On the fourth Thursday in November, Americans converge every year for a day of family, friends and feasting. While today’s Thanksgiving holiday would likely be unrecognizable to the Pilgrims and Native Americans of the original 1621 harvest celebration, it continues to be a day for Americans to come together around the table.
One can get up at 5:30 a.m. to put the ol’ bird in the oven, cook all day and wash dishes afterward, but many choose to visit Thanksgiving buffets – and not just ordinary ones. The following local luxury buffets offer an array of mouthwatering selections.
Put on your feasting bib for the Thanksgiving brunch at Sea-guini at the Opal Sands. You’ll need to bring your appetite for a chilled seafood & raw bar with oysters, jumbo shrimp, king crab, spicy tuna rolls, lobster salad and a seared scallop station to an omelet and waffle station, Prime Rib and turkey carving station, cheese and charcuterie with imported and domestic cheese and Italian cured meats; market buffet with salads, grouper with lobster sherry sauce, mustard maple glazed ham, butternut squash soups, fresh fruits and berries, pumpkin parfaits, assorted smoothies, sweet potato casserole, traditional stuffing, country-style mashed potatoes. Top off your meal with sumptuous desserts at the Opal Sands pastry shop. You’re certain to find something to please everyone. Seatings are available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., with seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Adults – $61, Kids 12 and under – $27. Reservations can be made by calling (727) 450-6236. 430 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach,(727) 450-6236, Seaguini.com.
The sumptuous buffet at Shephard’s Ocean Flame promises to be a family favorite for years to come. Dive into the chef-attended carving station with selections such as herb-crusted Prime Rib au jus, carved tom turkey with giblet gravy clove stuffed and glazed pit ham, garlic & rosemary leg of lamb. Other entrees include baked cod, crab-stuffed flounder with lobster sauce, blackened red fish with mango salsa, bake salmon with raspberry Dijon sauce, coconut crusted shrimp, black shell mussels Dijonnaise, clams Diablo, chilled seafood, assorted salads, corn & crab chowder, pumpkin & ginger soup and a very impressive array of homemade holiday desserts. Adults are $39.95 and children ages 3 – 10 are $14.95. While reservations are not required, they’re recommended, so walk-ins should be prepared for a wait. Complimentary valet parking. Buffet hours are 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. 619 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach, (727) 442-5107, http://m.shephards.com/dining-en.html.
Rusty’s Bistro at the Sheraton Sand Key will have a Thanksgiving buffet with delectable delicacies that includes a cold stations of salad, chef’s charcuterie display and fixings of corn bread stuffing, that yearly favorite of green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes with candied pecans, and carmalized pumpkin. But don’t fill up on that because there’s also Gulf favorites of cocktail shrimp, Gulf oysters, blue crab claws, green lip mussels and cobia crudo, as well as a carving station of citrus-marinated turkey and confit turkey leg with sage gravy, red wine-marinated Prime Rub with pink peppercorn demi and horseradish aioli, and pouche Island Faroe salmon with cucumber dill relish. A chef’s fall dessert table features cakes, pies, cookies and more.
Seatings are 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. Adults are $42 and children age 6 – 12 are $17. Reservations are required. 1160 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater Beach, (727) 595-1611 X3204.
Enjoy a ‘Grand’ feast for the senses at Ocean Hai at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach. Start with appetizers of oysters on the half shell, cold pached shrimp, crab cocktail, green lipped mussels, tuna poke & ceviche, smoked salmon and more. Entrees and sides include airline turkey breast with giblet gravy & cranberry chutney, smoked ham, Prime Rib, salads, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato gratin, sausage apple stuffing and Brussel sprouts & crisp bacon. Top it off with assorted cakes & pies, petit fours & pastries. Adults are $48, with children 6 to 12 are $20. Five and under are complimentary with a paying adult. Hours are 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling or through OpenTable. 100 Coronado Dr, Clearwater Beach, (727) 281-9544, Oceanhaiclearwater.com.
With choices like these, there’s more than enough reason to be thankful for the bounty.
Check out these other Clearwater favorites for Thanksgiving:
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
301 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach
SHOR Clearwater, American Seafood Grill
SHOR will be serving a Thanksgiving Day brunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. for $68 per person, $25.95 per child (5 – 12 years), children under 5 are free. Complimentary 3 hour parking while dining. Includes free-flowing Bloody Mary cocktails and Mimosas. Brunch buffet includes a breakfast buffet, eggs to order, salads and hors d’oeuvres, seafood station, charcuterie station, action stations with honey bourbon glae bit ham, carved garlic and rosemary crusted beef striploin, and fried whole turkey with gravy and cranberry sauce.
From 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., SHOR will serve a dinner buffet for $68 per person, 25.95 per child (5 – 12 years), children under 5 are free. Complimentary 3 hour parking while dining. Dinner includes a build your own salad & small plate hors d-oeuvres, seafood station, charcuterie station, action stations, hot buffet and dessert station.
Island Way Grill
20 Island Way, Clearwater
11 a.m. – last seating 9:15 p.m. Reservations required.
Adults $38.95, children $10.95
Oysters on the half shell, deviled eggs, smoked salmon, carving station with roast beef, ham and turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, assorted desserts, cookies and brownies
26111 US Hwy 19 N
Clearwater, FL 33763
11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Adults are $17, children ar0e $8.99.
Turkey, roast beef, ham, stuffing, and more
447 Mandalay Ave, Clearwater Beach
11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Dinner entrées from $34 – $49
476 Mandalay Ave, Clearwater Beach
Dinner special of roasted turkey or honey glazed ham, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, candied yams, cranberry sauce & sage dressing – $30. Live music beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa
400 Mandalay Ave, Clearwater Beach
4011 Ulmerton Rd
Clearwater, FL 33762
6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – breakfast menu
11:30 – 10 p.m. – specials and limited Thanksgiving menu, such as turkey and dressing with a slice of pie.
Price range $11 – $13, children $5