It’s hard to believe that the holidays are almost here; this strange pandemic year has passed by in a blur. Any other year we might be planning a big Thanksgiving feast and a long weekend spent with close friends and family; this has always been a holiday to to get together to give thanks and share good food and memories with grandparents and grandkids, returning college students, aunts, uncles, cousins, and others who hold a special place in our hearts.
Alas, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into our plans. Gatherings that include anyone not part of our immediate households are discouraged as is travel. Many of us will celebrate Thanksgiving in a scaled-back way this year, meaning sharing a meal for as few as two or three people. So, maybe this is the year you skip cooking and dine outdoors at one of Calistoga’s fine restaurants, or grab goodies from bakeries or Cal Mart so you can enjoy a scrumptious holiday dinner at home.
It’s no surprise that Lovina is featuring a full Thanksgiving feast served between 1—9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day or ordered in advance to take home. The meal is $59 per person and features a wild arugula salad, Mary’s organic turkey with deep-fried breast and slow-roasted dark meat, mashed potatoes with gravy, apple-and-pecan stuffing, crispy green beans with shallots, fresh cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie “in a jar” with whipped mascarpone and caramelized pecans. You need to preorder your meal by Monday, Nov. 23 and pick it up, and for an additional service charge of $200, one of Lovina’s first-rate servers will deliver and serve the meal in your home (clean-up not included). Every Thanksgiving dinner order from Lovina includes a “day after” turkey sandwich kit that includes a Model Bakery bun, sliced turkey, cranberry sauce, and mayonnaise. Lovina will also serve regular menu items at its front and back patio outdoor tables, and reservations are strongly suggested. Call (707) 942-6500.
Lovina owner Jennifer Bennett is disappointed that she won’t be able to serve Thanksgiving dinner in the restaurant’s newly renovated upstairs space purchased earlier this year from Grade Cellars which closed due to the pandemic. The wide plantation-style porch and three indoor dining rooms are decorated in a vintage-farmhouse style, with high ceilings, burnished wood paneling, grapevine light fixtures from the Sonoma coast, and retro wallpaper. How will Bennett celebrate turkey day? “I’ll be at work all day,” she says. “And I’ll be exhausted, but the staff and I will eat our Thanksgiving dinner together at 11 p.m.; we’re our own little family.”
Evangeline is also offering a dine-in Thanksgiving dinner option. The restaurant will offer two prix-fixe seating times, one at 3:00 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m. Tickets, priced at $75 per person plus tax and service charge, must be purchased in advance on Evangeline’s website, https://www.evangelinenapa.com/. The menu offers a choice of butternut squash soup or a little gem salad, and mains include Mary’s turkey, aged prime rib, king salmon, or a wild mushroom tartine. Sides served family style are: andouille sausage stuffing, whipped potatoes, fried Brussels sprouts, mac-and-cheese, giblet gravy, cranberry sauce, and chilled confit or baby beets with almonds and burrata. For dessert there’s homemade apple tarte Tatin or pumpkin pie, both served with vanilla Chantilly.
Thanksgiving at Sam’s Social Club starts early, with brunch served from 8-11 a.m. and Thanksgiving dinner served between 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dinner is $65 per person; $25 for kids, and reservations are required. Festive specialty cocktails (at an additional charge) include the Falling Pear with gin, fresh pear juice, Orgeat, lemon, and sparkling wine; and a Spiced Old Fashioned with bourbon, apple-spice syrup, and toasted-oak bitters. The first course offers a choice of butternut squash soup or persimmon and apple-chicory salad, and main course options include turkey with mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, homemade cranberry jam, and gravy, fall mushroom risotto with Marscapone and sliced almonds, prime rib au jus (+$15) with sweet potato wedges, roasted cauliflower, and horseradish cream, or pan-roasted halibut (+$10) with root-vegetable hash, lemon-beurre blanc, and caponata. Dessert offers a choice between apple-crumble pie with vanilla gelato or pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Sam’s regular sides will be available, and there will be a special kids’ menu as well.
