Stuffing is such an essential part of Thanksgiving, it makes appearances in holiday meals that don't include turkey. That's the case at Borgne (601 Loyola Ave., 504-613-3860; www.borgnerestaurant.com), where, true to its calling as a Louisiana seafood restaurant, whole flounder crammed with crabmeat stuffing looms large on the Thanksgiving menu (which includes traditional roasted turkey, too).
This is the first Thanksgiving for Borgne, which the Besh Restaurant Group opened in January inside the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, and it joins a promising crop of new restaurants in hotels also marking their first holiday meal this week. Local hotel dining has gained a lot more respect lately, thanks in part to name chefs and independent operators. But the restaurants under their roofs have long been havens for people looking to dine out on big family holidays when many other restaurants close.
At Borgne, that flounder and other options are part of a four-course menu ranging from $44 to $50 (depending on the entree choice). Joining Borgne inside the Hyatt and also new this year is the hotel's 8 Block Kitchen & Bar (601 Loyola Ave., 504-613-3850; www.neworleans.hyatt.com), where diners can order a la carte entrees and then round out the feast with items from a buffet of soups, sides, seafood (including raw oysters) and desserts for $49 ($20 for kids; free for those six and younger).
Another new option this year is Rene Bistrot (700 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-613-2350), from chef Rene Bajeux, which replaced La Cote Brasserie inside the Renaissance Arts Hotel. Thanksgiving brings a three-course menu at brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. for $48, with complimentary sparkling wine and mimosas.
Restaurant R'evolution (777 Bienville St., 504-553-2277; www.revolutionnola.com), the finely-detailed destination dining spot from chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto in the Royal Sonesta Hotel, will serve its first Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Details were not finalized at press time, but R'evolution will serve an abridged version of its sprawling normal menu plus a few Thanksgiving dishes.
At Criollo (214 Royal St., 504-681-4444; www.criollonola.com), the new restaurant inside the Hotel Monteleone, a four-course Thanksgiving menu is available from noon to 8 p.m. for $56 (breakfast is from 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m.), in addition to a la carte items from its regular menu.
Most restaurants open for the holiday will have prix fixe menus, buffets or limited hours, so it's important to check the details and get reservations if you're dining out anywhere on Thanksgiving.