Give Thanks –and Dine Out

by Tallahassee Table

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends and traditionally, a feeding frenzy. Some love all the planning and cooking. But if you’ve decided to let someone else make the turkey and the fixin’s — and do all the cleaning up — this year, you have plenty of company.

National Restaurant Association research shows that one in 10 consumers plans to dine out for a Thanksgiving meal, and one in 20 will get takeout for the holiday.

Consumers looking for a Thanksgiving restaurant meal in Tallahassee will find a range of choices. The key is finding a place your group can agree on and making reservations as soon as possible.

Most venues open on the holiday are offering a traditional meal but you’ll also find steaks, seafood, Italian classics and Asian buffets. You can also count on large, casual chains including Cracker Barrel, IHOP, Denny’s, TGIF Friday’s and Village Inn, all open on Thanksgiving Day, to offer turkey specials as well as regular fare.

Here are some restaurants that could be just what you’re looking for on Thanksgiving.

A La Provence
The fine dining restaurant, known for its classic French and New American cuisines, is presenting traditional Thanksgiving fare. The spread features soup or salad; turkey, ham, lamb or fish (or a combination); vegetarian or sausage dressing; several side selections including roasted sweet potatoes, mac and cheese and braised collard greens plus a choice of dessert. The restaurant opens at noon and the last seating is at 4 p.m. Cost: $42. 1415 Timberlane Rd.; 850-329-6870. Call for reservations.

Azu Lucy Ho’s
The restaurant will serve its regular menu of classic and contemporary Asian fare, including sushi. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 3220 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-893-4112.

Buca Di Beppo
The festive Italian-American chain is known for its family-style portions and kitschy decor. Buca’s Thanksgiving Day feast includes sliced white meat turkey, home-style gravy, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spicy Italian sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and takeout is available (call in advance). Cost: $20 for individual serving, $60 for three (Small) and $120 for five to six (Large). The regular menu is available as well. Reservations are not required but recommended. Governor’s Square Mall, 1500 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-309-0058.

China Super Buffet
Turkey will be featured on the large Chinese buffet. Hours: 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Cost: $10.99. 2698 North Monroe St. 850-553-9292.

Fusion Grill Buffet
The sprawling restaurant, which opened this summer, will include turkey and ham along with its selection of Chinese dishes, hibachi, sushi and American fare. Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Cost: $11.99. 1107 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-999-8618.

This Tallahassee institution will serve tradItional holiday fare along with a lineup of the restaurant’s popular Geek-Mediterranean dishes, all with soup or salad. The roasted turkey dinner includes cornbread stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, squash casserole and green beans for $27. There’s also a smoked ham with cherry bourbon glaze served with mac and cheese, green beans and squash casserole for $26. Other dishes include prime rib, Greek-style grouper, braised lamb shank, a seafood platter, cranberry sage duck confit and a vegetarian dish for $25 to $35. Kids dishes (for 10 and under) range from $11 to $14. Hours: 1 to 7 p.m. 2971 Apalachee Pkwy.;  850-877-3211.  Reservations recommended.

Juicy Blue
The restaurant located inside the circular Four Points by Sheraton will be offering a prix fixe Thanksgiving menu with turkey, two sides, a drink and pie for $19.95 per person. A limited menu will also be available. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 316 W. Tennessee St.; 850-422-0071.

Marie Livingston’s Steakhouse
You’ll find a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the steakhouse, with ham or turkey plus gumbo or salad, sweet potato casserole, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans and desserts for $23.95. The regular dinner menu is also available. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 2705 Apalachee Pkwy.; 850-562-2525. Reservations recommended.

Nefetari’s Fine Cuisine & Spirits
The international menu at Nefetari’s, which includes vegan and vegetarian options, will add a Thanksgiving feast with a complimentary cranberry mimosa served with each meal. The menu will feature rosemary roasted turkey with cornbread dressing, giblet dressing and a choice of two sides. Other selections are pan-seared salmon, wild mushroom ravioli or vegan steak. Sweet potato pie, vegan chocolate cake and other homemade desserts will be available. Cost: $22. Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 812 S. Macomb St.; 850-210-0548. Reservations encouraged.

New Times Country Buffet
The buffet will serve its usual Southern, country-style items along with turkey, ham, gravy, stuffing and other traditional fare. Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cost: $10.99. 1701 Monroe St.; 850-580-1600.

Shula’s 347 Grill
Diners can savor a three-course Thanksgiving meal at this upmarket steakhouse, one of a handful of Shula’s 347 Grill destinations in the country. The first course: house or Caesar salad or butternut squash bisque. Second course: hand-carved roasted turkey with cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, cranberry apple chutney and yeast rolls. Third course: pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Shula’s will offer two servings: at lunch, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner, from 5 to 10 p.m. Cost: $35. The regular menu will also be available. 415 N. Monroe St.; 850-224-6005. Reservations recommended.

Ted’s Montana Grill
The Old West-style steakhouse, one of four in Florida, will offer a limited menu that includes its usual burgers, salmon and bison as well as a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, dressing, two sides and a pecan apple crisp dessert for $29. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 1954 Village Green Way; 850- 561-8337.









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