Thanksgiving specials in Sarasota County 2015

The weather is beginning to cool down in Sarasota—almost—and as Fall settles in on the Gulf Coast, the holiday season is right around the corner.

Thanksgiving is one of the most festive days of the year, but it can also be one of the biggest headaches for hosts who are tasked with the production of the feast: Coordinating the prized turkey's journey from kitchen to dining room table is a challenging feat for even the most seasoned holiday chef.

The kitchen becomes a war zone with roasting turkeys competing with baked casseroles and pies for precious oven space; pounds of potatoes that require peeling and mashing, gravy boats overflowing, and stress points boiling at an all-time high… Maybe this year, it's time to let someone else do the work.

This year, we've done the prep work so you don't have to: Check out our list of restaurants in Sarasota that are offering exclusive holiday specials. This Thanksgiving, it's your turn to stuff your belly, without the stress, so go ahead and indulge. Just don't forget to pass the gravy.

Bijou Cafe 

Bijou Cafe is offering an a la carte menu with a Thanksgiving special for $28.95. The special takes place from 12pm-8pm on Thanksgiving Day and includes Bijou Cafe's famous roasted turkey with all the traditional fixings: homemade cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Classic pumpkin and pecan pie are featured on the dessert menu.

Bijou Cafe is in its 29th year of offering Thanksgiving feasts. The restaurant prides itself in that everything on the menu is made in house, from scratch, with no boxed substitutes. Bijou Cafe begins roasting the day before Thanksgiving, and typically prepares up to 30 turkeys for the annual feast.

Bijou Cafe will serve from the dinner menu, as well, on Thanksgiving Day, with special offerings including entrees of fresh fish, rack of lamb, and veal chop.

Cafe Baci 

Cafe Baci will serve a traditional three-course menu Thanksgiving meal priced at $34 per person. The feast includes soup or salad, turkey and classic fixings such as mashed potatoes and green beans, and pumpkin pie. Cafe Baci will also offer a limited a la carte menu with individual items for Thanksgiving Day, hours 12 to 8 p.m.

Cafe L'Europe 

Cafe L'Europe is open all day on Thanksgiving to offer a classic Thanksgiving meal, with a choice of soup or salad. The three-course turkey dinner at Cafe L'Europe is $38.95 per person for adults and $18.95 for children age 12 and under. Children under five feast for free. Please note that gratuity is not included in the cost of the Thanksgiving special.

Reserve a spot at Cafe L'Europe, open all day on Thanksgiving from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Columbia Restaurant  

The Columbia Spanish Restaurant on St. Armand's Circle will be open for regular business hours on Thanksgiving Day, offering its regular menu as well as a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The three-course roast turkey dinner is $21.95 per person.

Cafe Gabbiano  

Cafe Gabbiano will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, featuring a special holiday turkey dinner for $30 per person; $15 for kids 12 and under. The turkey dinner includes turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing with a medley of seasonal vegetables including green beans and carrots.

Cafe Venice Restaurant & Wine Bar 

Cafe Venice is taking reservations for its Thanksgiving Day special, a limited menu featuring a traditional turkey dinner. The dinner includes roast turkey, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce with a choice of two sides: mashed potatoes, sweet potato, baked butternut squash, green bean casserole, or asparagus. The Cafe Venice turkey dinner is $18 per person, with dessert at an additional charge.

Duval's Fresh. Local. Seafood. 

Duval's in downtown Sarasota is pulling out all the stops for Thanksgiving 2015 with a cornucopia of feast-worthy foods. The Thanksgiving special is $42.95 per person, and $19.99 for children under 12.

Start off your Thanksgiving feast at Duval's with a choice of roasted carrot and ginger cream or tomato vegetable soup and Duval's signature house or Caesar salad. Main course offerings include herb and butter roasted turkey with pan gravy or maple brown sugar glazed ham, creamy mashed potatoes, lemon-scented sausage stuffing, autumn hash, sauteed vegetables, and assorted biscuits and bread and butter. Save room for the dessert trio of pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream, pecan bourbon pie with salted caramel, and apple pie with cinnamon streusel.

