Sophisticated Holiday Menus

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

When it comes to the December holidays, my theory is to go all out. The city pulses with good cheer, and the beauty of the decorations around the Bay Area sends the invitation to partake in everything that is posh about the season. Christmas celebrations at the restaurant involve the use of more luxurious ingredients like truffles, caviar, and various other items that don’t normally appear on our tables throughout the year.

Champagne & Caviar A Christmas at The Ritz-Carlton must include caviar and a bottle of the house’s finest Champagne. One way to serve osetra caviar is alongside a poached turbot, with some of my favorite seasonal ingredients like pomegranates, butternut squash, and a sunchoke purée.

Dungeness Crab Because the local crab season begins on November 15, I always try to find a way to incorporate the sweet seafood into my meals for the season. Dungeness crab is such a treat that it often appears on my holiday table at home as well, although sans the formal white tablecloth. I have been known to send the kids out back to scour for rocks to crack the shells and then we throw some newspaper on the picnic table and dig in to the heap of boiled goodness.

Duck Throughout my career, I have experimented with various methods for preparing this type of poultry. Our menu has included a Sonoma duck breast accompanied by figs poached in licorice root, baby fennel, baby leeks, and black rice; sancho peppercorn-crusted duck breast with kumquat glaze; and various versions of duck confit. This elegant bird will surely be a welcomed appearance on any holiday menu plan.

Goose Nothing conjures up images of a Dickens-style Christmas like a holiday goose. Not only is it an exquisite alternative to the typical turkey that graces most American plates at the end of December, but when prepared slowly and properly, it can be a mouth-watering delight better than any surprise that Santa might deliver.

Wishing all a merry holiday season and best of luck with your culinary endeavors.


Ron Siegel
The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco
600 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA 94108