Nontraditional Thanksgiving Feasts

These restaurants reimagine the T-Day repast with signature spins like pumpkin-stuffed pasta and tandoori turkey.

Fiola’s Fabio Trabocchi (pictured here with wife Maria) celebrates Thanksgiving, Italian style. Photographs by Scott Suchman

Not up for a traditional roast bird for the tenth Thanksgiving in a row? There are plenty of spots offering spins on the typical holiday meal, with everything from turkey tandoori to turkey-mole enchiladas. If you can’t wait until November 24, you can dig into alternative Thanksgiving dishes this week at most of the Eat Good Food Group locations (the Majestic, Restaurant Eve, etc.). The eateries won’t be open on the holiday itself, but they’re offering special meals and dishes in the meantime.

Assaggi Mozzarella Bar
Three-course menu 
An Italian-inspired menu includes pumpkin-stuffed tortelli with butter-sage sauce, turkey with Italian stuffing, and pumpkin-ricotta cheesecake.
Price: $39 adults/$15 children under 12
Availability: 11:30 AM to 9 PM

Four-course menu
This Gallic bistro is serving menu items like frisée salad with poached egg and lardons, bordelaise-topped sirloin roast with potato gratin, and a cheese course. There’s also roast turkey with sweet potato cooked in duck fat. 
Price: $78 all-inclusive; $110 with wine pairings 
Availability: 4 to 9 PM

Three-course menu
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli has dreamed up an Italian menu for the holiday. Dishes include fresh mozzarella with cipollini onions and walnut salad, poached branzino with Sicilian salmoriglio sauce, squash-filled tortellini, and buttermilk panna cotta with poached figs.
Price: $48
Availability: 11 AM to 8 PM

Bombay Club
À la carte menu for lunch and dinner
The stately dining room near the White House returns this year with its tandoori turkey. The clay-oven-cooked bird is served with cranberry chutney and spiced fried Brussels sprouts. The full à la carte menus for lunch and dinner are also available.
Price: Tandoori turkey is $19.95
Availability: 11:30 AM  to 2:30 PM; 5:30 to 10:30 PM

Three-course menu
Chef Fabbio Trabbochi celebrates the restaurant’s first Thanksgiving with an Italian feast. Start off with dishes like meatballs with a sunny-side-up egg or jumbo lump crab toast with sea urchin. Traditionalists can get turkey and pie, but there’s also braised beef short ribs, Arctic char with Tuscan faro and porcini, and zuppa inglese with lemon-basil granita.
Price: $55 adults/$20 kids
Availability: 11:30 AM to 7 PM

L’auberge Chez François
Five-course menu
There’s the option of a traditional turkey dinner on the Chef Jacques menu, but French classicsescargots in garlic butter, Dover sole with lobster and mushrooms, and Grand Marnier souffléare pretty tempting.
Price: $65 to $79
Availability: noon to 1 PM; 3 to 4:30 PM; 6 to 7:30 PM (there’s currently a waitlist for the first two seatings)

À la carte menu
Chef Vikram Sunderam prepares his regular à-la-carte lunch and dinner menus (who needs creamed spinach when you have crispy spinach palak chaat?). In honor of the holiday there’s a special turkey kathi roll with fried Brussels sprouts and butternut squash tikki.
Price: The turkey special is $16
Availability: 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM and 5 to 10 PM

Rosa Mexicano
The Nuevo Mexicano menu is offered at both DC locations. Guests start off with fresh guacamole made tableside with cranberries and smoked almonds. Other offerings include a quince-pomegranate salsa, and ancho chile and roast turkey enchiladas. A limited regular menu is also available.
Availability: noon to 9 PM

Taberna del Alabardero
Five-course menu
Thanksgiving gets a Spanish spin at Taberna, where chef Javier Romero cooks up a menu with dishes like citrus-accented oysters, roast turkey with apple-grape ragout, and cherry sorbet with orange cookies.
Price: $65 adults/$30 kids under 12
Availability: 4 to 10 PM

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.