Having spent the last eight Novembers up to my elbows in butter-basted poultry, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, and cranberry relish, I’m well acquainted with the feeling: At some point in the run-up to Turkey Day even the most dedicated home chef wants to throw up his hands and say, “Can’t we just go out to dinner on Thanksgiving?”

If you’re at all like me, you are also forever lamenting the fact that your dining room only fits eight – so where are you supposed to sit the other six people you've invited over for dinner?

As it turns out, some of downtown Fort Worth’s finest restaurants have an answer to your frustrations – special Thanksgiving Day menus that should satisfy both the traditionalists and the turkey-haters in your brood. Just remember to make your reservation early, as spots tend to fill up fast.  

The Cast Iron: This Southwestern-flavored restaurant in downtown’s Omni Hotel actually offers two separate Thanksgiving menus: a brunch buffet ($25 to $51 per person), with seatings from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and then a dinner buffet ($18 to 36 per person), with seatings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. No matter what time you go, you’ll be able to enjoy slow-roasted turkey and honey-glazed. But the brunch offers an especially enticing line-up of desserts, including a cognac pumpkin and cranberry cheesecake verrine and a rustic pecan pie.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: You might not think of making reservations at a steak house on Turkey Day, but Ruth’s Chris is once again offering its three-course Thanksgiving Day menu, which includes a choice of salad; roast turkey with gravy, sausage and herb stuffing and cranberry relish; a choice of sides (go for the creamed spinach, and thank me later); and pumpkin cheesecake. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Cost is $36.95 per person.

The Capital Grille: Another downtown option for Thanksgiving, the Capital Grille will be offering what they describe as “our take on Thanksgiving favorites.” (Prices are $36 adults / $18 children.) But this is an especially good choice if you have people in your Turkey Day party who don’t actually like turkey, since the restaurant's regular menu will also be available. Tables are available from noon to 9 p.m.

Texas de Brazil: The Brazilian-style churrascaria will add roasted turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce to its menu, which will be offered at regular prices. ($24.99 to $44.99 per person.) The restaurant will open at 11 a.m. Be warned: With this much beef and turkey, you’ll probably need an even-longer-than-usual post-Thanksgiving nap. 

TExas de Brazil Fort Woerth 

If you’re a restaurateur who’s planning to be open on Thanksgiving Day and serving a special menu, please let us know in the comments section.

And best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy holiday – and one with fewer dirty dishes than normal.