Best Bites Blog > Holiday Eats
From Classic Turkey to Tandoori Turducken: A Guide to Thanksgiving at Local Restaurants
Thanks comes in many forms. Thanks for the memories. Thanks for the help. Thanks for… nothing? This Thanksgiving, you can be thankful you don’t have to lift a finger—the dining out options are plentiful. Here’s what’s going on around town. All events listed are on Thursday, November 23.
2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church; 703-270-1500; 2941.com
Jonathan Krinn’s annual Thanksgiving buffet offers a wealth of autumnal pleasures.
On the Menu: A carving station holds roasted organic turkey with gravy and cranberry-orange relish, slowly-roasted pheasant with thyme jus, maple-glazed ham, roasted sirloin with horseradish creme fraiche, and marinated Chilean sea bass with spaghetti squash and miso peppers. Among the sides are Spanish chorizo-and-apple stuffing, pumpkin-sage ravioli, braised red cabbage, sweet potato purée, sautéed green Beans with toasted almonds, and Indian wild rice with black currants. The sweets section includes pumpkin pie, crêpes Suzette, butterscotch panna cotta, chocolate mousse, brownies, cookies, and candies. Additional items, such as seared foie gras, and white truffle risotto, are available for an additional charge. A children’s menu has chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, pizza, and fruit.
Details: Seatings are between noon and 7 PM. Buffet is $75.00 per person (includes a glass of sparkling wine), $20.00 for children 12 and under, and free for children under five.
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-393-0701; 701restaurant.com
Sure there’s turkey here, but you’ll also find lobster creme brulee.
On the Menu: Appetizers include oyster-and-corn chowder, green salad with vegetable chips, artichoke salad, beet and endive salad, butternut squash risotto, and lobster creme brulee. For an entree, choose from roast turkey with sweet potato puree, Arctic char with roasted curried apple, halibut with roasted cauliflower, golden raisins, capers and hazelnuts, braised lamb shank with red kabocha squash, and prime rib with garlic mashed potatoes and tarragon jus. Finish the meal with pumpkin bread pudding, a chocolate-pistachio torte, a chocolate ganache torte with raspberry compote, or an acorn squash pithivier.
Details: Seatings are between 11 AM and 8 PM. The three-course menu is $38 per person.
15 E Street, NW; 202.661.2700; bistrobis.com
The holiday spirit at this plush Capitol Hill power den is all French.
On the Menu: Appetizers include sauteed foie gras, escargot vol-au-vent, endive and beet salads, lobster bisque, and mussels steamed with cream, bacon, and apples. The roasted turkey breast ($29.50) comes with chestnut stuffing, sweet potato mousseline, black turnip mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, cranberry compote, and truffle gravy. Entrees from the regular dinner menu will also be available— lamb Provencale, steak frites with bearnaise sauce, and pan-roasted rockfish. Sides include wild mushrooms bordelaise, potato mousseline with truffle butter, macaroni with gruyere, sauteed haricots verts, and even paper cones of french fries.
Details: Seatings are between noon and 8 PM. All dishes are a la carte. Appetizers are $10.50 to $16.50; entrees are $22.50 to $31.50.
Blue Duck Tavern
The Park Hyatt Hotel, 1201 24th St., NW; 202-419-6755; blueducktavern.com
The three-course brunch and dinner menus celebrate the bounty of American farms.
On the Brunch Menu: Graze over a spread of appetizers, then choose between roasted Eberly Farm turkey breast and chestnut-stuffed leg with giblet gravy, suckling pig with bourbon peaches, braised lamb shank with root vegetable juices, trout with pears, hazelnuts, and sage, and Maine lobster pot pie. Sides include chanterelle-cornbread stuffing, baby yams, garlic mashed potatoes, barbecued rice beans, glazed baby carrots, rutabaga mash with bacon, braised fall greens, pickled beets, cranberry-orange sauce, and sweet dumpling squash puree. For dessert, there’s apple pie with hand-cranked vanilla ice cream, chocolate-pecan cake with bourbon, and pumpkin custard with crème fraiche.
