3 Road Trips for Your Thanksgiving Celebration – The Berkshires, Hudson River Valley and Philadelphia

Cross the Border into Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts is just a short drive from New York. Hop on the Taconic Parkway and enjoy a winding, scenic drive to the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. You might even be tempted to book one of the historic inns in the regions and relax after your Thanksgiving indulgences.

It’s a time to be grateful, to say thanks, and give yourself a break by leaving the cooking to someone else. Here’s where to get your turkey fix at some of the Berkshires’ wonderful restaurants. Or, if you prefer, where you can get your dinner pre-prepared for takeout.

Book a room at a cozy inn like the Red Lion Inn, the Devonfield, or the Chambery so you can have a truly relaxing holiday.

The Red Lion Inn

Red Lion Inn

When I think of a traditional New England Thanksgiving in the Berkshires, The Red Lion Inn immediately comes to mind. The historic Stockbridge hotel is decked out for the holidays and it’s perfect for a family Thanksgiving get-together. The prix fixe menu is available continuously starting with lunch through dinner. Classic New England fare includes starters of butternut squash bisque, New England clam chowder, lobster Newburg or shrimp cocktail with the main feature being roast native turkey with cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, autumn vegetables, cranberry sauce, and sage gravy. If you really don’t want turkey, and it’s sort of a sin if you don’t order it, you do have other choices like slow-roasted prime rib with potatoes and veggies, cedar-roasted Faroe Islands salmon or a vegetarian grilled cauliflower steak. Trimmings adhere to New England tradition, however, with maple-glazed turnips, rainbow chard and rosemary popovers. You can probably guess what the desserts would be… but, if not, choose between apple pie or pumpkin pie a la mode. A children’s menu is also available.

Café Boulud at Blantyre

Café Boulud at Blantyre

If you feel like celebrating and getting out of the house, I suggest you book early for a table at Café Boulud at Blantyre with Michelin-starred Chef Boulud at the helm. Enjoy an American dinner with French panache in one of the Berkshire’s finest restaurants. The three-course menu is a luxe affair reflecting the best of the season. You’ll start with pumpkin soup, endive salad, Scottish sea trout gravlax or duck pâté, each served with a wide range of seasonal accompaniments. The main course continues the feast with a traditional Berkshire turkey with apple and chestnut stuffing, orange-cranberry relish and shallot-rosemary gravy. Non-turkey mains feature a vegetarian-pleasing mushroom and sage risotto, sautéed Nova Scotia halibut or filet mignon. Sides are New England traditional with sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, green beans and pureed potatoes, although the dessert finish feels a bit more international. There’s a traditional pumpkin pie, of course, but you could order instead apple tarte tatin, pecan crème or a decadent molten chocolate cake. Takeout is available too.

Bounti-Fare Restaurant

Bounti-Fare Restaurant

A favorite in the Northern Berkshires on the Adams/North Adams line, Bounti-Fare Restaurant offers you indoor or outdoor patio dining, or takeout for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The choices are just like your home-cooked meal would be, without the stress. You’ll start with butternut bisque or cream of tomato soup, with a bread basket. Then, the star of the meal is the restaurant’s sliced roast turkey breast with herb corn bread stuffing, a Massachusetts favorite, accompanied by pan giblet gravy and cranberry relish. If you’d prefer something other than turkey, you can choose roast sirloin or baked stuffed haddock. Vegetarians can opt for the roasted vegetable risotto. Sides are bountiful with smashed bliss potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole or bourbon-glazed baby carrots as options. And, true to New England tradition, dessert is pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie or pumpkin pie.

Guido’s Marketplace

Guido’s Marketplace

Guido’s Marketplace knows that you really don’t feel like cooking this year, so they’ve made it super easy for you to have a relaxing, traditional dinner. They’ve created what I think is the best Thanksgiving concept ever, something they call Guido’s Kitchen Completes. Here’s the deal – order, pay and pick up in their Pittsfield store. There’s no cooking involved and no need to dress up to go to a restaurant. Even easier, you simply heat up everything in the container that it comes in. What you get: roasted turkey breast, simple herbed stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, homestyle biscuits, holiday cranberry sauce, carrots and butternut squash. The only decision you’ll have to make is whether you want a pumpkin or apple pie. Personally, I’d pay extra and get both. This is the perfect Thanksgiving dinner in my book.

Mazzeo’s Ristorante

Mazzeo’s Ristorante in Pittsfield has also put together a complete feast for you to take home and heat up. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, you’ll have time to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and root for your favorite football team. The package is called Turkey to Go. And it’s traditional all the way with roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, butternut squash, glazed baby carrots, Brussels sprouts, home-made gravy, cranberry relish, rolls, and pumpkin or apple pie. Everything is home-made but you can take credit for it when you lay it out on your table at home.

