With a couple of weeks left to decide on your eating and shopping plans for the next holiday weekend, we’ve compiled a range of suggestions for you to choose from. From one-party meals to belt-loosening buffets, you’ll know what works for you.
Urban Plates To-Go – Brea, Aliso Viejo, Irvine
The most wallet-friendly meal by far comes from this breakout chain. We’ve had our share of meals at Urban Plates and can attest to its good grub. For a solo (or perhaps two of you) diner, there’s the single plate option available from the 26th to 29th for $16.50. With your choice of side, there’s also cran relish, rustic bread, gravy, mushroom stuffing, and herb-roasted turkey breast. If you want a meal for four, it’ll run you $65; it’s packaged chilled, but fully cooked with reheating instructions. Service for eight will cost $125– but your bonus is the option to select two additional sides. We’re leaning towards roasted Brussels sprouts with turkey bacon. www.urbanplates.com.
The Ritz-Carlton – Laguna Niguel
It’s near impossible to discuss the holiday season without mentioning everything this grand resort is known for. From an epic tree lighting and gingerbread display beginning the 24th, to divine dining at both RAYA and a classic Ritz buffet, celebrating winter in Orange County is a Laguna Niguel specialty– and that’s only the November festivities! Early diners will take advantage of the $125 Thanks-for-Giving buffet between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.. Nighttime guests can book RAYA between 4-9 p.m. for their limited a la carte or $125 three-course prix-fixe menus. All the delicious details can be found on their website. One Ritz-Carlton Dr., (949) 240-2000; www.ritzcarlton.com.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar – Newport Beach
In addition to their full menu, the team at Fleming’s will be plating both a $52 adult turkey dinner and similar $22 children’s (12 and under) plate. Both are three courses, but with a few choice differences. For starters, while both give a first course salad option, the adults can also select a lobster bisque. When it comes to the main event, filet mignon is definitely one to consider, but the children’s meal can also opt for a turkey breast or leg dinner. Green beans, stuffing and mashers are had by all, and it’s the adult meal for the win with a special chocolate gooey butter cake with honeycomb brittle. No complaints here. They’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.. 455 Newport Center Dr., (949) 720-9633; www.flemingssteakhouse.com.
The RANCH – Anaheim
While we normally visit Chefs David and Michael Rossi on special occasions, it’s safe to say that any visit to The RANCH Restaurant is a special occasion. And holidays are no exception. Occurring between 2-7 p.m., savor the four-course, $85 feast with choices such as braised veal cheek over sweet potato polenta, pheasant meatloaf alongside turnips and salsify, or República del cacao chocolate pots de crème. And make sure someone orders a Wyoming-raised buffalo prime rib with some Laura Chenel goat cheese ravioli! Make that reservation now, because they get booked up an easy two weeks out on a normal weekend already. 1025 E. Ball Rd., (714) 817-4200; www.theranch.com.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse – Irvine
This upscale destination will also open their doors from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. with both the full dinner menu as well as a holiday turkey meal. Priced at $65 for adults and $23 for youth, Chef Istvan Toth will nourish with comforting sides like challah bread herb stuffing and butternut squash. Save room for an add-on dessert of pecan tart with Wild Turkey anglaise and sweet cream. We’re fans of dining at the chef’s counter to spy on the cooking process. 18420 Von Karman Ave., (949) 477-4810; www.davios.com/irv.
ARC (To-Go) – Newport Beach
Serving up to six guests, Chef Noah’s holiday eats range from $28 for a side of Brussels sprouts to $275 for a deluxe turkey spread (including an organic rotisserie bird, stuffing, mashed taters with gravy, and cranberry sauce that didn’t come from a can. All orders must be placed by Friday, November 15 either via phone at 949-877-0190 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Plus, all food must be picked up between 9-10 a.m. or 1-2 p.m. on Thanksgiving at their ARC Butcher & Baker location. We’ve included the address after this sentence. 417 30th St. ; www.arcrestaurant.com.
Pacific Hideaway – Huntington Beach
Friendsgiving is the theme at Kimpton Shorebreak’s signature dining room. The holiday menu will be served from 2-10 p.m., along with the standard menus (also in rotation). For every $65 meal purchased, $10 will be donated to non-profit No Kid Hungry, helping children with access to healthy food, regardless of their home situation. We not only appreciate the charitable contribution, but also the initial round of wine or spiked cider during your meal. Enjoy! 500 Pacific Coast Hwy., (714) 965-4448; www.pacifichideawayhb.com.
TAPS Fish House – Brea and Irvine
If seafood is your jam, then make plans to swing by your nearest TAPS for a serious buffet. Ceviche, poke, oysters and shrimp cocktail await. Follow that up with a round of salads, charcuterie and cheese. Besides the infamous turkey, dabble in prime rib and honey-glazed ham (and a few chef specials). Classic holiday eats are of course available, but save belly space for pie and their chocolate fountain. $47.99 for adults; $15.99 ages 3-10. Note: Unlike brunch, a pint isn’t included. www.tapsfishhouse.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.