If you’re going to be here for Thanksgiving, and you’re not up to the task of brining, and cooking, and all that, then you’ve got a lot of choices as to where to eat. The lovely Alex over at Brightest Young Things has a super-comprehensive list of all the choices that you’ve got, organized by date, and there’s absolutely no need for me to reinvent the wheel, especially when her wheel was awesome to begin with. So, I’m going to do a different take – I’m going to tell you what sounds the best to me, and where I’d go if I were here. My priorities are going to a place that I know I like, since then it’ll feel more homey, and somewhere where I really trust the chef not to screw up my favorite dishes. So here are my top five, in no particular order.
(Side note: these menus are expensive. Dining out in DC on Thankgiving isn’t cheap. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is why your parents are in town.)
INOX Restaurant – Chef Jon Mathieson knows meat. And I would be a happy girl to have his turkey. He’s offering it up either smoked or Heritage turkey in a a three-course menu. Highlights include Butternut Squash Potage with Spiced Creme Fraiche and Corn Bread-Andouille Sausage Stuffing. The four course menu is $62 per person.
The Grille at Morrison House - Chef Dennis Marron is doing a terribly upscale tasting menu for $85. I’m drooling thinking about the apple and parsnip bisque served with duck confit, apple chips and cinnamon mascarpone, or the sweet treat of pumpkin bread pudding, maple crème brulee and apple cider foam finishes the meal. To boot, drag the little ones along, since The Grille has a kid’s menu is available for $30 and includes fruit and berries to start, a turkey day dinner of turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and gravy, and chocolate chip cookies and ice cream.
1789 - I really loved 1789 last time I was there – the classics were well excecuted and so I would expect the same would stand for thanksgiving. Executive Chef Daniel Giusti and Pastry Chef Travis Olson are serving up both a prix fixe or a la carte. The new seasonal a la carte menu by Chef Giusti includes dishes like sweet potato gnocchi with toasted walnuts, baby spinach and ricotta salata. A $50 fixed price three-course menu is also an option, which includes a choice of pumpkin soup or bitter greens and citrus salad, turkey with all of the trimmings, and a full selection of desserts.
2941 Restaurant – Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel’s is adorably french. He’s super sweet, but very, very french. So of course he has to put his own twist on Thanksgiving, so he’s offering guests a three-course prix fixe menu priced at $65 per person. He’s dishing up Meyer Lemon Crab Cake with jumbo lump & sweet crab, fine herbs and a crunchy fennel salad, Madai Snapper with pomme rösti, lobster oil, caviar, radish and ginger beurre blanc. My favorite part of 2941 is always dessert, so Pastry Chef Anthony Chavez’s rustic apple pies with a caramelized butter crust, would be my dream.
Bastille Restaurant – I would love to stroll around Old Town before or after dinner, especially along the waterfront. So head to Bastille, where Executive Chef Christophe Poteaux and Pastry Chef Michelle Garbee-Poteaux have planned a three course prix-fixe Thanksgiving Day Menu for $49.00 per person. I would choose the Butternut Squash Ravioli and sage-brown butter, Grass-fed Beef Chateaubriand roasted in a rosemary sea salt crust, with a Madeira wine sauce, cheddar mashed potatoes, wild mushrooms, and cream of spinach and Valrhona Manjari Chocolate Truffle Cake to finish.