IT’S LOOKING MORE AND MORE like Christmas and Hanukkah will be repeats of Thanksgiving with many opting to stay at home and celebrate within their household. For small-group gatherings or those who shudder to think of cooking another meal, local restaurants have introduced carry-out options that aim to impress and are available just for the holiday season.
à La Carte
Celebrate like our neighbor to the north with Lazy Susan’s French Canadian Christmas meat pie. Stuffed into a buttery crust are potatoes, ground pork and onions, plus cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg and a side of cranberry mustard. $25 non-gluten-free. $35 gluten-free. Pre-order before Fri. 12/18.
Give your family a taste of a Spanish Christmas through CAVAS’ holiday meal. The experience begins with a Winter Wonderland salad (citrus, spinach, glazed pears and goat cheese) and is followed by sweet rolls and clove/honey butter, chipotle- and honey-rubbed roasted ham, potatoes gratin, broccoli mascarpone bacon tart and lemon cake. You don’t even need to stop at the local wine store as the meal includes a bottle of Freixenet, a Spanish sparkling wine. Serves 2. $135. Pre-order by Tues. 12/22 and pick up on Thurs. 12/24 by 4 p.m.
Kegel’s Inn’s popular Friday fish fries step aside for the West Allis restaurant’s take on German specialties. All are available à la carte. Choose from items like goulash, half of a roasted boneless duck, Wiener Schnitzel and Sauerbrauten. For additional fees, there’s even Kugel Wursts for an app and desserts such as a Schaum Torte. $10-$15 per person. Pre-order by Sun. 12/20 at 8 p.m. and pick up on Wed. 12/23 between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Birch + Butcher knows it’s not just about Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner—you may be interested in pre-ordering its Holiday Brunch meal. Choose from “lighter” items like cinnamon rolls or bacon, go all in with ham and rolls or biscuits and gravy. The restaurant also makes all the decisions for you with two Take + Bake Dinners — either a two-pound herb-crusted beef tenderloin with sides or a two-pound hand-cut smoked ham with sides. Or, get brunch and dinner (ideal for just two people). Another option are four sides (Bibb salad, fingerling potatoes, dinner rolls and smoked green beans), sold as a bundle. Serves four guests. $95-$180 for dinners. $50 for just the sides. $60 for brunch and dinner (serves two). $10-$20 for Holiday Brunch meals. Pick up Wed. 12/23, Thurs. 12/24 or Thurs. 12/31.
Odd Duck’s Build Your Own Holiday Feast incorporates the expected (like cocktail shrimp) with the exotic (albondigas, which are Spanish-style lamb and beef meatballs) for apps, followed by entrees such as roast stuffed quails or a smoked-salmon platter, with 10 items total. Add a cocktail kit for further pizzazz: Brandy Old-Fashioned or Grasshoppers, anyone? Serves four guests. $20-$38 for food items. $35-$45 for cocktail kits. Pick up Thurs. 12/24.
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The Whole Meal
Craving Chinese? DanDan’s Christmas Peking Duck To-Go is a true delicacy, featuring not only the duck but two other courses. Serves 2-3 guests. $80. Pre-order by 12/17 and pick up on 12/23 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Three Brothers Restaurant’s two Christmas specials are a whole-roast goose with Serbian-style bread-based stuffing, roasted carrots and house-made pickled cabbage; and a braised lamb and quince dinner that comes with saffron rice, Granny Smith apple and pecan salad, and corn tamales filled with Serbian-braised beans. Leave the dessert to someone else by ordering a seven-layer, chocolate-walnut torte to top it all off. $250 for goose dinner (serves 4-6). $39 for lamb dinner (serves 1). $9 for torte. Pick up Wed. 12/23 and Thurs. 12/24
Sabrosa Café & Gallery’s Christmas Dinner plate includes a puff-pastry crusted flank-steak roll, horseradish garlic mashed potatoes, Dijon hollandaise and glazed carrots, plus Christmas bread pudding with crème caramel. $25 per person. Pre-order and pick up on Fri. 12/25 between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Is there a vegan in your midst? Twisted Plants’ Holiday Feast has all the fixings. This includes a BBQ glazed meatloaf, cutlets with gravy, a classic green-bean casserole, mac & cheese, garlic mashed potatoes and peach cobbler. Note that these items do contain gluten, soy and tree nuts. And despite the names, every single ingredient is plant-based and therefore vegan. Serves 2 guests. $65. Pick up Thurs. 12/24 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Sanford’s Our Very Merry Christmas Dinner blends classics (like a holiday fruit cake with brandied cherries) with upscale twists (such as duck-fat potatoes) for a feast that also includes slow-roasted prime rib with garlic and thyme (garnished with saffron poached pear, fig and orange), roasted root vegetables and rolls with butter. Serves 4 guests. $210. Pick up on Tues. 12/22 between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Wed. 12/23 between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Miss Molly’s Christmas Dinner Kits feature five items: herb-roasted tenderloin, roasted tri-colored carrots, Brussels-sprouts salad, garlic scalloped potatoes and dinner rolls. Next, you can tack on the desserts this sweet little spot is known for, like an eggnog cheesecake with a gingersnap crust, chocolate-peppermint mousse pie or apple-rosemary-almond galette. Serves 2 or 4 guests. From $20 for the dinner kits. $32-$40 for pies. Pick up Thurs. 12/24 between 9 a.m. and noon.
