Giving thanks and sharing the start of the holiday season with loved ones is just part of the fun of Thanksgiving. The other part? Leaping for the mashed potatoes, inhaling turkey gravy and feeling no remorse for taking seconds on that pumpkin pie.
For busy families or those looking for a lavish feast without the prep and clean-up work, San Diego restaurants are setting up Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings. Discover the ultimate guide to 2012 Thanksgiving dinners, served on Thursday, November 22.
Marina Kitchen: Quintessential San Diego spirit comes alive at Marina Kitchen, as Thanksgiving dinner gets paired with panoramic views of the bay. The newest dining destination at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina will serve a three-course feast of comfort traditions and holiday favorites from Executive Chef Aaron Schwartz. Highlights off the menu include a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Herb Roasted Free Range Turkey, Roasted Brandt Beef New York, Cinderella Pumpkin Risotto and of course, classic Pumpkin Pie. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 2pm to 9pm for $30 per person or $50 with wine pairings selected by Advanced Sommelier Joshua Orr. 333 West Harbor Drive; 619.699.8222. sandiegomarriottmarquisandmarina.com.
Kitchen 1540: Your gratitude will grow this season while dining amidst a stunning ocean view in Del Mar. The three-course Thanksgiving dinner is laden with delicious flavors of the season, presented in a playful style. Starters to choose include Cool Roasted Beets, Prime Steak Carpaccio and a warm Chestnut Soup. Entrees feature a classic Turkey with cornbread stuffing, mashed potato, candied yam and cranberries; Wild Boar with black mole, apple, parsley root, charcoal, white chocolate and chili nut granola; or a Black Cod with clams, mussels and king crab. Save room for the Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Tart and an Apple Cranberry Crumble. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 12pm to 8pm for $65 per person; $32 for children under 12. 1540 Camino Del Mar; 866.536.9120. laubergedelmar.com.
100 Wines: The newest Cohn Restaurant Group success story to hit San Diego has us drinking wines and losing count. For Thanksgiving, they’re offering a feast of three-courses plus a welcoming bite done by Executive Chef Katherine Humphus. Start with the Fig and Honey Dinner Rolls, and then ease into first course options of Tomato Basil Soup, Valencian Salad and Baked Brie. Main entrees boast a Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli, Rosemary-Garlic Roast Turkey, Baked Skuna Bay Salmon and Grilled Filet Pizza. End on a sweet note with a choice of Molten Chocolate Cake, Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake. A special children’s menu will have more for the little ones. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 3pm to 8pm for $35.95 per adult; $12.95 per child 12 and under. 1027 University Ave; 619.491.0100. cohnrestaurants.com.
Hotel Del Coronado: Inside the Oceanfront Ballroom and Crown Room of the lavish Hotel Del Coronado, thankful guests will find an abundant buffet dinner decked with all the trimmings, plus musical entertainment. The dishes are endless and currently include a Sweet Potato and Bacon Salad, Shrimps & Grits, Duck Confit with Green Lentils, Smoked Trout, Cold Water Prawns, Alaskan King Crab, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Honey Glazed Ham, Butternut Squash Bisque, Slow Roasted Free Range Turkey, Roasted Pork Loin and Chestnut Stuffing, among others. Unique desserts to taste include Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake, Apricot Cranberry Chutney or a Cranberry and Cream Cheese Bread Pudding. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 12pm to 6pm for $92.50 per adult; $38.50 per child 6-10 and free for children 5 and under. 1500 Orange Ave; 1.800.468.3533. hoteldel.com.
Bertrand at Mister A’s: The perfect pick for a sophisticated family with refined taste, Thanksgiving dinner at Bertrand at Mister A’s is sure to impress. The three-course menu features Mister A’s favorites and seasonal classics. Start with your choice of Traditional Lobster Bisque, Oven Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Scallops and Asparagus Risotto and more. Main course options include Oven Roasted Fresh and Organic Diestel Turkey, Pan Seared “Loch Duart” Salmon Filet and Slow Roasted Brandt Farm Prime Rib. You won’t want to miss out on dessert choices of Julian’s Apple Tarte Tatin, Tahitian Vanilla Crème Brulee and Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Thanksgiving dinner at Mister A’s is priced at $59.50 per adult. 2550 Fifth Ave; 619.239.1377. bertrandatmisteras.com.
