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Thanksgiving Tips, Tricks and Recipes

November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year for family and friends to gather—sharing a special meal together, and often reflecting on what each person is grateful for. With the traditions of this season, I reached out to a few local chefs to uncover their favorite recipes. They were kind enough to share with us their “go to” recipes, as well as some tips and tricks to help us navigate in our own kitchen.

And for those who are just not up for all that work at home, there are some great restaurant options and gourmet “take out” as well. Please visit this link, to see a list of some of the many Thanksgiving restaurant options in the Newport Beach area—including 16 restaurants serving wonderful dine-in menus, and 6 offering gourmet “to-go” menus for easy pick up.

We are pleased to share with you some of our local Chef’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes that you can enjoy at home, as well details on their restaurant happenings as well.

pressWaterline Restaurant @ Balboa Bay Resort– Newport Beach
Executive Chef Vincent Lesage has shared with us two recipes— “Not Your Traditional Turkey” & “Oyster Stuffing”. Chef Vincent notes that some pieces of a turkey take longer to cook than others. He suggests that by separating the legs from the turkey breasts, one can cook them better than all together. His step-by-step instructions are simple to follow, and worth trying. The Oyster Stuffing recipe sounds like a winner and will be featured on their menu in the restaurant.

For those wishing to dine at the restaurant, Waterline will be featuring a four-course menu, with spectacular views of the bay and live piano music. The Thanksgiving Day dinner will be served from 2:00 to 7:00pm. The cost is $85 per person for adults, and $42.00 for children 4-12 years of age. This does not include tax and gratuity.

Waterline Dining room

Waterline Restaurant @ Balboa Bay Resort
1221 West Coast Hwy,
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Zov Cooking fm cook bookZov’s Bistro– Newport Coast
Executive Chef & Owner Zov Karamardian has shared with us three of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes…her very popular “Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Soup” a rich “Sage Turkey Gravy” and a flavorful “Hazelnut, Sage & Mushroom Stuffing”.

While “talking turkey with Zov” she kindly imparted some helpful tips and tricks to ensuring a successful meal. So here they are, and more can be found under her recipe “chef’s notes”.

1) To avoid becoming overwhelmed, think about cooking a turkey as baking a really big chicken. It is relatively simple.
2) Use a meat thermometer to ensure the bird is thoroughly cooked. Once the turkey is cooked to the correct temperature, and removed from the oven, most of the juices reside in the cavity of the bird. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes while the juices are re-absorbed into the bird, and thereby making the meat more moist and flavorful. (This also is the perfect time to prepare the gravy!)
3) The day before cooking the turkey, wash the turkey as usual, pat dry, and leave in the refrigerator uncovered overnight. This will allow the skin to dry out and with some butter rubbed on the skin, it will be crispier when baked.
When asked about her favorite “chef tools” Zov mentioned: her Microplane (for grating nutmeg, lemons, shallots, garlic, cheese) and a very sharp Chef’s knife.

Zov’s Bistro has four restaurant locations in Orange County, including: Newport Coast, Irvine, Tustin, and the newest restaurant in Anaheim just two blocks from the Angels Stadium. Zov encourages her staff to enjoy time with their family, so all her restaurants will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Fans can still enjoy her delicious cuisine by ordering her “to go” menu which will feed 12-15 guests and includes: Turkey, stuffing, sage gravy, yams, mashed potatoes, salad, relish, creamed corn, salad, rolls—- all the fixings— and a pie, for $450. Orders can be made by calling 714.838.8855 x21 and can be picked up at the Tustin location between the hours of 1:00-5:00pm on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014.


Zov’s Bistro
21123 Newport Coast Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92657

Chef Steve in action Stephen KlungFive Crowns Restaurant– Corona del Mar
Executive Chef Stephen Kling shared with us two recipes, his “Fresh Cranberry Sauce” and his secret “Turkey Brine” to prepare the turkey for baking. This is done 24 hours ahead of baking the turkey in the oven.

Five Crowns is an iconic, and well established Tudor-style restaurant. They are completely booked for Thanksgiving Day reservations. However, they are offering customized “to go” menus which include whole or half Prime Ribs and all of their famous side dishes, such as: creamed spinach and corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, Au Jus, creamed horseradish, and Yorkshire Pudding batter. When ordering, guests will be assigned a pick-up time between 8:00am and 12:45pm on Thanksgiving Day.


Five Crowns Restaurant
3801 East Coast Highway
Corona del Mar, CA 92625

Chef Cathy PavlosProvenance Restaurant– Newport Beach/Eastbluff
Executive Chef and Owner Cathy Pavlos shares with us her favorite and decedent recipe for a creamy “Pumpkin Cheesecake”. Thanksgiving is just not complete without a delicious dessert or two. This is a winner and will be surely enjoyed by guests looking for that perfect finish!

Provenance is a new favorite in Newport, offering a fantastic “farm to table” menu that is every changing. The on-site garden is a constant reminder of the seasonal focus in the kitchen, and is a lovely setting for romantic dinners or girlfriend gatherings. Chef Cathy Pavlos also leads amazing cooking classes and special wine and craft cocktail events. Visit her web site for a list of upcoming events. She also has a second location in Irvine, Lucca Café.
For Thanksgiving Day, the restaurant will be open from 4:00 to 8:00pm. The three course menu features three different entrée offerings, and is a great value at $42.50 per person. Enjoy!


Provenance Restaurant
2531 Eastbluff Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660

We would like to thank all of these Chefs for sharing their coveted recipes with us. This Thanksgiving fare is sure to make any home cook a star at the table, and we hope you enjoy making one or more of these treasured items. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday—-whether dining at a restaurant, or comfortably at home. We have so much to be grateful for. Cheers!

Click Here for our featured Chefs’ favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Written by Visit Newport Beach

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