December 15, 2020 – Looks like we’ll all be home for Christmas this year, so let’s maximize the merriment. Nothing makes you feel better than a good meal, especially a good meal lovingly prepared by local chefs who gladly toil to make your tastebuds happy. Restaurants could sure all the support we can offer, and here are many ways you can make your holiday even more delicious—and dare we say, adventurous?—than ever. Browse on for some tempting ways to make merry this crazy year. Use the good holiday china, the finest crystal and that ancient silverware from your grandmother that’s languishing in the buffet table in need of a good polish. Now is that “some day” to go all out.
Aubergine wants you to celebrate the end of this sordid year from the comfort of your own home, with chef Justin Cogley and his team’s decadent menu guaranteed to bring delicious flavors and holiday cheer to your dining room table. Orders need to be placed by Monday, December 21, 2020. Pick up between 11 am—4pm, on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2020. The meal, which serves 4 to 6, is $595 plus tax and 20% service charge. Call 831.624.8578.
or visit Aubergine Christmas Dinner
Aubergine Christmas Menu
Apps: Aged Comté gougeres; 12 Pacific Gold Oysters, Grains of Paradise mignonette; duck liver, cranberry gastrique, brioche
Mains: Ora King salmon and prime rib, au jus with horseradish cream
Sides: Salad with green apple, celeriac, black truffle vinaigrette; black truffle potato gratin, Comté; BBQ mushrooms and creamed spinach; roasted cauliflower, Romesco sauce; Parker House rolls
Dessert: Bûche de Noël - chocolate roulade filled with salted caramel bittersweet chocolate ganache and meringue mushrooms
Ready to finish in your kitchen with easy to follow instructions.
There are plenty of À la Carte items as well, including honey glazed spiced Muscovy duck with leg confit, carrot, date and roasted jus, for two, $90. Also a shellfish tower, lobster, caviar and Kugelhopf, a yeasted cake baked with plump golden raisins soaked in a syrup imbibed with Rum: $50 for 6 people.
Carefully curated wines to compliment your holiday meal: see order link for options.
And don’t forget, Aubergine also offers an expanded to-go program, available Thursday through Sunday. Order by Wednesday. This week’s is $65 per person and features steak au poivre with pommes Dauphinoise, haricot vert, shallot-thyme vinaigrette salad and bosc pear frangipane tart.
Barceloneta offers a Tapas Feast to serve up to 4 people, for pickup at the restaurant on Christmas Eve, 11am—1pm, for $235. It’s loaded with all the Iberian snacks and goodies you would expect, including crab stuffed piquillo peppers, jamón Serrano, chorizo Ibérico, cheeses and sweets. Call 831.900.5222.
Coastal Roots Hospitality has three wise ways to make Christmas dinner special this year. Pick up your meal in Thursday, Dec. 24, with orders received before Monday, December 21. 831.647.1085
Montrio Bistro offers a choice of prime rib or Alaskan halibut en papillote, both served with duck fat roasted marble potatoes, vegetables, family style Caesar salad and white chocolate bread pudding with passionfruit ice cream. $200 serves 4; $400 serves 8.
Rio Grill in Carmel has you covered with a dinner for four at $200, that includes chicken pozole soup, spring mix salad with raspberry-jalapeño vinaigrette and a choice of smoked New York steak with chimichurri or sliced ham off the bone, with market veggies. Choose pumpkin cheesecake or apple pie. Whole pies and cheesecakes are available for $35/each.
Tarpy’s Roadhouse in Monterey, offers a feast for 10 at $425. It includes roasted cauliflower bisque, baby mixed greens, a choice of Maldon sea salt and herb-roasted New York with chimichurri or bone-in, spiral-cut Berkshire orange-glazed ham with honey-thyme mustard. Sides include Gruyere scalloped potato gratin, Blue Lake green beans with crispy bacon and herbed butter, and a dozen fresh-baked, herb-garlic dinner rolls. Choice of Granny Smith apple crisp with pecan and oatmeal crumble or butterscotch cheesecake.