Duval's returns for a Christmas feast at $54.95 per person, with an optional wine pairing for $19.95. The four course Christmas dinner will include a choice of salmon carpaccio or prosciutto-rubbed scallops; honey roasted carrot soup and salad with dried cranberries; pan fried grouper, beef wellington, lamb chops, or bourbon-maple spiced duck, and a dessert of carrot cake or buche de noel with caramel ice cream and a dark rum swirl.

Euphemia Haye  

The downstairs fine dining area at Euphemia Haye will be open from 1 to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to offer the restaurant's full a la carte menu, as well as two Thanksgiving specials, full wine list and top shelf liquors. The restaurant will also serve its Thanksgiving specials in the upstairs Haye Loft to accommodate holiday crowds. The Thanksgiving dinner special will take place by reservation from 2 to 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and walk-ins will be accepted in the Haye Loft.

Thanksgiving Day specials at Euphemia Haye are approximately $38, beginning with a choice of a cup of Chef Ray's homemade pumpkin rum bisque or tossed cranberry salad. Main course options are sliced turkey with prune stuffing served with honey-glazed carrots or ¼ roast duck on sage-filled stuffing with raspberry sauce and honey glazed carrots. Dessert choices are traditional pumpkin, pecan, or apple walnut crumble pie. Order signature pies to-go for Thanksgiving Day before Nov. 23, 2015.

Euphemia Haye will also offer a Christmas holiday special on Dec. 24 and 25. The special for both evenings will be a Bavarian-style roast goose dinner with giblet gravy, German potato dumplings, and sweet and sour red cabbage. The Christmas Eve dinner will take place 5-9pm and the Christmas Day dinner will take place 3 to 9 p.m.

H20 Bistro at Hotel Indigo  

The H20 Bistro at Hotel Indigo will be open on Thanksgiving for a breakfast buffet from 7 to 11 a.m., and also serving from its regular menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thanksgiving dinner will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. The Thanksgiving turkey dinner at H2O Bistro includes classic holiday favorites: roast turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce for $25.95.

Harry's Continental Kitchens 

Harry's Continental Kitchen on Longboat Key will be serving a traditional three-course turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. The cost for the full meal is $33.95 per person, or $27.95 for entree only. For $45.95, the restaurant will offer premium wine pairings.

The Thanksgiving menu at Harry's Restaurant includes a starter of cream of broccoli soup or fresh green salad; roasted turkey with giblet gravy, cranberry relish, fresh green beans Almondine, and mashed Idaho and sweet potatoes. Featured dessert is traditional pumpkin pie, apple cheesecake, or chocolate pecan pie.

The restaurant is open 12 to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and reservations are strongly suggested.

Want to stay home on Thanksgiving Day, but would rather save the cooking for someone else? Order a traditional Thanksgiving meal to-go from Harry's by Sunday, Nov. 22 for pickup on Weds, Nov. 25 between 11am-7pm. See the Harry's Deli Thanksgiving To-Go Menu for menu and pricing options.

Libby's Cafe + Bar 

Libby's Cafe and Bar serves New American cuisine in a stylish modern atmosphere, but for Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant is sticking to the classics. Libby's will offer a limited dinner menu on Thanksgiving, in addition to its Thanksgiving plate offering.

The Thanksgiving plate offering is $32 for adults, and $12 for kids age 12 and under. The special includes all traditional Thanksgiving fare—roast turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and more—as well as an additional “doggy bag,” made to-go, for all of your late-night Thanksgiving leftovers snacking needs. Choose from dessert options: pumpkin pie or apple crisp.

Mattison's City Grille 

Mattison's City Grille will offer holiday lunch and “Thanksgiving Feast” dinner specials on Thanksgiving Day.

