Restaurants To Visit On Thanksgiving

Hoping For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving? Start By Ditching The Kitchen And Dine Out Instead

Thanksgiving has long been known as a holiday meant to be spent at home, gobbling turkey and stuffing yourself with—well, stuffing—at the dinner table while giving thanks for being with the loving company of family and friends. There are some downsides to celebrating at home though, such as the added stress from shopping for different courses, the hours of prep and cooking, and lastly, that dreaded cleanup after the big meal. But don’t let the spoils of the holiday get you down. Some Coastal Virginia restaurants are staying open this Thanksgiving with some downright delicious dishes that will provide the comforting tradition of the holiday—minus the stress. Now that’s something to give thanks for.


Waypoint Seafood & Grill

Waypoint is making this year’s meal most memorable with a three-course Chesapeake Bay rendition on Thanksgiving classics. Delve into a seafood frenzy beginning with Jumbo Lump Crab Tian, Seared Diver Scallops or Roasted Tomato Crab & Jalapeno Bisque before being capped off with a main course of Seared Chesapeake Rockfish & Jumbo Lump Crab—it’s certainly a catch. Waypoint’s holiday helpings also stay true to tradition with twists on classics, such as their Sweet Potato Velouté, Autumn Garden Salad and Roasted Herb Rubbed Black Heritage Turkey. All of which surmount with a sweet ending of Chef Melissa’s Harvest Sampler indulging in portions of harvest spice mousse, sweet potato pound cake, apple fritter and pecan shortbread. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 1480 Quarterpath Rd., Williamsburg. Reservations required, call 757-220-2228.


Swan Terrace Grill at The Founders Inn and Spa

The table is bountifully set with two extravagant and extraordinary lunch and dinner buffets in the lavish Virginia Ballroom and the Swan Terrace Grill. The traditional Founders Thanksgiving Day Buffet delightfully dishes out a forthcoming of turkey, ham, roasted steamship beef, aged cuts of prime rib with seasonally and locally grown fruits and vegetables, salad and pastries made in-house for dessert. Dinner will feature a ravishing turkey dressed with trimmings, sensibly and skillfully prepared by the culinary talents at The Founders Inn and Spa. The family affair will have an arrangement of fun activities planned throughout the day for adults and kids alike, from arts and crafts to face painting, a balloon artist, petting zoo and live music. Thanksgiving Day Buffet adults $49.50. Children 5–12 years $24.95. Children 4 years and under free. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Thanksgiving Evening Dinner Buffet adults $26.95. Children 5–12 years $12.95. Children 4 and under free. 5–8 p.m. Reservations required; call 757-366-5777. 5641 Indian River Rd., Virginia Beach.


The Spirit of Norfolk

Feast your eyes on striking views of the Elizabeth River and Downtown Norfolk while feasting on a Thanksgiving lunch buffet aboard The Spirit of Norfolk. Bring the entire crew for this 2 1/2-hour outing on the water with a generous giving of holiday favorites like roasted tom turkey with cranberry orange sauce and homemade gravy, baked macaroni and cheese, crispy green bean casserole, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and rustic herb stuffing with a smidgen of rosemary. When it comes to dessert there’s plenty to showboat about on the boat, especially with the caramel apple bread pudding and vanilla bean mousse smothered in raspberry sauce. Live entertainment and music from a DJ with a dance floor and interactive games keep the cruise moving down the river. Adult price beginning at $54.90. Children ages 3–12 $40.95. Book online. 12:30–3:30 p.m. Cruise departs from Otter Berth at Town Point Park, Norfolk.


Colonial Williamsburg

The ’burg becomes the bearer of good tidings and tastings on the fourth Thursday in November as several of its colonial-era establishments offer celebratory meals of historic proportions. Dine like the original settlers with turkey dinners in the rustic and cozy ambiances of the taverns of Shields, Chowning’s, Campbell’s or King’s Arms, all within walking distance of each other. Each will have multiple courses with starters, entrées and dessert, while King’s Arms Tavern will additionally have 18th century-style music and other harmonious tunes for the holiday season. For Thanksgiving in a more modern but still majestic setting, the Williamsburg Inn will host a daytime buffet in their Grand Regency Room, while the Williamsburg Lodge will provide their own midday feast. Both venues will have chef stations, live entertainment and beverages to purchase. Prices, times and locations vary. Purchase tickets online.


