In case you want to take it easy this year, here's a list of options for letting someone else deal with the turkey — plus a holiday wine festival that may also have your name on it.
The theme for our Seattle Times holiday eating-and-drinking special this year acknowledges that things go wrong, but good times still can be — must be — had. It’s called The Imperfect Holiday. If you’re cooking, you’ll find recipes from Seattle greats like Brady Williams of Canlis (a spatchcocked turkey, which gets one really familiar with the anatomy of the bird), Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita (the world’s richest gravy), and more, with their tips on how to make each recipe easier, too.
What’s really easy, though, is to go out to Thanksgiving dinner. While it can be pricey, it might be worth it to let someone else stress about the timing (and the dishes) while you and yours just sit back, breathe deep, and eat (and drink) up. Below are 11 places to do just that.
A note about additional good cheer: Seattle’s first annual Holiday Wine Fest is this weekend (November 12 and 13) at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, where $40 will get you all-you-can-sample of dozens and dozens of both local and international wines, plus ciders, spirits, snacks, and more. Even better, it benefits the marvelous local nonprofit City Fruit, so you’ll be drinking for a little bit of a better world, too.
Restaurants for Thanksgiving
Scout in the Thompson Seattle hotel downtown: A “Friendsgiving” (families allowed, too) with “an abundant three-course family-style menu,” a photo booth, giveaways, and prizes; a welcome cocktail (always a good idea) is included. $90 per person plus tax and service charge.
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RN74 downtown: A French-inspired holiday menu from new executive chef Ben Godwin (whose impressive resume includes the Fat Duck, Alinea, Noma), serving the likes of glazed veal sweetbreads with sunchoke, matsutake and sourdough; butter-basted heritage turkey with roasted chestnut and foie gras stuffing and cranberry-orange compote; and vanilla beignet and butterscotch pudding. $70 per person; wine pairing $35.
Agrodolce in Fremont: An organic, Italian family-style feast masterminded by chef Maria Hines with seven courses including Alvarez purple potato zeppoli with salmon roe and Meyer lemon aioli; house-milled acorn squash cavatelli; turkey breast with roasted yams, sweet potatoes, and agrodolce onions; and (this sounds really good) pumpkin cheesecake with sheep’s milk ricotta, quince, and pumpkin-seed brittle. Vegetarian and gluten free options available with advanced notice. 3-6 p.m.; $65 per person; wine pairings $35.
Cafe Flora in Madison Valley: For the 25th year (congrats!), a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu — this one’s four courses (and can also be, by request, vegan/gluten-free), including heirloom potato, celery root, and black garlic soup with black pepper shortbread; and marsala mushroom and cauliflower ragout over roasted squash with smashed rutabaga and Yukon gold potato. Four-course vegan/gluten-free kids’ menu includes mini shepherd’s pie (cute!) with seasonal vegetables topped with Yukon gold mashed potato. $75 per person; kids’ menu, $25 for children age 12 and under.
Miller’s Guild in the Hotel Max downtown: Chef Jason Wilson’s Thanksgiving menu of “dressed-up classic dishes,” also available to-go, includes smoked Duram Ranch Wagyu beef prime rib with truffled watercress and whipped horseradish, or turkey leg confit with shrapnel gravy; sides such as truffle mashed potatoes; and pecan or pumpkin pie or brown-sugar apple crisp with buttermilk vanilla ice cream. $89 per person; $48 for children age 12 and under. To-go option, $49.85 per person (order by November 20 for November 23 pick-up).
Six Seven Restaurant & Lounge at the Edgewater Hotel on the waterfront: A four-course Thanksgiving menu including butternut squash and apple bisque; foraged mushroom risotto; roasted natural turkey; and traditional pumpkin pie. $75/person, with kids’ menu of a la carte items available “for smaller appetites.”
Ray’s Boathouse and Cafe in Shilshole: At the Boathouse, a three-course a la carte Thanksgiving dinner with main course choices of oven roasted turkey with chestnut-herb stuffing, spice-rubbed prime rib, grilled King salmon, or pan-seared halibut; in the Cafe, a Thanksgiving buffet with turkey and all the sides, plus a seafood bar for oysters on the half-shell, peel-and-eat prawns, and Alaskan snow crab. Boathouse menu: $55 per person, half-price for children ages five-11, children under five free. Buffet menu: $55 per person, $20 for children ages five-11, children under five free.
Copperleaf at Cedarbrook Lodge in Seatac: A menu of Thanksgiving classics “with Mad Hatcher roast turkey for the traditionalists and caramelized diver scallops for those looking for something different,” plus live piano music. $75 per adult, $37.50 for children ages 6 to 12, children under age 5 free; wine pairings $35 per person.
Urbane at the Hyatt at Olive 8 downtown: A menu of fancied-up classics, with a take-home option, including lavender-and-molasses-brined turkey; foraged mushroom and haricot vert casserole with crispy Walla Walla onions; pumpkin pie cheesecake with apple cider gastrique; and more. $46 for adults, $23 children. Take-home option: $350 (serves 8-10 people).
Eques at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue: A menu of “Thanksgiving classics and elevated comfort food options,” including 48-hour braised short ribs; Beecher’s cheese cornbread; pumpkin gnocchi with spinach, sage, and parmesan; and lots of desserts like pumpkin cheesecake verrine with a chocolate glaze and croquants. $47.95 for adults, $23.95 for children.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse in downtown Seattle: A three-course, prix-fixe traditional turkey dinner for $39, including shrimp-and-lobster bisque, hand-carved (as opposed to?!) roasted turkey breast with sweet onion/apple/sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and chocolate pecan pie.