New York’s Hudson River Valley

There’s no need to do the cooking on Thanksgiving. With inventive Thanksgiving dinner options like these, the glorious Hudson River Valley showcases the bountiful farms of the area. Book early and considering adding a stay in one of the area’s b and bs or historic inns like The Maker or Tiger House for a mini-vacation.

Terrapin Restaurant & Catering

Terrapin Restaurant & Catering

Terrapin Restaurant & Catering serves up local, organic cuisine in a former church turned restaurant in Rhinebeck. While the restaurant will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, you can count on Chef Josh Kroner to help add to your dinner spread. You make the turkey and then order from Terrapin’s extensive range of side dishes. Think golden nugget squash soup, vegetable terrine and cheddar mac & cheese, for example. You can add vegetarian stuffing and dessert faves pumpkin pie or apple tarts. The menu is staggering.

Great Performances

Great Performances

For more to-go deliciousness, culinary ambassador Georgette Farkas has teamed up with Great Performances to create an at-home Thanksgiving dinner that you’ll long remember. Farkas addresses the common Thanksgiving dilemma of assuring that both white and dark meat aficionados are satisfied by presenting carved breast meat and thigh stuffed and braised with herbs and spices with every serving of the main attraction turkey, along with umami-rich gravy and cranberry-citrus zest compote. The feast takes advantage of the bounty of local farms with sides showcasing produce from the company’s organic Katchkie Farm in dishes such as Yukon gold potato puree and orange roasted carrots. You can enhance your meal with starters like smoked trout spread and desserts including a Thanksgiving-appropriate bourbon pecan pie or pumpkin chiffon pie. Vegetarians are not forgotten – the vegan gluten-free delicata squash stuffed with butternut and chickpea risotto is pure Heaven. Pick-up is from the company’s Hudson Valley Farm in Kinderhook.

Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club

Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club

Michael Bruno’s, Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club, in Sloatsburg in the Lower Hudson Valley is offering outdoor dining for the holiday in a warm festive environment. For those not yet ready to dine indoors, the property’s outdoor restaurant, The Cantina, is where you’ll be seated under a roof with heaters to keep you toasty. You won’t need to worry about the weather as you enjoy a selection of traditional dishes highlighted by regional favorites. Start with a choice of garlicky roasted beet dip with hazelnuts or baked brie with wildflower honey and figs, and then move on to the turkey adorned with savory gravy. If you aren’t feeling the turkey vibe, you can choose mushroom lasagna or rosemary-braised leg of lamb. Sides are served family-style including delicata squash, sweet potato puree, charred Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and cornbread. Your most difficult decision will be whether to order the apple pie, pumpkin pie, maple bourbon pecan pie, or chocolate pot de crème for dessert.

The Maker

The Maker

Located in one of my favorite go-to escapes from Manhattan, Hudson, The Maker invites those with a Bohemian sensibility to enjoy the world of makers for Thanksgiving. Founders of global beauty line Fresh, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg invite you to the hotel, which features an exciting menu for Thanksgiving from Chef Michael Poiarkoff, a talented “maker.” For Thanksgiving, the café at The Maker offers a prix fixe Thanksgiving menu that veers from the norm with Thanksgiving usuals plus atypical dishes like Chef Michael’s roasted pumpkin pie with Vietnamese cinnamon or pecan pie with Catskill maple syrup and sea salt.

Bia

Bia

How about a little bit of the Emerald Isle with your American Thanksgiving? The Irish are very closely linked with the United States, especially with the city of Boston, so it makes sense for this Irish fare restaurant to offer a Thanksgiving feast. With a happy smattering of Irish whimsy, a takeaway Thanksgiving turkey is offered at Rhinebeck’s Bia along with other all-natural birds with an Irish-American selection of sides. Unusual to say the least, you can order Amazing Turkey and Irish whiskey gravy and truffled chicken liver mousse, for example, to accompany. I love the way they bill their delicious pies, Gooey Bourbon pumpkin pecan pie (perfect for those who can never decide between pumpkin or pecan) and the Incredible, Classic apple pie. Everything is par-cooked, so you just need to heat up and enjoy. Because it’s Irish, you know that you’ll be able to order a wide range of cocktails, beer and wine to go with your dinner. Sláinte.