Ardent’s Holiday Prime Rib Take Home Package eliminates poring over the menu: chef-owner Justin Carlisle has already made the decisions for you. Each person gets a Caesar salad, 12-ounce prime rib, four cocktail shrimp with sauce, cheesy hash-brown potato casserole and—for dessert—a Christmas-cookie box. Serves two or four. $150-$300. Pick up Wed. 12/23.
Add some Latin spice to your holiday meal with Antigua’s Holiday Family Meals. Choose from Seafood Paella Dinner, Taco Bar or Empanadas by the Dozen. You can also order just flan for dessert. Serves 4 guests. $45 for flan (serves 16). $35 for empanadas. $45-$50 for taco bar. $75.50-$95 for paella. Pre-order by 2 p.m. on Wed. 12/23 and pick up between noon and 4 p.m. on Thurs. 12/24 or Fri. 12/25.
There are two Holiday Meal Kits baked at Tosa’s Le Reve Pâtisserie & Café—Porc en Croute (anchored by Berkshire pork tenderloin) or Lobster Ravioli (comfort food at its best)—with four dishes in each that round out the meal, family-style. You can also tack on any of seven holiday platters, spanning fromage, cocktail shrimp, charcuterie and “petite desserts.” On the Grand Seafood Platter are caviar, Jonah crab claws and house-cured salmon. Oops, did you forget the bread? You’ve got three choices—French baguette ($5), garlic crostini ($5) or Parker House rolls ($8)—or take-and-bake options ($15-$28) with a sweeter edge and everything you need but the pan, from flaky croissants to Rouleax de Canelle (French version of cinnamon rolls). For between four and six guests. From $130 for holiday meal kits and $28-$110 for holiday platters. Pick up on Wed. 11/23 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Hotel Madrid’s Holiday Beef Wellington Dinner may be the restaurant’s only carry-out option for the holiday but it won’t leave you wanting for more. Included with the beef tenderloin are rosemary red potatoes, roasted baby carrots and chocolate fudge cake. If there’s a vegetarian option in your group, this can also be accommodated upon request. $45 per person. Pick up on Wed. 12/23 or Thurs. 12/24 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
EsterEv’s holiday carry-out is filled with little indulgences, like lobster bisque, Beef Wellington in a red-wine black-truffle sauce, creamed spinach, pommes puree and a chocolate-y dessert. If that’s not indulgent enough, tack on EsterEv’s private-label caviar service for an additional $75. Serves 2. $100. Pre-order by Thurs. 12/17 and pick up on Wed. 12/23 between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Ordering the Christmas Carryout specials at Mason Street Grill is just like ordering off of its surf-and-turf menu. First, you start with the base meal—chopped salad, sea-salt and herb-crusted prime rib, three sides (roasted winter squash, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans) and dessert — and then further customize, if you wish, from a menu of six more sides. For example, cheddar and smoked gouda macaroni and cheese or truffle creamed spinach. Christmas Carryout serves one. $39 per person. Sides serve two, six or 12 guests. $10-$60. Pre-order 48 hours in advance of pick-up.
