Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open for Thanksgiving 2010

Yankee Pier in San Jose is open on Thanksgiving Day 2010

Although certain stores and commercials would have us believe it’s Christmastime, it’s actually almost Thanksgiving — so here are a few Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving, for your dining consideration.

Santa Cruz Restaurants

Ideal Bar & Grill Its Thanksgiving feast starts at 11am. Choose from Traditional Turkey Feast ($14.95): maple and sage roasted turkey breast served with homemade gravy, roasted yams, garlic mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and orange-cranberry chutney or Herb Crusted Prime Rib ($21.95/14 oz., $24.95/18 oz.): slow roasted choice cut prime rib served with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Other selections include butternut squash soup and pumpkin pie.

106 Beach Street (at the Santa Cruz Wharf), (831) 423-5271.

Chaminade The Chaminade is serving Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 6pm. Reservations are required; call (831) 475-5600. The cost is $47.95 for adults, $16.95 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include whole roast Tom turkey, stuffed roast lamb leg, prime rib au jus, pumpkin ravioli, and a large seafood display.

One Chaminade Lane, (831) 475-5600.

Bittersweet Bistro serves a Thanksgiving buffet from 12:30-6:30pm: $49.95 for adults, $19.95 for kids 6-12, and $5 for kids 5 and under. Make reservations now (831) 662-9799 and if you want an Early Turkey Discount, choose a 12:30 pm seating (Receive $10 Off per Adult). Buffet selections include Spanikopita, Beet, Lentil and Arugula Salad, Tossed Asian Salad, Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Baked Candied Yams, Teriyaki Salmon, Classic Glazed Corralitos Ham, Exotic Mushroom Carnaroli Risotto, Roasted Traditional Free Range Turkey with Pan Gravy, and a special kids’ table with Grilled Cheese, PB & J Sandwiches, and Chicken Fingers.

787 Rio Del Mar Blvd, Aptos, (831) 662-9799.

Aquarius is located in the Santa Cruz Dream Inn. The Aquarius Thanksgiving buffet will be available from 11am-9:30pm; please call (831) 460-5012 to make reservations. The cost: adults $49.95, children $19.95 – includes glass of champagne (for 21 and over), coffee, tea and soda. Buffet selections include Tomales Bay Oysters on the Half Shell, Wild Gulf Prawns with Bloody Mary cocktail sauce, Chilled Asparagus & Tarragon Aioli, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Sage Roasted Natural Turkey, Slow Roasted Prime Rib, King Salmon, Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Garlic Cream Sauce, Chestnut Stuffing, and Glazed Sweet Potatoes.

175 West Cliff Drive, (831) 460-5012.

Dharma’s is the place for a vegetarian Thanksgiving at your own house (restaurant is closed on Thursday so you need to pick up a day before). Dharma’s “Holiday Feast” entrée ($16.95) is breaded tofu stuffed with a wild rice medley, served with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, candied yams, a small side salad with honey-mustard dressing, and a side of cranberry-mango sauce. If you’re vegetarian you also might enjoy this recipe for Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Shepherd’s Pies from renowned Greens restaurant Executive Chef Annie Somerville.

4250 Capitola Rd., (831) 462-1742.

Hoffman’s offers its regular menu plus holiday specials on Thanksgiving. Brunch will be 8am-2pm and dinner is 2:30-8pm. Reservations are strongly recommended. The restaurant and bakery also has Thanksgiving treats available to go, including pumpkin and pecan pies and pumpkin cheesecake.

1102 Pacific Ave., (831) 420-0135.

Also open on Thanksgiving: Gabriella Cafe (910 Cedar Street, 831-457-1677) and Sanderlings at Seascape Resort  (1 Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, 831-662-7120). Call restaurants for reservations and more information.

San Jose Restaurants

Yankee Pier The Santana Row restaurant offers a Thanksgiving feast with a special “lobster for the price of turkey” promotion. Yankee Pier is serving a three-course prix fixe menu featuring a traditional Thanksgiving Turkey dinner or a Whole Maine Lobster dinner for $39.00 (kids ten and under: half portion, half price). You can make reservations for seatings between noon and 7:30pm; call (408) 244-1244. For a first course, choose either New England Clam Chowder with Dill Drop Biscuits or Yankee Salad with Hearts of Romaine, Fuji Apples, Sweet & Spicy Walnuts, and Shaft Blue Cheese. Dessert choices are pumpkin pie or a double chocolate brownie. In addition to entrée choices of lobster or turkey, an entrée of Alaskan Halibut is offered. The same menu is also available at its Lafayette and Larkspur locations. This special Thanksgiving feast is also offered at Yankee Pier’s Larkspur (415-924-7676) and Lafayette (925-283-4100) locations. Note: Yankee Pier supports the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

San Jose location: 378 Santana Row, Suite 1100, (408) 244-1244.

Left Bank This Santana Row restaurant is serving a four-course fixed price menu for $39.75 from noon-8pm (holiday items are also available a la carte; regular menu not available on Thanksgiving). Vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections include butternut squash with crème fraiche, chives, and roasted pumpkin seeds, Norbest natural roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, and brussel sprouts with lardoons, and smoked honey-mustard glaze natural rack of pork with leek and potato gratin and apple chutney.  A kids’ prix fixe menu ($9.99) will also be offered which includes a turkey dinner and ice cream sundae for dessert. The same menu is also available at the restaurant’s Menlo Park and Larkspur locations.

San Jose location: 377 Santana Row, Suite 1100, (408) 984-3500.

Other restaurants open in San Jose on Thanksgiving include Arcadia (100 W San Carlos St., 408-278-4555), The Grill on the Alley (172 South Market St., 408-294-2244), and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood (170 South Market Street, 408-283-7200). Call restaurants for reservations and more information.

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