Restaurants seem to be catching on to the fact that a lot of folks can't or don't want to make their own turkeys on T-Day. So there are a number of places open on November 22, but my top pick would be the Briarwood Inn (1630 Eighth Street, Golden, 303-279-3121) for its stunning holiday decorations, charming but crisp service and winning way with all things American and traditional. A full turkey dinner with all the trimmings will cost $39.95 a person, but that includes the wonderful relish tray.
Other options run the gamut in price and elegance. On the higher end, Ellyngton's at the Brown Palace Hotel will offer its blowout brunch for $39.95, while its spiffier sister, Palace Arms, will do a four-course meal for $49 (both are at 321 17th Street, 303-297-3111). The Wellshire Inn (3333 South Colorado Boulevard, 303-759-3333) is serving an à la carte menu from noon to 6 p.m, while The Fort (19192 Highway 8, Morrison, 303-697-4771) is doing it the Old West way the sweet potatoes with maple syrup, brown sugar, pecans and marshmallows are killer for $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids. But the big high-end bargains just might be at the Brokers (821 17th Street, 303-292-5065; 5111 DTC Parkway, 303-770-5111; 555 30th Street in Boulder, 303-449-1752), which are all putting out a full turkey or ham meal for $24 ($9 for kids).
Less formal choices include jou jou (1106 14th Street, 303-820-2600), which is doing a $40 deal from noon until 10 p.m.; the Table Mountain Inn (1310 Washington Street, Golden, 303-277-9898) for a Southwestern-style meal at $24.95 adults and $9.95 kids; and an a la carte menu at Radex (100 East Ninth Avenue, 303-861-7999).
If you want a restaurant-quality meal at home, try Strings (1700 Humboldt Street, 303-831-7310), which is making a twenty-pound, deboned bird to go for $100 (a twelve-pounder is $60) with gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce, while Whole Foods (2375 First Avenue, 720-941-4100) will make full dinners for a variety of prices, depending on the number of people you want to feed. No muss, no fuss: That's my idea of a holiday.