Just like their name implies, Bavette La Boucherie’s Christmas Time Meals are in perfect pitch with the season. Choose from fennel pollen bone-in pork roast or thyme & garlic beef tenderloin roast; both come with sides that include dessert (Bordelaise sauce, hasselback potato gratin, chestnut/parsnip/apple hash, citrus and pomegranate salad, rolls and gingerbread-stout cake). Serves 4 guests. $176-$210. Pre-order by Fri. 12/18 and pick up Wed. 12/23 or Thurs. 12/24.
If you don’t eat meat but do eat seafood and have been dying for some Polish cuisine, Polonez’s all-seafood Christmas Eve menu is pretty much your nirvana. Twelve items are included in the dinner: baked cod in dill sauce, breaded fried cod, tomato veggie fish salad, potato pierogi, sauerkraut and mushroom croquette, George’s potato salad, cold kraut and carrot salad, Polish herring in sour cream, Christmas borscht with mushroom dumplings or mushroom soup…and two desserts (gingerbread cake and poppyseed cake). Serves 1. $28. Pre-order until Sun. 12/20 and pick up on Thurs. 12/24 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Saz’s full holiday dinner includes eight items, starting with the meat (rosemary citrus-glazed ham and French-cut turkey breast) and winding into the sides (mashed potatoes, baked mac n cheese, green-bean almondine and Winter Wonderland salad), also featuring dinner rolls and dessert (a box of Sciortino’s assorted mini holiday cookies). You can also order the above items à la carte. Serves 4 or 8 guests. $110-$210. Pre-order by Fri. 12/18 at 3 p.m. and pick up at Saz’s Catering in Milwaukee or Western Lakes Golf Club in Pewaukee on Wed. 12/23 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Thurs. 12/24 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Christmas with Parkside 23 is this Brookfield restaurant’s holiday-meal offering, with four meat selections (roasted turkey, honey-glazed ham, braised short ribs or roasted beef tenderloin) followed by seven sides (from Parkside 23’s signature creamed corn to apple cobbler, and a mac ‘n cheese folding in four Wisconsin cheeses). Serves 4-5 guests. $129.50-$329.50. Pre-order by Sat. 12/19 at 5 p.m. and pick up Wed. 12/23 between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Thurs. 12/24 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Brandywine in Cedarburg’s Holiday Dinner features a citrus and hazelnut salad, roasted-mushroom soup, Beef Wellington with bordelaise sauce, brioche dinner rolls, Yukon gold potatoes and — for dessert — sticky toffee pudding. To kick off the meal, tack on an order of Uplands Cheese Co.’s Rush Creek Reserve, a Wisconsin-cheese board, marinated olives, grilled rosemary sourdough focaccia or fried mushrooms. Serves two or four guests. $92-$184. Pick up on Thurs. 12/24 between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
The Dinner for 10 from Davian’s Catering & Events is the whole she-bang — boneless ham with pineapple-brown sugar glaze, rolls, cranberry wild rice pilaf and choice of two sides, plus a Dutch apple or cherry pie — but you can also downsize it for two or six people. Serves 2-10 guests. $42-$200. Pre-order by Fri. 12/18 at 3 p.m. and pick up Mon. 12/21 through Thurs. 12/24.
In the same spirit as its Pandemic Picnic Baskets, Buckley’s Holiday Meals include everything you need so you don’t have to lift a finger in the kitchen. The three-course meal starts with a spinach salad before easing into parsnip soup and braised short ribs (served with cannellini beans ragout, carrot, celery root and braised lacinato kale). Add deviled eggs, hummus, roasted butternut squash or a wheel of Uplands Cheese Co. Rush Creek Reserve for an additional fee. There are also dessert options (cream pies) and cocktail kits. $50 per person. Pre-order by Thurs. 12/17 and pick up Tues. 12/22 or Wed. 12/23 during business hours.
