This time of year I get a lot of questions about what to eat at Thanksgiving in Sonoma County. IF you’re not eating at home. Which I highly recommend.
See, several years ago, my family decided we were done with cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
The gals spent days shopping, cooking and toiling away, ending up exhausted and definitely NOT in the holiday mood by supper time on the day of thanks. It’s a personal choice, but one that’s resulted in a lot more family harmony and time spent truly together (and more energy for Black Friday) rather than a bunch of pooped out, grumpy kitchen staff.
We still bake a few pies and make some traditional additions to the meal, but we all agree it was one of the best decisions we ever made.
So, in that spirit, here are some great local picks for Thanksgiving in Sonoma County, should you decide to let someone else do the cooking. From restaurants to entire meals ready for pick-up, it might just be your family’s kitchen staff (usually mom) who’s doing getting some thanks (and a well-needed break) this Thanksgiving.
Keep in mind that most require reservations, so don’t delay.
TOP PICK: Sauced Smoked Turkey Thanksgiving, $199
This Petaluma barbecue spot that’s been getting some good buzz has a terrific way to Southern-up your holiday feast: A smoked turkey Thanksgiving. Feed up to 8 with a 14-16 pound smoked turkey, cornbread, mac and cheese, squash casserole, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin banana pudding and chipotle cranberry sauce. Brilliant. Order online. Sauced Petaluma, 151 Petaluma Blvd. South, #129, Petaluma.
Willie Bird’s Restaurant: Family-favorite serving up local Willie Birds. Full holiday turkey dinner along with other menu items. Reservations required and most are nailed down well in advance, but some walk-ins accepted. Open until 8pm. 1150 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa, (707) 542-0861. Can’t get in for Thanksgiving: Grab a turkey Monte Cristo on Black Friday.
John Ash and Co.: Three-course holiday menu includes acorn squash soup, brown butter pumpkin gnocchi, roasted turkey, grilled filet of dry aged angus beef, harvest pumpkin tart and caramel apple bread pudding. $65 per adult, $35 kids under 12. Call for reservations. 350 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa, (707) 527-7687.
Dry Creek Kitchen: Three course menu includes mushroom risotto, butternut squash soup, classic BN ranch turkey, truffle quinoa and apple millefeuille. $65 per person, $25 for children under 12. Served 2-7pm; 317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, (866) 458-7224
Cocina Latina: Thanksgiving Yucateca-style. Mateo Granados’ restaurant serves up a three course meal including Pear salad, Relleno Blanco de Pavo (Diestel Family Farm turkey with hard boiled egg centered embutido), “Cochinita Pibil” (Roasted Ritual Farm Suckling Pig) and sticky bun flan. $60 per person, $20 children under 12. Serving 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Reservations recommended, (707) 433-1520 or on Opentable.
Spoonbar: A casual four courses include scallion bisquits, slow roasted turkey, bread pudding, roasted scallop with brussel sprouts and passion fruit consommé. $60 for adults and $25 for children. 219 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, (707) 922-5426.
Carneros Bistro and Bar at Lodge at Sonoma: Chef Andrew Wilson prepares a three-course menu of Cauliflower, Pear and Fennel Soup, Turkey a la Brasa, Cider-Glazed Slow Roasted Pork Loin, Red Skinned Truffle Mash Potatoes, pumpkin and pecan pie. Thanksgiving dinner will be served on Thursday, November 22 for $65 per person and $25 for children. 1325 Broadway St., Sonoma,(707) 935-6600.
girl and the fig: Four course menu including fig and arugula salad, roasted squash salad, pan-seared turkey breast with confit stuffing, black pepper pasta, sautéed flounder and profiteroles. $57 per person. 110 West Spain St., Sonoma, (707) 938-3634.
Depot Hotel: Four courses at a favorite Sonoma bistro features corn chowder, roast turkey with sage stuffing. Other entrees: poached salmon, orecchiette pasta with butternut squash, veal picatta or beef shortribs. Cheesecake, pumpkin pie or chocolate decadence with mango sauce. $37 $45pp, seatings from noon to 7pm; 241 First St., West, Sonoma, (707) 938-2980.
La Gare: This year La Gare will be open on Thanksgiving from 3 – 8 p.m. Prix fixe menu includes choice of four entrees: traditional oven-roasted turkey feast, Angus Prime Rib, Wild Alaskan Salmon or Eggplant Parmesan with Butternut Squash, Ravioli with brown butter and, crispy sage (vegetarian). $35-$45pp, includes soup, salad, dessert. Call 707-528-4355 for reservations. 208 Wilson St., Santa Rosa.
Farmhouse Inn: Three course meal with wine pairing, $179 +20%+tax. 7871 River Rd., Forestville.
Pullman Kitchen: Menu includes: Maple Brined Turkey, Sourdough Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Fennel, & more. $30/person. Seating at 2, 4 & 6pm. 205 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.
Sante: An epic Thanksgiving buffet that puts all other buffets to shame. The highlight reel: Butternut squash with creme fraiche, shrimp cocktail, assorted charcuteries, artisan cheeses served by the Maitre Fromager, smoked salmon and caviar, classic Caesar, ricotta tortellini salad. Carving stations of Diestel turkey with brioche and sage stuffing, filet mignon, but wait there’s more…pumpkin ravioli, sea bass, lamb, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, artisan breads, pumpkin pie, chocolate Bourbon tart, pumpkin cheesecake, cherry macaroons, pear and ginger financier, gingerbread and so much more. $99pp, (707) 939-2415.
Inn at the Tides: Bay View Restaurant features a feast of roasted turkey, pumpkin ravioli, Grilled Tenderloin of Beef, Stuffed Sole, Plymouth Clam Pie and more from 1 to 8p.m., 800 Highway One, Bodega Bay, (707) 875-2669.
Petaluma Central Market: Always a favorite in Petaluma, Chef Ton Najiola celebrates his annual Thanksgiving dinner with four luscious courses. $60pp, $84 with wine. Kids under 12, $20. 42 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma, (707) 778-9900.
Pick It Up
Thanksgiving by Whole Foods: Recently I saw a chef literally cringe when he heard the words .99 cents per pound and turkey. People, even though you’re only eating it once a year, have enough respect for your taste buds (if not the turkey) to commit to something that’s humanely-raised, organic (if possible) and for heaven’s sake tastes good. I’m a huge fan of Diestel turkeys, raised in Sonora. They taste delicious, especially when someone else roasts them to perfection and your only job is to reheat it on Thanksgiving morning. Along with pre-cooked (and non-precooked) turkey, they have gravy (sans lumps), sides, pies, and other desserts in a mix-and-match combination you can order online. Details at the Whole Foods website.
OLIVER’S: At Oliver’s market, you can order the whole Thanksgiving dinner for $109.99. It includes Medium Diestel Turkey (10-12 lbs), Traditional Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes with Chives, Vegetable Medley, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey Gravy, Pull-a-Part Rolls to feed 6-8 people. Store open 7a.m. to 4p.m.
G+G Market: Complete dinners will run you between $79.99 (for a 12 lb turkey) to $129.99 for a gourmet dinner that includes brandy-marinated cranberry sauce, a free range Willie Bird turkey and white truffle mashed potatoes. Santa Rosa 546-6877 , Petaluma 765-1198.
Get your local geese and turkeys (details at farmtrails.org)
- Green Goose Farm- Petaluma
- Olufs Ranches- Windsor
- Open Field Farm- Petaluma
- Tara Firma Farms/Victorian Farmstead Meat Co.- Sebastopol
- Willie Bird Turkeys- Sebastopol