Thanksgiving Plated Meals with a Tablecloth for about $30 – $40

There’s a lot to be said for a traditional, home-cooked family dinner. But there are also plenty of reasons to choose a nice restaurant for your Thanksgiving meal.

  • Sometimes, a restaurant meal tastes better than your own cooking! Plus, you don’t have to shop, cook or clean up (we’re talking many hours of work).
  • You’re part of a couple or small family, and cooking a whole turkey isn’t practical.
  • There is usually plenty of parking and people tend to show up on time when they know you have a set reservation.
  • Everybody dresses up and you get to take great family photos!
  • It gives you more time to relax, have fun and spend quality time with family and friends.
  • People tend to be on their best behavior in public — fewer family squabbles, less drinking.
  • It’s virtually impossible for people to slip off and watch football before spending an hour together.
  • Nobody has to sit on a folding chair or at the card table!

Here are some options to consider. Keep in mind that most restaurants recommend or require reservations on Thanksgiving Day.

  • Clyde’s about $30 – $40, offers a plated dinner of turkey and sides of decent quality. Desserts usually run about $6 or $8. Lovely atmosphere at their multiple locations; I am partial to Reston and Mark Center-Alexandria restaurants.
  • Ruth Chris Steakhouse (Vienna location in Tysons Corner), $41.95, three-course, prix-fixe meal served between 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., by reservation only. The meal takes out the guess work because there are only a few tasty choices. The first course is your choice of Caesar salad, Louisiana gumbo or steakhouse salad, followed by an entree of roast turkey with sausage stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce and your choice of one side only — garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, green beans or sweet potato casserole. Maybe your party can all choose different sides and share. The dessert is pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream. It sounds delicious! Beverage is not included. Ruth Chris has a dress code.
  • The Fireside Chophouse in Williamsburg is a nice option if you are visiting Williamsburg for the weekend. I seem to remember their 3-course meal was about $30 and it started with a delicious mushroom soup. The food is average but the price is good for a tablecloth restaurant. It was better than my cooking and I was happy with it. Check out the Christmas Mouse after dinner, which is open Thanksgiving evening.

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