Gobble up Thanksgiving dinner at area restaurants
Not everyone has the space, the time or even the talent to entertain family and friends at their home over the holidays. Thankfully, Metro Detroit has plenty of restaurants that cater to large groups for gatherings and private dining.
It’s not too late to book reservations for Thanksgiving dinner out, either. Many spots will be open Nov. 24 with offerings ranging from casual, drop-in dining to the full turkey dinner with all the holiday trimmings. Other places close to downtown will be open, catering to crowds from America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Detroit Lions game at Ford Field that day.
Here’s a sampling of those offerings:
Thanksgiving day dining
Bavarian Inn: Matriarch Dorothy Zehnder, at age 94, says she’ll be in the kitchen as usual, offering the traditional holiday fare, old-world German favorites or the chicken dinners that this 127-year-old restaurant is known for. Carry-out dinners also are available for $175 and include a 14-16 pound turkey, mashed potatoes, buttered noodles, dressing, Blue Hubbard squash and more. Call (800) 228-2742 to book a table or order carry out. 713 S. Main, Frankenmuth. (989) 652-9941.
Fishbone’s: This Greektown spot, celebrating 25 years this year, will open at 11 a.m. for Thanksgiving day brunch. 400 Monroe, Detroit. (313) 965-4600.
Greek Island Bar & Grill: The restaurant at the Farmington Hills Golf Club is open to all, and will offer a buffet serving turkey, prime rib, salmon, traditional side dishes and desserts. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $24.95 for adults, $10.95 for ages 10 and younger. Reservations are recommended. 37777 W. 11 Mile, Farmington Hills. (248) 957-6734.
Fairlane Town Center: For hungry shoppers, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Starter’s Bar & Grill and several food court restaurants will be open throughout the day. The mall is open 6 p.m.-midnight. 18900 Michigan, Dearborn. (313) 593-3331.
MGM Grand Detroit: This casino’s five restaurants will all be open. The Breeze Dining Court and Palette buffet are casual options that require no reservations. The spacious TAP sports bar is your best bet for game-watching, and Wolfgang Puck’s two signature restaurants — the steakhouse and the pizzeria — are accepting reservations. 1777 Third, Detroit. (877) 888-2121 or mgmgranddetroit.com.
MotorCity Casino Hotel: The Assembly Line buffet will be available 11 a.m.-10 p.m. for $31. No reservations needed. For fine dining, head to the top of the hotel for a four-course dinner and excellent view of the city at Iridescence. The restaurant will offer a fixed price four-course dinner with options for each course, 3-7:30 p.m., for $65 per person. Call (313) 237-6732 to make a reservation. 2901 Grand River, Detroit. (866) 782-9622.
O’Mara’s Irish Pub: A tradition for more than two decades, the holiday buffet is $28.95 for adults and $14.99 for ages 4-12. Seatings are every half hour. 2555 12 Mile, Berkley. (248) 399-6750.
The Rugby Grille: The Townsend Hotel’s fine dining spot will offer a four-course prix-fixe menu starting at 11 a.m. for $82 per person. Choice of entree includes braised short ribs, oven-roasted turkey or cider-glazed salmon. Reservations are required. 100 Townsend, Birmingham. (248) 642-5999.
Texas de Brazil: Known for continuous service of meat served on a skewers table side, the Detroit location of this national chain is planning to be open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. For those not into Brazilian-style seasoned beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausage, the 50-plus item salad bar includes soups, vegetables, charcuterie, cheeses and appetizers. Reservations recommended. 1000 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 964-4333.
The Whitney: Executive chef Paul Jackman has designed a special menu featuring pumpkin bisque, herb-roasted turkey with whipped potatoes, green beans with almonds and bacon, mashed brown sugar sweet potatoes and orange cranberry relish. Reservations required. 4421 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 832-5700.
Windsor: If you want to avoid the holiday completely, head to Canada where Nov. 24 is just a good day to watch football and just about every restaurant is open. Check out Bubi’s Awesome Eats for garlic-lovers (620 University Ave. W.), May Wah Inn for dim sum (1689 University Ave. W.) or Tiki Sushi (800 Erie St. E.).
Group dining and private dining
Looking beyond Thanksgiving, here is a sampling of spots that are good for dining in large groups or for organizing a holiday gathering:
Buddy’s Pizza: Buddy’s historic bocce room can be reserved for up to 32 people for a casual holiday pizza party. 17125 Conant, Detroit. (313) 892-9001.
Bastone: This Royal Oak brewery is extremely flexible when it comes to private dining spaces. For larger parties of around 50 people, Craft basement bar and the adjacent Vinotecca wine bar are rentable, as is the Loft, an area overlooking the main dining area and can accommodate up to 20 people. 419 S. Main, Royal Oak. (248) 544-6250.
Gold Cash Gold: One of the few hip spots with extra space, this Corktown restaurant offers the “chef’s table,” a secluded dining area near the kitchen where guests can see the chef work. Diners can design a custom menu and drink package, or order off the menu. The chef’s table seats 8-13 people. 2100 Michigan, Detroit. (313) 424-0770.
McVee’s Restaurant & Lounge: This Southfield lunch and dinner hot spot is so eager for holiday bookings they’re giving out $50 gift cards for any party that spends at least $300. 23380 Telegraph, Southfield. (248) 352-8243.
Pretzel Bell: This newly opened University of Michigan-themed restaurant recently added a space for special events and private dining. The Captain’s Room is 1,000 square feet and adorned with reclaimed wood from stadium seating and old basketball court flooring. Available now for bookings, it can seat 75 diners or has space to hold 100 standing. Reservations are accepted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 226 S. Main, Ann Arbor. (734) 994-2773.
Rattlesnake: A river walk restaurant known for special events, from small groups to massive parties with 2,000 guests. The restaurant offers a holiday luncheon package that includes a choice of hoisin-soaked salmon, pan-roasted and spiced organic chicken breast or black pepper-crusted butcher’s steak with sides, salads and dessert, for $32 per person. Call the restaurant for more details on the three- or four-course dinner packages and strolling hors d’oeuvres party. 300 River Place, Detroit. (313) 567-4400 ext. 6236.
The Townsend: The hotel’s newly opened Clancy Room is a renovated space where the Corner Bar used to be. The nearly 2,000-square-foot elegant room is good for groups of about 20 for seated events and up to 150 for strolling dinner. 100 Townsend, Birmingham. (248) 647-2160.
Other options: Bacco Ristorante (Southfield), Townhouse Detroit (downtown), Bistro 82 (Royal Oak), C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill (Wolverine Lake), Joe Muer Seafood (downtown), Tre Monti Ristorante (Troy) and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (Birmingham).