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Friday, October 21, 2005 | Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This year forget the hassle and stress of cooking at home and “make reservations.” Many restaurants around the county offer turkey dinners including these notable venues:

Up Interstate 15, the Rancho Bernardo Inn has three choices: In the Ballroom a buffet featuring something for everyone including stations of seafood, salads, cheese, turkey, prime rib, pasta and, of course, dessert. Kids will find chicken fingers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a Jell-O mud pie. The Veranda Restaurant features the traditional dinner and the fine dining El Bizcocho’s four-course dinner provides choices – braised prime short ribs, free-range turkey breast or roasted Chilean sea bass and a “Turkey to Go” box so not to miss the leftovers. Cost of the buffet is $44; Veranda, $42; and El Bizcocho, $60; children under 14 are $20; all prices plus tax and tip. Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17750 Bernardo Oaks, Rancho Bernardo, (858) 675-8500,

Savory Casual Fare in Encinitas offers a three-course Thanksgiving dinner with a choice of turkey ($37.50) or beef tenderloin ($43) plus tax and tip. If you’d rather stay home with 10 or 12 of your pals, owner/chef Pascal Vignau will cook a turkey, trimmings, soup and pies for take-home ($235) plus tax and tip. Savory Casual Fare, 267 El Camino Real, Encinitas, (760) 634-5556,

In La Jolla, enjoy the holiday meal at Nine-Ten in the Grande Colonial Hotel. Here Chef Jason Knibb and Pastry Chef Jack Fisher prepare a four-course feast with an innovative twist. Along with a salad of greens, fuyo persimmons and pecans, butternut squash soup with duck confit and free-range, honey-thyme glazed turkey or wild Tasmanian trout, there’s a pumpkin tart or warm date and walnut cake with pear compote for dessert, for $46 and $19 for children under 12, plus tax and tip. Nine-Ten, 910 Prospect St., La Jolla, (858) 964-5400,

Nestled in Hillcrest’s Uptown Shopping Center (home of Trader Joe’s and Ralphs) is Terra, where owner/chef Jeff Rossman features a traditional seasonal menu of roast turkey, cranberry pine nut relish and butternut squash-rosemary polenta. If turkey isn’t your thing, choose molasses-cured pork chop, andouille crusted snapper or pepper crust filet mignon, all for $35 and $11.95 for children under 8, plus tax and tip. Terra, 3900 block of Vermont Street in Hillcrest’s Uptown Shopping Center, (619) 293-7088,

Tidbits: The Del Mar Marriott and its terrific restaurant Arterra may soon have new bosses – as talks of a sale continue with owners of the Del Mar Hilton. Also up that way, look for a new Doug Manchester hotel and resort off Highway 56…and word is that he’s looking for a four-star chef.

Mark your calendar for Nov. 17 for a special seven-course tasting menu when Gavin Kaysen, chef de cuisine at El Bizcocho, hosts David LeFevre, executive chef at Water Grill in Los Angeles. LeFevre was executive sous chef at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago before coming to Jeff King’s well-known seafood restaurant. Dinner with paired wines is $120 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, call (858) 675-8550.

Marcie Rothman loves good food – no matter where it’s cooked – at home, a hole in the wall or a white tablecloth restaurant. Known as The $5 Chef on radio, television and in her two cookbooks, Marcie travels far and near with an eye on what’s current in food. You can find her at

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