Giving Thanks: A Weekend of Feasting, Drinking and Indulging to Celebrate Thanksgiving

Widely celebrated as the ultimate day of sharing and feasting, Thanksgiving Day offers friends and families across the country the opportunity to truly indulge in the bounty of the fall harvest. Throughout The Midwest in particular, restaurants and hotels are basting birds and serving up Turkey Day favorites with a twist. From dinner with skyline views, to global interpretations of the classic American Thanksgiving spread, these restaurants and hotels present fantastic ways to celebrate with family, friends, or as a treat alone:

BLACK WEDNESDAY

Drinksgiving at Headquarters Beercade
Headquarters Beercade (213 W. Institute Pl., Chicago)

  • Headquarters celebrates Black Wednesday by partnering with Forbidden Root Brewing for a Drinksgiving dinner from 8-10 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23.
  • Forbidden Root Brewery reps will be on-site to co-host the $35 ticketed dinner, which features a beer-paired Thanksgiving inspired menu from Chef Scott Donaldson. Dishes and pairings include:  Turkey made with house-smoked turkey breast roulade; peppercorn crust; horseradish celery root, cauliflower puree; served with red wine, cranberry sauce, paired with Hicktoberfest; Sassy Pumpkin Soup made with sweet and spicy roasted pumpkin delicata squash soup, cream, fig and balsamic reduction, paired with Fig Dubbel;  Sweet Potato Poutine made with sweet potato wedges, pumpkin spice, charred marshmallow fluff, paired with Purple Pils.
  • Both River North and Lakeview (2833 N. Sheffield Ave.) are open 365 days a year, making them an ideal destination for Black Wednesday and Thanksgiving Day celebrations.

Family Escape in The Yard
The Yard at The Iron Horse Hotel (500 Florida St., Milwaukee, WI)

  • Thanksgiving is a time for the family to gather together, during the feast day itself and throughout the weekend. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Milwaukeeans are invited to celebrate a homecoming of family and friends in The Yard at The Iron Horse Hotel in the Walker’s Point neighborhood.
  • From 6 – 10 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23, The Yard offers a special of $3 drafts on all local brews, and $5 well drinks with local distillery spirits, with live music playing throughout the night from Milwaukee’s best local artists.

THANKSGIVING

All-American Feast at American Craft Kitchen & Bar
American Craft Kitchen & Bar (151. E. Wacker Dr., Chicago)

  • For an all-American feast, locals and visitors alike need to look no further than American Craft Kitchen & Bar. The Thanksgiving Day dinner buffet features soups: Cream of Mushroom & Chestnut soup; Butternut Squash Soup; and fresh salads including classic Caesar Salad with whole leaf romaine, Caesar dressing, croutons, and parmigiana-reggiano; Roasted Golden Beets with mandarin segments, roasted pears, arugula, medjool dates, golden raisins, roasted almonds, and orange blossom honey vinaigrette; Quinoa Salad with baby kale, roasted squash, heirloom apples, dried cranberries, pecans, pomegranate, and creamy balsamic dressing; and Winter Chopped Salad with celeriac root, parsnip, beetroot, edamame, black beans, pomegranate, arugula, and Pecorino Romano. The Holiday Carving Station features Roasted Sirloin with mushroom gravy, Sage Butter Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast with giblet gravy, Sage Butter Roasted All-Natural Turkey Thigh Meat with giblet gravy, and Seared Herb Atlantic Salmon with lemon cream, dill sauce. The main course is completed with traditional side dishes including mashed potatoes and chicken gravy, maple roasted sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts & acorn squash, traditional bread stuffing, and cranberry relish. The feast finishes with assorted desserts to end on a sweet note.
  • The Thanksgiving Day Dinner Buffet is $39.95 per person, and includes coffee, tea, or soda. Reservations can be made by calling 312-565-1234 x4496.

Channel Carnivale for Black Wednesday
Arbella (112 W. Grand Ave., Chicago)

  • Globally-influenced cocktail lounge, Arbella goes Brazilian for Black Wednesday, with a special Carnivale-themed bash. DJ Madrid is spinning and samba dance troupe Bossa Tres will perform live. Drink specials include $7 caipirinhas, Brazil’s signature cocktail.
  • Carnivale! at Arbella happens on Wednesday, November 23 from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. There is no cover. For reservations at Arbella, please call 312.846.6654 or visit OpenTable.

