Thinking of heading to a restaurant for Thanksgiving this year? If you’re planning on the St. Paul Grill and didn’t get your reservation yet, you’re out of luck—I called yesterday and they were down to a few scant tables at 11 a.m.; I bet by now they’re gone. So what else is there? Here are some of my top picks:
Chef Paul Lynch of Firelake Grill House is one of the undersung heroes of local food in Minneapolis, and always puts on a fantastic Thanksgiving spread. This year, $29.95 for adults ($12.95 for kids) gets you Wild Acres Turkey from right up the road in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, as well as all the fixings from local wild rice stuffing to deep-dish pumpkin cranberry pie. Check firelakerestaurant.com for more details, but if you want local goods, this is the place to go. Firelake Grill, Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis, 35 7th St. S., Mpls., 612-339-4900
Splurge, Splurge, Splurge!
Wondering what’s the most you could spend on Thanksgiving in a Twin Cities restaurant? As far as I can figure, the splurgiest splurge in town is the $48 a person all-you-can-eat-apalooza at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington, which will offer about a million things, including: crab legs, fresh oysters, smoked salmon, carved whole turkey, corn bread stuffing, leg of lamb, a sushi station(!), a pasta station (!), eggs benedict, a fruit crepes station, pork loin with Dijonnaise sauce, beef Bourgignon, fresh waffles, omelets made to order before your eyes, a large selection of—the lady answering the phone told me—“French Viennoiserie and many gourmet pastries,” and that’s not all! There will also be a Bananas Foster station. So, here’s my thinking: Go to the Hotel Sofitel if you want to be the splurgiest baller in the state, or bring a video camera and launch your TV career by attempting to eat every single thing they’ve got. I’ll watch for you on YouTube. Hotel Sofitel Minneapolis, 5601 W. 78th St., Bloomington, 952-835-0126, sofitel.com
Didn’t see this one coming, but Dancing Ganesha, the forward-looking Indian restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, is offering a Thanksgiving buffet all day. What the heck is an Indian Thanksgiving? It’s $21.99 for adults and $8.99 for children, and will include cumin and coriander-spiced Tandoori turkey, cranberry chutney, curried yams with coconut milk, and lots, lots more. Dancing Ganesha, 1100 Harmon Pl., Minneapolis, 612-338-1877, dancingganesharestaurant.com
In my book, nothing’s more classically old-school Minnesotan than the Lexington in St. Paul, and if you’re of the same mind and Thanksgiving plan-free, please know the steakhouse is offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal for $25 a person including, of course, wild rice soup, and seconds on anything for only $1. The Lexington, 1096 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-5878, the-lexington.com
Budget, Budget, Budget!
I’ve never been to the Oak City Grill in Bloomington, but it’s on my radar now that I know they’re serving a $10.95 per person Thanksgiving with all the fixings. If you want that Thanksgiving feeling without investing too much in the process, this might be the one for you. Oak City Grill, 5001 American Boulevard, Bloomington, 952-746-8887, oakcitymn.com
Looking for more? Open Table has an ever-updating list of restaurants offering various Thanksgiving specials. Anyone with any more ideas, feel free to post them in the comments section below. And Happy Thanksgiving planning, everyone!