Amanda CharlesSnowmass SunSnowmass, CO Colorado

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November 20, 2012
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Going out for turkey: Thanksgiving options for the non-chef

Plenty of things come to mind when thinking of Thanksgiving: skiing, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pecan pie, red wine, family, more red wine, football and sleep. But nowhere in my deepest thoughts of the Thanksgiving holiday do I think of that one word that has the potential to turn moms, dads, sisters and cousins against one another at the stroke of a knife; to send pots and pans flying across the kitchen floor; to inflict tragedy on an entire day's work because of one forgotten ingredient or the accidental misuse of the oven timer. Nowhere in my rational mind do I think of the word "cooking" on Thanksgiving, and if you have any plans to enjoy a relaxing day of skiing followed by warm roasted turkey and a nice juicy cabernet with a slice of sweet pecan pie, then you shouldn't think of that C-word either. If you happen to be working this Thanksgiving, I sincerely hope you make good money; but if you have the day off and feel like spending Turkey Day sans your stuffy home kitchen or Aunt Donna's house with 20 other cousins, then here is a list of restaurant dining options certain to make the holiday happy and worthwhile for the whole family. 1. Sage at the Snowmass ClubTime: 4 to 8 p.m.Price: $55 per person, $20 for children 4-12Reservations: 970-923-0979Menu: Buffet featuring carved-to-order turkey and ham, poached shrimp, caramel apple cobbler, pumpkin pie and all the fixings.Atmosphere: Casual, cozy and rustic with a full bar featuring an extensive wine list, specialty cocktails and seasonal Colorado microbrews on tap; large dining room and great views of Mount Daly. 2. Artisan at the Stonebridge InnTime: 4 to 8 p.m.Price: $49 per person, $15 for children 12 and underReservations: 970-923-2427Menu: Buffet featuring roasted organic turkey, maple ham, glazed cedar-planked salmon, squash ravioli, sausage and cornbread stuffing, parsnip and pear soup, green been casserole, frisee pear and blue cheese salad with toasted pepitas, chocolate pecan pie and much more.Atmosphere: Casual fine dining with cozy fireplace and full bar; extensive wine list, artisan brews and cocktails; great mountain backdrop with ski-chalet furnishings and accommodating dining room and lounge3. 8K at the ViceroyTime: 3 p.m.Price: $39 per person, $19 for children 12 and underReservations: 970-923-8008Menu: Three-course menu featuring roasted organic turkey stuffed with creole cornbread stuffing, slow roasted greens with bacon and other traditional fixings.Atmosphere: Fine and modern with great views of the mountain; full bar, specialty cocktails, small batch liquors and wine cellar; large-scale dining room with fireplaces and private seating.4. Venga VengaTime: aprs 3 to 6 p.m.; reverse happy hour 9 p.m. to closePrice: no set priceReservations: Not necessaryMenu: "Opening day" celebration with $4 drafts, $6 cocktails, $6 tequila shots and $6 cantina menu offering tacos, quesadillas, nachos, fresh guacamole, chipotle wings and more; main menu offered throughout the evening as well.Atmosphere: Not your typical Thanksgiving setup, but perfect for a bite and a beer after your first day on the mountain. Slopeside bar will be open with outdoor seating and fire pits available. To kick off the season in style, DJ NEOH will be spinning tracks all afternoon.

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The Aspen Times Updated Nov 20, 2012 04:35PM Published Nov 20, 2012 04:29PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.