A Charming Thanksgiving Affair 
The Charmant Hotel (101 State St., La Crosse, WI)

  • At The Charmant Hotel, Midwestern Thanksgiving feasting meets the French refinement of a “charmant” (or “charming”) holiday affair (101 State St., La Crosse, WI, 608-519-8800).
  • Chef Kevin Micheli offers an a la carte Happy Thanksgiving menu on Thursday, November 24 from TK-TK, comprised of shareable starters such as Le Cheese Curds ($9) and Pomme Frites ($9)followed by favorites such as the Turkey Sandwich ($11) and The Thanksgiving Feast ($28) for hungry Turkey-goers.

Jove T’s Pie in the Sky: Rooftop Restaurant Presents Pie Pop-up
Cindy’s (12 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago)

  • Executive Pastry Chef Jove Hubbard makes entertaining holiday guests a little bit easier – and much sweeter – for Thanksgiving with his pie creations. For enjoyment before, during, and after the turkey, whole pies ($25) in flavors such as Classic Pumpkin, Dutch Apple, and Maple Cream are available for pre-order via http://chicagoathleticevents.com/. The Pie in the Sky Pop-up also features additional sweet treats and indulgences like Cider Doughnuts ($10), Caramel Apples ($5), and sippable drinks Belgian Hot Chocolate ($5) with Vanilla Bean Marshmallows and the cocktail Hot Lava! comprised of blackstrap rum, apple cider, ancho chile, pecan, clove, star anise, and cinnamon.
  • Designed to be enjoyed with friends and family or for a hungry party of one, Jove T’s Pies in the Sky are available for pre-order pick up and in person order from 3 – 6 p.m. Tuesday, November 22 and Wednesday, November 23.

A North Meets South Culinary Approach to Thanksgiving
Coppin’s Restaurant & Bar (638 Madison Ave., Covington, KY)

  • The best of both worlds, Executive Chef Brendan Haren brings the technique and practices of Northern cooking traditions to the bounty of the Southern table for the food-centric holiday. The buffet ($55) features a Bowman Landis Free Range Turkey and Prime Rib carving station, as well as other Thanksgiving worthy dishes such as Roasted Salmon with Tomato Gravy and Black Eyed Pea Salad and Cauliflower Salad with Crisp Capers, Parsley and Citrus.
  • The holiday buffet is available from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. within the newly opened Hotel Covington and Coppin’s Restaurant & Bar. A limited menu will be available after 4 p.m.. For reservations please call 859.905.6800 or on OpenTable.

Burgers + Shakes Give you Thanksgiving all Month Long
DMK Burger Bar (2954 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago)

  • As October turns to November, Thanksgiving and all the fabulous food fix-ins come to mind…enter The Gobbler.
  • This Thanksgiving-inspired burger comes chock-full of all the classic holiday dishes with two juicy turkey patties, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, celery, and is topped off with house made cranberry relish. Wash it down with the Pumpkin Pie Shake, and you’ve got Thanksgiving all month long

Feast at Chicago’s Longest Thanksgiving Buffet w/ a View
The Godfrey Hotel Chicago (127 W. Huron Ave., Chicago)

  • Prepare to be extra stuffed on turkey day as Executive Chef Nate Cayer presents The Godfrey Thanksgiving – an extravagant buffet spread that allows Chicagoans to give thanks while enjoying sweeping views of the city from the hotel’s popular all-season rooftop terrace. The Godfrey is serving Thanksgiving classics,  such as Turkey from a rolling carving station, Roasted Butternut Squash SoupSweet Potato PureeBourbon Glazed Carrots, and Pumpkin Pie. In additionauthentic Italian dishes are also available, including Lobster Mezzalune and Pappardelle Alla Bolognese
  • Guests are welcome to feast together, watch football on the lounge’s video wall, or join their kids in the play room. But no one is allowed to leave empty-handed, all attendees are treated to enough hearty leftovers to last the weekend.
  • The Godfrey Thanksgiving will be held from 12-7 p.m. on Thursday, November 24; tickets for the buffet are $29 for adults and $10 for kids; seats are available by reservation only at www.godfreythanksgiving.com.

Bird’s the Word: Thanksgiving in Chicago’s Gold Coast
Maple & Ash / Eight Bar (8 W. Maple St.)

  • Maple & Ash invites guests to try a new take on turkey this Thanksgiving. The modern steakhouse’s holiday specials include Chef Danny Grant’s slow-roasted heritage Turkey Roulade ($45), and traditional sides (priced a la carte) such as stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, his mom’s green bean casserole, sweet potato gratin, and roasted Brussel sprouts. Favorite Thanksgiving desserts from Pastry Chef Aya Fukai are also available. At Eight Bar, the casual neighborhood tavern located downstairs from Maple & Ash, Chef Danny offers slow roasted heritage Turkey Breast with mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing & Brussel sprouts ($35).
  • The specials are available on Thanksgiving Day only, Thursday, November 24. Guests must mention they would like to order the Thanksgiving Turkey specials when making a reservation, as quantities are limited. Maple & Ash is open from 2-8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and Eight Bar is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. The full menus for both restaurants will also be served on the holiday. Reservations can be made by calling 312.944.8888 or on OpenTable.

