Thanksgiving Guide – Restaurants


by Kirsten Carbone

Whether it’s just the two of you or the entire extended family, avoid the whole megillah (and endless silver polishing, napkin-pressing and dish-washing) at any of these local spots that are open on Thanksgiving Day and serving up the feast.


The Bee and Thistle Inn’s 4-course, seated dinner is already heavily booked, so call soon. At this Old Lyme favorite, start with soup and salad, then choose between All Natural Roasted Turkey with Fennel, Pear & Brioche Stuffing, Grilled Filet of Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream or Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Star Anise Beurre Blanc. Entrees come with Cranberry Orange Chutney, Roasted Root Vegetables and Herb Smashed Red Bliss Potatoes. $65 per person plus beverage and tax, Children 12 and under $32.50.


Love heaps of non-traditional choice? Head to Saybrook Point Inn in Old Saybrook for a buffet-style feast from 11:30-5:00. Turkey, ham and prime rib are all on the spread, along with stuffing, cranberry sauce and plenty of other traditional sides. Want to stick with breakfast? They’ll have omelet and waffle stations, too. $49.95 for adults, children 5-12 are $24.95; under 4 are complimentary. After 5:30, enjoy the lounge menu with a featured Thanksgiving dinner plate.


At the Old Lyme Inn, sit down to a 3-course prix fixe dinner that starts with a family-style appetizer like Baked Brie with Housemade Apple Butter and Caramelized Pears. Then feast on traditional Roasted Turkey with a plethora of sides like Candied Yams, followed by a dessert course. $55 for adults; $35 for kids.

For those who aren’t stuck on turkey for Thanksgiving, The Madison Beach Hotel offers the bird and all the fixings, plus an elaborate brunch buffet including carving and omelette stations, a hot buffet and traditional brunch dishes, served from 11 until 4pm.  $46, $21 for children 6 – 12, under 6 free.


At New Haven’s Study at Yale, expect Heirloom Restaurant’s regular, a la carte menu with a few holiday additions, like a featured turkey dish, signature cocktail and port wine selection, just for the special day.


At the Ocean House in Westerly, luxuriate with a 4-course prix fixe menu and a sweeping view of the Atlantic. You’ll start with a Rhode Island Salad or Rabbit and Buckwheat Pasta with Charred Onion and Buerre Noisette. Then choose from Chestnut Soup or Foie Terrine. The main course offers Turkey, Maine Whitefish with Truffle Emulsion or Beef Rib Duo. Finish with any of four desserts that scream fall, like Butternut Beignet and Pumpkin-Gingerbread Ice Cream. A trip to the Ocean House is worth it for the atmosphere alone, but you can expect top-notch service here. $90 per person and children under 9 order a la carte.

If you love the iconic New England waterfront vibe but like it a little more casual, enjoy Thanksgiving family-style at the Weekapaug Inn, also in Rhode Island and worth the trip. You can expect the same top level of service at the Weekapaug as you’ll get at the Ocean House; it’s their sister inn. Dine on Roasted Misty Knolls Turkey or Slow-Roasted Ham and sides like Creamed Swiss Chard, House Bacon with Crispy Shallot or Glazed Sweet Potato with Green Chili, Cider and Whiskey. $74 per person; $37 per child (ages 4-12). Children 3 and under are free.

photo credit: Thanksgiving at The Ocean House