique Tallulah in Lincoln Square (which is also offering a special four-course dinner for $45 per person)—celebrates with four regionally inspired menus, which includes a slow-roasted suckling pig, herb-roasted heritage turkey, sausage and black walnut stuffing, roasted chestnut bisque, Maine lobster croquettes, turkey crawfish gumbo with pickled okra, grilled quail and smoked cheddar grits. $55/adults; $25/kids.

If you're in the mood for a more casual atmosphere, with plenty of plasmas to watch the games, head to The Pony for their take on Turkey Day. They're serving up the Thanksgiving Stack, which is loaded down with layers of homemade biscuits, fresh turkey, Julienne vegetables, mashed potatoes smothered with gravy and served with a side of bourbon pecan pie. Executive Chef Curtis McGee makes these stacks so you can order them to go. That's $12. You'll also find the savory Pony Cider (homemade with Magner’s cider, bourbon, butterscotch, apple pucker and cranberry juice) that's served in a tall pint glass for $8.

Naperville's glorious Sugar Toad, tucked inside Hotel Arista, is a great option for those in the 'burbs. Standouts on the prix-fixe menu include turkey duo of roasted breast and leg stuffed with Virginia ham and shiitake mushrooms; roasted Hayman sweet potatoes; green bean casserole; and the cream of chestnut soup with smoked bacon. $45/adults; $19.95/kids.

Pick it up:

Glazed Donuts offers an alternative to the usual pumpkin pie with some delectable cranberry almond praline donuts. You can pre-order them now and pick them up at Bite or Swim on Nov. 26. 4 donuts/$11; 8/$20.

Additional mini sweet treats can be yours at More, the new, high-end Gold Coast cupcakery. Your folks will go mad over cupcakes in flavors like sweet potato, banana-spiced rum, cranberry, peppermint white chocolate or gingerbread. $3.50-$4.25/each, $39.50-$49.50/dozen.

Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh of The Hearty Boys fame do their annual Thanksgiving To Go, with offerings such as maple-brined organic turkey, homemade breads (mini corn muffins, peppered buttermilk biscuits), maple-roasted brussel sprouts and truffled goat cheese mashed potatoes. Prices for a full meal for six to eight people range $100-$150.

For $100, at Sheffield's, you'll get a full spread of traditional family faves that's certain to feed up to six people. You'll get a roasted turkey, plus mashed potatoes, green beans, mac and cheese and cranberry sauce. Of course, there'll be a homestyle pumpkin pie to complete the meal. All to-go orders must be picked up by noon on Thanksgiving.

And legendary 'que joint The Smoke Daddy is giving you the chance to be the real hero of the night—if you bring one of their infamous smoked turkeys to the table. All meats are smoked in-house in the "Lil Red Smoker," so get ready to really chow down, and expect no leftovers. Also, grab a container of homemade cornbread stuffing to go. Orders must be placed by Nov. 21; pick up on Nov. 25. $3.95/quart of stuffing; $4.95 lb/turkey.

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