Great Thanksgiving Dinner Choices for Blue Ridge Foodies

Great Thanksgiving Dinner Choices for Blue Ridge Foodies

Thanksgiving Turkey at Magnolias at the MillSo much has changed since last Thanksgiving. Restaurants are re-opening for traditional buffets and sit down holiday meals. Meanwhile, diners are still exploring options to take the stress out of the kitchen and elevate the menu.  Here are some great Thanksgiving dinner choices for Blue Ridge “foodies”. Whether it’s a full “grab and go” meal already prepared, some support with side dishes, or spoiling yourself with a feast at a local restaurant, we’ve got you covered. And if you still feel like cooking, learn how to give a traditional side dish a twist and find out what you can do with that leftover bird.

Great Thanksgiving Dinner Choices

Are you ready to take a break from the kitchen? We’ve found six delicious Thanksgiving dinner choices. Leave the cooking to the talented chefs and make your reservations today.

#1 Located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, you’ll find two beautiful resorts with Thanksgiving day dining options. Over in Charles Town, there’s the Hillbrook Inn & Spa with their new Executive Chef Jan Van Haute. Chef Jan is offering locally sourced heritage dining in the form of a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. The star of the meal is a local, slow roasted turkey with sausage stuffing, winter vegetables, potato mousseline, and cranberries. Seatings are available at 2pm and 4pm. Cost is $100 per person for three courses and a decadent dessert plus taxes, gratuities, and beverages. 

#2 Another Thanksgiving alternative for Taste of Blue Ridge diners is The Bavarian Inn and Brewpub in Shepherdstown. The Bavarian’s German roots are honored on this special menu with a Spaetzle Sampler and Jaegerschnitzel, a veal cutlet with sherry-bacon mushroom cream, spaetzle noodles, and red cabbage. You’ll also find turkey, filet mignon, leg of lamb, salmon, crab cakes, and a vegetarian main course option. The menu is available from 11am to 7:30pm. Cost is $65/adult plus tax and gratuity.

Traditional Buffet, Elevated Locally Sourced, and an Incredible Appetizer Bar

These great Thanksgiving dinner choices are sure to satisfy, whether you’re hungering for a traditional buffet, looking for locally sourced, or hankering to take on a mile of appetizers!

#3 Are you ready for the return of the Thanksgiving buffet? Then make reservations with George’s Food & Spirits at the George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester, VA. Seatings are 11:30am-3pm. The buffet includes a carvery of turkey, prime rib, and pork tenderloin, a wide assortment of farm and garden offerings, and a spread of delicious baked goods and pastries. Adults $54.95; children under 12 $18.95; children under 5 are FREE. 

Patowmack Farm sign# 4 Come feast at one of America’s first “farm to fork” fine dining establishments at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, VA. Chef Vincent Badiee offers a combination of innovative and traditional dishes served family style at your own table. Seatings are at 12:30, 1:00, 3:30 and 4:00pm. $110/adult plus tax and gratuity; children 5-9 $40.

Editor’s Note:  The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm is the location for Root to Table’s “4 Sensational Chefs, 1 Stellar Meal” on December 5th. Tickets are going fast, so RSVP for a fantastic feast prepared by four great culinary friends.

#5 Another amazing locally sourced Thanksgiving menu can be found at Hunter’s Head Tavern in Upperville, VA. For $65 per person, enjoy salad, gnocchi, or roasted fall mushroom soup, then your choice of Ayrshire Farm turkey, mushroom risotto or Ayrshire Farm smoked ham from Chef Lawrence Kocurek. Top off your feast with a dessert of pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate tart. Make your reservations online.

#6 Mike Ritenour of the Campfire Grill at Massanutten Resort was awarded Chef of the Year in 2020 by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Tourism Association. If you’re in the Harrisonburg area, delve into the appetizer bar of meats & cheeses, two kinds of bisque, Caesar salad, marinated grilled veggies & olives, and locally sourced ground Angus meat pies. Then enjoy your choice of two sides, entree and dessert. Only $45 plus tax and gratuity from noon to 9pm Thanksgiving day at this resort restaurant. There’s also a $24 Blue Ridge Buffet from noon to 7pm. And Massanutten is offering Thanksgiving grab ‘n’ go as well (more on that later).