Sam’s is also providing the whole meal to-go to be heated and served at home. Orders must be placed online by Nov. 18 and picked up on Thanksgiving between noon and 1:45 p.m. Call (707) 942-4969.
The Calistoga Inn is serving Thanksgiving meals from noon to 9 p.m. Diners can select one of the restaurant’s popular appetizers a la carte at their regular prices including Dungeness crab cakes, garlic-crusted calamari, clams and mussels steam in wheat ale with tomato, chorizo, and grilled ciabatta; steak tartare; and a cheese and charcuterie board.
The Inn’s prix fixe Thanksgiving menu is $83 per person and $43 for a children’s turkey dinner for kids 10 and under. First-course selections are either fall mixed greens or Maine lobster bisque. Main courses are roasted fresh tom turkey, wood-fire grilled Skuna Bauy salmon, wood-fire grilled all-natural filet mignon ($88 for filet dinner), and a savory vegetarian wild-rice-butternut squash timbale. Side dishes served with all entrees include roasted Delicata Squash, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon, creamed onions, cranberry sauce, cranberry-orange relish, and pan gravy. Dessert selections are pumpkin pie with whipped cream, ginger-mince pie with brandy hard sauce, apple-cranberry crisp with vanilla ice cream, and pumpkin cheesecake with nutmeg crème Anglaise. Call (707) 942-4101.
At Solbar at Solage, you can pick up a family feast that includes an oven-roasted Mary’s organic turkey and sides like broccoli and kale salad, glazed root vegetables, spoonbread-sausage stuffing, Yukon Gold whipped potatoes, and freshly baked pies. Meals for two are $150; for four the price is $300; and for six it’s $450. You can order your dinner from the Solbar website by Monday, Nov. 23 and schedule your pickup time between noon and 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day through this link: https://www.opentable.com/restaurant/takeout/13702
Cal Mart is making Thanksgiving dinner a snap by offering everything you need for a complete meal or sides, mains, and dessert ordered separately. You can select a roasted turkey breast or baked ham, sliced, for $12.99 a pound or a whole Diestel roasted turkey; a 12-14 pound-bird will feed six-ten and costs $74.99, and an 18-20-pound turkey for $99.99 will feed 14-16. Sides come in two sizes and include sweet potatoes with marshmallows, traditional stuffing with apples, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade turkey gravy, and fresh cranberry sauce. You can order by calling or emailing the Cal Mart deli (visit https://calmartnv.com/calmartdeli/) to pick up your goodies by Wednesday, Nov. 25.
If you wanted to serve smoked turkey, Local Q707 will be selling half and whole house-smoked turkey breasts for pickup Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week. You must pre-order your turkey by calling (707) 942-5646.
For those who don’t feel like baking, pies will be available at Cal Mart, Bella Bakery, and from House of Better, the soon-to-open restaurant at Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs. House of Better's pies are $34 each and include spiced pumpkin, brown-butter apple, lemon-buttermilk, Mexican-chocolate pecan; and pear-blueberry cardamom. Gluten-free pies are available, and $5 from every purchase will be donated to Napa Valley’s first responders. To preorder, call 707-709-6234 by Nov. 24, and the pies will be ready for pickup on Nov. 25.
Bella Bakery will offer a wealth of pies from apple, blackberry, banana cream to pumpkin, chocolate pecan, and pumpkin pecan for pick up on Nov. 25 between 4—6 p.m.; the bakery will be closed on Thanksgiving, and pie orders must be placed by Nov. 21. Call (707) 942-1443.
Of course all of the local grocery stores have all the ingredients you need to prepare your favorite Thanksgiving recipes, and there’s nothing like a homecooked dinner. But if you’re just not up for it this year, help support our local shops and restaurants and relish Thanksgiving to-go!
Watch now: Add some holiday cheer to your Thanksgiving with this very specific kind of gravy
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