Sure, Thanksgiving is a time for gathering ’round the family table, but who says it has to be yours? Instead of spending hours slaving in a hot kitchen, there are plenty of eat-out, pick-up and “who has to know you didn’t make it?” options throughout Sonoma County.
This year, celebrate turkey day in a new way. Just remember to get a doggy bag for those post-Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing cravings. Here are some of our favorite spots throughout Sonoma County.
Stark’s Steakhouse & Seafood: Roast turkey, Chef Mark’s andouille sausage and blue cheese stuffing, traditional giblet gravy and pomegranate-cranberry relish, $26. Also offering dessert specials, pumpkin pie and Mamma Janne’s cream cheese pie. Most regular items available, including raw bar and seafood dishes, but the restaurant won’t be serving burgers or entrée Caesar salads on Thanksgiving day. 2-7pm, 521 Adams St, Santa Rosa. Reservations highly suggested: (707) 546-5100 or via Open Table.
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.
Cafe Europe: Four course diner, $39, from 1 to 6pm includes selection of mushroom ravioli, turkey, filet mignon, lamb loin and wild boar ragout. 104 Calistoga Road Santa Rosa, (707) 538-5255
John Ash and Co.: Three-course holiday menu includes porcini mushroom soup with black truffles, duck terrine, butternut squash ravioli, roasted turkey, cranberry brined pork tenderloin, spiced pumpkin creme brulee and an apple cheddar tart. $65pp, $35 kids under 12. Call for reservations. 350 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa, (707) 527-7687.
Brasserie at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek: Three course dinner includes butternut squash soup, Dungeness crab cake, roasted turkey, salmon, flat iron steak, pumpkin cheesecake and apple cobbler ala mode. $42pp, 170 Railroad Street, Santa Rosa, (707) 284-1234.
Dry Creek Kitchen: Three course menu includes housemade charcuterie, sugar pie pumpkin soup, thyme-brined turkey, braised short ribs, steak frites, butternut squash ravioli, bourbon pecan pie. $65 per person. Served 2-7pm; 317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, (866) 458-7224
Cocina Latina: Thanksgiving Yucateca-style. Mateo Granados’ restaurant serves up Tacones with trout roe, Relleno Blanco de Pavo (Diestel Family Farm turkey with hard boiled egg centered embutido, white gravy “Mayan k’ol”, Soda Rock tomate frito and sea salt hand-made tortilla), traditional Thanksgiving turkey and sticky bun flan. $55 per person, serving 11:30am to 7:30 p.m. Reservations recommended, (707) 433-1520 or on Opentable.
Spoonbar: A casual four courses include scallion and cheddar biscuits, slow roasted turkey, bread pudding, ginger molasses glazed carrots, turkey and ham cassoulet, apple tarte tatin.. $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 Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Turkey with chestnuts, “Square Pig” (pork confit with brioche dressing and Blue lake beans), dayboat scallops, pumpkin or pecan pie. Thanksgiving dinner will be served on Thursday, November 22 for $65 per person and $35 for children. 1325 Broadway St., Sonoma,(707) 935-6600.
girl and the fig: Four course menu including fig and arugula salad, roasted squash salad, roasted turkey roulade with cornbread stuffing, prime rib, wild mushroom ravioli and pumpkin cheesecake. $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.
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, lasagna Bolognese, grilled salmon, lamb, filet mignon and more from 1 to 8p.m., 800 Highway One, Bodega Bay, (707) 875-2669.
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.
G+G Market: Complete dinners will run you between $59 (for a 12 lb turkey) to $99 for a gourmet dinner that includes brandy-marinated cranberry sauce, a free range Willie Bird turkey and white truffle mashed potatoes. ORDERING DEADLINE IS MONDAY, Nov. 25. Santa Rosa 546-6877 , Petaluma 765-1198.