Would the pilgrims have ever guessed that one day Americans would buy their Thanksgiving turkey from a department store? Or that instead of making a meal from one's own harvest some 14 million people would just make reservations for Thanksgiving dinner?
The National Restaurant Association reports that between dining out and buying items for hosting a holiday meal, 30 million Americans will enlist the help of restaurants this Thanksgiving. If you're planning to let someone else do the cooking this holiday, be grateful that more than 100 DC-area restaurants are preparing a special feast.
Here are five we recommend:
1. 219 Restaurant - Alexandria. Va.
Even though you'll be dining out, it will feel like you're eating at home inside 219 Restaurant, a historic Victorian mansion built in 1890. Inside the formal Jackson Room, chef Ryan Ross will serve up a Thanksgiving prix fixe menu ($45 per person). After dinner, enjoy live blues in the lounge.
2. Charlie Palmer - Capitol Hill
With a view of the Capitol and a wine list featuring only United States vineyards, what's more American than a Charlie Palmer Thanksgiving? Enjoy organic, free-range turkey, venison, pumpkin ravioli and apple pie ($70 per person).
3. Plume - Downtown
Every day, and especially on Thanksgiving, the menu at Plume, located inside The Jefferson hotel, is inspired by the harvest at Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello. Kick off the holiday season by a roaring fire inside the swanky dining room and choose from a 5-course menu featuring maple-glazed turkey with chetsnut and apple stuffing ($89 per person).
4. Vintage 50 - Leesburg, Va.
For the feel of an old-fashion Thanksgiving, travel to historic Leesburg, Va, to dine at Vintage 50, one of the most popular new restaurants in Loudon County. Vintage 50 will serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal buffet-style ($36.99 per person). All dishes will feature local meat and vegetables. Kids under 10 eat for free.
5. Victoria's Gastro Pub - Columbia, Md.
Over the Beltway and through the 'burbs to Victoria's Gastro Pub you'll go. Along with traditional holiday offerings like glazed pork loin with bourbon mashed sweet potatoes, Victoria's will also serve up specialty cocktails like spiked spiced cider and pumpkin cheesecake martinis.