Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, to scream at the football game, to marvel at the parade floats, and to stress about possibly burning your kitchen down. But it doesn't have to be! You can still bond with family and fret over football, but plenty Chicago restaurants remove the stress of cooking by offering their own holiday menus.
Tortoise Club (350 N. State St.)
Thanksgiving traditions undergo a bit of restaurant-quality polish at Tortoise Club this year, where executive chef Aaron Browning takes the reins on an Americana-filled menu available all afternoon long (from noon until 7:30 p.m., specifically). After hitting up the seafood bar, diners can sit down to a spread of pumpkin soup, salads, turkey, prime rib, trout, mashed potatoes, cranberry jelly, stuffing and sweets. The cost is $65 per person, $22 for children five to 12, and free for those four and younger. Reservations can be made by calling 312-755-1700.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House (58 E. Oak St.)
Looking for a surefire way to beef up your Thanksgiving Day traditions? Look no further than Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, which will be open to satiate all your carnivorous cravings on Turkey Day. Open from noon until 8 p.m., guests can expect all the standby steakhouse side dishes along with special Thanksgiving menus. For $52 per person, diners select an appetizer between butternut squash soup or holiday salad, followed by turkey breast with sweet onion-apple-sage stuffing, sides, and choice of dessert. For reservations, call Del Frisco's at 312-888-2499.
Filini Bar & Restaurant (221 N. Columbus Dr.)
For something a little more eclectic, Filini Bar & Restaurant puts an Italian accent on the American tradition. For $75 per person, diners get to feast their way through a miscellany of Italian-inspired holiday delicacies, with two options per course. These include butternut squash soup with Brussels sprouts and pumpkin seeds, heirloom spinach salad with truffle vinaigrette, roasted turkey with chestnut-herb stuffing and sweet potato flan, and apple-cranberry cake with bourbon vanilla for dessert. Open all day on Thanksgiving, reservations for Filini can be made by calling 312-477-0234.
Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave.)
If Spanish cuisine is more your M.O., then make it to Mercat a la Planxa, where diners can partake in a Catalan-inspired Thanksgiving spread of tapas. The onslaught of shareable dishes includes Serrano ham and fig salad, fried pardon peppers, jamon y queso flatbread, red wine-braised farro, and fried confit turkey with cranberry-orange compote. The cost is $65 per person, available from 3 p.m. onward. Reservations can be made by calling 312-765-0524.
Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave.)
Class up your Thanksgiving traditions with a visit to Acadia in the South Loop, where Chef Ryan McCaskey is sure to up the ante on your holiday dining memories (sorry Mom). Available from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m., Acadia is offering a five-course degustation with optional wine pairings. Dishes include an elevated take on turducken served with truffle bread pudding, duck egg Lyonnaise, squab and turkey consommé, skate wing Meuniere, and pumpkin beignets with maple ice cream and apple butter. Acadia even offers a kids' menu for $25 with items like smoked cheddar mac 'n' cheese and chicken tenders. Call 312-360-9500 for reservations.
Porkchop (941 W. Randolph St.)
Smoked turkey, bourbon pecan cornbread stuffing, and mashed potatoes are among the Southern-flavored Thanksgiving comforts on deck at Porkchop this year. Open Thanksgiving Day for all your belt-shattering eating needs, the barbecue-focused eatery will be enriching the masses at both its West Loop and Hyde Park locations, all for just $27 per person. Other menu items on hand include garlic roasted root veggies, cranberry-apple compote, soups, and pies.
The Signature Room (875 N. Michigan Ave.)
Classic and contemporary Thanksgiving dishes collide in the sky at The Signature Room atop the Hancock Tower, where Executive Chef Cardel Reid does a bit of both to offer something for everyone - and with a killer view to boot. Start your meal in the lounge, where an appetizer buffet runneth over with chilled seafood, charcuterie, and cheese. Follow it all up with classic menu items like roasted turkey breast and seared lamb chops, or go in a more novel direction with offbeat holiday eats like sweet potato gnocchi and pan-seared scallops.
The Thanksgiving menu is served from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., priced at $70 per adult, $35 per child four to 12, and free for those under three. Reservations can be made by calling 312-787-9596.
Tavern on Rush (1031 N. Rush St.)
Another solid bet for traditional Thanksgiving feasting minus any sense of vertigo: Tavern on Rush. The classy yet classic Gold Coast haunt promises old-school holiday dining this Thanksgiving, served in a three-course spread fit for the whole family. The meal includes roasted acorn squash soup, whole carved turkey with chestnut stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, autumn vegetables, bread, pumpkin pie, apple cobbler, and carrot cake.
For groups of four or more, Tavern on Rush will serve it family-style. Call 312-644-9600 for reservations, available starting at 11 a.m. The cost is $44.95 per adult and $19.95 for children 12 and younger.
Falafill (3202 N. Broadway)
Or if you prefer your Thanksgiving holiday to be more casual - and Mediterranean-inspired - you belong at Falafill. The Lakeview falafel bastion is offering a full menu and mezza bar on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., featuring a Thanksgiving-inspired wrap with turkey falafel balls, cranberry hummus, and sweet potato fries tossed in buttered sage.
Photos: Filini Bar & Restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, The Signature Room, Falafill