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November 17, 2009

Top 10 Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner

MexicanThanksgiving.jpgNow you decide you don't want to cook after all, and you're looking for a restaurant open Thanksgiving day. I did my best for you with this list of Top 10 Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner, but it wasn't easy.

First of all, check out my list from two years ago. I didn't want to repeat myself this time, so I'm really giving you 20 choices. I can't guarantee at this point, of course, that there will be any openings; but I didn't include any places that were booked as of this writing. ...

That didn't leave me much to work with. I had to throw in a couple of Thanksgiving buffets, but I tried to pick the best ones.

Here's my list in alphabetical order:

* Alizee in the Inn at the Colonnade. Traditional and gourmet buffet selections from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ($39.95/adult; $15.95/child 6-10; 5 and under free). I had a very good meal here. I don't know how a buffet will turn out, but I'd be willing to chance it.

* Brightons in the Intercontinental Harbor Court. Thanksgiving brunch buffet with various stations like carving, seafood, raw bar, soup, salads, kids (that's for kids), dessert. $55 for adults, $25 for children.

* Cafe Troia in Towson. This Itallian restaurant will be serving its regular menu as well as a traditional organic turkey dinner for $28.95. Open 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

* Grano in Hampden. There will be one seating at 4 p.m. for this prix fixe Italian Thanksgiving feast. The $65 price includes complimentary bellinis and bloody marys, but if you want wine you'll have to bring it yourself.

* Kali's Court in Fells Point.This is a first for the seafood restaurant. The four-course menu will cost $49.95, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Maryland Food Bank. Open noon to 6 p.m.

* Kent Manor Inn in Stevensville. Traditional Thanksgiving buffet ($39/adult; child 6-12 half price, 5 and under free). All non-alcoholic drinks included. Served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Osteria 177 in Annapolis. This may not be the best place if you insist on turkey. You will be able to get the regular menu of Italian "coastal cuisine," and the chef hasn't decided whether to have turkey as the nightly special. Open 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

* Petit Louis in Roland Park. The three-course menu for $39.95 will feature Chestnut Soup with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Turkey with Pommes Purées, Local Greens, Cranberry Relish, and Apple and Cranberry Pain Perdu with Cognac Crème Anglaise. Open 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

* Prime Rib downtown. The holiday meal for $39.95 will consist of soup or salad; roast turkey with stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, creamed spinach and sweet potatoes; and pumpkin, pecan or apple pie for dessert. Kids under 12 eat for $17.95.

* Rockfish in Annapolis. Regular menu plus roast turkey with the traditional trimmings for $23.95 for adults, $10.95 for children under 12.

(I didn't have good Thanksgiving restaurant art, but I liked this photo. It shows a Mexican-style roasted turkey in apricot-chili glaze. AP Photo/Larry Crowe) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:56 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Thanksgiving, Top Ten Tuesdays


Hmmm--does Grano have a liquor license now?

Nope, that's why they are "complimentary." EL

I'll be going to the Oregon Grille for Thanksgiving this year, the first time in as long as I can remember I won't be having at home. I will report back with my findings.

The Petit Louis menu is making my mouth water already.

Those who may be interested in restaurants on the 2007 list (such as the Oregon Grille) should note that that list is two years old, and, as such, may need updating. Some of the hyperlinks no longer work, some places may have changed their offerings (fixed-price and/or a la carte), and some prices may have increased.

Good points. Thanks. Plus any of them have to be called anyway because they may very well not have reservations left. EL

I've always liked the Oregon Grill for thanksgiving, but for some reason i feel highly guilty for going to a restaurent in the first place. Harriman House is another favorite, but i usually end up there for my birthday ( less then a week later) and don't want to "double dip" in the same week.

Sounds great but the pricing is prohibitive to me.

Had turkey dinner last year at the Oregon Grille, and the last time, I realize that its a busy day, but it shouldn't be so busy that our dessert was served with wax paper between the cake and the icing. I'm not sure if they order their desserts from somebody and they messed up or if the desserts are made in house and they messed up. Our table wasn't alone, it seemed like everybody on the 2nd floor had this issue.

Don't expect great service from any restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. The staff would rather be at home with their families. Not to mention, Thanksgiving Eve happens to be the biggest drinking day of the year. Staffers will more than likely be hung-over. That would explain the wax paper being left in the desserts last year.

That seems kind of self-defeating. If they have to be there, you would think they would at least like to get good tips. EL

I apologize if this has been already mentioned. But, the thought just went through my mind that isn't it kind of strange that so many restuarants and stores that used to close on TG are opening this year?

In an enviornment of less spending I would think that no so many people would be paying the huge bill to go out at all.

In addition, stores that have previously proudly noted that they were closed so that their employees and their families could enjoy the holiday together are opening this year.

What's up with this?

Why is Osteria 177 listed in this when they're not even serving a traditional TG dinner?

The title of the story is "Top 10 Restaurants for Thanksgiving Dinner"

My guess is that Elizabeth is friends with the owner.

I asked the owner that (why he wasn't necessarily serving turkey), and he said, "People who want turkey stay at home. People who want something else for Thanksgiving dinner go out." And again, they may be serving turkey. Give them a call first if that's a deal breaker for you. EL

Kinda snarky, D.

Ms Large said she didn't have much to work with ... and never promised turkey (or tradition).

Eastern House Restaurant on Eastern Ave in Highlandtown is open Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. A la Carte or Dinner is offered. I worked there for years and Thanksgiving dinner was a good deal. A soup or salad, dinner with two vegetables, dessert and drink. Turkey and other items are offered. Can't beat it

Thanks for giving us a less expensive option. EL

EL, I have to agree with the owner of Osteria 177. My friends and I enjoy something different for Thanksgiving. The last couple of years we have eaten at Watertable and Rusty Scupper. Both offer a buffet with plenty of choices and the food is decent; not to mention great views of the harbor.

Good suggestions. Thanks. EL

I think the best deal around town this year is at La Fontaine Bleue Catering. They're serving a complete, all-inclusive Thanksgiving dinner buffet for only $19.95/person from 2pm-6pm. Children 7-12 are only $11.95 and under 6 are free. The menu on their website looks pretty extensive and even includes their awesome crab cakes. I've never been disappointed--looking forward to it again this year.

For the first time, the Prime Rib will be open for Thanksgiving dinner. (The other Prime Ribs have been but not this one).

Back in the day I used to go to Hausner's with my family for Thanksgiving. After it closed we started just having it at home.

We would also on occasion go there for New Years.

Man I miss that resturant.

Does anyone have any suggestions for Thanksgiving "Downey Ocean, Hon"?

Nantuckets. EL

Suzie Q, looks like The Shark is doing some kind of Thanksgiving thing.

Osteria's pheasant stuffed with black truffles, mushrooms, and breadcrumbs with a wine reduction sauce is TG-ish enough for me!

John Stevens has posted signs around Fells advertising their Thnx Day dinner. Starts at 1pm and centers around either ham or turkey. The signs says they will be offering their shellfishy stuff all day, too.

Thanks! EL

Crowne Plaza in Timonium is advertising a Thanksgiving buffet.

I had T'giving dinner once at McCormick & Schmick. It was an incredible deal -- a waldorf salad appetizer and then a plate of everything you could think of for T'giving as the entree. The plates were very large, of course. If they still offer this, I'd recommend it.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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