thanksgiving-photoAs the calendar tick-tocks down to Thursday, November 24th Thanksgiving planning is in full-swing. Here we have gathered some interesting and flexible options to help friends and families who may want to step away from the oven and let someone else do the cooking. We have uncovered some excellent value menus, brunches, sit down dinners, harbor dinner cruises and even some gourmet “to go” options. Hosts can go from zero to hero with one simple phone call. We do suggest making reservations soon.

Island Hotel- Newport Beach- Two Dining Options…
Brunch at The Island Hotel Ballroom– Served from 11:00am to 4:00pm, friends and family will gather for a delicious brunch. The menu will include: a traditional Free-Range Turkey, Carved-to-Order Prime Rib, a Seafood Station, Create-Your-Own Risotto Station and Champagne. There will also be live music and children’s crafts – for a day that’s made for the entire family. The cost will be $80 per adult and $20 per child (ages 5 to 12). This cost will include tax and gratuities. Free for children four and under. For Reservations: 949.760.4913

Dinner at Oak Grill Restaurant– Oak Grill is getting ready for a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. It will be served from 4:00 to 9:00pm. A four-course dinner will include choices of entrées such as: a traditional Carved Turkey, Roasted Filet Mignon or Wild Salmon, plus traditional desserts created by Pastry Chef Andy de la Cruz. Guests can gather around the table with friends and family to enjoy each other’s company. The cost will be $90 per adult and $35 per child (ages 5 to 12 and free for children four and under). The prices exclude tax and gratuities. For Reservations: 949.760.4920.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar- Fashion Island Now you can take the stress out of Thanksgiving planning. Join family and friends in the clubby ambiance of Fleming’s dining room beginning at 11:00am until 8:00pm. Enjoy a four course prix fixe menu inspired by traditional favorites for $39.95 per adult. And for the kids, they will enjoy a special menu as well for just $19.95 per child. The full menu will also be available, so guests can enjoy whatever they prefer — all without any preparation or cleanup. This is just one more thing to be thankful for. (The prices do not include tax or gratuity.) For Reservations: 949.720.9633 Guests can view the full Thanksgiving menu here:|all

Canaletto- Fashion Island The Italian-inspired dining room with views of the kitchen set the stage for a lovely dining experience. Numerous private dining rooms are also available for larger groups seeking an intimate experience. The Chef is preparing a four-course prix fixe dinner which will be served “family style” which is my favorite! All your favorites will be served served all day and all evening—from 11:30am to 10:00pm. The cost will be $50 for adults and $18 for children 12 and younger. (This prices do not include tax and gratuity.) For Reservations 949.640.0900.

The Bungalow-Corona del Mar Always a favorite spot, this restaurant has that craftsman style, cool lighting, bright fabrics, a cozy bar vibe and low ceilings—all creating a warm ambiance. The Chef has created a lovely menu, with lots of choices for diners. Not everyone likes turkey, right? The three-course dinner will be served from 1:00 to 9:00pm. The first course will begin with a choice of Corn Chowder (my personal favorite), Lobster Bisque, a Salad or Butternut Squash Ravioli. Entrees may be hard to pick, given a choice of seven different options (including Roasted Turkey, Prime Rib, Salmon, and so forth), and four desserts. The price is a great value at $55 for adults (excluding tax and gratuity). For Reservations: 949.673.6585.

The Ritz Prime Seafood- Miracle Mile, Newport Beach Chef George Neyra and his team will be preparing an enticing holiday four-course dinner. With spectacular views of the Newport Harbor, makes for a special backdrop for this holiday celebration. Dinner will be served from 4:00 to 8:00pm on Thanksgiving. The meal will begin with a seasonal Kale Salad sprinkled with apples, heirloom pumpkin and candied pecans. The second course options are Chestnut Soup with lobster and black truffle or Squash Agnolotti with pumpkin seeds and Asiago cheese. The main course has three special selections: Braised Short Rib with celery root puree, Maple Glazed Wild Salmon with cipollini onions or Heritage Breed Turkey Breast and Leg Confit with cinnamon cranberry sauce and classic gravy. The entrees are accompanied by a selection of hearty sides such as traditional brioche dressing, potato-cheddar gratin and baby turnips with pearl onions. For dessert the pie selections will include: Pumpkin, Pecan or Orchard Apple. The price is $79 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). For Reservations: 949.720.1800.

