More and more dining-out options are becoming available on Thanksgiving. Here are 20 (very) last-minute ideas (reservations, when available, are strongly suggested):
At Cosmos, the gorgeous dining room (pictured, above) inside the Graves 601 Hotel, chef John Occhiato makes Thanksgiving special with a sumptuous three-course dinner ($45 adults, $12 children ages 12 and under), with multiple choices in each course (check it out here). The smooth, professional service is an added bonus.
The Beacon Public House, the stylish restaurant inside the equally stylish Commons Hotel (formerly the not-so-stylish Radisson University Hotel), is offering a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for $35 per person, and everyone leaves with a turkey sandwich. Here’s a nice twist: bring in non-perishable food items and exchange them for raffle tickets. The grand prize is an overnight stay at the hotel, and dinner for two at the Beacon.
The lovely main-floor dining room at newcomer Marin Restaurant & Bar (in the Le Meridien Chambers Hotel) is a fine venue for a four-course holiday celebration (find the menu here), brought to you by the same team behind St. Louis Park’s health-conscious Mill Valley Kitchen. The $45 per person cost includes a glass of wine.
You won't find a traditional Thanksgiving spread at Bank in the Westin Hotel -- the restaurant is sticking to its standard menu. Still, the setting is one of the city's stunners, the landmark art moderne banking hall of the former Farmers and Mechanics Savings Bank.
A brunch with all the usual Thanksgiving suspects is on the brunch menu at the Marquette Hotel, which is kicking open the doors of its Windows on Minnesota -- on the gasp-worthy 50th floor of the IDS Tower -- for the big event. Cost is $41 per person, which includes free parking in the convenient IDS Center parking ramp.
The historic Nicollet Island Inn is preparing a four-course meal (with a choice of three entrees: roast turkey, prime rib or broiled walleye) in its charming riverside dining room, for $68 per person.
The comfortable and attractive Bloomington Chophouse in the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington is putting out a turkey-and-trimmings-and-more buffet ($35 adults, $17 children ages 6 to 12, free for children under age 5).
How about a steak? Manny's Steakhouse in the W Hotel is open for business. Splurge on the menu's 85-day aged bone-in rib eye. A few blocks away, another steakhouse -- the Capital Grille -- is also serving dinner on the holiday.
At the Mall of America, Black Friday early birds can slip into the Napa Valley Grille for its a la carte menu, which includes butternut squash soup with petipas ($4 and $6) and roasted turkey with cranberries, garlic mashed potatoes and a savory bread pudding for $17.
The News Room is marking the holiday with a three-course ($24.95) dinner that features roasted butternut squash soup, roast turkey with a Brussels sprout casserole and maple glazed sweet potatoes. Dessert? An apple-sage bread pudding topped with a cranberry compote.
Although expats can enjoy the regular bangers-and-mash menu at Merlins Rest, the kitchen at this British Isles pub also embraces its American side, serving a $15.75 dinner that includes wild rice soup, turkey breast braised in Finnegans Beer, a potato-parsnip mash, herb stuffing, Yorkshire pudding and pie.
Perenially popular Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room is putting together a T-giving dinner — turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and more — for $11, with a $15 all-you-can-eat option.
At Common Roots Cafe, owner Danny Schwartzman is thinking of adding some kind of turkey daily special but will otherwise concentrate on its regular daytime fare. “We’ve learned that what people really want on Thanksgiving is to have brunch away from their families,” he said with a laugh.
Across the street, the words organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free are all on chef George Lohr's $35-per-person menus at the French Meadow Bakery & Cafe. Farm-to-table, too, with turkey from Wild Acres Game Farm in Pequot Lakes, Minn.
Chef David Fhima is offering a handful of Thanksgiving-inspired appetizers and entrees -- along with his standard menu -- at lively Faces Mears Park, starting at 3 p.m.
Spasso is putting out a Thanksgiving buffet ($19.95 adults, $12.95 children ages 11 and under) and serving its extensive, retail-price wine list, too.
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