The Butcher’s Son

The popular steakhouse opens its doors this Thanksgiving with an at-home feel while sparing you the extra elbow grease you’d have to put into cleaning the pots and pans in your own kitchen. Known for their jazzy atmosphere and, dare we say, highbrow selection of steaks, The Butcher’s Son brings out the best of the holiday with an afternoon buffet. The lunch will center around its carving station with turkey, ham and sirloin complemented with horseradish sauce, cranberry, grain mustard and gravy. Signature Thanksgiving and Southern-inspired sides—sweet potato casserole, corn pudding and collard greens—also find their way into the meal. Save room for dessert, as the chophouse will be whipping up pecan pie, pumpkin pie, apple pie, chocolate cake and cherry cobbler. Adults $35. Children 12 and under $15. Noon–5 p.m. Reservations required; call 757-410-5466 (Chesapeake) and 757-500-7550 (Virginia Beach). 500 Battlefield Blvd. S, Chesapeake. 1556 Laskin Rd. #134, Virginia Beach.


The Chamberlin

Thanksgiving gets a nice touch of Virginian grandeur at The Chamberlin in Fort Monroe, with its chandelier ballrooms, ornately set dining room tables and elaborate views of blue waters on the James River and Chesapeake Bay. The halls of this former hotel converted to retirement community date back to the 1920s and still hold their splendor for the banquet of foods spread out between the salad and seafood bars, chef’s table and carving stations. Harvest meets harbor with elegant eats such as the pumpkin and crab bisque with Old Bay croutons, James River oysters on the half shell, house-made gravlax, shrimp and crab stuffed flounder, slow roasted beef brisket, Virginia country ham and slow roasted turkey. Conclude with dashing dessert platters like the sweet potato pie, pecan pie and pumpkin swirl cheesecake. $45. 11 a.m.­–3 p.m. Reservations required, call 757-637-7200. 2 Fenwick Rd., Hampton.

pumpkin, Thanksgiving restaurants to visit

Le Yaca

Flamboyant French foods in lieu of the formal Thanksgiving entrées take their place at the table at Le Yaca, pleasing the gourmand with a three-course meal made with zeal. Relish with your choice of the Soupe du jour cream of butternut squash with Andouille sausage or the signature mountain-style Soupe à l’Oignon puréed French onion soup while proceeding to a refined main course of Duo d’Agneau, a grilled lamb loin and roasted rack of lamb or La Dinde Rôtie, a roasted traditional free range turkey. A trifecta of decorous desserts follow for a finale of Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée, Trio de Sorbets with passion fruit, raspberry, lemon and fresh berries and William Pear Tart paired with caramel ice cream. Add an appeasing appetizer of Les Escargots or La Crêpe au Crabe for an additional cost. Bon appétit! Adults $60. Children 12 and younger $25. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Reservations recommended, call 757-500-4773 (Virginia Beach) and 757-220-3616 (Williamsburg). 741 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach. 1430 High St., Williamsburg.


Schlesinger’s Steakhouse

Rising to the holiday occasion by keeping its cooks in the kitchen and quashing any preconceived notions that Thanksgiving is a toilsome day of meal preparation at your own dwelling, Schlesinger’s invites your family for an expansive buffet at the City Center steakhouse. From the restaurateur who has brought Opus 9 and Craft 31 to Coastal Virginia, Schlesinger’s adapts the conventional menu for a superb assortments of salads, fine cuts from the carving station and a splurge of sweet endings. Lead off with imported Italian cheeses, baby spinach salad with raspberry bacon vinaigrette with prosciutto and grilled pears and shaved parmesan chilled baby shrimp with peaches before a segue into Schlesinger’s oven roasted prime rib au jus or horseradish Cream, slow roasted turkey with warm cranberry-apple relish or maple brown sugar and apple butter glazed ham. Finish with an endless array of desserts, from mini bourbon pecan pies to pumpkin cheesecake. Adults $38.95. Children 6–12 $15.95. Children 5 and under free. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. 1106 William Styron Square S., Newport News. 757-599-4700.


Opus 9 Steakhouse

Revered for its upscale aura and exuberant steaks, the opulent Opus 9’s Bountiful Thanksgiving Buffet is a sumptuous spread of savory sides, carving board cuts and delicate desserts. Swapping the T-bone for the wishbone, revel with some platters of roasted turkey with giblet gravy, Surry ham, their illustrious slow roasted prime rib with demi-glace or braised beef short ribs with red wine demi-glace and corn purée. Grab another plate for sensational sides of pimento mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet potato mash with caramelized marshmallows, oyster or traditional stuffing with sage and apples, green bean and wild mushroom casserole and deviled egg-style potato salad. Jubilant guests can treat themselves to luscious desserts of pecan pie, Apple Brown Betty, chocolate chip mousse and a fancy fondue fountain of chocolate. Adults $38.95. Children 6–12 $15.95. Children 5 and under free. 10 a.m.–8 p.m. 5143 Main St., Williamsburg. 757-645-4779.


