Dinner and a show hits its stride:
Murder Mystery Dinner Theater comes to the Hampton Inn & Suites SouthPark at Phillips Place tonight with the “ComeSolveIt-Charlotte Players” performance of “Death Is a Cabernet Ol' Chum.” Preshow drinks at a cash bar are followed by buffet dinner and sleuthing. Saturday night, the players do “Gobble, Gobble, Death & Trouble” at the same venue. Cost is $55; reservations at www.carolinatix.org.
Meanwhile, Pineville Dinner Theatre offers “All in the Timing” on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 29. Half a dozen one-act comedic plays are available; the audience each night picks the three that sound most intriguing, and those are performed. Cost is $48; 704-544-0607.
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New South Kitchen (8140 Providence Road at the Arboretum) plans a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 5 p.m. Cost is $28 (kids 10 and younger half price), and the lineup includes orange-and-sage-roasted turkey, bourbon-glazed pork loin, rosemary-and-mustard-crusted rib roast, dressing, potatoes, salad bar, desserts and more. Dinners to go will also be available, feeding 8 to 10 and including a whole turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls and three sides from the buffet menu; you must order these by Nov. 21 and pick up Thanksgiving morning. Cost is $200. 704-541-9990.
The Palm (Phillips Place) offers a fixed-price menu from 2-7 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, as well as its a la carte menu. The set menu offers choice of soup or salad, hand-cared turkey, stuffing, creamed spinach, potatoes, cranberry sauce, choice of dessert and coffee or tea for $45; $15.95 for younger than 12. 704-552-7256.
Three Harper's Group restaurants offer Thanksgiving meals, and each will offer traditional fare as well as dishes that reflect its character specifically. Menu specifics for all three are at www.harpersrestaurants.com.
Mimosa Grill will have four carving stations; Southern-style items such as brown sugar and spice whipped sweet potatoes and fall root vegetable hash; and a dessert table with sweets from pear and apple crisps to white- and milk-chocolate covered profiteroles. 327 S. Tryon St.; noon-7 p.m.; $24.95; $12.95 for 10 and younger; 704-343-0700.
Zink American Kitchen will have an “American Table” with deviled eggs, butternut squash soup, mountain-cured country ham and biscuits, plus a station with iron skillets of sweet potatoes, mac and cheese, green bean casserole and the like. 201 N. Tryon St.; 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $21.95; $10.95 for 10 and younger; 704-444-9001.
Upstream will have an ice bar with chilled shellfish, a farmer's market table and more. Phillips Place; $29.95; $14.95 for 10 and younger; 704-556-7730.
Fondue for charity
The Melting Pot (Midtown and University locations) has started its fundraising campaign for St. Jude's, offering a Fondue for the Kids Card for $10 or more. The card, for which the entire price goes to St. Jude's, is worth $20 off any purchase of $50 or more at the restaurant. Diners can also choose the Big Night Out meal, and $1 of that price will go to the fund. The campaign runs through Dec. 31. Info: 704-334-4400 or 704-548-2432.
Dinner, carolers at Santé
The eighth annual Christmas Show at Santé (165 N. Trade St., Matthews) will be Dec. 14 and 21, at 5 and 7 p.m. each day. It features carolers from Carolina Voices and a three-course dinner. 704-845-1899.
Ballantyne Resort (10000 Ballantyne Commons Parkway) gets its holiday on, with the following events slated through Christmas:
Diners at the Gallery restaurant will get to sample winning recipes from the Ultimate Cupcake & Cookie Challenge in 2009; entrants bring in goodies Dec. 6 and winning recipes will go onto the restaurant's dessert menu. Details: www.ballantyneresort.com.
Sugar Plum Fairy Tea with Mrs. Claus will be 2-4 p.m. Dec. 7. Kids (with an adult) can sample seasonal petits fours and tea sandwiches, hot chocolate and cider. There will be crafts, storytime with Mrs. Claus and more. $40 per person; reservations required at 704-248-4055.
Charlotte's Largest Office Holiday Party will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 12, with a buffet in the Ballantyne Ballroom for $39.95; 704-248-4100.
Visit with Santa 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14. Children can have their photo made with Santa, receive a gift and enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and crafts for $30 (including photo). Reservations are not required.
A Thanksgiving Day Brunch and a Christmas Day Brunch will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on those days. 13 and older, $48.95; 7-12, $25.95; 3-6, $7.95; under 3 free (price does not include tax and gratuity). Reservations are required: 704-248-4100.
New Year's Eve Culinary Adventure Package includes an overnight package, seven-course dinner, breakfast in bed and 4 p.m. checkout from Dec. 26 through Jan. 4 for $289 and up; 704-248-4000.