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November 27, 2009

Our Thanksgiving dinner out and our adventures afterward



It's been an eventful 24 hours. If I've been out of touch, blame our mayor, or rather her jury. There were no laptops available because of the trial.

We ended up going with Plan A, which was to have Thanksgiving dinner at Petit Louis in Roland Park, and then drive directly from the restaurant to a motel in Pennsylvania. We would then be able to wake up this morning and get to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in time for our 8:30 a.m. in-depth tour.

This was the first year Petit Louis was open for Thanksgiving, and the maitre d' told me there were 360 reservations. We were the second group to be seated, at 1 p.m. when it opened. ...

PetitLouisTabletop.jpgMy husband and I had the three-course fixed-price turkey dinner, he with the wine selections and I with a glass of sparkling wine. Our semi-vegetarian daughter, however, decided to order from the a la carte menu.

She asked for recommendations from our charming waiter, and he enthusiastically obliged, going through each course. When he got to the hot hors d'oeuvre and the foie gras, he explained how the chef deveins it first.

I sat watching Gailor's face and all I can say is, someone ought to stake her to play in the World Poker Championships. I would describe her expression as pleasantly interested, not "I'm about to get up and leave the table."

She ordered the quiche.

We all agreed this was the most successful Thanksgiving at a restaurant ever. The food was delicious, although I have a couple of suggestions, and the wine pairings, as you'd expect, superb.

The first course, a chestnut soup with wild mushrooms, was mostly cream. It was a lovely soup, but I would serve it in a smaller portion because it was so rich.

That would mean the main course would have to be larger. I think holiday meals should be elegant, not overwhelming, which is why I don't like buffets. But the portions of the entree looked a bit skimpy even to me. I didn't want any more to eat, I'm just saying that Thanksgiving is a meal where people expect the plate to be bountiful.

Maybe all it would take would be to arrange the collard greens on the plate with the turkey, the pretty little swirl of mashed potatoes, the tablespoon of cranberry sauce and the bit of stuffing.

Still everything tasted wonderful, and I can't pretend I was hungry again for the rest of the day after the apple-cranberry pain perdu (bread pudding) with creme anglaise.

Then we drove to Pennsylvania.

This morning we woke up and there were two inches of snow on the ground. I had forgotten about winter. Anyway, this is a food blog, so I won't give you a blow-by-blow account of our visit to Fallingwater. I'll simply say that winter is a fine time to visit, although driving there this morning was a little nerve-wracking.

Sadly, once we got there the snow changed to rain, so my photos don't show the house in snow. Then the snow started up again on our drive back.

Dinner last night, by the way, at a Ruby Tuesday (half an avocado quesadilla was all I could manage). Nothing else was open, even the Eat 'n Park, contrary to what we had been told.

I would love to hear about other successful Thanksgiving dinners out. If you ate at a restaurant and loved it (or hated it), please post below.











(Photos at Petit Louis by Gailor; the others by me: Thanksgiving afternoon on the road, Fallingwater shots, and the drive back today.) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 5:30 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Thanksgiving


Sounds way too busy, even for a holiday. Glad you and the family had fun.

N-i-i-i-i-i-ce! I've never seen Fallingwater "live," but now I want to go more than ever. Great pics, EL.

flatbed nual (?!)

Would you believe that I am architect, lived in Valley Forge for 6 years and never got to Fallingwater. Me bad.

Loved the shot of Gailor kneeling in front of the bust. I've never seen it before and have no idea who it is. Do any of you know?

Belated Thanksgiving to all.

I didn't put the Gailor shot on the blog for privacy reasons. It's a head of Buddha. EL

We went to the Prime Rib Thursday afternoon. We had reservations at 3:00, and by the time we left the place was packed. Since we were going to cook the big turkey dinner on Friday, we didn't get the prix fixe turkey dinner, but ordered from the regular menu. I hadn't been to the Prime Rib in years, and had forgotten how every thing there comes in what we consider excessively large portions. If we go there again we'll have to approach ordering differently.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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