Thanksgiving is a time of warmth, family (biological and chosen), fellowship, and delicious, delicious food. But it’s also a time of mess, tons of dishes, a mountain of leftovers just waiting to spoil, and a deep sense that you’ve really had quite enough turkey, thank you very much. That’s why it’s perfectly acceptable to take a break from this annual labor in the kitchen and have Thanksgiving dinner out — or at least let someone else do the cooking.
Plenty of Chicago restaurants are offering specials tied to the holiday, but here are five of my favorite spots serving Thanksgiving dinner this year (reservations are still open for all, but act fast — seating is limited).
Thanksgiving with a View
It can be pretty impossible to get into Cindy’s (12 S. Michigan Ave., Loop), the rooftop restaurant of the Chicago Athletic Association, on a normal day. To save your spot up in the sky on Thanksgiving, you should plan early and make some reservations. Cindy’s is offering a prix fixe menu with dishes like shaved brussels sprouts salad, sage and cornbread stuffing, yam and coconut casserole, and individual pies (so no one should leave hungry).
Details:$70; email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations
A Star-Studded Thanksgiving
A Thanksgiving feast at a Michelin-starred restaurant — how fancy! Step into the beautiful, relaxing dining room at Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave., South Loop) and gorge on a five-course spread that include chestnut soup with celery truffle espuma; lobster with squid ink gnocchi; and a Slagel Farms smoked turkey with Brussels sprouts, heirloom carrots, and cornbread stuffing. Planning to bring young ones? There’s even a kid’s menu for $35 a head.
Details: $95, with additional $65 for wine pairings; email email@example.com for reservations
Steak Your Claim
Turkey is great and all, but sometimes, you crave something different. At Steak 48 (615 N. Wabash Ave, River North) — one of my favorite new steakhouses in town — you could choose to have all the Thanksgiving fixings if you’d like, and opt for the traditional turkey dinner. But if you’re not interested in the classic bird, Steak 48 is also offering its complete menu. Why not go for wagyu beef and king crab instead? Those are definitely worth being thankful for.
Details:Call 312-266-4848 for reservations
Thanksgiving with a Touch of Italia
Here’s your chance to try a unique twist on quintessential Thanksgiving dishes. Nico Osteria (1015 N. Rush St., Gold Coast) is offering an Italian version of the fall feast, with a prix fixe menu (also available à la carte) that includes familiar Thanksgiving ingredients in slightly different forms. Look forward to treats like pappardelle turkey Bolognese or pumpkin pie with apple butter gelato.
Details: $80; nicoosteria.com/menu
Bring Home the Smoke
Perhaps you want to keep the homey feeling of Thanksgiving and stick to your own dining room — but still don’t want to do the cooking. The best way to enjoy a meal prepped by the pros in the comfort of your own house: Hit up Smoke Daddy (multiple locations), which is readying Thanksgiving dishes for delivery and pick-up. The menu includes entire home-smoked turkeys ($65) as well as sides by the quart like stuffing, oven-roasted lemon Brussels sprouts, and green bean casserole.
Details:Call 773-772-1697; Thanksgiving orders must be made by noon on Friday, November 16. Orders for Tuesday, November 20 and Wednesday, November 21 will be available for pick-up only.