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Letting the pros prepare the Thanksgiving feast

November 18, 2005|By By Greer Wylder

There's no place like home on Thanksgiving. Yet, planning the biggest home-cooked feast of the year is a huge undertaking.

For simpler dining-out options, here are three local restaurants offering great dining choices, as well as one turkey-to-go option.

For formal Thanksgiving dining, Chat Noir and Pinot Provence offer four course sit-down menus with choices for each course. The Clubhouse suits families and casual diners. It offers an expansive buffet, and even has a turkey-to-go-menu.

Chat Noir, David Wilhem's French bistro and jazz lounge, celebrates Thanksgiving dinner from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The upscale lounge-style restaurant is in the South Coast Metro theater district in Costa Mesa.

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Gourmands will appreciate the dinner that begins with hors d'oeuvres, a sampling of duck foie mousse, medley of marinated olives and cornichons, and crudites with mustard-horseradish aioli. The choice of appetizers includes sherried lobster bisque, butternut squash soup, shrimp cocktail, butter lettuce or mesclun greens and endive salad, as well as succulent braised veal cheeks.

For entrees, choose from traditional roast turkey, prime rib, John Dory on potato puree, and a roast rack of pork.

Desserts are always exceptional at Chat Noir. Choose from simply spiced maple-pumpkin creme brulee, warm apple tart tatin, Callebaut chocolate souffle, warm fresh berries, or profiteroles with eggnog-Courvoisier ice cream. The cost is $50 per person.

655 Anton Blvd. in Costa Mesa. (714) 557-6647.

Dining at Joachim Splichal's Pinot Provence is always a treat. And it's even more special at Thanksgiving. Dinner is served from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Executive chef Florent Marneau has planned a four-course dinner that starts with as delicious leek potage (soup).

Six choices for the second course include Papillon Roquefort (one of the most famous cheeses) with oven dried fall fruit salad, farmers market greens, crushed caramelized almond and Banyuls vinaigrette. There's also coquille Saint-Jacques Farci, brioche crusted bay scallops, with Sancerre and creme fraiche shellfish fumet (a concentrated stock); a winter squash tarte comes with pumpkin seed pesto, fine Westphalian ham, and green onion Fromage frais; or a Terrine de Campagne is served with pickled vegetables and homemade onion-walnut Bannette. The shelled Dungeness crab legs are served with Bearnaise mousseline; or there are six oysters on the half shell with mignonette sauce.

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