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Jul 24, 2014 06:45 AM

Thanksgiving Brunch/Dinner - Somewhere from Venice to Sarasota

Hi Hounds,

Visiting my Grandmother for Thanksgiving - 85 years old, doesn't really get out much and considers Denny's her local go-to - and want to do something special. She lives in the central part of Venice, but we'll have a car and I'll be picking up the tab so price/distance is not a concern, within reason. Looking for something good/great, not particularly upscale and it doesn't even need to be 'traditional' Thanksgiving, though I'd a nice spread would probably be best. Buffet style or served, but ideally not a chain.


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  1. Many restaurants in the Sarasota area do a decent Thanksgiving buffet, with something for everyone. Michael's on East, Cafe L'Europe, and Libby's Cafe come to mind. Ophelia's on the Bay is closer to you, but I dont know what they do for Thanksgiving. It's a nice location, so you may want to check them out.

    1. I'm not sure I understand your question. I know Thanksgiving meals begin over a wide range of start times, but I've typically seen 3:00 -- 6:30 PM as the most common. Are you looking for a place that will offer a Thanksgiving meal as early as lunch (11:30 AM -- 2:00 PM)?

      On a related topic, Sarasota is loaded with appealing places that serve breakfast and lunch only. My favorites are Oasis Café (Osprey Ave) and Fresh Start (Orange Ave). First Watch is another option that might work well, but the first two I mentioned include a larger selection of more adventuresome dishes along with well made classics.

      Of the already-mentioned places, Ophelia's offers a regular Sunday brunch buffet along with their regular served dinners so they're equipped for any style of service if they do Thanksgiving. Lovely food.

      Libby's Café serves appealing eclectic food at more modest prices than Ophelia's. I don't know if their varied menu shows up on their Thanksgiving selections. Recent faves at dinner Tuesday: corn chowder with crab meat and excellent meat loaf with the classic three-meat mixture. (Too sweet cinnamon ice cream. My teeth hurt from one spoonful!)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Indy 67

        Michaels, Cafe L'Europe, and Libby's all serve Thanksgiving meals starting at lunchtime. While the breakfast places mentionned are good choices for a regular meal, I doubt that they serve anything like a Thanksgiving dinner. As the season approaches, there are often articles in the Sarasota Herald Tribune listing restaurants doing Thanksgiving meals,mtneir prices etc.

        1. re: vgorgue723

          This is very helpful. I think we're going to do Ophelia's - they'll be serving standard menu + specials.

      2. Pelican Pointe Golf and Country Club, right on Center Rd. in Venice does an excellent Thanksgiving buffet. Been there twice. Both times were very good. Turkey with all the sides, Steamship round and seafood. The best deviled eggs, salads, tons of desserts. The Executive Chef is from Ireland and made his mothers bread pudding with Whiskey sauce. So good. Service is top notch. It might be too early to made a res, but definitely keep it at the top of the list.