Ditch the kitchen: five spots for dining out on Thanksgiving day

Carrie Schedler, Columbus Crave

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner quickly devolves into one of those things that sound a lot better in theory than in practice: the incessant basting, the boiled-over cranberry sauce, the crushing anxiety and paranoia over whether you've made enough mashed potatoes. So consider letting a local restaurant take the reins this year--here are five spots around town that are serving up special turkey-centric meals that evening, and all you'll need to bring is a reservation.

Ella, New Albany: prix-fixe menu with shrimp cocktail or deviled eggs; pumpkin bisque or spinach salad with almonds, cranberries, gorgonzola and balsamic vinaigrette; lemon-sage roasted turkey breast from Cooper Farm with pan gravy; selection of sides; pumpkin pie with whipped cream or apple-caramel bread pudding with vanilla anglaise.

Bel Lago, Westerville: prix-fixe menu with salad with mixed greens, toasted pecans, dried cherries, gorgonzola and cider vinaigrette; carved turkey breast or beef prime rib with a selection of traditional sides; soup of the day; pumpkin pie with whipped cream and bourbon caramel sauce.

J. Gilbert's, Worthington: prix-fixe menu with caesar salad, salad with sundried cherries and pine nuts, Maryland crab bisque or butternut squash soup; roasted turkey, sirloin, petite filet with scallops or crabcake, pork chop, mesquite-grilled half chicken or mesquite plank salmon; pumpkin pie, apple croustade, chocolate velvet cake or cheesecake.

Lindey's, German Village: a la carte menu, with entrees including maple-brined turkey, cassoulet and herb-seared trout.

Latitude 41, Downtown: family-style menu, with roasted organic turkey and local sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce, carrot-and-ginger soup, pear-and-apple salad (similar to the one pictured above), roasted yam puree, green beans with bacon lardons and salted almonds and homemade apple and pumpkin pies.

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