Pacifica Del Mar: New Chef Stephanie O’Mary-Berwald helms the kitchen at Pacifica Del Mar for a Thanksgiving feast worth a thousand “yums.” The three-course prix fixe menu offers warm-up starters such as a Roasted Parsnip Soup, Japanese Clam Chowder, Slow Roasted Beets or Dungeness Crab Cakes. Your main event of the night is choosing from an extensive list of entrees such as Slow Cooked Angus Prime Rib, Sugar Spiced Salmon, Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli and many more. The grand finale dessert can feature Pacifica’s Burnt Cream, Cranberry Sorbet or a Chocolate-Pecan Pie. Pacifica will also offer a special menu for children with kid-friendly dishes (think Grilled Tiger Shrimp and Grilled Cheeseburgers). Thanksgiving dinner is served from 12pm to 9pm for $39 per person; $16 for children 12 and under. 1555 Camino Del Mar; 858.792.0476. pacificadelmar.com
Mistral: If you prefer your Thanksgiving dinner with a stunning view of San Diego Bay, island hop over to Coronado for a special holiday meal at Mistral, the signature restaurant at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. The three-course menu inspired by the essence of Thanksgiving starts with your choice of Slow Roasted Pumpkin Soup or Confit Blue Prawn, Orange-Almond Chantilly. Entrée options range from Wild Striped Sea Bass to Sweet Potato Risotto or Turkey Breast Confit. Save room for dessert; you choose between Lemon & Orange Blossom Cheese Cake or Dark Caramel & Fleur de Sel Ice Cream. Mistral’s three-course dinner has seatings at 4pm and 6:30pm for $75 per adult and $37 for kids 4-12. 4000 Coronado Bay Road; 619.424.4000. loewshotels.com
Carlsbad Beach Bistro at Hilton Garden Inn: Sit-back and relax with this special three-course Thanksgiving dinner for families looking to spend the fall holiday in the Carlsbad region. The dinner will begin with a specialty Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque, followed by a traditional main course of Herb-Roasted Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and buttered green beans. The traditions continue with a holiday dessert of warm pumpkin pie. The young ones have their own menu to choose from, including Roasted Turkey with mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans, and an Ice Cream Sundae for dessert. Carlsbad Beach Bistro’s Thanksgiving dinner is served from 12pm to 10pm for $24.95 per person or $12.95 per child 12 and under. 6450 Carlsbad Blvd; 760.476.0800. hiltongardeninncarlsbad.com.
Café Sevilla: While Thanksgiving may be an American tradition, San Diego’s Spanish-style restaurant is celebrating with their own twist. The three-course prix-fixe meal will start with a choice of Spiced Pumpkin Bisque or the Sevilla House Salad. Then, choose between the Cranberry Stuffed Turkey Breast or Pan Roasted Salmon for your main entree. And for dessert, delight in the Cold Pumpkin Souffle with candied pecans and spiced pumpkin gelato. Thanksgiving dinner is $29.95 per adult; $12.95 per child. 353 Fifth Ave; 877.307.2214. cafesevilla.com.
BO-beau Kitchen + Bar: This warm and rustic restaurant pays homage to French comfort food. For a special holiday treat, spend your Thanksgiving at BO-beau with Chef Katherine Humphus. The three-course menu starts with Cornbread Biscuits, then offers a choice of Mixed Greens Salad, Cranberry-Apricot Baked Brie or Mussel and Spinach Bisque. Entrée selections range from Herb Roasted Turkey to Seared Ribeye and Trout Almandine. And for dessert, enjoy your pick of Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pecan Pie or Molten Chocolate Cake. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 3pm to 8pm for $35.95 per adult and $12.95 for kids 12 and under. 4996 West Point Loma Blvd; 619.224.2884. cohnrestaurants.com.
La Valencia: Chef Paul McCabe – new Executive Chef to the iconic La Valencia Hotel – will treat guests to an extravagant three-course menu featuring rich and flavorful classics. Get started with a choice of Organic Green Salad, Roasted Beet Salad, Tahitian Squash Soup and Day Boat Scallops. For your main entrée of the evening, choose from McCabe creations of Arctic Char, Carved Free Range Turkey, Grilled Filet Mignon, Roasted Black Cod or a Vegetable Sampler with Toasted Farro, Autumn Vegetable Saute and Tuscan Kale. Behold, the dessert buffet with offerings of Ginger Bread Crème Brulee, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pecan Tart, Cranberry Upside-Down Cake and Cherry Chocolate Tart. Thanksgiving dinner at La Valencia is served from 12pm to 6pm for $75 per person; $35 per child 12 and under. 1132 Prospect Street; 858.551.3765. lavalencia.com.
