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Yes, it's that time again. All cooking magazines are filled articles on how to cook a turkey [does it change year to year?] and thoughts turn to pumpkin pie.

For several years, I have forgone cooking and eaten Thanksgiving dinner at 1789. But I'd like a change. Any recommendations for an upscale, non-buffet, Thanksgiving dinner?

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  1. You should look into The Dining Room at the Willard Hotel. The most beautiful setting in all of Washington. Very traditional menu. Perfect service. Absurd prices.

    Btw, presuming the doors aren't locked, I think I'm buyng you lunch 10/31 at LP.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Pappy

      I think the wager was over your statement that LP would be closed by Labor Day ! Of course, I predicted Gerard's would be closed by then as well. I am willing to let you go with a stern warning or a Dutch treat. :-)

      1. re: Dakota Guy

        Well, given that GP is currently transforming his flagship restaurant to a bistro/brasserie formula with his culinary students as line cooks, I'd say you won! My offer stands if you're in town 10/31?

      2. re: Pappy

        I called the WIllaird. They said they are closed on Thanksgiving. I was disappointed.

      3. I have never eaten non-home Thanksgiving, but for some reason I feel Eve would do this really well and seem like a warm cozy atmosphere for Thanksgiving.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ktmoomau

          Eve is closed onThanksgiving. But always a wonderful place to eat.

        2. I had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner last year at the Morrison Inn. Sit down, not buffet. Bonus - they give you "leftovers" to take home when you leave - we got turkey sandwiches, pumpkin cookies, and some stuffing I think.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scotcheroo

            I was quite disppointed in the food and the service when last I visited the Morrison-Clarke Inn. It seems to have great promise but just doesnt deliver. I am glad that you had enjoyed your visit there.

          2. We did Thanksgiving dinner one year at Ardeo. It was just great. I would travel far and wide for the ham biscuit appetizer they had that day. They had all the traditional stuff and non-traditional stuff. I would definitely forgo the family hassles (if I could) for T-day and have it be just me and my sweetie there again.

            1. For several years now we've done Thanksgiving at Tabard. It has the appropriate Americana Feel (bonus for the fireplace), it is not a buffet, and it feels proper and festive without being stuffy. The menu is fixed price, as I recall, with several choices in each category. We plan to return again this year. And what's great is that I can have turkey and SO can have steak - everyone is happy!

              1. Sorry again just throwing places out there that I don't know if they have Thanksgiving, but if they did I bet it would be good, if Vidalia did a Thanksgiving it might be good? Maybe even some good cornbread stuffing seeing how good their cornbread is?

                I was just trying to think of places that seem to do homey well. Or perhaps 2941 since it seems they will have some good chefs?

                And I know Blue Duck has had some back and forth reviews and I must admit I haven't been for some months, but they are excellent with savory meats, or used to be?

                4 Replies
                1. re: ktmoomau

                  2941 does a buffet in years past but with a new chef, I'll check it out. Vidalia is a good idea !

                  1. re: Dakota Guy

                    For the past twenty years or so a bunch of family members have tolerated my cooking. I should note, first, that they are still alive!!! But this year we have a somewhat different situation and instead of our doing Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd/throng/mob, it is just, well, us. I made a reservation at L'auberge Chez Francois which is a restaurant that most on this board have no affection for yet my wife and I genuinely love it. But, we are older. We chose L'auberge over 1789, over the Wayside Inn, over the Red Fox Inn, over a whole bunch of places in the Virginia countryside. Somehow, for us, Thanksgiving is a holiday that needs to be celebrated in some kind of a country inn, something apart from what we would typically find on, say, K street or in town. And, while many on this board don't really like L'auberge, we do. In fact, a lot. Perhaps, an awful lot. As an escape to cooking turkey for the masses (i.e. extended family) I can't think of a better place to properly indulge in my own excess. L'auberge is truly special.

                    1. re: Joe H

                      Thank you, Joe, for an excellent idea. Although I am among those that believe the glory days of Chez Francois are behind us, it is an excellent choice for Thanksgiving. I just called in my reservation.

                      1. re: Dakota Guy

                        Totally agree about it's "glory days" but for Thanksgiving or a holiday it continues to SEEM special. It will be interesting to see what they put on the plate-if it even begins to compliment the atmosphere we will return. By the way to admit to my biases: over the years I've driven to Auberge Provencial, the Wayside Inn (Middletown, VA), the Penwick Inn (Dunkirk, MD), the Inn at Perry Cabin, the Red Fox Inn and a few others for Thanksgiving. But I'm going back 30 or so years for several of these. The Penwick Inn had the best food (it's now closed), the "slave's kitchen" at the Wayside Inn in Middletown, VA was the most interesting/atmospheric room and none were good enough overall to return to year after year. At some point I started cooking myself. Now I've come full circle and only cook Christmas Dinner so my wife and I have begun to explore again. Our two first choices were L'Auberge and 1789 but we thought L'Auberge had the most potential. Take care.

                2. My boyfriend last year ate Thanksgiving dinner at Dupont Grille. He said it was pretty good and I believe it wasn't a buffet but I would double check.

                  1. I was just on the Bistro Bis website for another reason and noticed they do Thanksgiving.

                    1. Last year, I went to Thanksgiving dinner at Corduroy with the boyfriend and his mother. Really loved it, am thinking of doing it again this year if I decide not to cook (and if reservations are still available). They had the traditional turkey dinner, plus three or four additional entree options, and the usual appetizer choices.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: nosestuckinbook

                        Just got an email from Corduroy
                        "We will be seating from 1pm to 8pm. We are serving a 3-course Prix Fixe menu at $45.00 per person."

                        1. re: MrsWheatie

                          Interesting. It's well-worth the price, so much so that I almost regret deciding to cook at home instead. : )

                      2. DH and i are going to the Severn Inn again this year. It's a buffet, but very well done with an appetizer (huge) area and a buffet for mains. The view looks across the Severn River at the Annapolis Naval Academy, and the price is right (about $35).