There’s something satisfying about preparing a Thanksgiving feast for an eager crowd of loved ones. But avoiding the inevitable scalding from the boiling sweet potatoes, the towers of dirty dishes, and your mother-in-law’s judgment might be worth the sacrifice. If you want to save yourself some sweat, dozens of area restaurants are stuffing their November 26 menus with traditional and not-so-traditional treats.
New chef Adam Longworth sets up a three-course American menu with a side of live jazz.
On the menu: Starters are king-crab risotto with black-trumpet mushrooms, squash, and wilted greens; grilled scallops with butternut-squash purée, grapes, and balsamic brown-butter; parsnip soup with duck confit and honey; baby-spinach salad with goat cheese and roasted pears; and baby-greens salad with dates, grapefruit, and caperberries.
Main courses include turkey breast with duck-confit stuffing, potato purée, and cranberry relish; grilled bronzino with olives and Chardonnay vinegar; braised short ribs with scalloped potatoes, horseradish, and chard; mushroom ravioli with goat cheese, cauliflower, and black truffle; roast pork chop with gnocchi, baby vegetables, and whole-grain-mustard butter; and salmon with roasted fennel, preserved lemon, and coffee/hazelnut vinaigrette.
When it’s available: 11 to 8.
What it costs: $45 per person.
A seasonal à la carte menu from Chef Daniel Giusti will be offered along with a more traditional three-course meal.
On the menu: The prix-fixe menu starts with a choice of pumpkin soup or bitter-greens-and-citrus salad. Next comes turkey with trimmings and dessert.
The à la carte menu breaks the mold with oyster-and-bacon gratin with salsify, Gruyère and brioche; sweet-potato gnocchi with walnuts, baby spinach, and ricotta salata; ham with roasted pineapple, cheddar casserole, and stewed mustard greens; and braised short ribs with honeyed parsnip purée, citrus baby carrots, and horseradish jus.
When it’s available: Noon to 9.
What it costs: The pre-fixe menu is $50, à la carte entrées are priced between $28 and $38.
Bertrand Chemel, this artful Falls Church dining room’s executive chef, sticks to the classics on his three-course prix-fixe menu.
On the menu: To start, choose from butternut-squash velouté with apple compote and cider gelée; Meyer-lemon crabcake with jumbo-lump and sweet crab and crunchy fennel salad; baby-beet salad with almond panna cotta and quince; green salad with cider vinaigrette; wild-mushroom risotto with foie gras; and hamachi with spicy lobster mayonnaise.
Main courses include Maple Lawn Farms turkey breast with wild-mushroom stuffing and sweet potatoes; chestnut raviolini with Burgundy truffle, Parmesan, and pancetta; and Madai snapper with potatoes rösti, lobster oil, caviar, and ginger beurre blanc; steamed striped bass with vermouth sauce and Burgundy truffle; duo of beef with basil pommes purée, salsify, and baby turnips.
Pastry Chef Anthony Chavez has dessert covered with apple pie; German chocolate parfait with coconut-milk jam; pecan soufflé glacé; flourless chocolate biscuit; and pumpkin pot de crème with gingerbread pudding, cranberry marmalade, and pumpkin-seed nougatine.
When it’s available: 11 to 8.
What it costs: $65 per person; $25 for children 12 and under.
This pretty Cleveland Park dining room is putting on a tradition-friendly three-course dinner.
On the menu: Appetizers are fennel-pollen-crusted ahi tuna with fennel purée and cara cara orange; butternut-squash soup with rye toasts and apple/rosemary preserve; grilled-calamari salad; gnocchi with chard, walnuts, and blue cheese; venison carpaccio with horseradish vinaigrette; and baby-spinach-and-frisée salad with fig dressing and goat cheese.
For the main course, choose from roasted pork loin with savoy cabbage, apple purée, and baby carrots; roasted turkey with chestnut-and-sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, and dried-cranberry gravy; salmon with sunchoke purée and root-vegetable hash; grilled lamb chop with succotash and cauliflower purée; grilled beef tenderloin with kale, sweet potatoes, and dried-pear relish.
Sweets include pumpkin bread pudding with crème anglaise; chocolate/date cake with cream-cheese gelato; espresso crème brûlée; and banana tarte tatin with banana gelato.
When it’s available: Noon to 8.
What it costs: $40 per person.
• Art and Soul
Executive chef Travis Timberlake follows chef/owner Art Smith’s lead, creating a three-course feast (plus sides) with a Southern twist.
On the menu: Start off with buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, and deviled eggs. There’ll be carving stations with roast turkey, turkey gravy, and cranberry sauce; bourbon/maple-glazed ham with spicy whole-grain mustard and bourbon-maple sauce; and herb-roasted prime rib with fresh horseradish and beef jus ($10 supplement).
Sides include buttermilk-mashed potatoes; chicken-apple stuffing; spaghetti squash; green-bean casserole; and spicy collard greens. Anyone with room for dessert can choose from apple, pecan, or pumpkin pie or chocolate cake, all served à la mode. And just like a Thanksgiving at home, guests won’t leave empty handed: Each person will receive a special “leftover” sandwich with roast turkey, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on white bread with sides of gravy and cranberry sauce to take home.
When it’s available: Seatings from 11 to 9.
What it costs: $55 per person; $25 for children aged six to 12.