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Three Great Feasts for Thanksgiving

We’ve got good news for folks looking to put their feet up this holiday.

Cira’s Thanksgiving dinner spread   Photo: Ally Straussner

It’s almost Thanksgiving! For many of us, that means drafting long checklists, cleaning off the china and silver, shopping for the best ingredients (order your turkey from Publican Quality Meats, by the way), and all the other tasks that go into making the picture-perfect Thanksgiving dinner.

Or maybe it doesn’t.

There is no shame in deciding to take a year off from cooking, whether you’re not that into it or you want to try something new. Heck, having Thanksgiving dinner out can inspire even the best cooks to try new things at home next year. Here are three of my favorite Thanksgiving feasts that you don’t have to cook.

Acadia Throws It Back — Way Back

Acadia, the fine dining spot in the South Loop, is going colonial for Thanksgiving. Chef Ryan McCaskey will be cooking a five-course meal that purports to be from New England circa 1772. Mostly, it just sounds delicious: peanut soup, lobster pot pie, turkey roulade with sage-cornbread dressing, and a Dutch apple dumpling made with sorghum, Plantation rum, and dates. Yum. Dinner is $95 a person; call 312-360-9500 for reservations.

A Southern Home Thanksgiving

If I were to pick a single Thanksgiving dinner I’d want to have outside of the house, it’d be at Big Jones in Andersonville. Why? The menu is insane, the price is good, and they’re offering multiple seatings (two of which still have tickets available). Start with beer cheese, deviled eggs, biscuits, charcuterie, salad, and more, and move onto a Cajun-style deep fried turkey, charred Brussels sprouts, and mashed sweet potatoes. That, plus pumpkin pie and bourbon balls, is all only $57 a person. Tickets are available on Tock.

Escape to the Sun

Lots and lots of Chicago restaurants offer Thanksgiving meals, and most of them are pretty generic. That’s why an actually interesting take on the Thanksgiving meal is so refreshing, and that’s what you’ll find at Cira. Under the direction of chef Chris Pandel, the West Loop spot is offering a Mediterranean riff on the holiday using familiar ingredients. Expect raw Brussels sprouts salad as a starter; a fennel, olive, and citrus salad; and pumpkin ravioli with balsamic and pecorino. For the main course, gobble down a whole roasted heritage chicken, served with all the usual fixings, and dessert is an epic ice cream sundae.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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