Thankful Feasting

Dining Out On Thanksgiving

text by Kathryn Brooks

Above: Talavera at the Four Seasons, Troon will serve an impressive dinner buffet from noon until 6 p.m.

The pleasures of the Thanksgiving table include delicious food, friendly fellowship, distinctive décor and spirited conversation. Let’s face it… everything tastes better when professionals handle the preparation and cleanup. Savor an extra dollop of relaxation with your pumpkin pie and take advantage of the fine dining options at one of these outstanding Valley hotels. Advance reservations are strongly recommended. Best to check each restaurant’s website for the most up-to-date information on menus, hours of operation and pricing.

Above left: The Sanctuary’s signature restaurant, elements, will serve a four-course traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Above right: Prado, at the Omni Montelucia, will offer a four-course prix-fixe menu, complete with live music.


On Thanksgiving Day, this PV favorite offers two options: a four-course, prix-fixe menu at elements or a buffet at The Views Ballroom. At elements, the resort’s signature restaurant, dinner will be served from noon until 8 p.m. The traditional turkey dinner with chestnut stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry apple relish and giblet gravy leads the entrée choices. There’s also butternut squash and ricotta raviolis with duck confit, braised Swiss chard, parmesan cream and blistered tomatoes or spiced crusted sea bass with charred eggplant purée, ratatouille and harissa butter. Dessert highlights include a chocolate and pecan tart with bourbon caramel and dark chocolate ganache and pumpkin cheesecake with ginger spiced caramel sauce, sour cream whip and huckleberries. Featuring carving stations, the Thanksgiving buffet at The Views Ballroom will be served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Start your Thanksgiving feast early in the day with brunch in the Palomino Ballroom. The seven chefs from its four signature restaurants put their collaborative talents together with selections that include brined roast turkey breast and turkey leg confit, squash blossom quesadillas, truffle macaroni gratin, cowboy Benedict, brioche French toast, malted Belgian waffles, smoked beef short ribs, sushi rolls, cavatelli veal Bolognese, fine meats, cheeses and lots of side dishes. Provided by Trailblazers Kids Club, children can join in the fun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with activities including coloring, giant teepee decorating, bingo for prizes, hula hoop games, giant bubble-making and a special appearance by Gobbles the Turkey. Or, if you prefer, enjoy a sit-down dinner at any of the four Fairmont’s restaurants: Michael Mina’s Bourbon SteakLa Hacienda by Richard SandovalIronwood American Kitchen or  Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar by Richard Sandoval.


Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar will offer a delicious array of traditional Thanksgiving dishes with its signature twist. Buffet-style stations will include eggs Benedict, chef-prepared omelets and made-to-order buttermilk pancakes. Traditional dish options will include citrus-brined turkey breast with cornbread apple stuffing, cranberry chutney and turkey gravy and peppercorn-crusted NY strip with caramelized cipollini onions. Additional hot brunch items include soy maple glazed salmon, house taglatelli pomodoro and roasted fingerling potato hash. Artizen’s Thanksgiving Day buffet will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The dinner service will be available from 5 to 9 p.m. when guests also can choose to order from the restaurant’s regular dinner menu.


Executive Chef Todd Allison and his team are preparing two venues: a three-course, prix-fixe menu and a holiday buffet. T. Cook’s menu includes starters like roasted chestnut and pumpkin soup with crème fraîche and candied pecans and pan seared Maine diver scallops. Roasted free-range turkey with focaccia stuffing, whipped potatoes and cranberry sauce tops the main course list with Dover sole meunière and Cinderella pumpkin ravioli serving as options. The holiday buffet in the grand Palmera Ballroom will serve made-to-order omelets, almond-crusted French toast, crab Benedict, an assortment of salads and side dishes, seafood and fish selections, as well as pasta. For the main event there’s turkey with all the trimmings and herb-crusted NY strip steak. The buffet is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or enjoy a formal dinner experience at T. Cook’s beginning at 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

AboveTake in the sweeping views of the McDowell Mountains as you savor the traditional Thanksgiving Day menu at the Westin Kierland ResortTrailblazers Ballroom.


Take in the sweeping views of the McDowell Mountains and enjoy live musical entertainment as you savor the traditional Thanksgiving Day menu created by Executive Chef Christopher Masco at the Trailblazers Ballroom. Start with a roasted parsnip and crab bisque, fresh seafood items including oysters on the half shell, snow crab claws, red king crab legs, marinated mussels and Mexican white jumbo shrimp, a cheese board and an assortment of salads. Roasted achiote butter-based turkey, Arizona prime beef strip loin, sea bass, pork loin and barley risotto will be offered as entrées accompanied by a host of delicious side dishes. For dessert, the menu features a variety of delectable pies and cakes. Service begins at 1 until 6:15 p.m.