Grab ‘n’ Go for Thanksgiving Dinner at Home

With a catering menu that’s farm driven, Chef Erik Foxx Nettnin of The Polished Foxx is offering Thanksgiving hosts relief in the kitchen. Buy just the bird, the sides and desserts only, or order a full meal for 6 for $325 with easy to follow cooking instructions. Pick up as early as two days before Thanksgiving at Chefscape in Leesburg, VA.

If you’re out in the Winchester area and looking for Thanksgiving dinner convenience, place your order NOW (by Friday, 11/12) with West Oaks Farm Market. They’re offering a home cooked traditional Thanksgiving meal for four available for pickup on Wednesday, 11/24, for just $100. There are only 100 meals available, so call (540) 539-8175 to place your order. And remember, oysters “R” in season and West Oaks has been getting them. Stop by this community store for the latest in locally sourced goodness.

More Thanksgiving Convenience: Massanutten Resort is also offering grab ‘n’ go Thanksgiving with in-house caterers Shenandoah Provisions. Place your order by November 23rd. And Ayrshire Farm (protein provider for Hunter’s Head Tavern) has organic, pasture rasied turkeys for the home chef. Two sizes are available (under & over 20 lbs.) Call (540) 592-7018 to reserve yours and pick up your turkey at the Upperville farm.

Chef Erik Foxx-NettninA Tasty Side Dish from Chef Erik

Feeling adventurous and ready to put a new spin on a Thanksgiving staple? Then give this tasty recipe for candied yams from Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin of The Polished Foxx a go.

Candied Bourbon Yams

3 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and diced into 1 – 1-½” pieces

5 Tbsp melted butter

⅔ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ apple cider

2-3 Tbsp bourbon

½ Tsp Kosher salt

1 Tsp ground cinnamon

¼ Tsp ground ginger

⅛ – ¼ Tsp ground nutmeg

Optional spices: pinch or ground cloves and/or yellow curry

Directions: Peel and dice potatoes, then add to baking dish. Combine melted butter, sugar, cider, spices and bourbon. Pour over potatoes and toss to cover them. Bake until tender and caramelized.

What to Do With All That Turkey?

If you go with the big bird, you’ll probably have leftovers – another American tradition. Fix a great open-faced sandwich with turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Try your hand at making a turkey and pasta casserole or a spicy turkey baguette pizza. Or grind up that leftover meat for delicious chili to carry you through the weekend. You’ll find lots of great recipes here.  Or try this one from Executive Chef Bill Welsch of Salamander Resort for turkey pot pie.

Turkey Pot Pie

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1.5 lb – Leftover Turkey Thigh, Pulled

6 oz – Fresh English Peas

6 oz – Carrots, Diced

4 oz – Celery, Diced

4 oz – Sweet Onions, Diced

2 T – Whole Butter

1 T – Fresh Sage, Sliced Thin

1 T – Fresh Rosemary, Chopped

2 c – Turkey or Chicken Stock

3 T – Flour

TT – Salt and Pepper, to taste

Top – Pie Dough sheet or your own dough recipe

  • Lightly brown the carrots in the butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat, then add the celery until browned, then the onions and lightly caramelize.
  • Add the flour and stir in well to prevent lumps, cook for about 1 minute.
  • Add the stock and stir well to combine, bringing to a boil.
  • At the point of the boil, remove from heat, stir in turkey, peas, and herbs.
  • Season before transferring into a casserole dish or pie dish.
  • Top with the dough and trim to fit the dish, lightly brushing the top with butter.
  • Bake at 350* until the top is browned and edges are bubbly.

Whether you cook at home, grab and go, or treat yourself to a special meal at a local restaurant, remember to give thanks for a safe, healthy holiday.

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