A Travel-Free Thanksgiving in Washington, DC

With DC being the transient city that it is, the majority of its residents flee during the holiday season, purchasing inflated airline tickets and battling rental car lines to head home for a long weekend. But for those who choose to stick around the city, there are some upsides: You get to spend time with friends instead of quarreling with family, and you can foregoing hours of slaving away in the kitchen, potentially, by choosing to spend the afternoon in a restaurant. Not bad, right?

If I weren’t cooking for 20 people this Thanksgiving, I’d be dining at one of these restaurants:

The Grille at Morrison House

From noon until 5pm, The Grille is offering up a three-course menu for $60 per person. Before diving into the inevitable Turkey Dinner, you can choose between an Apple and Parsnip Bisque, Waldorf Salad or Blue Point Oyster Po-Boy. If you decide to abstain from the turkey coma, then try the Pan-Roasted Rockfish or the classic Ribeye.

1789 Restaurant

If there is one good reason to venture to Georgetown before the Christmas decorations adorn their tree-lined streets, it’s Executive Chef Anthony Lombardo and his creations at 1789. If Pumpkin Soup with Poached Hen Egg or a Rack of lamb with Purple Top Turnip doesn’t do it for you, I don’t know what will.  In addition to a la carte, there is a $50, three-course dinner.


Join the Grays this Thanksgiving as Todd and Ellen present an array of local alternatives to the turkey feast: Maryland Striped Bass, Eco Friendly Farm’s Red Wattle Pork and Pride of the Plains Angus Beef Tenderloin to name a few. And if that doesn’t do it for you, then try Pastry Chef Thomas Wellings’s Steamed Gingerbread with Armagnac Toffee Sauce. Three-course dinner: $60 or $80 with wine pairing.

The Bombay Club

Who says Thanksgiving has to be all stuffing and cranberries? Go out on a turkey limb and try Tandoori, as that’s what Executive Chef Nilesh Singhvi will be plating up, along with the not-so-traditional Poriyal Brussels Sprouts. And priced at $19.95 per person, this is the bargain of the holiday.

Ardeo + Bardeo

If Wild Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffle doesn’t tempt those taste buds, then surely the Roast Turkey with Yukon Gold Puree and a Chestnut Quince Dressing will, as that’s what you’re going to get with Chef Nate Garyantes at Ardeo + Bardeo. Three-course dinner, served from 11 AM until 8 PM sets you back $45 per person.

Blue Duck Tavern

Perhaps my favorite holiday destination of them all: Blue Duck Tavern. With turkeys hand picked from Koch’s Farm in Pennsylvania to complement the three-course brunch, it is a great early option should you want to get home in time and watch the football. With one of the best dessert buffets the city has to offer, Pastry Chef Peter Brett will be found baking up Chocolate Chestnut Cakes with a Jack Daniel’s Cream and Honey Poached Seckel Pears to name but a few. Priced at $90 per person from 10:30am – 3pm.


Should you be feeling super lazy by not wanting to cook (or even tear yourself away from the Macy’s Day Parade on TV) then there are a few places offering food items to go:

  • Cafe St-Ex is serving up Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan Pies at $18 a piece.
  • Cork Market will not only offer up menu items, they’ll deliver them too. So yes, that Housemade Foie Gras and Mac ‘n Blue Cheese with Pancetta can come straight to you, but it doesn’t come with a gym membership.
  • The Butcher’s Block Market one ups all others. They’ll cook the turkey for you, at $6 per pound of a Murray’s Amish All Natural, and sides including Chestnut Stuffing, Potato Gratin and Cranberry Sauce. You’ll be set for a feast for the ages.
  • Westend Bistro Why not have Eric Ripert cater your dinner? For $269, Westend Bistro wll throw in the turkey, trimmings and a pie, enough to feed six. Get your order in by November 18.
  • Liz Ford

    These are all my fave New Orleans oyster spots! Love it!

  • J Skee

    Great info! I went to Drago’s and it was phenomenal. Thanks!

  • Carmen M.

    Great post! I need to come try some Nola oysters! :)

  • Ryan T.

    Time for a visit to Nola for some great oysters! Thanks for the expert advice!

  • LT

    Yum! The oyster loaf at Casamento’s sounds especially delicious, I will have to check it out when I visit!

  • D.L.B.

    I agree with the assessment of the oyster hot-spots!! I have enjoyed oysters from each location and would recommend these restaurants to any local or tourist wishing to get a true taste of NOLA!!

  • Tarbie

    Oysters with bbq sauce and blue cheese? I never would have thought of it- but I bet it tastes DELICIOUS!

  • Bonnie S.

    I don’t even like oysters, but after reading your blog, I ‘m willing to give them another try. Your vivid descriptions make oysters sound not only edible, but delectable and inviting. Can’t wait to visit my relatives in New Orleans, and give these recommendations a whirl.

  • Sally M

    “Bread to mop up the buttery goodness” – Yes, please! My mouth is watering!

  • Jamie

    Makes me want oysters.