A Catalan-Inspired Thanksgiving at Mercat a la Planxa
Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago)

  • Guests are treated to a tasting menu served in four courses with a dessert to finish. Mercat offers its own Spanish takes on traditional Thanksgiving dishes like their turkey, or “pavo” that’s grilled on the planxa, glazed with cranberry, and served with sherry pan gravy and Beauregard sweet potatoes. For a vegetable-focused dish, they serve Cols de Brussel-les which is charred Brussels sprouts with Iberico bacon, hazelnuts, a white anchovy aioli, and a lemon zest vinaigrette. Pricing for the Thanksgiving menu is $85 for adults and $35 for kids.
  • The special Thanksgiving menu is available from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 312.765.0524. For more information, please call 312.765.0524, visit mercatchicago.com.

“Turkey-kase “ is a Thanksgiving Treasure
Roka Akor Old Orchard (4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, IL)

  • Executive Chef Boyd Cheong prepares a “Turkey-kase” complete with Japanese-styled fried turkey, braised turkey rice hot pot with mountain greens, robata grilled sweet potato casserole, homemade stuffing with roasted shishito pepper and miso dashi, and pecan pie for $50 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. A limited a la carte menu will also be available.
  • The holiday menu will be served during the restaurants special operating hours from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday, November 24. Reservations are strongly recommended, and can be made by calling 847.440.3383, or visiting the website http://www.rokaakor.com/old-orchard/.

Time to Give Thanks with Stunning Views of the City
The Signature Room (875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago)

  • Executive Chef Cardel Reid prepares a festive buffet spread to satisfy all appetites. Guests graze on a starter’s buffet and visit chef-attended action stations offering carved Prime Rib and Customized Salads. Main course options include Australian Seared Lamb Chops with pappardelle and red wine lamb Bolognese, Pan Seared Scallops with butternut squash purée, Plainville Farm Roasted Turkey with caramelized onion cranberry stuffing, herb glazed carrots, and more.
  • The gourmet Thanksgiving buffet is offered on Thursday, November 24 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and tickets are priced at $80 per person for adults, $35 per child (4-12 years old), and children aged 3 and under eat for free. These prices are not inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required, and can be made by calling 312.280.0465.

Fall Feasting at Smyth in The Iron Horse Hotel
Smyth at The Iron Horse Hotel (500 W. Florida St., Milwaukee, WI)

  • Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato Puree, Brioche Stuffing – it’s nothing short of a fall feast at Smyth inside The Iron Horse Hotel this Thanksgiving Day (500 W Florida St., Milwaukee, WI, 414-374-4766).
  • Offering a Thanksgiving buffet on Thursday, November 24 from from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for $49 per person, Chef Joshua Rogers invites guests to partake in traditional Thanksgiving favorites (including Green Bean Casserole, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Butternut Squash Soup, and more) alongside a carving station of House Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast, Confit of Turkey Leg Roulade, and Maple Glazed Ham will be followed by dessert indulges galore to induce the most welcome Thanksgiving food coma. Brunch items (such as omelets and waffles) will be available for order.

Say Thanks in Style at Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi
Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi (151 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago)

  • Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi offers a prixe fixe dinner featuring elevated takes on the classic favorites. Guests begin the Thanksgiving feast with choice of French onion soup with a gruyere crouton or cream of mushroom & chestnut soup; followed by Caesar salad with mixed whole tender lettuce, anchovies, garlic croutons, and parmesan tuiles or Stetsons chopped salad with roasted parsnips, asparagus, celery root, butternut squash, sliced candy striped beets, marcona almonds, and white balsamic dressing. The main course features Plainville Farm all-natural turkey with sage butter, a chestnut herb stuffing, and giblet gravy. The turkey is served with traditional trimmings of roasted maple Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, and Stetsons mashed potatoes. The meal finishes on a sweet note with classic pumpkin pie topped with Chantilly cream and cranberry compote.
  • Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi’s prix fixe dinner is available for $60 per person, from 5 p.m. – close. Reservations can be made online at www.stetsonschicago.com or by calling 312.239.4491.

