November 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm EDT | by William George
Thankfully not cooking

Be honest with yourself — sometimes you don’t want to worry about spending all day in the kitchen cooking and cleaning for the holiday. Many of the area’s restaurants are offering special “turkey day” menus to make it easier on all of us.

BRABO (1600 King Street, Alexandria) by Robert Wiedmaier will be open on Thanksgiving between 2:30 and 7 p.m., offering patrons a Thanksgiving-themed three-course dinner for $65, with the regular children’s menu also available. The bar will be open during those hours and the regular bar menu will be available exclusively at the bar.

The three-course Thanksgiving menu will include appetizers such as roasted beets with arugula, pistachios and goat cheese fondue and a squash soup with duck confit ravioli. Entrees include a traditional turkey dinner with sweet potato purée, Brussels sprouts, cranberry relish, chestnuts dressing and giblet gravy and a pan-seared ribeye with Pennsylvania mushrooms, potato purée and Bordelaise sauce, among other offerings. Dessert selections include everything from a pumpkin pie to a caramel walnut tart with calvados ice cream. Reservations are strongly recommended. (703-894-3440)

Commonwealth (1400 Irving St. N.W.), Columbia Heights’ own British gastropub, is offering a three-course, family-style Thanksgiving dinner from 1 to 8 p.m. for $35 per person, as well as its à la carte menu with snacks ranging in price from $5 to $13, all boosted by U.K. and American beers (202-265-1400).

If you want to indulge yourself on gourmet food while giving to a worthy cause, head out to Tyson’s Corner to partake in the feast offered at Wildfire (1714 Chain Bridge Rd, McLean). Serving a family-style menu with spit-roasted turkey and classic sides, a portion of the day’s proceeds will be donated to feed the needy (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; $36.95 per adult, $14.95 per child 12 and under; 703-442-9110).

Holiday traditions will be showcased with style at West End dining room Blue Duck Tavern (1201 24th St. N.W.), where diners can gorge on a three-course brunch with turkey and trimmings, plus hors d’oeuvres and dessert buffets (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; $90 per adult, $45 for children 6–12, complimentary for children under 6; à la carte dinner available from 6–10:30 p.m.; 202-419-6755).

For those of us with a hankering for higher brow cuisine, with a French flair, check out 2941 (2941 Fairview Park Dr.) in Falls Church. The kitchen is turning out a three-course prix fixe with appetizers like a mushroom feuille and lobster chowder with Indonesian long pepper, and entree choices ranging from turkey to bouillabaisse (noon to 8 p.m.; $65 per adult, $25 per child 12 and under; 703-270-1500).

Vidalia (1900 M St. N.W.) is going for a more “stuff-your-face-and-go-home” Southern approach with its a la carte offerings showcasing shrimp and grits, frogmore stew, lamb and steak as well as a stuffed turkey with all the fixings (seatings from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; 202-659-1990).

Looking ahead into December, Urbana will host “Kimpton’s Red Hot Night in the Nation’s Capital,” a cocktail party benefiting Whitman-Walker Clinic. The event will feature popular TV personality and beauty/lifestyle expert Paul Wharton as co-host and emcee, $5 “Cocktails for a Cure,” light bites of Western Mediterranean cuisine from Urbana’s kitchen, and a live/silent auction including a weekend getaway to any Kimpton hotel nationwide and two roundtrip jetBlue tickets. A $10 admission fee includes one drink ticket and all proceeds benefit Whitman-Walker Clinic. The event begins immediately following the 5:30 pm candlelight vigil in Dupont Circle. (Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.; Kimpton’s Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar, 2121 P St. N.W.)

Then on Thursday, get out to Palomar in Arlington for “A Taste of Virginia’s Own,” a Virginia wine tasting event benefiting the Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry (NOVAM). Guests are invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres while sampling varietals from top Virginia winemakers, including Chateau O’Brien, Horton Cellars, Pearmund Cellars, Tarara Winery, Rappahannock Cellars and Boxwood Estate Winery. Admission is $30 per person in advance and $35 at the door with all ticket proceeds to benefit NOVAM. Reservations are recommended. (Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Kimpton’s Palomar Arlington)

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