Estéban Restaurant dining offers both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 3-course dinner options, which offer a choice of wild mushroom soup or poached pear salad, and entrees including prime rib ($70++/pp), cioppino ($50++) and fried chicken ($45++). Prices include a trio of petit fours for dessert. Selections from Estéban’s to-go menu will also be available. Christmas Eve dinner can be picked up between 2:30pm and 7pm on Dec 24, and Christmas Day dinner, from 12:30 to 7pm on Dec 25. Call 831.375.0176 to reserve.
Starting Monday, December 14th, Estéban’s enhanced seasonal To-Go menu with full bar is available for curbside pick-up, 4pm—8pm nightly.
Gabriella Café chef Gema Cruz offers a three-course Christmas Eve menu to-go for $65 per person that includes plenty of options, including for entrées your choice of Delmonte New York steak, duck leg confit, roasted halibut or risotto-stuffed kabocha squash. Pickup will be available from 1-4pm.
Grasings in Carmel will offer a Christmas Eve Cioppino dinner to-go. Order online or call 831.624.6562 to reserve your meal by 5pm Wednesday, December 19th, 2020. They also have a Christmas Day prix fixe dinner with many options including risotto, turkey, sea bass and prime rib. Order by noon, December 23, for pickup at the restaurant, on December 25, noon to 7pm. Inquire about delivery options.
La Posta aims to make Christmas Eve memorable with their $65 meal to go that will delight your every sense, beginning with a special ricotta crostino with marinated chanterelles. Then chef Ricardo offers a choice of burrata with chicories, citrus and pistachio pesto or grilled octopus with chickpea puree, fennel and olive tapenade. Choose a wild mushroom lasagnette with spinach and black truffle or duck leg with polenta, Tokyo turnip and olive gremolata. Should you have room, your dessert choices are almond cake with poached pear and almond gelato, or chocolate tartlette with caramel and hazelnut whipped cream. All ready to heat and serve.
Orders must be emailed by Dec. 20 to email@example.com and can be picked up Dec. 24, between 10am and 1pm.
Chef David Kinch’s Mentone in Aptos offers a decadent Christmas Eve feast to go. It includes beef short rib Provençal, root vegetable gratin with black truffle, braised endive, white bean soup, house focaccia, winter salad with citrus and fennel, aged cheeses with membrillo and chocolate mousse cheesecake from Manresa Bread. Cost is $115 per person and it can be picked up from 1-4pm on December 24.
New Leaf Markets have you covered with grassfed beef, a tradition this time of year. Reserve your pasture-grazed, non-GMO verified custom cut steaks or roasts from cattle raised at Sunfed Farms in Sacramento at newleaf.com/holiday
They offer wine pairing suggestions on the website as well.
Use Instacart ( instacart.newleaf.com) or pre-order and pick up at your store.
Help feed neighbors in need by contributing directly to either Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County or Coastside Hope in the Half Moon Bay community. $1 = 4 meals, and you can donate as much or as little as you want in dollar increments. It’s a simple, yet impactful way to bring joy and a hot meal to those in our community over the holidays.
Old Fistherman’s Grotto will offer two options for Christmas Day dinner. Both are available Family Style to go, at $100 for 2 people, $200 for 4 people, $300 or 6 people and $400 for 8 people. Chef Juan’s Traditional Christmas Dinner is slow roasted prime rib (14 oz) with au jus and creamy horseradish, stuffed twice baked potato, roasted parsnips, butternut squash, yams and Brussels sprouts, sauteed blue lake green beans, King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls and cranberry and apple tart.
Or, choose Papa Shake’s Famous Italian Style Cioppino, with a variety of crab, shrimp, calamari, bay scallops, clams and fish simmered in a rich marinara sauce, parmesan crusted garlic bread and cranberry and apple tart.
Old Fisherman’s Grotto is located at 39 Old Fisherman’s Wharf and orders should be preordered by Tuesday, December 22nd by calling 831.375.4604. Pickup will be available on Christmas Day from 11 am–6 pm.
