Eating Out on Turkey Day
For most families, Thanksgiving dinner is traditionally an “at home” affair. But for a growing number of people, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to visit one of the High Country’s fine restaurants for that special holiday meal.
And, because of the high volume of visitors spending their Thanksgiving weekends in the High Country on Christmas tree-picking excursions, more and more restaurants are open on this holiday.
A lot of High Country residents also opt to eat out on Thanksgiving. Less time spent cooking and washing dishes can be converted into spending more time with loved ones.
Of course, eating out means you probably won’t be enjoying leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches over the weekend.
It might seem to be premature to choose a restaurant two weeks before Turkey Day, but reservations are now being taken, and, at least, one restaurant, Timberlake’s at Chetola, is already sold out for that evening’s service.
Here’s a quick guide to your dining out options for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 22.
1861 Farmhouse Restaurant and Winery in Valle Crucis will have dinner seatings at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. The menu includes roasted turkey and cornbread stuffing, orange cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, corn pudding, green beans and dinner rolls. Desserts include pecan pie, pumpkin pie and blackberry pound cake. The cost is $29.95 for adults and $8.95 for children. Call (828) 963-6301. Additionally, the 1861 Farmhouse Market, located at the former site of the Ham Shoppe, is offering catered dinners including turkey, spiral ham, side dishes and apple cider that can be picked up on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Call (828) 963-6310.
The Best Cellar in Blowing Rock will be open from 1 to 5 p.m., serving a menu that consists of select items off of the regular menu, plus a Thanksgiving dinner option that includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, choice of vegetable, cranberry chutney, house salad, rolls and tea. The cost for the traditional dinner is $25.95. A children’s menu will be available for around $9 per dinner. Reservations are suggested. Call (828) 295-3466.
The Boone Bagelry will be open for breakfast, brunch or early lunch from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving, offering its regular menu. Call (828) 262-5585.
Char on Howard Street in Boone will be open from 1 to 7 p.m. and will offer both traditional Thanksgiving dinner options and other three-course dinner options from a limited menu, including entrees made to order. Prices vary. Call (828) 266-2179.
Crippen’s Country Inn and Restaurant on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock will be open from noon until 8 p.m. The restaurant is offering its regular menu, plus a special dinner that day consisting of roasted turkey and all of your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes for $29 for adults and $14 for children. Pumpkin pie will be added to the list of Crippen’s mouthwatering desserts. Call (828) 295-3487.
The Dan’l Boone Inn in Boone will be open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. with a traditional Thanksgiving Day menu that includes turkey, stuffing, country-style steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry relish, stewed apples, cut corn, biscuits and country ham biscuits, pumpkin pie and strawberry short cake. Dinner costs $16.95 for adults, $9.95 for children ages 9 to 11, $7.95 for children 6 to 8, $5.95 for children 4 to 5, and free for children 3 and younger. Reservations can be made for parties of 15 or more people. Call (828) 264-8657.
The Gamekeeper Restaurant on Shulls Mill Road will serve Thanksgiving Dinner from 2 to 8 p.m. Dinners are $75 per person with $25 turkey dinners available for children. The four-course menu includes butternut squash bisque with maple-ginger whipped cream, mixed organic lettuces with dried fruit, vanilla-honey-herb vinaigrette, crumbled Maytag blue cheese and spiced pecans; entrees including filet mignon, trout with lump crab stuffing, venison stew and turkey, all served with delicious side dishes. Desserts include chocolate cake, pumpkin cheesecake and apple pastry. Call (828) 963-7400.
The Laurel Room at the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock will host a Thanksgiving buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The menu, subject to change, will include seasonal soup, mixed baby green salad, North Carolina heritage turkey with giblet gravy, roast beef, honey-cured spiral ham, poached salmon, shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce, mixed root vegetables, mashed Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potato casserole, dressing (stuffing), cranberry relish, green beans, peas with pearl onions, steamed broccoli, and fresh homemade bread and rolls. Dessert will consist of apple, pecan and pumpkin pies and chocolate layer cake. The buffet is $42.95 for adults, $27.50 for children 11 to 15, and $19.95 for children 10 and younger, plus tax and 20-percent gratuity. Call (828) 414-9230.
The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis presents “A Tale of Three Turkeys and One Ham” with seatings at noon, 1:30, 3, 4:30, 6 and 7 p.m. The meal will consist of certified organic wild and free range turkey prepared three separate ways, organic heritage applewood-smoked bone-in ham, cranberry and pear chutney, corn pudding soufflé, traditional stuffing, baked North Carolina sweet potatoes, and ragout of sprouting Brussels in onion, sweet pepper and bacon. Desserts include traditional apple pie, Plymouth rocking pumpkin roll, silver lining chocolate cloud cake, mixed berry cobbler, gratitude cake and homemade caramel ice cream. The cost is $52.50 per person. Specially prepared meals are available for $65 per person. Call (828) 963-5857.
The Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock will host two seatings for Thanksgiving dinner: from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. Executive chef Guy Thomas and his staff will prepare a buffet-style dinner, featuring turkey and all of your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, plus seafood, hors d’oeuvres, home-baked pies and lavish food displays. The Amantha Mill Trio will provide live music for the event. The dinner costs $42 for adults, $17 for children ages 5 to 10 and free for children 4 and younger. Call (828) 295-4300.
The Mountain House at New Market Centre in Boone will offer a special Thanksgiving Day dinner from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The menu includes turkey and stuffing, baked ham with pineapple sauce, roast beef and gravy, deviled eggs, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, other vegetables, bread, pumpkin pie and tea or coffee. Call (828) 264-4680.
Rowland’s Restaurant at Westglow Resort and Spa in Blowing Rock will serve Thanksgiving dinner from noon to 6 p.m. The menu includes herb-roasted turkey, honey-glazed Eden Farms ham, wild mushroom and sausage stuffing, smashed local potatoes with turkey gravy, house-made cranberry sauce, green beans, roasted North Carolina corn, butternut squash casserole, pumpkin pie and pecan pie. The dinner costs $45 per person, plus tax and 20-percent gratuity. Call (828) 295-5141.
Woodlands Barbecue and Pickin’ Parlor in Blowing Rock is offering smoked turkeys for sale that can be picked up on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. They will smoke other meats at your request. Call (828) 295-3395.
The list of High Country Restaurants that will be closed on Thanksgiving includes Sunrise Grill, Bandana’s Bar-B-Que & Grill, Casa Rustica, Joe’s Italian Kitchen, Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub, Canyons, Bistro Roca, Makoto’s Japanese Steakhouse, Pepper’s, the TAPP Room, Coyote Kitchen, Café Portofino, the TAPP Room, Tucker’s Café, Joy Bistro, Storie Street Grille, Papa Joe’s, Melanie’s Food Fantasy, Vidalia, Six Pence Pub, Proper, Red Onion Café and Woodlands Barbecue.
Several restaurants contacted for this article mentioned that the Friday after Thanksgiving, better known as Black Friday, is one of their busiest days of the year, and reservations may be required to be seated quickly.
Got restaurant news? Email editor Frank Ruggiero at (email@example.com) or call (828) 264-6397.