Indulge in the buffet at Sands, with a spread that includes turkey, honey ham, prime rib, stuffing, seafood, a salad bar and desserts like pumpkin pie with five-spice Chantilly cream and flourless chocolate torte with brandied cherries. From 4 – 9 p.m. the hotel’s signature restaurant, ZuZu, is offering a four-course, pre-fixe menu featuring a starter buffet with selections such as heirloom beet carpaccio and honey lavender butternut squash soup. Entrées include apple-brined turkey with all the classic sides and slow-braised veal osso buco. Complete your holiday feast at the dessert buffet. Or, if you prefer, guests can dine à la carte from the restaurant’s seasonal menus.


Charles Wiley, executive chef of Hearth ’61, will offer his regular brunch and dinner menus along with Thanksgiving-themed special dishes. Holiday features include butternut squash soup with sage brioche croutons and coriander crème fraîche, slow-roasted “Two Wash Ranch” turkey with mashed potatoes, chorizo cornbread stuffing, local organic vegetables, cranberry orange relish and country gravy. The dessert selections are pumpkin pie with cinnamon sweet cream and bourbon pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. Brunch will be served from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with Thanksgiving specials starting at 11 a.m. Dinner will be available from 3 to 9:30 p.m.


From 1 to 8:30 p.m., Prado at Omni Montelucia will offer a four-course prix-fixe menu, complete with live music. Begin with either a roasted pumpkin or lobster bisque soup, followed by a choice of salads. Select either slow-roast turkey with chorizo bread pudding served, asparagus and cranberry purée or wood-fired prime filet mignon with roasted garlic potato purée, asparagus and braised shallots for the main course. Pumpkin cheesecake with lemon frosting or baklava ice cream sandwich will complete the meal.

Above leftBegin Thanksgiving morning with brunch served at The Phoenician Resorts J&G SteakhouseAbove right: Proof at the Four Seasons, Troon will serve a breakfast buffet from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. and a three-course dinner from 4- 9:30 p.m. 


From 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Proof will serve a breakfast buffet with items like green bean egg pies, pumpkin pancakes and turkey hash with sage hollandaise. From 4 – 9:30 p.m., a three-course dinner including spiced sweet potato soup, a choice of traditional turkey or applewood-smoked maple pork shoulder with all fixings and a pumpkin spice molten chocolate cake with salted caramel ice cream for dessert will be served. Proof will start the holiday dinner offerings at 4 p.m. and its à la carte menu also will be available. At Talavera, from noon to 6 p.m., the dinner buffet will offer an impressive display including a raw seafood bar, cheese & charcuterie and salad selections, a carving station with cinnamon apple, sage roasted turkey and slow-roasted prime rib, mushroom risotto cooked to order, as well as all the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, trimmings and delectable desserts far beyond what one can imagine. 


Begin Thanksgiving morning with brunch served at J&G Steakhouse. From 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. guests can enjoy the carving station selections of charred beef tenderloin, butter-roasted turkey breast and harissa-spiced rack of lamb. Breakfast choices include eggs Benedict and omelets, sauté and griddle stations. A wide assortment of salads, cheeses and charcuterie, a raw seafood bar and pastries and sweets are included. If you prefer feasting between 5 – 9 p.m., dinner includes roasted turkey with mushroom and chestnut stuffing with caramelized Brussels sprouts and pecans. J&G’s full à la carte dinner menu will also be available. Mowry & Cotton will be serving brunch/ lunch and a communal celebration dinner of buttermilk buns, apple and wild rice, caramelized cauliflower, herb-roasted turkey, wild mushroom stuffing, roasted squash and pecan and pumpkin pie. In addition, Relish Burger Bistro will be serving a turkey plate special from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

RITZ-CARLTON, Dove Mountain

The newly renovated Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain will offer three different dining options.Thanksgiving Day at CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar will feature a three-course holiday lunch from 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. plus an expanded Holiday Dinner menu at 4 –  9 p.m. Both meals will include special entrée choices including roasted turkey, pan-seared halibut, roasted sirloin cap and pumpkin gnocchi, with each to be followed by a choice of holiday desserts including traditional home-made pumpkin pie. CORE’S dinner also features an added selection of starter highlighted by flavorful lobster ravioli and crispy duck leg. From 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Clayton’s Burger Bistro will offer brunch with a spread of appetizers and salads, smoked seafood and a raw bar, fruits and vegetables, cheese and charcuterie, soup, holiday sides, fresh turkey and prime rib carving stations, ribs and an array of desserts.

LON’S at the Hermosa Inn

Chef Ducas will feature contemporary Southwestern takes on traditional Thanksgiving classics at LON’S. From noon to 7 p.m., begin the three-course meal with roasted pumpkin soup or the cast iron-seared scallops. Entrée offerings include pan-roasted halibut with braised fennel, olives, artichokes and yellow peppers or grilled beef tenderloin with rôsti potatoes, cipollini onions, house-made bacon, creamed greens in red wine sauce. And, there’s a sausage-stuffed turkey breast with crème fraîche mashed potatoes, baby vegetables, sage gravy and fresh cranberry. For a sweet ending, try the chocolate pudding cake with chocolate-coffee bean ice cream or house made pumpkin pie with cranberry chutney and cinnamon whipped cream.