- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 9, 2004

SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The ghosts and goblins have all disappeared to await another Halloween, and now it’s turkey time. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the city’s restaurants are gearing up.

The Four Seasons Hotel (2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202/342-0444) will again express its thanks to the public servants of the community — police officers, firefighters, members of the National Guard, emergency medical technicians, the U.S. Park Service and hospital workers who will be working Thanksgiving Day — by hosting its annual Thanksgiving on the Mayflower. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., hotel senior managers will don traditional Pilgrim attire and serve Thanksgiving lunch from the Mayflower van in front of the hotel.

For everyone else, Four Seasons executive chef Douglas Anderson has created a special Thanksgiving Day brunch menu (10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.). The price is $78 for adults and $39 for children under 12. Children will be able to excuse themselves from the grown-up meal to enjoy a playhouse where they can snack on food and drink, play with games and toys, watch DVD movies, and have a good time.

Chef Brian McBride at Melrose in the Park Hyatt Hotel (1201 24th St. NW, 202/419-6799) offers Thanksgiving brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 6 to 10 p.m. Brunch includes appetizers, a choice from entrees such as roasted turkey breast, crab cakes, Belgian waffles with macadamia nuts, roasted beef tenderloin and line-caught rockfish. Dinner includes pheasant and black truffle dumplings with date and cumin puree or Petrossian smoked salmon with buttered brioche; a choice of salads; a main course such as turkey breast and chestnut-stuffed leg with chanterelles and sage and apple dressing; Maine lobster with chanterelles and pancetta; and thyme ragout or coriander-seasoned venison fillet. Stars among the desserts are a sticky pecan gingerbread with butterscotch ice cream and a pumpkin creme brulee. Brunch costs $65 ($30 for children under 12), and dinner is $80 ($40 for children).

Across 24th Street in Juniper at the Fairmont Hotel (202/429-2400, Ext. 164), executive chef Daryle Nagata is creating sumptuous Thanksgiving turkey dinners to go for 10 persons. The dinners include buttermilk-garlic mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes and other vegetables, cranberry jelly, and pumpkin or pecan pie for $175. Nov. 18 is the last day to place orders, which may be picked up in the driveway in front of the hotel Thanksgiving Day between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. For every turkey-to-go order, the Fairmont will donate 25 percent of the proceeds to Martha’s Table.

Charlie Palmer (101 Constitution Ave. NW, 202/547-8100) returns to the country’s roots this Thanksgiving and is offering a special prix fixe menu at $55 per person. Menu options range widely from curried cheese pumpkin soup with apple dumplings and oysters on the half shell to venison loin with sweet potato agnolotti and pheasant with butternut squash and roast turkey with the trimmings.

The Willard InterContinental (Pennsylvania Avenue and 14th Street NW, 202/637-7450) will have several Thanksgiving choices: the Willard Room will offer a five-course feast, priced at $78 for adults and $45 for children, with seatings from noon to 8 p.m.; a brunch in the Grand Ballroom for $65 per adult and $30 for children; and a “Turkey run” takeaway that includes a 10- or 12-pound turkey with cranberry sauce, four side dishes and a holiday pie. Prices are $144 for 6 persons or $158 for 8. Call 202/637-6120 to place orders.

For a Thanksgiving menu with southern Italian overtones, Maggiano’s Little Italy (5333 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202/966-5500) is offering a family style feast that, in addition to the traditional turkey and pumpkin pie, will include a bread stuffing made with focaccia, apple crostada, tiramisu and a selection of pastas. Prices are $29.95 for adults and $14.95 for children under 12. Maggiano’s carry-out Thanksgiving dinner ($19.95) includes a serving of carved turkey, cranberry relish, gravy and stuffing; orders must be made 72 hours in advance and picked up Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Another Italian-inspired Thanksgiving menu is offered at Sette Osteria (1666 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202/483-3070), where, for $25 per adult and $15 for children under 12, diners may enjoy pumpkin ravioli in butter-sage sauce; a salad of red beets, string beans, fennel and cranberry vinaigrette; roast turkey breast with stuffing; sweet potatoes; cabbage; mashed potatoes and pumpkin; and ricotta cheesecake.

Chef Geoff’s (3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, 202/237-7800) offers a four-course Thanksgiving menu for $39 for adults and $11 for children (turkey, mashed potatoes, asparagus and chocolate chip cookies). Adults choose among such first courses as sea scallops with sweet potato puree and duck confit with polenta cake; then a choice of several soups or salads; and third courses of turkey, braised veal, herb-crusted salmon or roast duck; and a selection of desserts. Chef Geoff’s downtown restaurant, on 13th between E and F streets, 202/464-4461, will have a similar menu at the same prices.

Chef Ris Lacoste at 1789 (1226 36th St. NW, 202/965-1789) will have a special $45 prix fixe menu with a choice of soup or salad, turkey with all the trimmings and a pie sampler. An a la carte menu is also available with such dishes as lobster tart, oyster and champagne stew, rack of lamb, and beef tenderloin.

The chef is featuring sweet little Nantucket Bay scallops on the menu this month until the scallop season closes in January. A special five-course scallop-tasting menu, priced at $65, incorporates the scallops into pumpkin ravioli, a vol-au-vent with apples, Calvados and porcini mushrooms, into a broth of coconut lemon grass and as a margarita combining lime marinated scallops with avocado, chilies, orange and tequila ice.

Bay scallops are also a specialty at the Oceanaire Seafood Room (1201 F St. NW, 202/347-2277). “They are as sweet as candy,” says Oceanaire chef Rob Klink. The restaurant flies them in daily.

At Tosca (1112 F St. NW, 202/367-1990), local farmers are uniting at 6:30 p.m. Monday to celebrate the third annual Farmland Feast, hosted by Tosca’s chef-owner Cesare Lanfranconi and Freshfarm Markets co-directors Ann Yonkers and Bernadine Price. The event benefits Freshfarm, a nonprofit organization aimed at protecting threatened farmland of the Chesapeake Bay region. The price of dinner is $150 per person, of which $100 is tax deductible.

At Firefly (1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW, 202/861-1310), chef John Wabeck is inviting diners to “come out and play” and enjoy a spectacular happy hour, also known as a “wine down.” From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, Mr. Wabeck offers small-batch wines that highlight different regions each day of the week. The kitchen opens at 5:30 p.m. for dinner, but guests can enjoy crisp oysters with chipotle tartar sauce, pork and cabbage spring rolls, deviled eggs, and truffled Parmesan fries with the wines.

Performances at Kennedy Center no longer limit the hours at the Roof Terrace Restaurant, where a menu of small plates, entrees, desserts and cocktails is available Thursday through Saturday up to half an hour after the last performance of the evening. The small plates include Hudson Valley foie gras, nori-crusted tuna and duck frisee salad; desserts offer mascarpone cheesecake, iced coconut souffle and other tempting fare.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, five Georgetown restaurants will offer three-course tasting menus available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for $30 — tax and tip not included. The 30 Days of $30 Menus will be available Nov. 26 to Dec. 24 at Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar, Filomena Ristorante, Sea Catch Restaurant & Raw Bar, Clyde’s of Georgetown and Mie N Yu.

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