On the Dinner Menu: Starters include oyster and autumn vegetable chowder, Boston lettuce salad with hazlenut vinaigrette, oysters on the half-shell, roasted half lobster, sliced Virginia ham, roasted marrowbone, quail galantine, rabbit-and-chanterelle terrine, and Hudson Valley goose liver with spiced pumpkin. For the main course, choose from braised short ribs with horseradish, roasted bone-in ribeye (for two), roasted duck with baked heirloom apples, roasted turkey breast and chestnut-stuffed leg, wood-fired turkey drumsticks, braised bratwurst, trout with pears, hazelnuts and sage, roasted whole black sea bass, and jumbo lump crabcakes. Side dishes include garlic mashed potatoes, clothbound cheddar biscuits, duck fat fries, sweet potato gratin, Chanterelle-cornbread stuffing, wild rice herb cake, glazed baby carrots, and celery root puree.
Details: Brunch, 10 AM to 3 PM; $80 per person, $35 for children between 6 and 12, free for children under 6. Dinner, 6 to 10 PM; $75 per person, free for children under 6.
Cafe MoZU at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
1330 Maryland Avenue, SW; 202-787-6868; mandarinoriental.com/hotel/535000040.asp
Expect a few pan-Asian touches at this airy, spare hotel dining room.
On the Menu: The first course is a tasting of the following dishes: Champagne-poached oyster stew, house-smoked sturgeon with chervil emulsion, sevruga caviar, and potato blinis, chanterelle-tofu dim sum with truffle-soy honey glace, and duck confit tempura with tangerine glace. Next, there’s a choice of butternut squash bisque or chevre-stuffed dates with autumn greens and pomegranate vinaigrette. For the main course, select from maple-roasted Amish turkey with sage-apricot-chestnut stuffing, giblet gravy, cassis-cranberry chutney, and autumn vegetables, or roasted prime rib and short rib pie with truffle-braised asparagus and cranberries, house-cured Kurobuta pork chops with mountain-berry-tea-soy glace, miso black cod with cilantro gremolata, or seared halibut with pineapple jam and coconut curry sauce. Desserts include pumpkin tart, Thai pumpkin flan, pumpkin-bread souffle, vanilla-roasted green apple parfait, carrot cake with cream cheese ice cream, and caramel Asian pear cake with sticky rice ice cream.
Details: Seatings are between noon and 8:30 PM. The four course menu is $72 per person, and $35 for children under 12.
Charlie Palmer Steak
101 Constitution Ave, NW 202-547-8100; charliepalmersteak.com
Steps from the Capitol building, this coolly designed steakhouse sets out plenty of options for those who love turkey and those who don’t.
On the Menu: First course options include sweet curried cheese pumpkin soup, Maine lobster dumplings, Raspberry Point oysters on the half-shell, grilled quail with cranberry compote. For the main course, there’s roasted Bourbon Red turkey with bread stuffing, and a raft of other choices: spiced venison loin with sweet potato gnocchi, pheasant with butternut squash and red onion confiture, a Kansas City ribeye with Yukon gold potatoes three ways, and lobster in sweet corn broth with littleneck clams, mussels, creamer potatoes and onion soubise.
Details: Seatings are from 2 to 8 PM. The three-course menu is $65 per person.
1 Washington Circle, NW; 202-293-5390; thecirclehotel.com/circle_bistro.htm
Chef Brendan Cox plays it traditional, but throws in a few modern American touches.
On the Menu: Starters include a choice of wild mushroom soup or a field greens salad with spiced walnuts and pear vinaigrette. For the second course, there’s roasted free range turkey breast or roasted rack of Pennsylvania pork, both with braised mustard greens, Yukon gold potato mousseline, smothered haricot vert, and classic dressing on the side. Dessert is a choice of pumpkin pie or spiced apple “casserole.”
Details: Seatings are from noon to 6 PM. The three-course menu is $45 per person, and $22 for children under 12.
3000 M St., NW; 202-625-2150; citronelledc.com
Playful chef Michel Richard’s buffet spread is surprisingly straightforward: Turkey, glazed ham, and rack of lamb are its centerpieces.
On the Menu: The buffet holds starters like corn bisque, poached shrimp, crab coleslaw, Caesar salad, smoked salmon, potato salad, plus turkey with stuffing and cranberry chutney, glazed ham, rack of lamb with black bean sauce, salmon en croute with celery sauce, halibut with saffron sauce, sweet potato gratin, green beans, baked beans, mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts. For dessert, there’s three-chocolate mousse, Michel’s Napolean, a pumpkin charlotte, eclairs, an apple tart, and a fruit tart.
