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It's Your Bird Day 

Be thankful for someone else's cooking

A small kitchen, lack of culinary skills, or a completely frozen turkey usually prompts the desperate call seeking a restaurant open on Thanksgiving. This year you can find more places than ever.

Hotels are typically a good bet for Thanksgiving. At Savannah Red in Marriott Center City, Chef Ben Cattrell is offering a four-course menu. Choices include Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque or Nantucket Cape Scallop Chowder; Roasted beet and clementine, Panna Cotta of Goat Cheese, Mâche, Black pepper Tangerine vinaigrette, Autumn Panzanella salad with butternut squash with confit of cremini mushrooms and baby spinach, or an Iceberg lettuce wedge with Maytag bleu cheese dressing; Roasted Turkey with cornbread andouille stuffing, sweet potato molasses souffle, and giblet gravy and haricot vert, or Salt Crusted Prime Rib of Angus Beef with roasted Vidalia Yorkshire pudding and whipped potatoes, or Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon with rock shrimp succotash and smoked trout hushpuppies. Desserts are Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding, Spiced Pumpkin Cheese Cake, or Apple Pie with pecan streusel and vanilla bean ice cream. Cost is $35 per person. Open from 1pm until 9pm. Reservations accepted.

Savannah Red, 100 W Trade St, 704-358-6524.

"Sometimes people call and ask if we are serving a traditional Italian Thanksgiving dinner. I have to tell them that Italy doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving," noted the Maitre d' of Maggiano's Little Italy at SouthPark Mall. "But we are open for a traditional turkey Thanksgiving dinner." Maggiano's is offering a choice of roasted turkey with focaccia dressing, cranberries, county ham, plenty of sides and several desserts including a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin cheesecake. Cost is $29.95 for adults, children 5 to 12 are half-price and children under 5 are free. Open noon until 7pm. Reservations accepted and large groups can be accommodated.

Maggiano's Little Italy, 4400 Sharon Road, 704-916-2300.

In Huntersville, Red Rocks Cafe is offering its regular menu from 11am until 10pm plus a special a la carte traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Reservations accepted.

Red Rocks Cafe, 8712 Lindholm Dr, Huntersville, 704-892-9999.

At their Charlotte store, Red Rocks is offering a 12noon to 8pm buffet that includes turkey, ham, salmon, roast beef, green beans, broccoli, yams, corn, and salads. Desserts offered are pumpkin pie, baked brownie, pecan pie, peanut butter pie and rum coconut pie. Cost is $19.95 for adults, $9.59 for kids. Reservations accepted.

Red Rocks Cafe Bar & Bakery 4223-8 Providence Road, Strawberry Hill Shopping Center, 704-364-0402.

If you prefer having friends and family in your home, but do not want to cook, try The Morehead Inn or Van Landingham Estate's "Holiday Harvest Menu." They offer a choice of an oven-roasted whole turkey with giblet gravy, or a honey-smoked ham; a choice of two 1/2 gallon sides from a list of twenty-five sides which includes cornbread, sage and onion, or oyster stuffings; sweet or whipped potatoes; and green bean or squash casseroles. Two desserts are included: pecan pie, chocolate cake, apple spice cake, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie. This dinner for 12 is $229. Smaller dinners and a la carte items menus are available, too. Items may be ordered through Monday, November 22, and picked up Monday through Wednesday from 10am until 8pm.

Morehead Inn 704-376-3357, or The Van Landingham Estate 704-334-8909.

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