Catalina Connection

Celebrate Thanksgiving in Catalina

Byline: Shane Scott

Celebrate Thanksgiving in Catalina

CATALINA ISLAND — Planning to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend in Catalina — but not sure how you’ll be able to stuff a 20-pound turkey into your boat’s compact oven?

Fortunately for visiting boaters, Catalina offers many traditional Thanksgiving feast options, with no onboard cooking required.

For those heading to Catalina’s West End, the Harbor Reef Restaurant at Two Harbors has been hosting its annual Thanksgiving celebration for more than 30 years, and it has become an island tradition for many boaters.

Every year, guests get the option to have a plated turkey dinner and traditional side holiday dishes, or to purchase a whole turkey carved tableside by one of the restaurant’s chefs and served with traditional sides. Both options come with pumpkin pie for dessert.

The Harbor Reef Restaurant typically serves about 300 guests every year for the holiday. Thanksgiving dinner is scheduled for Nov. 28, and reservations are required.

Cost for the plated dinner option is $26 per person for adults and $14 for children 12 and younger. For the whole turkey option, the price is $18 per pound, with traditional sides included. For reservations or more information, call (310) 510-4215.

In Avalon, boaters have a variety of menu options to choose from — including traditional Thanksgiving dinners and menus with a Catalina-style twist.

At El Galleon restaurant, dinner options include an old-fashioned Thanksgiving dinner with a choice of fresh-cooked whole tom turkey or pit ham with all the traditional fixings, or a special “Catalina Thanksgiving dinner” that includes turkey, trimmings and a fresh local half-lobster. Each dinner is served with sourdough bread and butter, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, candied yams, fresh vegetables and cranberries. Dinners also include a complimentary pumpkin pie dessert.

The old-fashioned thanksgiving dinner is $24.95 for adults; $12.95 for children 12 and under. The Catalina Thanksgiving dinner is $44.95 for adults and children. Prices exclude tax, beverages and gratuity.

Dinner reservations at El Galleon Restaurant are available for Thanksgiving from noon to 9 p.m., with late-night desserts, a full bar and Karaoke from 9 p.m.-midnight. Catering is available for parties of 15 or more — and El Galleon’s regular lunch and dinner menu is also available. For dinner reservations, call (310) 510-1188.

Mi Casita restaurant is serving a Mexican-style Thanksgiving meal. The feast begins with albondigas soup followed with a dinner of fresh whole roasted turkey smothered in poblano mole sauce, served with Mi Casita rice, sweet corn tamales and crispy fried sweet potato slices and a choice of flour or corn tortillas. For dessert, there’s dulce de leche: ice cream with cajeta (caramel) sauce.

Dinner is available from noon to 9 p.m., and reservations are not necessary, except for parties of eight or more. The price is $21.95 for adults; $10.95 for children under 12. Prices exclude tax, beverages and gratuity. Mi Casita’s regular lunch and dinner menu is also available. For reservations, call (310) 510-1772.

At Antonio’s Pizza and Cabaret, Thanksgiving dinner will have a bit of Italian flavor. Dinner includes a fresh roasted whole tom turkey with Italian stuffing, plus traditional side dishes — including salad, candied yams, mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, fresh vegetables and cranberry sauce. Dinner is available from noon to 8 p.m. and reservations are not necessary, except for parties of eight or more.

Dinner for adults is $21.95; children under 12 are $11.95. Prices exclude tax, beverages and gratuity. Antonio’s regular menu is also available — and diners get a choice of indoor or outdoor bayview patio seating. For reservations, call (310) 510-1188.

And at the waterfront Avalon Grille, the special three-course Thanksgiving dinner menu starts with a choice of butternut squash soup with brandy, apples and nutmeg creme fraiche; or a mixed green salad with dried cranberries, apples, walnuts and blue cheese. The second course is a roasted breast of turkey with pan gravy, cranberry relish, garlic mashed potatoes, apple and chestnut stuffing and green beans amandine; or a carved fillet of beef with garlic mashed potatoes and horseradish gremolata.

The dinner finishes with a choice of pumpkin pie with cinnamon creme anglaise and amaretti crumble; or bourbon pecan pie with Chantilly cream. The price is $40 for adults; $14 for children under 12. For reservations, call (310) 510-7494.

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