Thanksgiving means turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, at least to most people, and those seeking to enjoy the traditional feast without the work of shopping, preparation, serving or cleanup have many fine restaurants in the state from which to choose to hold their holiday repast. The establishments listed below also offer other options for those who prefer something besides the great roasted fowl which Founding Father Ben Franklin believed should be our national symbol. The last on the list offers something for those who want a restaurant meal, but who also want to play the host in the privacy and serenity of their own home.
53 Main St.
Kent, CT 06757
Price: $28 (approximate) for traditional turkey dinner
Halfway up Route 7 between Danbury and the Massachusett’s line lies the trendy little shopping town of Kent. Not far north of the Civil War monument on the Main Street sits the charming old Fife ‘n Drum, a favorite stopping point for travelers, tourists and locals for many years. Its cuisine is as old world and old school as its 93-year-old owner, “Piano Man” Dolph Traymon. He and his family offer a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all of the trimmings, from soup to stuffing to desert, for about $28 (although this may change slightly, notes his daughter, Elissa, who as of Columbus Day was still finalizing the holiday menu). For those diners who want something other than turkey, Elissa says there will be a limited menu of six other entrees, including a filet, chicken and fish dish, all available a la carte.
Related: Top Autumn Desserts In Connecticut
32 Water St.
Mystic, CT 06355
Price: $36 for three-course traditional turkey dinner
Award-winning chef Chaz Paul WILL be in the kitchen at Mystic’s Captain Daniel Packer Inne (with an “e”), Restaurant and Pub this Thanksgiving. There will be the traditional turkey dinner, complete with appetizer and desert, but also a number of other entrees. As of Columbus Day, the chef had not finalized the menu, but the front end promises that there will be at least one of the seafood dishes for which he is famous as well as a beef and a vegetarian main course. Duck and/or lamb may also be on the menu, adds the lady with the lilting voice who answers the telephone, depending upon how the “muse” inspires the chef who took first place in the First Annual Jonathan Edwards Winery’s Culinary Showdown in 2011 (and came in a close second this year).
118 Woodbury Road (Route 47)
Washington, CT 06793
Price: $85 per adult ($39 per child) for a three-course traditional meal
How more traditional can one get than to have Thanksgiving at a restaurant named for the vessel that brought those who attended the first feast of that name across the ocean to these shores nearly 400 years ago? The Mayflower Inn offers a sumptuous repast that would give a pilgrim pause in a setting as elegant as that of any noble in the homeland from which they fled – and at a price that might make some choke. So what makes the Mayflower Inn’s traditional three-course Thanksgiving turkey dinner worth $85 per adult (and nearly half that for a child)? Assistant Manager Aaron Okarmus says it is all about “quality” – “quality of food, quality of service.” This is “not some scoop and serve” made-the-day-before meal, he explains, “this is all made to order” and with ingredients so excellent that it is “hard to find anything like this around here.”
Monterrey Mexican Restaurant
170 Riverside Ave.
Bristol, CT 06010
Price: Entrees $10-$15
Not everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving is of pilgrim stock. For those in Connecticut seeking something a little more south-of-the-border (and not the border with the Empire State), the Monterrey in Bristol will be open for business. Xavier says his mother and father will probably have something special involving turkey on the menu, but for those who want a Mexican-themed holiday meal, there are chimichangas, quesadillas, fajitas and chalufan (chicken-fried rice with steak or shrimp) aplenty – as well as several varieties of “pollo” (chicken) for those who want something at least related to but not quite a turkey.
928 Hopmeadow St.
Simsbury, CT 06070
Price: See the menu here
Want the taste of a top-chef Thanksgiving while in the comfort of your own home (and with someone else doing most of the work)? Metro Bis’ Christopher Prosperi, the king or at least a leading contender to the crown among Connecticut’s tasting-menu royals, will prepare, season and provide the stuffing for a ready-for-the-oven turkey of up to 24 pounds from to $52, depending on the size. Sides and even cooked turkey are available a la carte, but for $12.25 per person he will provide quite literally “all of the sides.” These include butternut squash and cider soup, chive and cheddar whipped potatoes, cranberry walnut stuffing, roasted carrots and parsnips, baby greens with balsamic vinaigrette, broccoli casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, turkey gravy and of course, pumpkin pie. Metro Bis may not be open Thanksgiving Day, but with this cornucopia that can be pre-ordered and picked up on Wednesday, you and your guests will feast on the best of restaurant fare while enjoying the warmth of your own home and hearth.