OK, you know what? Thanksgiving pisses me off. I know I'm not the first person to grumble about familial obligations on the holidays â?? and don't get me wrong, I have plenty of things to give thanks for â?? it's just that the whole dance of relatives/dietary restrictions/travel logistics is so exhausting, and, well ...

Truth be told (and I should be ashamed of myself to say this), I liked it better when I lived too far away from my family to come home. My roommate and I would cook/bake whatever weird recipes we wanted to try, then stuff ourselves silly, drink to slight excess and watch The Ref with whatever other parentless slackers showed up for dinner. Now I'm always a guest to some degree, and I don't get the good leftovers.

Anyway. Wah, as Jeff Billman would say.

All of this is to explain the lack of Thanksgiving recipes and so forth that one might reasonably expect on a food blog around this time of year. I promise, I'll try to do better later in the month for the X-mas/Hanukkah dishes.

After the jump, a list of area restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner, as well as Christmas and New Year's Eve in some cases. Some of these menus look pretty amazing. Maybe I'll try re-creating Funky Monkey's turkey roulade, Il Mulino's chestnut and sausage stuffing or Norman's pecan caramel tart.

Funky Monkey Wine Company, 912 Mills Ave., 407-427-1447
Chef Penelope Brown's Thanksgiving Dinner all week long
Get a head start on your Thanksgiving Feast
Thanksgiving week Dinner available Sunday 11/24 -Friday Night 11/28
5pm-11pm nightly
$25.00 per person
Closed Thanksgiving Day
Fried Goat Cheese~ toasted almonds, panko crust, tomato salsa,
crunchy bread, sun~dried tomato
Choice of:
Festive soup of the day
Blue Monkey~ mixed greens, aged goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms,
blueberry-ginger balsamic
Choice of:
Roasted Turkey Roulade~ stuffing, turkey gravy, French Style green beans,
cranberry sauce
Grilled Pork Tenderloin~ sesame, hoisin sauce, honey, ginger, garlic,
sweet potato mash
Choice of:
Penelope Browns Bread Pudding, Vanilla Ice cream
Pumpkin Cheesecake
$25.00 per person
*Regular Dinner Menu and 1/2 Off Sushi Monday will be available too*

Il Mulino, Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort, 407-934-1199
Through the end of December, Il Mulino will offer guests items from a special Game Menu; items range in price from $28 to $46 and include: Fresh Pappardelle with Venison Sauce, finished with a touch of Gran Marnier; Wild Game Hen roasted with sage and rosemary; Braised Rabbit with wild mushrooms and polenta; Roasted Duck Breast with black truffles and wild mushrooms, served over sage potatoes; and Venison Tenderloin with roasted figs in a blood orange demiglace with rosemary potatoes.

Il Mulino New York will be open on Thanksgiving Day; in addition to their regular menu, the restaurant will offer a special $35 Thanksgiving Menu of Roasted Turkey Breast with natural juices, Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing, Green Beans with garlic and oil and an Il Mulino Dessert Sampler.

On Christmas Eve, Il Mulino will offer their a la carte menu, supplemented by a special Monkfish Entree with spicy vodka sauce and the chefâ??s daily menu additions. The restaurant will also be open on Christmas Day and New Yearâ??s Day.

On New Yearâ??s Eve, Il Mulino will serve a special New Yearâ??s Eve prix-fixe menu at two seatings; the first will be $150, while the second will be $250. Details of these festive menus are still being finalized.

Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, 407-393-4333
3pm-7pm, Adults $85, Children $35

No other holiday celebrates food and family the way Thanksgiving does. Our three course New World Cuisine dinner is designed specially with this true food lover's holiday in mind. You and your guests will be able to pick from internationally acclaimed Chef Norman Van Aken's seasonally inspired dishes.

For reservations, please call (407) 393 4333.

First Plates

Normanâ??s House Salad

Greens ~ ChÃ?vre ~ Almonds ~ Dried Fruits ~ Champagne Vinaigrette

Yuca Stuffed Crispy Shrimp

Citrus Mojo ~ Habanero Tartar ~ Nicaraguan Slaw

My â??Down Islandâ?� French Toast

Curaçao Scented Foie Gras ~ Griddled Brioche ~ Passion Fruit Caramel

Roasted Turkey Consommé

Pumpkin Madeira Flan ~ Pumpkin Seed Oil

Main Plates

Pan Cooked Filet of Key West Yellowtail

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes ~ Asparagus Spears ~ Citrus Butter

Florida Black Grouper â??a la Veracruzanaâ?�

Potato Gnocchi ~ Olives ~ Tomatoes ~ Capers

Bobo Farms Heritage Turkey

Stuffing Fritters ~ Cranberry Compote ~ Green Bean Casserole ~ Crispy Shallots

Grilled Beef Rib Steak

Trumpet Royal Mushrooms ~ Papas Chorreadas ~ Malbec Reduction


Toasted Pecan Caramel Tart

Volcanos Coffee Ice Cream ~ Vanilla Crema

Trio of Sorbets

Mango ~ Guava ~ Coconut

Sweet Potato Pie

Marshmallow Fluff ~ Nutmeg Spice Cream

El Rey Chocolate Soufflé

Honeycomb Ice Cream

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