Craft 31

Counting just the tap handles, there are already at least 31 reasons to leave your home and spend the day at Craft 31 on Thanksgiving, with a few more to boot with its three course holiday lunch and dinner. Pair your way through each epicurean serving with a craft beer complementing house or Caesar salad or butternut squash soup, a splendid roast turkey and giblet gravy and cranberry sauce with white or dark meat or in a combination, hearty prime rib or broiled flounder with crab and caper meunière. Pick a trio of à la carte sides consisting of whipped sweet potatoes, creamed corn, glazed carrots and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, among other beloved options. All ends with the alluring dessert choices of pumpkin cheesecake, apple cobbler and pecan pie, but not before a call for another round of stellar beers. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Reservations recommended, call 757-378-3268. 3701 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg.


The Trellis

With artfully plated foods sourced from the pasture and made with a pinch of panache, Thanksgiving is well spent at The Trellis along the promenades of the historic Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg. The chic chartreuse grill is a convivial setting centered on Chef David Everett’s Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, with a carefully composed entrée of oven roasted carved breast of turkey served with a savory dark meat brioche stuffing roll, sautéed green beans, turkey gravy, mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry relish and fresh hot bread from the artisanal Blackbird Bakery. Crafted cocktails and sugary confections follow the turkey dinner, with traditional pumpkin praline pie with sweet whip cream, southern pecan pie with homemade vanilla ice cream, a Trellis hot cider cocktail with spiced rum and toffee butter and Chef David Everett’s Holiday Eggnog for some irresistible after-supper spirits. 11 a.m.–8 p.m. 403 W. Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg.


Café Provençal

Distinguished as a cultivated yet casual dining experience at the esteemed Williamsburg Winery at Wessex Hundred, Café Provençal invites your family for a glamorous and nourishing Thanksgiving Day meal that is sure to be cherished. Owing to its influences of seasonally traced flavors and Founder Patrick Duffeler, Sr.’s culinary travels to Europe, the café’s rich holiday cuisine is a medley of Thanksgiving classics well paired with exquisite wines from the vineyard. First course fare features a choice of butternut squash bisque or endive salad, with delectable main course options of roasted ribeye and roasted game bird and an exceptional truffle stuffing, supplemented by pomegranate cranberry pecan sauce or roasted chicken veloute and accompaniments such as baked oysters with arugula and sautéed Brussels sprouts. For those with a flaring fondness for sweets, dessert consists of apple tartlet with cheddar tuile and vanilla-truffle gelato and pumpkin cake with caramelized cinnamon ice cream. $68. Sommeliers’ Wine Pairing an additional $30. Noon–3 p.m. Reservations required, call 757-258-0899 ext. 192. 5810 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg.


Thanksgiving dessert, restaurants to visit on Thanksgiving


Unwind this Thanksgiving at City Center at Oyster Point with a festive fusion of bodacious Brazilian churrasco served sizzling and skewered alongside tender turkey, enticing sides and indulgent helpings of dessert. Renowned by locals for its comfortable dining and prime location, the steakhouse takes a twist on holiday norms for more exotic dishes while spicing things up in a new tradition. A special Tucanos Thanksgiving menu joins a culinary carnival of South American foods, with a plentiful selection of all-you-can-eat sirloin cuts, sugar-glazed ham, spicy barbecue and baked, fried and grilled turkey. Try some tasty and tempting sides, such as mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, seasoned stuffing, classic candied yams, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole. Chocolate cake and pumpkin pie make for a flavorful finish. Adults $29.95. Children ages 7–12 $11.95. Children 7 and under free. 11–8 p.m. Reservations required, call 757-597-9500. 11820 Fountain Way, Newport News.


The Pagoda

Known for its fabled past as the former Marine Observation Tower before it was enshrined with carefully crafted materials constructed in Taiwan, the Pagoda Restaurant and Tea House adds to its prestige with an impressive buffet this Thanksgiving. While its dining atmosphere is characterized by its Far East origins, the emblematic restaurant and tearoom provides an at-home feel during the holiday. The serene gardens and ornate dining rooms greet guests to a full serving of roasted turkey or baked ham. Enjoy traditional Thanksgiving sides such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and cranberry sauce as well as some signature standouts, including oyster cornbread dressing, sweet potato casserole and roasted Brussels sprouts. Satisfy your sweet tooth and cravings with an assortment of desserts completing your Thanksgiving feast. Adults $20. Children $12. 12:30–2:30 p.m. Reservations required, call 757-288-2881. 265 W. Tazewell St., Norfolk.

Ryan Miller
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