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Washington DC for Thanksgiving

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HI, long time reader, first post.

Have bitten the bullet and have booked a couple of weeks holidays on the East Coast. I will be in Washington DC during Thanksgiving. I'll be staying on New Jersey Ave near Union Station. Is it to early to book for a Thanksgiving meal. Which restaurants would you guys recommend. I'm from Australia, so looking for the full traditional dining exp[erience.

Any assistance you could give me would be appreciated.

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  1. Since you use the words "full traditional dining experience" I recommend the restaurant 1789. The Federal decor and the menu can be counted on to deliver the experience you're seeking. Since this restaurant is part of the annual Thanksgiving celebration for many DC-area families, now is not too early to contact the restaurant for the November holiday.

    1. Tabard Inn in Dupont Circle would be good also. The Inn itself has a quaint, early-American charm, including a huge fireplace in the parlor where you can have a drink before or after dinner. The meal choices always include the traditional Thanksgiving turkey with all the trimmings. Do make reservations early.

      1. I would also suggest Vidalia. I am sure if you called them for details they could provide them. If you search Thanksgiving threads you will find some info on what they have served in the past.

        1. I also recommend the Morrison Inn for Thanksgiving. VERY traditional, food is good, and it feels like a wealthy old aunt's home. Also, they will send you home with "leftovers" (i.e. a turkey sandwich, salads, extra slice of pie...) for snacking later in the day.

          1. These are good suggestions; 1789 is, I think, especially strong, given both the quality of the food and the atmosphere. That said, Thanksgiving should be eaten at home, not in a restaurant. If you have any American friends, you are better off (and it would be more traditonal) to eat T'giving with them. When my family was overseas it was our custom to invite any "orphans' to join us, and we would often have 25 to 30 people. I suspect you would also be more than welcome at the home of any American friends.

            3 Replies
            1. re: brianV

              This "home for Thanksgiving" sentiment is not for everyone! For the past several years we have been eating out, and everyone loves it. No one has to spend days shopping, chopping, prepping and no one has to sweat in a kitchen all morning. It's not to everyone's taste, of course, but I very, very much enjoyed being served in one of the quiet upstairs room at Tabard. We don't even miss the leftovers.

              1. re: dcandohio

                dcandohio, we'll try the Tabard Inn. Another Thanksgiving experience wasn't quite as successful: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/462985

                1. re: Joe H

                  Hi Joe, the link was to a topic regarding L'Auberge, so I don't know if it was an incorrect link or not. Just to clarify....I've done Tabard four times. THe first two times, we were seated upstairs and we had a stellar experience. The third time, we were seated downstairs in the main dining room, but we had a 4 top in a corner and it felt rather private. Service was nice and the food was great. THe most recent time, we were a two-top in the main dining room. We felt crowded and the service personnel seemed rushed. The food had slipped a notch. So if we go back this year (geez, it's almost a tradition now!) we'll be sure to request the upstairs rooms. By the way, we always request a 4:00 reservation. I don't know if earlier or later seatings might have a different experience. I imagine those servers and cooks are mighty tired for the 8:00 reservations on Thanksgiving evening.

            2. The Inn at Little Washington does a "traditional Thanksgiving" in addition to their normal menu every year and it is amazing! Spruce brined roast turkey with truffles, lightly curried fall peas with bay oysters and on and on.

              1. Thanks for the relies so far. I am undecided between the Tabard Inn or (if this is the same restaurant that WWashington is talking about) the Morrison Clark Inn on L Street NW. Would it be too soon to book for Thanksgiving in August, and finally, is it predominately a lunch time or dinner time meal.

                Thanks in anticipation

                2 Replies
                1. re: Anakin64

                  In my family Thanksgiving dinner usually hits the table at about 4pm, and it's all we'll eat that day. For your case I'd contact the restaurants and see how they run their Thanksgiving meals.

                  1. re: Anakin64

                    The Inn at Little Washington is about a hour or so out of town.
                    http://www.theinnatlittlewashington.com/