Now, now don’t panic. Seven days and counting until Turkey Day arrives. We are busy and the thought of cooking anything for more than two people freaks us out. Many will travel the friendly skies to visit friends & family, but what about those who have decided to stay in DC? Or the others who have limited culinary skills? Here are restaurants that are making our mouths water with anticipation:
For the Traditionalists
If the Thanksgiving dessert table is anything like what I tasted from Pastry Chef Caitlin Dysart a few months ago, then 2941 has my vote. Not only is 2941 in a beautiful space, Chef Bertrand Chemel gives vegetarians much consideration instead of being an afterthought. I mean who else thinks of fried Brussels sprouts & black truffle coulis? $68pp/$50 (vegetarian)/$25 for the kiddies. 2941, 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, VA 22042. (703) 270-1500
Chef de Cuisine Harper McClure entices your senses with a decadent yet simple menu. Choose from a three course menu, however sides are an extra ($9.) GMF selects the following: Roasted Crooked Neck Pumpkin Soup, Royal Sea Bass Filet, Pear Tarte Tatin. $70pp. Brabo,1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. (703) 894-3440
Don’t feel like sitting in a dining room, but want to grab Thanksgiving dinner and go home to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade? The four course menu is straight to the point and focuses on flavors we’ve all come to associate with Turkey Day like butternut squash and chestnuts. $35pp. Al Dente, 3201 New Mexico Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016. (202) 244-2223
Who doesn’t like a good buffet? Even better when it’s geared toward the holidays. Providing turkey three ways (roasted breast, roasted rolled leg, & sage turkey sausage,) along with maple ham, and rib-eye ($10+) there is so much to choose from. And we all know Chef Art Smith & Chef Douglas Alexander know how to deliver on Southern sides. Mac and cheese anyone? $60pp/$30 for the kiddies. Art & Soul, 415 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. (202) 393-7777
Feeling French? After sipping Beaujolais on Thursday you just might. Why not head over to Central for choices like French Onion soup, turkey with Michel’s gravy, and the Chocolate bar. $45pp/$25 for the kiddies. Central, 1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. (202) 626-0015
GMF is already salivating over the Bounty Hill Parsnip and Leek Chowder, Bacon Wrapped Cervena Venison Medallions, and a Warm Hawaiian Coconut Cake. Even better from 4-7pm an Oyster Roast will occur with Chef Gray and his family. $65pp/$35 for the kiddies. Equinox Restaurant, 818 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006. (202) 331-8118
The W Hotel has a new restaurant and we’re smitten. Pinea is a blend of European flavors exquisitely displayed through simplicity. Another four course menu? Yes please. In classic WHotel expectations Lobster Medallions and the Pumpkin Brulee remind you that Thanksgiving can be done with style and grace. $85pp. Pinea, 515 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004. (202) 661-2440
For Those Who Want Something Different
Thinking of a twist on an American classic? Hmmm, how about prime rib, mashed potatoes, Wellington topping all on top of a burger, with a demi-glaze sauce. Yummy! BGR the Burger Joint, Various locations.
Rasika stole the District’s heart years ago and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. Each location is serving something different. The West End location is cooking up a flavorful Dum Ka Turkey, a hot pot flavored with saffron and cashew nuts, while the Penn Quarter location prepares Turkey Salli, turkey cooked with apricots and straw potatoes. Both dishes are $16 and while you’re at it go ahead and order the Palak Chaat, it is so so good.
For Those With a Sweet Tooth
The thought of baking has you pulling out your hair? Then turn to James Beard semifinalist Pastry Chef Tiffany MacIsaac’s Buttercream Bakeshop. We’re already eying the Salted Caramel-Fudge, Apple-Walnut, and Pumpkin Pie Cake. Please note all orders must be placed 72 hours in advance.
Heidelberg Pastry Shop has been around since 1975 and Arlington loves this family-owned bakery. Steeped in German tradition, the bakery is ready to provide for all of your Thanksgiving needs. Make sure to place your order by Friday, November 21st.
Pecan pie has to be one of my favorite desserts. It is even better when homemade. Nage Bistro is doing just that as well as a sweet potato pie. Recently GMF tasted the pecan pie which came with maple bourbon pecan ice cream. Though that won’t be included it shouldn’t sway your decision…at least not too much.
Dolcezza is doing something different with their Thanksgiving gelato package. For $60, you can get one pint of each of the following: Crookneck Pumpkin, Sweet Potato Pecan Praline, Pomegranate sorbetto, and Gold Rush Apple sorbetto. Score!
For Those Who Like Booze
Jai is a culinary/travel photographer, author whose photography has been seen in publications such as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Munchies (VICE), and Ad Week. Jai has been with GMF since 2014 is the former GMF Editor-in-Chief. She has photographed for both domestic and international tourism boards. Additionally, her work was selected as a semi-finalist in competitions such as Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMYs in Focus, and The Historical Society of D.C.’s For the Record. Contributing her photography to books like New York One-Food Wonders and Discovering Vintage Washington, DC, Jai’s creative spirit focuses on the food, beverage, and travel industries. Co-authoring Plantations of Virginia with six-time New York Press Club award winner Charlene C. Giannetti, their book is currently in its third printing within a year of being released. Jai enjoys collaborating with her clients to bring their vision to life.