Double D’s BBQ’s packaged meals for the holiday is a one-stop shop when you place your order but it’s not without customization. Choose two meats (smoked pulled ham, smoked turkey, smoked pork loin, smoked burnt ends and smoked duck confit) and two sides, and also receive six corn muffins, six dinner rolls, gravy, BBQ sauce and a dozen cookies. Serves 6 guests. $150 (an additional $20 for smoked duck confit). Pre-order by Sat. 12/19 and pick up through Wed. 12/23.
The Christmas Heat & Eat meals from Bavarian Bierhaus in Glendale include sliced ham with a glaze, stuffing mashed potatoes with gravy, green-bean casserole, red cabbage and apple strudel. Serves 1. Pre-order by Tues. 12/22 at 8 p.m. and pick up Tues. 12/22 or Wed. 12/23 between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
You know Amilinda in downtown Milwaukee for its Spanish-and Portuguese-fusion menus but chef-owner Gregory Leon is switching things up for Christmas with his grandmother Dolly’s recipe for cinnamon babka and gluten-free peppermint-bark chocolate soufflé cakes. Babka, $16; soufflé cakes: $3.50 for one or $25 for six.
As we wait with anticipation for the big reveal of Honey Pie Café’s new location (still in Bay View, just up the street on KK), the restaurant’s scratch-made holiday pies just might tide us over. There are four flavors for its six-inch pies: Berry Crumble, Apple Cinnamon Streusel, Bourbon Maple and Peppermint Fudge. $14 for one pie, $24 for two or $45 for four. Order online and have them shipped to your door on Mondays or Tuesdays, arriving between two and four days after.
Is there anything more festive than a Yule Log for your favorite sweet tooth? Troubador Bakery’s (this is the baking arm of Colectivo Coffee) version of this beloved ganache-frosted Swiss roll accented by espresso would be the perfect ending to a holiday meal. For 15 guests. $49.95. Order online and select a Colectivo Coffee café pickup location for Thurs. 11/24. (Troubador is also baking and selling Grasshopper Pies that serve eight for $26.95 each.)
The folks at Hatched, a cute-as-a-button pie shop in Brookfield, are baking up lots of holiday sweets: seven pies (eggnog custard, Pfeffernüsse, Southern Pecan, Cranberry Cherry, Champagne Chess, Apple Pear Mince and Caramel Apple), a quiche, winter hand pies “pie fries” (flaky dough cut into seasonal shapes and doused in cinnamon sugar), cookies, take-and-bake cinnamon rolls, quick breads (banana or gingerbread) and a DIY Christmas Cookie Box. $18-$35 for 6” or 9” pies. $15-$30 for everything else. Pre-order through Wed. 12/16 or until sold out and pick up on Wed. 11/23 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Elm Grove Lutheran Church.
In addition to savory selections, Birch + Butcher is taking orders for its four-pack of hand pies (apple cinnamon, chocolate peppermint, cranberry cherry or spiced pear and persimmon) or full-sized Caramel Apple or Southern Pecan pies. All are baked by Hatched, a local pie shop. $20 for hand pies. $19-$22 for six-inch pies. Pick up Wed. 12/23, Thurs. 12/24 or Thurs. 12/31.
Greige Patisserie has five options for sweets to serve a small group: Buche de Noel, spiced eggnog cake, cinnamon rolls, red-velvet cheesecake and peppermint-mocha black-tie cake. The bakery is also selling a box of assorted cookies. $15-$54. Pre-order and pick up Wed. 12/23 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Thurs. 12/24 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
From pierniczki (chocolate-dipped gingerbread cookies) to mini piernik (orange-glazed gingerbread bundt cake), The Nesting Magpie’s selections are a cultural foray into Poland. Also on the menu are sernik z zurawina (9-inch cheesecake topped with rosemary-cranberry sauce) and giasto z gruskami (coffee cake topped with pear and streusel). Pre-order by Fri. 12/18.
Black Shoe Hospitality’s (Blue’s Egg, Maxie’s and Story Hill BKC) boxes of Christmas Cookies — choose from Chocolate Christmas Cookie Box, Retro Christmas Cookie Box and Nut Christmas Cookie Box—might not make it to Christmas but what’s wrong with snacking while you decorate the house or wrap gifts? $24. Pre-order by the evening of Wed. 12/16 and pick up Fri. 12/18 between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.