Let's talk turkey, because making it kind of stinks. Will it thaw in time? Does it need a brine and, if so, for how long? Start cooking it upside down and then flip? And how scientific is that little red pop-up thingie?
What to serve the inevitable vegan/gluten-free/paleo guests? Who needs the hassle?
Leave it to the professionals. It's what they do every day, and they're here to help. Use the list below to find a Thanksgiving meal without the drama.
There are options at all price points, hours of the day and parts of town. Because at CultureMap, we want you to have a happy holiday.
BRICK HOUSE TAVERN & TAP
Both Brick House locations will be open for happy hour and dinner with a full menu of seasonal, chef-inspired dishes. Pair it with their extensive selection of craft beers and cocktails. Early birds can take advantage of Happy Hour specials, too (until 6 p.m.) including $2 domestic drafts, $1 cans of beer, $3 import drafts and $4 house wine and specialty draft imports.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Midtown French restaurant will serve a five-course menu for $60. Start with an amuse bouche of oyster with corn bread, jalapeno and chorizo. Entree choices include port braised short rib, pan seared Alaskan halibut, pork tenderloin and roasted turkey breast. Finish the meal with pumpkin "opera" cake with bourbon ice cream pecan log.
The 10-year old institution will offer a diverse, three-course menu that includes vegetarian options. First course options include grilled figs, baked oysters and French onion soup. Mains include smoked turkey breast, grilled lamb and mushroom risotto. Dessert options include sticky toffee pudding, pumpkin cheesecake and coconut cream pie. Served from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Fifty dollars per person.
Get out of the turkey rut with an Indian-inspired buffet at this Highland Village restaurant. Seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Options include: organic stuffed tandoori turkey breast, tandoori Scottish salmon with cranberry chutney, slow-braised Colorado lamb shank, and a wide array of vegetables and other sides. Save room for desserts that include pecan & pumpkin pie with vanilla cream, cheesecake with fresh strawberries, and gulab jamun with saffron simple syrup. $55 per adult and $25 for kids under 12.
CHURRASCOS & AMERICAS
Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Featuring more than 60 Cordua classics, Thanksgiving favorites and endless Bloody Marys, mojitos, margaritas, sangria and mimosas. What more do you want?
Dishes include pumpkin and chorizo empanadas, mashed potato bar, aji pepper-rubbed turkey, maple-glazed ham with spiced pecans, whole-roasted tenderloin, and pumpkin spice tres leches.
On Thanksgiving Day, The Federal Grill, 510 Shepherd, will serve the traditional Thanksgiving Day favorites. The restaurant is requesting reservations for seatings at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Walk-ins will be accommodated by availability.
The three-course menu includes a choice of soup or salad, followed with roasted turkey, honey-baked ham, traditional stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the other fixings. Dessert is a choice of pumpkin or pecan pie. Adults are $48 and children 10 and under are $12.
The restaurant will also be open on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. serving a three-course Bistro Thanksgiving menu. First course selections include lobster bisque, roasted beet salad, butternut squash soufflé and jumbo lump crab and mascarpone risotto. For entrees, choose from herb-roasted turkey, roasted Virginia ham and seared wild salmon.
Finish with classic crème brulee, pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, etc. Cost is $59 per adult and $25 per child plus tax & gratuity. Cost for adults with Sommelier’s wine pairing is $89 plus tax & gratuity. Reservations highly recommended, especially for large parties.
Pappas Bar-B-Q is offering a Thanksgiving day holiday feast with all the fixins’ from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The menu includes hickory smoked turkey, pit smoked ham, cornbread stuffing, yams, green bean casserole, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and a dinner roll all for only $10.95.
The new CityCentre location makes it debut on Thanksgiving. The restaurant will offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, including Plainville Farms roasted turkey, traditional herb stuffing, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, maple-glazed butternut squash, French green beans and house-made cranberry relish for $25.95 per adult. A children’s portion, as well as the full autumn dinner menu, will also be available.
Bistro Provence will serve a French-style Thanksgiving feast. The three-course menu features a choice of soup or salad, fish, beef or fowl (a roulade of turkey breast) and a choice of desserts. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. only, and the cost is $19, $24 or $25 each, depending on the main course chosen. Reservations are required.
The Italian hotspot from Mockingbird Bistro chef/owner John Sheely will serve an Italian-inspired Thanksgiving menu. Start with porcini and chestnut soup, pumpkin ravioli or a green salad. Mains include turkey, ham and salmon. Finish with pumpkin pie, pecan pie or cranberry panna cotta.
There are two seatings — 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. It's $59 per adult or $89 with wine pairings, $25 for children. They will also open at 5:30 p.m. for regular dinner service. Reservations recommended.