Travel South to The City of Brotherly Love

There will be serious gratitude and thanks giving in Philadelphia this year. The City of Brotherly Love wants you to celebrate in style with delicious options that will get you out of kitchen and let you spend more time with your family. Here are some of the places to get your turkey fix either at a restaurant or at home. Book a room now at The Sofitel Philadelphia or The Bellevue for a bit of history and panache.

a.kitchen

a.kitchen

Chef Eli Collins will prepare his signature seasonal dishes for dine-in and takeout from this Rittenhouse Square bistro favorite. The prix fixe restaurant meal exemplifies Thanksgiving tradition with all the trimmings. Think turkey, country bread stuffing, cranberry relish, Brussels sprouts and sweet potato mash. Non-turkey lovers can choose striped bass or dry-aged steak instead, and a vegetarian option is also available. Desserts don’t deviate from tradition either at a.kitchen with crowd-pleasing apple pie, pumpkin squash pie and chocolate cake on the menu. A takeout package made up of choices from this menu gives you an add-on with a heat-up brined half or whole turkey if you feel you must do a little bit of cooking for your family on the holiday. A.kitchen’s sommelier can arrange a wine pairing in the restaurant or bottles of Domaine Paul Durdily Beaujolais Nouveau for your home dinner.

Fork

Fork

Old City’s Fork will be open for indoor and outdoor dining on Thanksgiving. Pre-payment is required for the prix fixe dinner from Chef Ellen Yin’s classic American restaurant. Indoor and outdoor seating are available. Your Turkey Day meal includes three courses with all the holiday fixins. Diners can choose a salad or carrot ginger soup, followed by a traditional turkey dinner with cranberry chutney and gravy. Can’t stand turkey? You can order trout or short ribs instead.

Family-style sides, served for the table, include roasted apples and Brussels sprouts, herb stuffing, Parker House rolls, mashed potatoes and wild rice stuffed squash. Desserts mix traditional apple pie or squash pie with new-fangled salted honey custard pie or dark chocolate budino.

High Street Philly

High Street Philly

High Street Philly lets you create your own home feast inclusive of their popular artisanal bread selection. Currently open only for takeout and delivery, Eli Kulp’s edgy American café and bakery has put together a customizable box of Thanksgiving dishes for at-home dining. The “Everything but the Bird” box starts with traditional Thanksgiving sides like sage brown-butter stuffing, Brussels sprouts and Japanese turnip salad with cider vinaigrette, roast honeynut squash, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry chutney. You’ll decide what else to add such as the half or whole ready-to-bake or pre-roasted turkey, pies (salted honey, apple, kabocha squash) and signature bread service.

The Olde Bar

The Olde Bar

Philadelphia superstar chef Jose Garces has you covered for at-home dining with a Thanksgiving dinner from his casual Olde Bar in the landmark Old Original Bookbinder’s. The Olde Bar’s take-home dinner is a prix fixe feast with turkey breast and gravy, butter lettuce salad, rosemary Parker House rolls, cranberry-orange relish, challah bread stuffing, salt-roasted beets, Brussels sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. Desserts are the piece de resistance with a choice of fabulous pies including pumpkin butternut squash, bourbon pecan or caramel apple with smoked cinnamon whipped cream. The feast will guarantee you leftovers for the next day!

Walnut Street Café

Walnut Street Café

Popular Walnut Street Café in West Philly’s University City neighborhood invites Thanksgiving indulgence with both eat-in and take-out options. At the restaurant, an a la carte menu has options to please all ages and taste palates. There’s also a children’s menu. You can select from the likes of baked Brie, shrimp cocktail and sweet potato gnocchi to start, with steak frites, turkey, black bass and a vegetarian acorn squash for the main course. Stuffing muffins, sage brown-butter rolls and mashed potatoes and gravy highlight the café’s Thanksgiving trimmings. For dessert, classic apple pie a la mode and pumpkin pie will be available in addition to seasonal apple cider sorbet and fig coffee cake. The café has also put together a takeout selection should you decide to eat at home. You’ll be tempted to say that you cooked it yourself with the delicious whole-roasted Amish turkey, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potato mash and mac ‘n cheese. It’s pretty wonderful. For dessert, go traditional with apple or pumpkin pie.

And, if you don’t need the turkey…..

Hawthorne Beer Café and Brunchery

Hawthorne Beer Café and Brunchery

If you’re planning to cook your own feast but don’t have the energy or the knack for making dessert, Hawthorne Beer Café and Brunchery will provide the sweet finish with their first-ever holiday pies. Specials for Thanksgiving include Dutch apple crumb pie, streusel pumpkin pie, gluten-free almond apple pound cake loaf and crumb coffee cake loaf.

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