Flavor Del Mar: San Diego is invited to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with Flavor’s generous presentation of traditional and modern fall dishes. Feast on Chef Brian Redzikowski’s clever creations, starting with the Butternut Squash Soup, Pear and Persimmon Salad or Sautéed Greens. The main course will stuff guests with Turkey, Pork Chops, New York Strip, Tuna Tataki and Veggie Cavatelli. Finish off with Flavor’s signature Budino dessert or a Pumpkin Tart or Apple Bread Pudding. Thanksgiving Dinner at Flavor Del Mar is served from 11:30am to 8pm for $42 per person. 1555 Camino Del Mar; 866.703.9319. flavordelmar.com.
Vivace at Park Hyatt Aviara: The elaborate Park Hyatt Aviara’s Italian restaurant warmly welcomes all to a four-course dining affair done with an Italian twist. Created by Chef de Cuisine Jesse Paul, the menu features rich dishes such as Butternut Squash Soup, Maple-Glazed Sweetbreads, Caramelized Apple, and Amaretti Crème to start; Roasted Turkey Breast, Turkey Sausage & Sage Bread Stuffing and Grilled Radicchio, Celeriac Puree for main entrees; and Hazelnut Nutella Cake, Praline Cream, Cinnamon Poached Pear or Pumpkin Gelato to finish off sweet. Thanksgiving dinner is served from 4pm to 8pm for $75 per person. 7100 Aviara Resort Drive; 760.448.1234. parkaviara.hyatt.com.
The Steak House on Broadway: As one of San Diego’s finest prime rib restaurants, The Steak House on Broadway in Chula Vista features premier steaks, ribs, chops, seafood and pasta. For their Thanksgiving feast, they’re calling guests to “gobble ‘til you drop”. The all-you-can-eat buffet will feature a Carving Station with Slow-Roasted Prime Rib, Roasted Turkey and Baked Ham; and Omelet Station with made-to-order Omelets and all the fixings; and an endless selection of main dishes such as Yams, Veggie Lasagna, Chicken Florentine, Steak Sinatra, Shrimp Scampi, Sautéed Fish and Pasta. Thanksgiving dinner at The Steak House on Broadway is served from 10am to 4pm for $20 per person; $25 with champagne and $12 for children under 12. 556 Broadway; 619.420.9440. rdpsteakhouse.com.
Islands Sushi and Pupu Bar: The Islands Sushi & Pupu Bar in Crowne Plaza San Diego creates an exotic atmosphere of tropical surroundings, salt-water fish tanks and cascading waterfalls. Rather than host the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, they’re offering an extra-luxurious Champagne Buffet Brunch. Head in to have a bite from the Breakfast Station with Omelets, Eggs Benedicts and Waffles; the Seafood Station with Snow Crab, Marinated Cocktail Claw and Hand-Rolled Sushi; and Entrée Station with Oven Roasted Tom Turkey, Apple Raisin Walnut Stuffing, Wasabi Mashed Potato and much more. Plus, enjoy the Salad Station, the Pasta Station and the Dessert Station with a Milk Chocolate Fountain. Don’t forget about the chilled champagne! Thanksgiving brunch at Islands Sushi is served from 10am to 2pm for $36.95 per person; 34.95 per senior and $16.95 for children under 12. 2270 Hotel Circle North; 619.297.1101 ext. 3150. islandssushi.com.
House of Blues: Acknowledging the true sentiments of the holiday season, House of Blues San Diego is giving back with their 20th Anniversary House of Giving Event. On Thanksgiving, they’ll provide meals for 600 people in need with the traditional Gospel Brunch-style feast. The community event will include live music and entertainment. This special occasion partners with Feeding America San Diego and MOGL to supply hearty dinners for those in need. The House of Giving Event will take place from 10am to 1pm. 1055 Fifth Avenue; 866.906.6607. houseofblues.com.
Insider Tip: Go Casual
Brian’s 24: San Diego’s go-to 24-hour diner celebrates the holiday with an old-fashioned roasted turkey dinner piled sky-high. The mouth-watering plated dish is served with a dinner salad, Brian’s Mom’s special stuffing, real mashed potatoes, sweet carrots, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce and a dinner roll. Add a large slice of Brian’s delicious pumpkin pie for just $4.99. Thanksgiving dinner is served from November 22-25 from 11am to 11pm for $17.99. 828 6th Avenue; 855.851.6271. brians24.com.
barleymash: The downtown hot-spot welcomes all to head in on Thanksgiving night for a casual feast with tons of tasty appeal. The traditional dinner will include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, cranberries and a special booze-infused dessert. Barleymash will also celebrate football, for that moment when you need a retreat from the family dining room. Enjoy evening NFL and select from one of the 31 beers on tap. Thanksgiving dinner is served starting at 3pm for $18. 600 5th Avenue; 877.327.0238. barleymash.com.