If you still have a yard-long list of to-do's before Christmas, it's time to eliminate something. Why not forget the preparation of Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner? Most Orange County hotels and a number of restaurants stand ready to serve you. Here's a sampling:
The upside-down Christmas tree, a longstanding tradition at Revere House, is back, thanks to new owner Robert Restaino. And on Christmas Eve, from 5 to 10 p.m., the restaurant will serve complete turkey and ham dinners for $12.95. Dinners of halibut, prime rib, filet mignon, veal Oscar, steak and shrimp scampi and lobster tail also will be available for $15.95 to $32.50. Children's meals are half-price plus $1. Getting there: Since the 1st Street exit from the Costa Mesa Freeway is closed, exit at 4th Street, then head west to Tustin Avenue and south to the restaurant at 900 W. 1st St. in Tustin. Reservations: (714) 543-9319.
Carolers will entertain at the ocean-view Las Brisas, where reservations are available from 5 to 8 p.m. The regular menu, with the accent on foods of Mexico, will be served. Entree prices range from $10 to $23; 361 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. (714) 497-5434.
For an English country Christmas, head for Summit House in Fullerton, which will be serving carved-to-order prime rib with Yorkshire pudding. Also on the menu: rack of lamb, roast duckling, salmon Wellington and broiled swordfish. And don't forget the English trifle. A la carte prices: $12.95 to $19.95. Extended Christmas Eve hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Reservations: (714) 671-4111; 2000 E. Bastanchury Road.
At Le Meridien Newport Beach, Cafe Fleuri will serve a three-course menu, with an entree choice of roast goose and juniper berry sauce or steamed filet of salmon with champagne sauce. Dessert: a traditional French Yule log. It's $20 per adult and $15 per child. Meanwhile, in the hotel's Restaurant Antoine, chef Jean Pierre Lemanissier will offer three-, four- and five-course menus. An entree of sauteed turkey breast medallions with rosemary sauce may be augmented with such choices as oysters wrapped in smoked salmon and caviar, and \o7 foie gras \f7 with apple cider sauce. A harpist will entertain. Prices: $42 for three courses, $48 for four courses and $58 for five courses. Both restaurants will serve from 6 to 10 p.m. Le Meridien is at 4500 MacArthur Blvd. Reservations: (714) 476-2001.
Dickens & Co. carolers perform at Chanteclair, where chef Bryan Gemmell's holiday entrees include Christmas roast goose with black current sauce, apples and raisins, and venison with grand \o7 veneur \f7 sauce, baked apples and chestnut puree. Entrees are $17 to $29; dinner hours from 5 to 10 p.m.; 18912 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine. (714) 752-8001.
A three-course dinner of soup or salad, 10-ounce prime rib dinner and dessert will be served for $13.95 at Cafe Alicante in the Hyatt Regency Alicante. Come between 5 and 10 p.m., Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue, Anaheim. Reservations: (714) 750-1234, Ext. 6047.
At the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point, the Terrace Restaurant plans a four-course dinner with choice of entrees: roast turkey with chestnut dressing, lamb roast stuffed with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, or roasted goose with rosemary focaccia stuffing. It's $45 for adults, $22.50 for children under 12. The hotel's Dining Room will serve a five-course menu with entree selection of poached sturgeon, roasted goose with red onion marmalade, venison loin or beef tenderloin gratinee. The cost: $65 for adults, $32.50 for children under 12. And the Club Grill and Bar's four-course menu offers a choice of goose, veal loin or Dover sole at $55 for adults, $27.50 for children under 12. All three restaurants will serve from 6 to 10 p.m. The hotel is at 33533 Ritz-Carlton Drive. Reservations: (714) 240-2000.
The Revere House in Tustin will serve the same menu as on Christmas Eve (see above). Hours: noon to 9 p.m.
"A Snow White Christmas" sets the scene for the Disneyland Hotel's Yuletide dinner in the Grand Ballroom. For the noon to 7 p.m. celebration, the ballroom will become the Seven Dwarfs' cottage, where Snow White and friends celebrate the holiday and mingle with guests. The all-you-can-eat buffet features roasted turkey, ham and carved round of beef. An old-fashioned brass ensemble will play, and guests receive a tree ornament. The cost: $29.50 for adults, $12.50 for children ages 3 to 11, free for those under 3. Reservations: (714) 956-6413. In addition, the hotel's Caffe Villa Verde restaurant will offer "Carve Your Own Turkey" between 1 and 9 p.m. This family-style dinner with traditional trimmings is $19.95 for adults, $9.95 for ages 12 and under. Reservations: (714) 956-6403. The hotel's address: 1150 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim, adjacent to Disneyland.