Chefs Bring Their Best Traditions Forward in Carryout Holiday Meal Menus

By: Karen Dybis | December 21, 2020
Christmas Carryout

Photo Courtesy of Hazel Ravines.

Whether you choose to go with a massive brunch, an extraordinarily decadent lunch or a magnificently elegant dinner, a big holiday meal is what makes the day stand out among any other. This year, Metro Detroit restaurants are putting together some of their most festive and ambitious menus, bringing together traditional flavors with homemade touches. 

Maybe it is nostalgia. Perhaps it is because they miss family and friends around this time of year, given the new restrictions on visiting people given the pandemic. For whatever reason, area chefs are thinking of the foods and festivities that make them feel warm and loved, and they are putting those feelings into their pre-cooked or ready-to-heat meals, which you can order in advance and prepare for your family for a holiday feast. 

Hazel, Ravines and Downtown

At Hazel, Ravines and Downtown, the Holiday Merry & Bright menu is a collaboration between co-owners Beth Hussey and Emmele Herrold. Chef Herrold put some of her family’s favorite dishes into their holiday-meal offerings, so you can try a bit of everything from Christmas Eve hors d’oeuvres to Christmas morning brunch and a lavish holiday dinner.

If you want to be upscale, you can grab an order of Peel & Eat Shrimp to easy-to-assemble and impressive Charcuterie Kits to shuck-your-own Oyster packages, which come complete with an oyster knife and easy, illustrated instructions for beginners.

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“We’ll even offer in-person, socially distant shucking lessons at the restaurant,” Hussey said.

Dinner options include an Alaskan King Crab Feast for seafood fans; a chicken, beef or lobster pot pie and a la carte options like a Christmas Ham, Cheesy Potatoes, Broccoli with Hollandaise Sauce, a Holiday Salad and a Hob Knob Punch to share. If you want something sweet for Christmas morning, Herrold created take-and-bake fresh cinnamon rolls, coffee cake or a Pink Mimosa Kit to keep your spirits high.

Herrold said this is the first year Hazel, Ravines and Downtown have created a holiday take-and-bake menu like this, and she believes it will become an annual tradition. This year has caused the restaurant to do a lot of changes, like adding a carryout menu, and they are listening to what customers want in terms of food and ways to prepare it at home, Herrold noted. 

She brought in some of her family’s annual traditions as well into her menus. Her kin love to nosh on appetizers for Christmas Eve, so she added those to her offerings. There’s got to be holiday ham, so you can order a whole one or slices by the pound. And there’s even cocktail weenies because you need to have some fun when you are eating with family. 

“Chefs realize a lot of what they do is informed by these family traditions,” Herrold said. “Cooking with my family is what created my interest in cooking. I remember making hollandaise sauce with my grandmother when I was 10, and she made what we call Mary Lou’s Sherry Cake every year. We’d all look forward to it for dessert.”

Cooking beside her mother and grandmother came to define the holidays, Herrold said, and she knows that her participation in the kitchen helped to create that holiday feeling. 

“We want to remind people that you can still have that feeling” despite how much this year has changed, Herrold said.  

Here are some other Metro Detroit restaurants offering special holiday-themed dinners so you can enjoy the evening without having to cook or clean your entire kitchen.

Red Crown

Grosse Pointe Park’s favorite restaurant-in-a-former-gas-station spot will have a variety of meal options available for people to try. There’s the classic turkey with Molasses Roasted Brussel Sprouts, a mixed green salad, its signature mac-n-cheese and more as well as a vegetarian option with an array of dishes including BBQ Cauliflower Bites, Grilled Tofu and Cheddar Biscuits.


Joe Muer Seafood

Talk about a holiday feast. Bring Joe Muer Seafood home for the family, and you’ll always be invited back (even if you already live there). Restaurant chefs will handle your holiday dinner by preparing an oven-ready Herb de Provence bone-in prime rib, and sides like twice-baked potatoes with crème fraiche, orange glazed carrots, roasted asparagus, dinner rolls and pineapple upside-down cake with caramel glaze. There are two different packages to feed up to 6 and 10 people.

Grey Ghost

This Detroit restaurant has put together Holiday Meal Kits that will make your mouth and family happy. There’s the Burger Kit, which is said to “serve two ordinary humans or one legend.” There’s a holiday gift cocktail kit, which contains Grey Ghost’s signature cocktails for you or a friend. And there’s a Holiday Family Feast with a choice of Peppercorn Crusted Prime Rib or Brown Maple Sugar Crusted Ham plus all of the tasty sides. 

Flowers of Vietnam

This Southwest Detroit Vietnamese restaurant is offering its award-winning food as a holiday special and it likely will make your to-go dreams come true. It features a Leg of Lamb, a Papaya Salad, Cheese Stuffed Squash, Confit Potatoes, Long Bean Casserole, Buttermilk Biscuits and much more.