Poppy Hall wants to deck your table while you take care of the halls. Christmas Eve dinner to go is $49.95/pp and includes a winter fruit laden salad with feta cheese and creamy cinnamon pomegranate dressing, and a choice of seared duck breast or roasted sablefish, both with fresh herb risotto. Choose stuffed acorn squash for a vegetarian option. Dessert is persimmon pudding. Please order by Tuesday, Dec 22, for pickup on Christmas Eve, between 3:30 and 6pm. Call 831.204.9990
Quail Lodge & Golf Club invites Carmel locals to let Edgar’s do the cooking for you, whether it’s just you and Santa or your whole bubble family. Christmas Dinner To Go should be pre-ordered by Tuesday, December 22, 3:00PM for pick-up on Friday, December 25. To order, please call 831.620.8875.
Quail’s Whole Ham Dinner for Six – $215 + Tax: 8-10lb spiral cut ham served with potato gratin, rosemary & brown sugar yams, green beans with shallots, Parker House style rolls & cultured butter, bourbon glaze, fall harvest mixed green salad, chef ’s leftover recipe and. choice of whole pie dessert.
Quail’s Prime Rib Roast Dinner for Six – $345 + Tax: 3-bone prime rib roast with au jus served with potato gratin, rosemary & brown sugar yams, green beans with shallots, Parker House style rolls & cultured butter, bourbon glaze, fall harvest mixed green salad, chef ’s leftover recipe & choice of whole pie dessert.
Quail’s Personal Christmas Dinner – $35 + Tax: country ham with potato gratin, rosemary & brown sugar yams, green beans with shallots, Parker House style rolls & cultured butter, bourbon glaze, fall harvest mixed greens salad with molasses vinaigrette
Cup of Chanterelle mushroom chowder – $9 + Tax; 1 dozen Parker House Rolls with cultured butter – $14 + Tax; Slice of apple pie – $10+ Tax
Additional Sides – $13 + Tax each (Serves 4):
Potato gratin, rosemary & brown sugar yams, green beans with shallots, Parker House style rolls & cultured butter, bourbon glaze, fall harvest mixed greens salad
Whole Dessert – $65 + Tax each (Serves 8): Apple or pecan pie; Pear and cranberry cobbler; or Brioche and raisin bread pudding, with hard sauce.
Soif has you covered for Hanukkah. Chef Tom has come up with a delicious takeaway Hanukkah dinner menu that includes smoked salmon tartare, latkes, beef brisket, savory noodle kugel, roasted vegetables with pomegranate glaze and a challah, raisin and apple brown Betty. Hanukkah meals will be available for pickup December 10th—December 13th, as well as the 17th and 18th. Dinner is $65 per person, prepared to be reheated at home. Detailed reheating instructions are included. Want wine to go with your dinner? Order both wine and dinner from Alexis: firstname.lastname@example.org
A special Soif Christmas Eve Dinner menu with a choice of starters (salt cod bouillabaisse or citrus salad), main (stuffed squab with sausage and Marsala or prime rib with creamed spinach and horseradish), and dessert (traditional Bûche de Noël or sticky toffee pudding), is yours to be had for just $75 a person. It is available to pick up Soif from 11am to 1pm on December 24th.
Wine shop hours will be extended for the month of December, Wed—Sunday, noon to 8pm.
Stone Creek Kitchen offers four different holiday entrée options (turkey galantine, herb crusted prime rib roast, cedar plank salmon and decadent truffle parmesan encrusted beef tenderloin – I have on good authority that this is TDF, available in 2-lb increments for $36.99/lb), plus comforting sides and sauces. Don’t forget handmade pies, cheesecakes and fruitcake. All December holiday orders must be placed by 4pm on Friday December 18, 2020. Let’s show these gals some love before they close in February.
Wild Fish in Pacific Grove has the perfect Christmas Day feast for seafood lovers. Its three-course dinner features your choice of entrées: whole roasted fish, whole steamed Dungeness crab, Wild Fish cioppino, sablefish filet with tamari caramel or wild mushroom risotto. Festive dessert options include cranberry curd tart or chocolate torte with frankincense ice cream! Choice of appetizer is included for $65 per person and it will be available from 3-7:30pm on Christmas Day.
Here’s to a feast to remember, and may Christmas be the bright spot in 2020: like Rudolph’s nose in the fog.
Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.