Back Bay Bistro- Newport Dunes With great views of the Back Bay and Marina activity on the nearby boat docks, this is a lovely spot to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. Served from 10:30am to 3:00pm, guests will enjoy a robust buffet of nine different salads, two of their famous soups, carving stations of slow roasted Turkey Breast and New York Strip with all the fixings, Salmon, Crab Cakes, Lamb Navarin, and numerous side dishes. With a chocolate fountain and five different pies & desserts, it will be hard to decide what to select! The price will be $48 for adults and $22 for children (10 years and younger). This price does not include tax and gratuity. For Reservations: 949.729.1144. Guests can view the menu here:

Hornblower Cruises & Events- Newport Beach This is a very unique way to enjoy the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. Imagine brunch or dinner on a yacht! Celebrate a heartwarming holiday with your family in a uniquely Newport Beach way – aboard Hornblower Cruises & Events. Best of all, this is “stress free” and “mess free” for you and your guests! The yacht will be adorned with festive decorations, live music and scenic harbor views will be all around you!

Brunch-The Brunch Cruise will depart at 12:00 noon and return at 2:00pm. The Cruise includes: a fabulous 2-hour cruise around the Newport Harbor, unlimited Champagne & Mimosas (a cash bar will also be available), a Brunch Buffet with holiday-inspired dishes and various stations, live music from a solo entertainer. The cost will be $67.95 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For Reservations: 949.646.0155. Guests can view the sample menu here:

Dinner-The Dinner Cruise will depart at 4:30pm and return at 7:30pm. The Cruise includes: a fabulous 3-hour cruise around the Newport Harbor, a boarding glass of Champagne (a cash bar will also be available), a Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet with holiday-inspired dishes and various stations, live music from a solo entertainer. The cost will be $90.95 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). For Reservations: 949.646.0155. Guests can view the sample menu here:

The Resort at Pelican Hill Here are four very special dining options for Thanksgiving 2016! For Reservations: 855.467.6800.

Ballroom Brunch– From 10:30am to 4:00pm, Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray will create an exquisite Thanksgiving brunch buffet with classic dishes, accompanied by live entertainment and children’s activities. Reservations are recommended. The price will be $125 per adult and $65 per child under age 12 (prices exclude tax and service charge).

Thanksgiving Dinner at Andrea Ristorante- Chef Jonah presents a rustic Tuscan holiday menu in the dining room or on the ocean-view terrace. Dinner will be served from 4:00 to 10:00pm. The price will be $140 per adult without a wine pairing, and $190 per adult with the wine pairing (price excludes tax and service charge). Guests can view the menu here:

Thanksgiving Lunch & Dinner at Pelican Grill– Guests will enjoy a delectable four-course California grill menu from 11:00am to 10:00pm. Entertainment will include a pianist, bass player and vocalist. The cost will be $130 per adult and $65 per child (prices exclude tax and service charge).

Thanksgiving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the Coliseum Pool & Grill– Chef Oscar’s classic California breakfast buffet is available from 7:00am to noon-time. Then, from noon to 10:00pm, a Thanksgiving à la carte dinner menu will feature turkey specials. Prices for the Breakfast Buffet will be $60 per adult and $30 per child (prices exclude tax and service charge).

Thanksgiving “On The Go”

Zov’s- Newport Beach Executive Chef Zov Karamardian and her team are whipping up turkey & all the fixings for groups of 15 guests (or perhaps a smaller dinner party and reserving some left-overs for the weekend)! Her annual Thanksgiving Take-Out Dinners are all the rage. She enjoys “removing the hassle from the holiday” by preparing the traditional feasts and all of the trimmings (and even warming instructions are included). Only a limited number of Thanksgiving To-Go meals will be prepared and are on a first come-first serve basis. To reserve one of the limited dinner packages, please call 714.838.8855 extension 21. Zov’s Thanksgiving To-Go serves up to 15 people and is priced at $450. All orders must be placed no later than Wednesday, November 16th and picked up only at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin (17440 East 17th Street) on Wednesday, November 23rd between 1:00 to 5:00pm.

Five Crowns-Corona del Mar Roasted Prime Ribs of Beef sounds like a perfect holiday menu! Order by Tuesday November 22nd and pick up your order on Thanksgiving Day to enjoy at home. Family style dinners serving 6-7 guests will be $285, and for 12-14 guests the cost will be $450. This includes side dishes, Au Jus and Yorkshire Pudding Batter to be baked at home. Additional a la carte items can also be ordered by the quart. To place your “to go”order please call: 949.760.0331. Guests can view the complete menu options here:

Canaletto Restaurant-Fashion Island A Thanksgiving feast is on the menu this holiday season, and for $250, this menu will serve 6-8 guests. The menu includes: oven roasted turkey breast, housemade gravy, cranberries, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, homemade bread and of course, pumpkin pie for dessert. Please place all orders by November 21st by calling 949.640.0900.

Regardless of where this holiday may lead you, I hope you spend a wonderful day and evening with family and friends. Relish in the feast worthy of kings and queens…and eat lots of pumpkin pie. We have so much to be grateful for. Enjoy and dine well!

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