Thanksgiving is a day for families to gather around the table and count their blessings. But who says it has to be your table? Many prefer to celebrate in festive restaurants, where the drinks are mixed, the food is cooked and serving dishes don't have to be cleaned after the meal.
Here are 10 Hudson Valley recommendations, with information including the cost of the meal and other details. Be sure to reserve early.
This stylish, rustic restaurant owned by Peter Kelly, a superstar chef, will serve a prix-fixe, traditional, three-course Thanksgiving feast with a couple of surprises along the way. There will be seven choices of appetizers and a selection of desserts. Regional wines will be featured.
Details: 1-7 p.m.; $60 per adult, $30 per child (12 and under)
Info: 117 Route 303 (Hilltop Road), Congers; 845-268-6555; www.xaviars.com
This historic inn in the center of picture-perfect Rhinebeck puts out a traditional Thanksgiving buffet, with roasted fresh ham, steamship round, cedar-planked salmon and fresh turkey from a Hudson Valley farm. For dessert, there are pumpkin pie, apple bread pudding, cheesecake and more.
Details: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $41.95 per adult, $18.95 per child (10 and under)
Info: The Beekman Arms and Delamater Inn, 6387 Mill St., Rhinebeck; 845-876-1766; beekmandelamaterinn.com
This handsome inn and restaurant on the eastern bank of the Hudson River turns out a special a la carte, three-course, prix-fixe meal that includes turkey as well as rosemary-rubbed roast loin of pork, New Zealand rack of lamb, crabmeat-stuffed filet of sole and chateaubriand ($5 surcharge). Sides include bourbon sweet potato mash, glazed butternut squash and other vegetables.
Details: noon-8 p.m.; $39.50 per adult, $15.95 per child (under 12)
Info: 2 Main St., Cold Spring; 845-265-9355; hudsonhouseinn.com
For an opulent holiday meal with excellent service and sweeping views, this is the place. The prix-fixe meal starts with pumpkin soup and moves on to a choice of main courses aside from the turkey spread: smoked duck breast, branzino and assorted vegetables and grilled black angus steak.
Details: noon-6 p.m.; $85 per adult, $45 per child (12 and under)
Info: 400 Benedict Ave., Tarrytown; 914-631-3646; castleonthehudson.com
The three-course dinner at this turn-of-the-century Southern-style colonial manse starts with roasted pumpkin soup or wild mushroom risotto. Among the main courses are roasted local free-range turkey with pan gravy, Berkshire ham with a maple-and-sherry vinegar glaze and braised beef short ribs with red wine jus. You can choose from half a dozen vegetables as sides. For dessert, there are apple pie with smoked vanilla ice cream and pumpkin pie.
Details: noon-8 p.m.; $69 per adult, $20 per child (children's menu)
Info: 25 Studio Hill Rd., Briarcliff Manor; 914-502-0080; www.haymounthouseny.com
New World Home Cooking in Saugerties
Chef and Hudson Valley personality Ric Orlando, whose buoyant country restaurant is a hot destination in the Woodstock area, is serving what he calls a "clean food buffet dinner," meaning everything is locally sourced and organic. The buffet is huge, starting with items like steamed globe artichokes and lemon vinaigrette, pan-blackened string beans with Creole remoulade, and steamed mussels Portuguese fishermen's style. Among main courses, there are free-range turkey with cider gravy, roasted and carved seitan with miso gravy, whole roasted Faroe Island salmon with pumpkinseed sauce and baked rigatoni with porcini and four cheeses. Desserts include an assortment of pies, ice cream and panna cotta.
Details: 1-7 p.m.; $32.95 per adult, $12.95 per child (4 to 11)
Info: 1411 Route 212 (Chestnut Hill Road), Saugerties; 845-246-0900; ricorlando.com
One of the most renowned restaurants in the valley, this stately manse houses two attractive dining areas -- one a tavern, the other more formal. On Thanksgiving, there's a three-course prix-fixe dinner featuring items like butternut squash soup, shrimp cocktail, turkey with stuffing, yams and Brussels sprouts. Aside from that, you can order roasted venison or swordfish. For dessert, you can choose from pumpkin pie, warm pecan pie and a selection of gelati.
Details: noon-8 p.m.; $65 per adult (including beverages, tax and gratuity), $32.50 per child (under 12)
Info: 11 Kittle Rd., Chappaqua; 914-666-8044; kittlehouse.com
Black truffle risotto may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving, but that's what you'll find at Moderne Barn, along with more customary fare like roasted turkey with cornbread stuffing and cranberry chutney; braised leg of lamb with orzo, mint pumpkinseed pesto and preserved lemons; and grilled salmon with dill mustard sauce and butternut squash. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake and an apple tart.
Details: 1-8 p.m.; $49 per adult, $24.50 per child (under 12)
Info: 430 Bedford Rd., Armonk; 914-730-0001; www.modernebarn.com
The Hudson House of Nyack
This charming restaurant in Nyack's former village hall and jailhouse specializes in contemporary American cuisine, and more skillfully than most. The Thanksgiving dinner will include herbed roast turkey with sage-chestnut stuffing and garlic whipped potatoes as well as roasted salmon and beef short ribs. For dessert, there are apple crisp, pumpkin creme brulee, pear upside down cake, sticky toffee pudding cake and an espresso brownie with ice cream.
Details: noon-6:30 p.m.; $40 per adult, $25 per child
Info: 134 Main St., Nyack; 845-353-1355; hudsonhousenyack.com
This vast Tuscan-style manor, perched on the banks of the Hudson River, serves both Italian risotto and traditional turkey and fixings on Thanksgiving. The turkey comes with, among other options, chestnut stuffing with sun-dried herbs, butternut squash soup with sage, green beans with roasted shallots and risotto with Hudson Valley green apples. For dessert. there's a tasting of pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry walnut financier and maple syrup panna cotta.
Details: noon-10 p.m.; $53 per adult, $30 per child (under 12)