(CNN) — If a reservation feels like the best thing you could make for Thanksgiving dinner, you’re not alone. According to the National Restaurant Association, about 10% of Americans opt to dine out for the biggest meal of the year.
The top-stated reasons?
Convenience and the chance to enjoy family freed from hours of cooking. But the pleasures of good eating (cooked and served by attentive strangers) are right up there, too.
1. Georgia Brown’s (Washington, D.C.)
Courtesy Georgia Brown’s
Could Washington, D.C., the embodiment of America’s differences as a nation, possibly provide an amiable setting for a holiday reputed for its dinner-table discord?
Well, a reassuring cast of Washingtonians will be joining hands and giving thanks together at this Low Country cuisine institution that’s hosted one of the heartiest Thanksgiving feasts for the past 20 years just two blocks away from the White House.
Starters include she-crab soup and fried green tomatoes. Then you can choose from one of five entrees, including turkey (roasted or fried) and crab-stuffed flounder. Traditional Southern sides and desserts such as collards and cobbler finish off the menu.
Georgia Brown’s, 950 15th St., NW Washington; +1 202 393 4499.
3. Akasha (Los Angeles)
It’s OK to feel good about gluttony at this hip Culver City restaurant renaissance leader that specializes in New American comfort food with all the organic, locally sourced fixin’s you desire. A sampling of Akasha’s creative and relatively guilt-free Thanksgiving feast includes:
— A roast cauliflower bisque
— Herb-roasted turkey from a local farm accompanied by chestnut and sage stuffing (and a West Coast sable fish if turkey’s not your thing)
— A pie buffet! Varieties include pumpkin, coconut custard and numerous others.
Akasha, 9543 Culver Blvd., Culver City, California; +1 310 845 1700.
4. The Skillet (Mountain View, Arkansas)
The most inviting-looking public Thanksgiving event in the heart of Arkansas mountain country will be in full force again this year at Ozark Folk Center State Park.
This a living history facility dedicated to preserving the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Ozarks and the scenic town of Mountain View, aka “The Folk Music Capital of the World.”
The huge Thanksgiving buffet at the park’s restaurant, The Skillet, is a no-nonsense assortment of Southern staples: fried chicken, beef tips, roast turkey, ham with grilled pineapple and a host of veggies and desserts.
The Skillet, 1032 Park Ave., Mountain View, Arkansas; +1 800 264 3655.
4. Mohegan Manor (Baldwinsville, New York)
Want to preserve the tradition of carving the turkey while abandoning every other Thanksgiving Day responsibility?
At Mohegan Manor, you can prix fixe an entire five-foot round table with up to seven loved ones and your own dedicated 16- to 18-pound tableside turkey.
Stuffing, squash, mashed potatoes and green bean amandine play backup, while apple and pumpkin pies close out the festivities. Perhaps best is that anything you don’t eat goes home with you, preserving yet another Thanksgiving tradition: leftovers.
Mohegan Manor, 58 Oswego St., Baldwinsville, New York; +1 315 857 0079.
5. Primehouse (Chicago)
Renown for its hand-selected, dry aged steak — the turkey of the Plains — the culinary canvas also offers the steak of the forest: turkey!
A sampling of dishes from Primehouse’s three-course Thanksgiving menu includes:
— Entrees such as roasted turkey breast and leg confit with giblet gravy and cider-brined pork chops
— Family-style side dishes such as herb stuffing and whipped potatoes
— Desserts: chocolate chip pumpkin cheesecake and bourbon pecan pie.
Primehouse, 616 N. Rush St., Magnificent Mile, Chicago; +1 312 660 6000.
6. Wrigley Mansion (Phoenix)
Courtesy Wrigley Mansion
The former winter residence of chewing-gum goliath William Wrigley is now an event space, ghost house and Thanksgiving Day staple, with 360-degree mountainside vistas over greater Phoenix.
Thanksgiving brunch is served buffet-style, offering breakfast items as well as traditional Thanksgiving fare.
The buffet will feature turkey, prime rib and leg of lamb, but also omelets, salads and a cold seafood assortment. Mimosas are bottomless and the assortment of sweets is as vast as the Sonoran desert. Sonoran desserts, if you will.
Wrigley Mansion, 2501 E. Telawa Trail, Camelback East, Phoenix. +1 602 955 4079.
7. 75 Chestnut (Boston)
75 Chestnut, 75 Chestnut St., Beacon Hill, Boston
Courtesy 75 Chestnut
Deep in New England blueblood country, this converted redbrick townhouse is cozy local bistro with a much-ballyhooed bar.
And it hasn’t shied away from serving old school American comfort food faves such as quahog chowder to its regular Beacon Hill clientele on the fourth Thursday of the month — or doing something equally creative with a goose.
Past Thanksgiving meals have included harvest pumpkin bisque, roasted turkey and walnut stuffing, giblet gravy and pilgrim cranberry-orange sauce.
75 Chestnut, 75 Chestnut St., Beacon Hill, Boston; +1 617 227 2175.
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