Let somebody else deal with this.
For some, eating Thanksgiving at a restaurant might seem weird. But since when is it un-American to have someone else cook your meal, serve it to you, and clean up everything when you're done with your third helping? There's absolutely nothing wrong with Thanksgiving out on the town every once in a while, as unorthodox as it may seem. Seriously, why suffer through Aunt Jean's dry, tough, dead bird one more year if you don't absolutely have to? Tell Jean to turn off the oven, lock the door, and get in the car already.
Here are five places where we'd be glad to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Steak 954, 401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-414-8333. À la carte menu; reservations from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, November 25. À la carte menu; prices vary.
OK, you already think eating at a restaurant for Thanksgiving is wrong, and now we're suggesting a steak house? Steak 954 is doing roast turkey as well as its signature meat-eors. The traditional meal comes with butternut squash soup, cranberry chutney, stuffing, and marshmallow sweet potato, plus pumpkin souffle and pecan pie for dessert. If you easily tire of tradition, they've got tuna and foie gras tacos, or you can suck down oysters at the raw bar.
2. 660 at the Angler's, 660 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Call 786-594-5811. Prix-fixe menu; reservations from 3 to 11 p.m. Thursday, November 25. $35 per person; $20 for kids under 12.
This trendy boutique resort on South Beach is where you'll find young hotshot Giorgio Rapicavoli whipping up his adventurous fare. For this holiday meal, Rapicavoli is doing oven-roasted turkey basted with duck fat (did you drool when you read that?), herbs, and maple syrup, plus a fresh cranberry sauce with port wine, orange, and Grand Marnier.
3. Lola's on Harrison, 2032 Harrison St., Hollywood. Call 954-927-9851. Prix fixe menu; reservations from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 25. $39 per person; $19 for kids under 13.
Gotta give props to Lola's, which sounds like it's preparing the sort of feast Mom would make -- if Mom were a four-star wünkerkind who was able to clone herself. That's the only explanation for Lola's Thanksgiving blowout: deep-fried Carolina turkey breast, Zinfandel-braised turkey drumsticks, carmelized Brussels sprouts, rustic bread stuffing with Swiss Chard, thyme, and pine nuts, quince-cranberry chutney, and lots more. What foods these morsels be!
2. The Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Call 954-563-3272. Prix fixe menu; seatings at 3 and 6 p.m. Thursday, November 25. $34 with show, $26 dinner only; $14 for kids under 12.
What screams "THANKSGIVING!!" louder than a Polynesian dance show? Nothing. While we're not positive this is the only Thanksgiving banquet with a pupu platter, we are guessing it makes Mai-Kai part of an exclusive club. You've also got roasted turkey or ham, all the usual extras and trimmings, plus pumpkin and apple pie for dessert. The shows are at 5 and 7:30 p.m. and cost extra.
1. Sublime Restaurant and Bar, 1431 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-615-1431. Prix-fixe menu; reservations from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 25. $39 per person; $29 for kids 12 and under.
At this famously vegan-friendly, meat-free emporium, quotation marks abound this season. That's because after you start off with a Waldorf salad, you've got a choice of a roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa or "turkey." As in "Gardein turkey." Both come with green beans, cranberry sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy. More quotes for dessert: pumpkin "cheesecake."