Thanksgiving is a day for celebrating, giving thanks and of course, stuffing yourself with as many simple carbohydrates as you can manage before people start looking at you with a combination of disgust and pity. Traditionally, people celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering in someone’s home to cook the the big dinner, but it’s healthy to shake things up every once in awhile.
If the idea of cooking makes you want to curl up in a fetal position on a train track…or if you just need to take a year off from basting the bird and peeling potatoes, make a reservation at one of the many dining establishments in Chicago that are offering the big feast.
Traditional Turkey Talk
Markethouse Restaurant and Bar
Take the path well-traveled if you’re dining out this year. Executive chef Scott Walton converts fresh ingredients into robust classics, from seasonal appetizers (think: roasted Anjou pear salad, butternut squash soup with pumpkin seed oil) and modern versions of traditional main courses (maple thyme Gunthorp Farms young turkey, brown butter-sage cornbread with wild rice stuffing and baked heirloom apple gratin with squash butter and granola). Finish your meal with roasted pumpkin bread pudding or salted butterscotch sauce and praline ice cream. The only problem here? You can’t sneak seconds after everyone else has gone to bed. $32 for adults, $16 for kids.
Markethouse Restaurant & Bar, 611 North Fairbanks Court. For reservations or more information call 312-224-2200 or visit www.markethousechicago.com
Enjoy a rich, three-course Thanksgiving dinner that will rival grandma’s, beginning with a soup/salad course, follow by a choice of garlic and herb-crusted beef roast, wild striped bass fillet or organic roasted Amish turkey. Entrées come with a bounty of family-style sides including as fig and hazelnut stuffing, curried cauliflower, Yukon gold whipped potatoes, smashed spiced sweet potatoes and maple glazed fall vegetables. The best part? You don’t have to lift a finger…except to ask for a second slice of pumpkin cheesecake. $40 per person.
Deleece, 3747 North Southport Avenue. For reservations or more information call 773-325-1710 or visit www.deleece.com.
If you want a Thanksgiving experience that will charm your pants off without having to go all Martha Stewart on your kitchen, choose a French-inspired, three-course Thanksgiving Day prix fixe menu at Bistronomic. Composed from seasonal, local, and sustainable ingredients, Bistronomic’s menu options includ Roasted Farm Turkey with Hillside Orchards chestnut stuffing and garlic mashed potatoes, Prime Beef Short Ribs with glazed butter squash, braised oxtail and Pleasant Ridge shaving and Wild Mushroom Ravioli with duxelle, parmesan shaving and truffle oil. Flavorful desserts like Apple Tarte Tatin and Pear Financier just might steal the show. $46 per person, $40 for college students (with school ID).
Bistronomic, 840 North Wabash Avenue. For reservations or more information call 312-0944-8400 or visit www.bistronomic.net.
Just because you’re traveling over Thanksgiving this year doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a dinner just like home. WAVE’s new Executive Chef Greg Elliott debuts a specially-created Thanksgiving menu for guests looking to experience seasonal farm-to-table cuisine like Slagel Family Farm roasted turkey (mashed potatoes, chestnut stuffing, Brussels sprouts, buttermilk dressing) and house made ricotta ravioli (rapini, candied garlic, caper-brown butter). Save room for Seedling Farm Pear-Almond Tart with vanilla gelato or Nichol’s Farm Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream. $48 per person.
WAVE, 644 North Lake Shore Drive. For reservations or more information call 312-255-4460. www.waverestaurant.com.
White-linen dining doesn’t need to be stuffy and boring. You can choose your own adventure at Executive Chef Joseph Rose’s brunch buffet with traditional dishes like maple honey molasses roasted turkey with rhubarb-cranberry compote and chestnut-pistachio stuffing; strip loin with corn succotash and pinot noir reduction; and much more. $65 per person.
Lockwood Restaurant, 17 East Monroe Street. For reservations or more information call 312-917-3404 or visit www.lockwoodrestaurant.com.
Thanksgiving may be an American holiday, but Mexican restaurants celebrate turkey day too – with a few cultural tweaks. Chef Patricio Sandoval will prepare a Thanksgiving “to-go” option for diners who would like the restaurant experience in the comfort of home. Choose from “relleno” sausage stuffing with apples, chestnuts, housemade croutons and chipotle sage honey or pair your turkey with Mercadito’s signature mole. Grab a half-sheet pan of sausage stuffing to-go for $35 and one quart of mole for $25.
Mercadito Chicago, 108 West Kinzie Street. For reservations or more information call 312-329-9555 or visit www.mercaditochicago.com.
Mercat A La Planxa
Skip turkey altogether with party worthy to-go options or a prix-fixe fine dining experience at modern Catalan tapas restaurant. Dine in or order a suckling pig, grilled green onions, espinacas a la catalane and rosemary white beans to maintain both the spirit of Thanksgiving and the flavors of Mexico. Pick up a complete meal for six to eight for $220 or dine in for $85 per person.
Mercat A La Planxa, 638 South Michigan Avenue. For reservations or more information call 312-765-0524 or visit www.mercatchicago.com.
Turkey maki? No thank you. Instead, this Thanksgiving spread has an “East meets West” theme that kicks off with short rib gyoza dumplings with kabocha purée, red shiso leaf and smoked ginger soy. Instead of herb infused turkey, toast to Thanksgiving with a mojo roasted organic turkey with Linguiça quinoa stuffing. End the experience with their Kabocha Cheesecake at $11, complete with candied cashews, bourbon caramel sauce and milk chocolate whipped cream. $11-$24, a la carte.
SUSHISAMBA rio, 504 North Wells Street. For reservations or more information call 312-595-2300 or visit www.sushisamba.com.
If you’re giving your traditional family recipes a rest this year, dine with Chef Paul Fehribach, who grew up cooking recipes with his mother that had been passed down throughout generations. From German roots to Southern fare, this meal is anything but ordinary. Dinner starts with a relish tray of Kentucky beer cheese and salt-rising bread (made from scratch) followed by potato knepfles (rustic German dumplings), deep-fried turkey and Brussels sprouts braised with parsnips. $48 for adults, $20 for kids.
Big Jones, 5347 North Clark Street. For reservations or more information call 773-275-5725 or visit www.bigjoneschicago.com.