The Royal Oaks location of this Italian restaurant will serve both a prix fixe Thanksgiving menu and its regular menu of Italian-American classics. Start with Waldorf salad, continue with turkey and traditional sides (cornbread dressing, green beans, etc) and finish with pumpkin pie. Open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. It's $24.95 for adults and $14.95 for children 10 and under.
This well-regarded French newcomer gives Katy residents the chance for a gourmet meal close to home. The three-course menu starts with squash soup or asparagus salad. Mains are turkey breast, ribeye or pork. Finish with pecan or pumpkin pie. $40 per person, open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
60 DEGREES MASTERCRAFTED
If anyone knows how to feed a crowd, it's former Houston Country Club chef Fritz Gitschner. On Thanksgiving, the newly opened River Oaks restaurant will supplement its regular lunch menu with a few Thanksgiving specials including pumpkin bisque ($9), roasted turkey ($18), akaushi roast beef ($24 and pumpkin pie ($7). Open from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Head to Flavor Town at the British pub that's been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The $26 Thanksgiving feast will be served all day.
The Upper Kirby restaurant is serving an ala-carte menu with a wide array of choices. Start with items like pumpkin tortellini ($13) or braised rabbit and leek soup ($8). Mains include seared turkey breast ($32), grilled lamb chop ($45) and roasted game hen ($30). Finish with roasted pear crisp ($7) or toasted almond-brown butter ice cream ($8). Open 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.
The West Ave wine bar will feature a three-course menu for a very reasonable $36.50. Options include pumpkin ravioli, lobster bisque, roasted turkey, grilled beef tenderloin, pumpkin pie and apple bread pudding. All served from 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. Kids half price.
Many other restaurants along Bellaire will be open on Thanksgiving, but this newly opened ramen and yakitori joint in the crowded Dun Huang Plaza is as good a place to start as any. Since its open so late, maybe get a bowl of spicy miso ramen or grilled chicken hearts instead of diving into the leftovers.
Admire the 360-degree views of Houston’s beautiful skyline from this restaurant in the Hyatt downtown. The four-course menu features an array of traditional (and non-traditional) Thanksgiving dishes including turkey, short ribs, salmon and a quinoa and tomato-stuffed poblano pepper. 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. It's $50 per adult, $20 for children 7 to 12.
At this restaurant in the Hotel ZaZa, each dinner comes with an "everything" sandwich to take home for the next day, so no one misses out on leftovers. Or check-in for "Room Service Thanksgiving" and enjoy watching football in a bathrobe while consuming a three-course meal. It's $55 per person in the restaurant.
This restaurant inside the Four Seasons hotel downtown is known for its over the top Sunday brunch, and that continues on Thanksgiving. The restaurant promises an "abundant" selection of dishes, live piano music and someone to watch the kids at the Four Seasons’ Kid’s Castle. It's $79 per person plus tax & gratuity and $25 plus tax & gratuity for children 12 and younger. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Can't make the buffet? The restaurant will serve a Thanksgiving dinner from 5:30 to 10 p.m. that features an antipasti buffet, plated entree and an assortment of desserts. Cost is $58 per person plus tax and gratuity, $29 plus tax and gratuity for kids. Reservations required.
LINE & LARIAT
This restaurant inside the Hotel Icon will serve a four-course, prix fixe menu. Start with roasted butternut squash soup and a chopped salad. The main course is roasted turkey with traditional sides. Choose pumpkin or pecan pie for dessert. It comes with rolls, cornbread, iced tea and cofee. Cost is $27 for adults, $15 for children 5 to 12. Available from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
This newly rebranded restaurant at the Galleria's Royal Sonesta Hotel will start with a buffet that features super food salad, cured salmon with cranberry jicama slaw, chicken live pate, smoked scallops and butternut squash soup. Plated entrees choices include turkey, prime rib, and scallop and lobster pot. Finish with cinnamon raisin brioche bread pudding, Godiva chocolate cake or pumpkin cheesecake.
Cost is $56 for adults, $50 for seniors and $25 for children (5-12). Available from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Celebrating the mash-up holiday of Thanksgivukkah? A couple of local restaurants have tasty options.
KENNY & ZIGGY'S
For Thanksgivukkah, Ziggy is shaking up his traditional roasted turkey dinner — which is on the menu year-round — to celebrate the convergence of these two holidays this year! The Thanksgivukkah turkey dinner will have roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, a potato pancake and kasha varnishkas. It will be offered through Nov. 27 for lunch and dinner, and runs $17.95.
In honor of Thanksgivukah, chef Matt Marcus has created a special slider that blends classic Thanksgiving cuisine with a Hanukkah staple. The dish takes roast turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce and sandwiches them between two latkes. Then the whole thing is covered in brown gravy. It will be offered the week of Thanksgiving and costs $6.