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Raise a glass of Thanksgiving cheer with friends, family

Thanksgiving is a time for feasting, for enjoying the comforts of home. From family to football, from pumpkin pie to the mighty green bean casserole, there's plenty to keep us content.

But let's talk turkey. At some point, you will need to get out.

Wouldn't it be fun, with all the expats and relatives back on the scene, to celebrate things that are going well in our town? To show off a little? To give those friends from Charlotte, N.C., at least a faint twinge of regret that they're not here all the time to enjoy what we enjoy?

As in the case of squash and stuffing, options abound. We'll start with raising a glass at one of the new bars.

It's Thanksgiving tradition to get the gang together and go to whatever bar is traditional for you -- Brennan's, or Brunner's, Mr. Goodbar, the Central Park Grill. But it might also be fun to work in a stop at a new establishment.

Angelica Tea Room (517 Washington St.) has beautiful and dainty accouterments, like etched and painted teapots, and cocktails in lovely glasses. They have Happy Hour drink specials weekdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and., quaintly, punch specials on Sunday. The old is new again.

Speaking of which, celebrate Buffalo's renaissance at Roaming Bison (732 Hertel Ave.). It's located in the former Nortel Grill, which dated back to the 1930s. Everyone was sad when it closed, and joyous when this tavern opened earlier this year, specializing in whiskeys.

There was more good news for the nostalgic with the opening, also this year, of the Terrace at Delaware Park. It's on the second floor of the Marcy Casino, and has stunning views of Hoyt Lake and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

The Terrace has unique cocktails. A good chaser to Thanksgiving dinner might be the appropriate titled Pear Shaped -- bourbon with allspice liqueur, lime, maple syrup and pear bitters.

[Read: Dining review and a bar feature on The Terrace]

Celebrate our burgeoning distillery scene at any one of a number of distilleries. Lockhouse Distillery & Bar (41 Columbia St. in the historic Cobblestone District), now features food from the Connecticut Street bistro Lait Cru.

And celebrate our burgeoning grocery scene at cozy and elegant Bar 1818, at the new Whole Foods Market (3139 Sheridan Drive, Amherst). The bar boasts local beers as well as other amenities including a pool table and a fireplace.

Starters: Local beer, dressed-up burgers at Whole Foods' Bar 1818


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