The lunch special runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes pumpkin soup with goat cheese and croutons, a roast turkey sandwich with stuffing, cranberry sauce and cheese on pumpernickel bread with a side of turkey gravy dip, “Thanksgiving Pizza” with oven roasted turkey, caramelized onions, smoked Gouda and mozzarella, and a vegetarian “Thanksgiving Pizza” option.

The Thanksgiving Feast is available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and includes oven-roasted turkey with pan gravy, sausage stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potato casserole. Dessert includes pumpkin or pecan pie with fresh whipping cream.

Thanksgiving specials at Mattison's City Grille are $24 for adults and $12 for children, with individual take-home dinners available. Reservations are recommended. Live music from the Venturas takes place 7 to 11 p.m.

Mattison's Forty-One   

Mattison's Forty-One will feature a special dine-in holiday feast from 11a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The feast includes oven-roasted turkey with giblet gravy, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, sage stuffing, green beans, fresh cranberries, and focaccia rolls with Boursin butter. The gourmet Thanksgiving Day menu features turkey roulade stuffed with apricot-sage stuffing, black pepper-balsamic gravy, and sweet potato gnocchi. Featured desserts include homemade pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie.

Reservations are recommended for the Mattison's Forty-One Thanksgiving feast. Dinners are $29 for adults and $15 for children.

Michael's on East 

Michael's On East will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. to offer a traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings for $28.95 per person on Thanksgiving Day.

The dinner includes roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, pan gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, dried cranberry and cornbread stuffing. A special holiday menu will also be available, offering signature Michael's On East favorites a la carte.

Miguel's Restaurant 

Miguel's French and Continental Cuisine will open at 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to serve its regular menu. The restaurant will also feature a special turkey dinner for $24.95, in lieu of its normal “Early Diners” special. The holiday special includes turkey with stuffing or ham with a light pineapple sauce, in addition to soup or salad and traditional Thanksgiving trimmings. Dessert choices include pumpkin pie, chocolate pecan pie, or an assortment of chocolate mousse with sorbet or ice cream.

Roessler's Restaurant 

Local, family-owned Roessler's Restaurant opens at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will feature a $27 traditional turkey dinner special with homemade gravy and stuffing, cranberry relish, and green beans. Roessler's Restaurant will also offer a limited selection of items from its regular menu.

Ruth's Chris Steak House 

Ruth's Chris Steak House in Sarasota is open for regular hours on Thanksgiving Day, from 4:30pm-10:00pm, featuring its regular a la carte menu.

Ruth's Chris will also offer a traditional Thanksgiving three-course dinner for $43.95 per person on Thanksgiving Day. The meal includes a supper salad and roasted turkey with gravy, herb stuffing and cranberry sauce, as well as a choice of two sides. The featured Thanksgiving dessert will be a turtle cheesecake served with chocolate-pecan-cranberry bark.

Salute! Restaurant  

Salute! Restaurant in downtown Sarasota opens at 3pm on Thanksgiving Day to offer a special three-course menu for $28.95. The holiday menu includes a choice from three appetizers, salad or butternut squash soup, and roasted turkey with sage-mushroom sausage stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and green beans. For dessert, indulge in homemade apple or pumpkin pie with gelato or sorbet.

Seasons 52   

Seasons 52 will offer a classic Thanksgiving turkey dinner, featuring antibiotic-free, farm-raised turkey with savory pan gravy and traditional trimmings. Sides include Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, maple-glazed butternut squash, housemade cranberry relish and fresh green beans. Enjoy pumpkin pie for dessert, and choose from 100 wines, with 52 varieties available by the glass.

Seasonal cocktails are also available at Seasons 52, including the Pumpkin Pisco Sour with Crop organic pumpkin vodka, Pisco, and Jack Rudy aromatic bitters and the Cranberry & Sage with Prairie organic gin, white cranberry juice, fresh cranberries, lime and candied sugar leaf.

Thanksgiving entrees at Seasons 52 are $26.90 for adults and $12.90 for children.