Pollo To-Go for Thanksgiving
Tanta (118 W. Grand Ave., Chicago)

  • Skip the traditional, time-consuming turkey, and let Tanta’s Executive Chef Jesus Delgado whip your family up a Peruvian feast this Thanksgiving, as the restaurant offers their signature Pollo a la Brasa with sides and dessert to-go for the holiday. The complete meal, which serves four, includes Tanta’s acclaimed Pollo a la Brasa (3 lb. Amish chicken marinated for 24 hours in beer and Peruvian spices, slow roasted in the restaurant’s rotisserie oven), a choice of two sides (selections include: pastel de choclo, or corn cake,  stuffed with braised beef and raisins; pastel de papas, or potato cake, with aji amarillo, huacatay, and bacon; or roasted vegetable medley of Brussel sprouts, squash, and mushrooms), and lucuma meringue pie for dessert. The meal is priced at $64.99 and comes with reheating instructions so everything hits the table hot and fresh. Orders must be placed by Monday, November 21 at 3 p.m. Pre-payment is required and quantities are limited. Meals must be picked up at Tanta between 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23. There are no substitutions. To place orders, please call the restaurant at 312.222.9700. For more information on Tanta, please visit www.tantachicago.com.

Thanksgiving-Inspired Peruvian Specials at Tanta
Tanta (118 W. Grand Ave., Chicago)

  • All Thanksgiving week, Chef Jesus Delgado presents holiday specials with a South American spin at Peruvian hot spot Tanta. Selections include: Ahi Tuna Tiraditos with lima bean puree, dashi leche de tigre, and yellow chili emulsion; Roasted Red Kuri & Butternut Squash with tempura kabocha, asparagus, locro crème, burrata, and huacatay; Chupe de Camarones, or traditional Peruvian stew with prawns, aji panca, and potatoes; and Adobo Beef Shank with roasted medley of roots & squash, potato crème, and herbs (serves 4-6).
  • Thanksgiving specials at Tanta are available Monday, November 21-Wednesday, Nov 23 and Friday, November 25-Saturday, November 26. Tanta will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. For reservations, please call 312.222.9700 or visit OpenTable.

Hassle-Free Holiday at Thompson Chicago
Thompson Chicago (21 E. Bellevue Pl., Chicago)

  • This Thanksgiving, guests to Thompson Chicago can give thanks at our holiday table. Through the Hassle-Free Holiday package, guests receive an overnight stay, complimentary bottle of wine at check-in, and reservations for two at the Nico Osteria. From 2-9 p.m., guests can enjoy a seat at the award-winning restaurant’s Thanksgiving dinner table, featuring specialty menu offerings or a four-course prix fixe Thanksgiving dinner from Chef Erling Wu-Bower.
  • The Hassle-Free Holiday package is available from November 22 through November 26, with rates starting at $209/night. Room upgrades and stays are based on availability. The Hassle-Free Holiday package is non-refundable, and requires 72 hours prior advanced booking. Food, beverage, and gratuity costs are not included with a package stay. Interested guests of Thompson Chicago can make reservations by visiting http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/thompson-chicago, or by calling 312.266.2100.

Traditional Turkey Day with a Twist
Travelle Kitchen + Bar (330 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago)

  • This Thanksgiving buffet ($145, including a complimentary mimosa) serves up the traditional holiday dinner with upscale takes on classic fare, with highlights such as a cold station, smoke house station, carving station, and a variety of Thanksgiving favorites including Country Bread Stuffing with Chestnuts and Sage and Truffled Yellow Corn Casserole.
  • The Thanksgiving buffet will be offered from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 24. Dinner Service (a la carte menu featuring Thanksgiving specials) will also be served that day from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Reservations can be made online at www.travellechicago.com or by calling 312.923.7705.

BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday Beef and Bordeaux at Eight Bar
Eight Bar (8 W. Maple St., 1st floor, Chicago)

  • For one-day-only, Eight Bar is offering Black Friday deals that can’t be beat. For those looking for affordable luxury, the neighborhood tavern downstairs from Maple & Ash presents a Bloody Mary and Burger combo for just $14. This includes Eight Bar’s Bloody Mary garnished with thick-cut maple bacon and Chef Danny Grant’s famous Downstairs Burger with two griddled patties, cheddar cheese, and onions. For the high rollers, Eight Bar is pulling out all the punches. For $750, guests may splurge and enjoy a Bloody Mary, 40 oz. Eisenhower steak and a bottle of Chateau Palmer Bordeaux (1982 vintage). The bottle of Chateau Palmer alone retails for $1500, so this is a truly delicious Black Friday sale.
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The Black Friday specials at Eight Bar are available during normal business hours on Friday, November 25. For more information on Eight Bar, please visit eightbarchicago.com or call 312.944.8888

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