Details: Seatings are between 2:30 and 7:30 PM. $80 per person, $35 for children 12 and under.
1201 K Street, NW; 202-589-0688; corduroydc.com
Tom Power’s three-course new American menu is a relative bargain.
On the Menu: For the first course, choose between Kabocha squash soup, microgreens salad with lemon dressing, beet, baby carrot, and goat cheese salad, seared sea scallops with shitake mushrooms, and Sunset Beach oysters on the half-shell with Stayman apple mignonette. There’s roasted free-range turkey with sausage stuffing, giblet gravy, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. You can also opt for Pacific halibut with Burgundy-truffle-potato sauce, peppered rare tuna with sushi rice and hijiki, Ridgefield Farm beef tenderloin with rutabaga gratin, or roast lamb with mashed root vegetables. Desserts include pumpkin pie with whipped cream, an Alsatian-style apple tart, vanilla bean creme brulee, chocolate-hazelnut bars, or pistachio bread pudding.
Details: Seatings are between 1 and 3 PM and 5 and 9 PM. The three-course menu is $40 per person, and $15 for children under 12.
707 G Street, NW; 202-333-2538; www.bleu.com/indebleu
Never had tandoori turducken? Now’s your chance.
On the Menu: The five-course menu begins with curried pumpkin soup with hazelnut butter. Then, choose between smoked salmon napoleon, shaved virginia ham with asparagus salad, or apple and green bean salad with cumin creme fraiche. Second course selections include pan-fried veal gnocchi with fenugreek beurre blanc, poached lobster with blood-orange-tarragon butter, and raisin-pilaf-stuffed quail. For the main course, there’s tandoori turducken with maple-glazed sweet potato and cranberry chutney, roast beef rib eye with morel-porcini jus, or roasted monkfish with bacon-leek fondue and pickled red cabbage (each entree also comes with with stuffing, gravy, and cranberry chutney). Desserts range from spiced a pumpkin cheesecake savarin to warm apple crumble with bourbon ice cream to molten chocolate cake.
Details: Seatings are between 4 and 9 PM. The five-course menu is $75 per person, and $35 for children under 12.
The Inn at Easton
28 S. Harrison St., Easton; 410-822-4910; theinnateaston.com
You’ll find a Chesapeake-influenced afternoon feast at this lovely Eastern Shore retreat.
On the Menu: To start, there’s a choice of jumbo lump crabcakes with chive oil, fried Chesapeake oysters, butternut squash soup with roasted macadamia nuts and crème fraiche, or potato gnocchi with a poached egg and white truffle butter. Then, there’s an arugula salad with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and balsamic vinaigrette. For the main course, it’s organic free range turkey with sage and sausage stuffing, cranberry relish, candied yams and pan gravy, prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, porcini-stuffed wild boar chops with chestnut puree, pancetta, and golden raisins, or crispy-skinned rockfish with wild rice and saffron-vanilla sauce. Desserts include chocolate-raspberry-pecan tart, warm bread-and-butter pudding, and pumpkin-brownie sundae.
Details: Seating times are 12:30 and 2:30 PM. $75 for four courses.
1990 M Street, NW; 202-659-1990; vidaliadc.com
This elegant downtown dining room puts a modern spin on a Southern spread.
On the Menu: The Thanksgiving offerings pluck from the regular dinner menu, but also include some holiday choices. Appetizers include steak-and-egg tartare, oyster pan roast, truffled heirloom potatoes, and sweet-and-spicy cured hamachi. They’ll offer a traditional Thanksgiving entree plate ($29.50)—with Tuscarora Valley turkey, confit of Brussels sprouts, fingerling sweet potatoes, sausage-chestnut dressing, and giblet gravy—plus shrimp n’ grits, Hereford beef sirloin, crab-stuffed Carolina trout, and brioche-crusted venison loin. On the side: sweet potato custard soufflé, baked macaroni with goat cheese and truffles, mashed potatoes with white truffle butter, oyster-and-Applewood-bacon hush puppies, and fall mushrooms with grits.
Details: Seatings are from 3 to 8 PM. All dishes are a la carte. Appetizers are $12 to $14.50; entrees are $25.75 to $33.