Ready or not, New Year's Eve is just around the corner. Ring in 2014 in style at these Chicagoland restaurants:
Surf & Turf at Eddie Merlot's: A Classic Celebration
To ring in the New Year in style, Eddie Merlot’s guests can partake in an indulgent Surf and Turf for Two ($119). Guests can complement their 7oz. Platte River Ranch natural filet mignon and cold-water lobster tail with a choice of Caesar Salad or the signature Merlot Iceberg Salad.
Kick off 2014 in Good Taste at TWO
Chef Tom Van Lente and the team at TWO (1132 W. Grand Ave.) welcome guests to countdown to the new year with a special dinner celebration at the restaurant. The December 31 festivities include a four-course pre-fixe dinner, a complimentary sparkling wine toast at midnight, and a live band to carry the tune all night beginning at11 p.m. Guests are welcome to party the evening away and enjoy the flavors of the winter season from TWO’s sustainable menu for just $60 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are available throughout the night and interested attendees can make call 312.634.8363 to secure their spot. For more information, please visit www.tworestaurantchicago.com, follow @TWO_Chicago on Twitter, or “like” the restaurant on Facebook.
Cheers to 2014 with a NYE Feast at Little Market Brasserie
Little Market Brasserie (10 E. Delaware Pl.), the restaurant located inside the Talbot Hotel, welcomes guests to enjoy a celebratory dinner at the restaurant to countdown into 2014. Boasting classic American fare, the exclusive NYE menu features some of the restaurant’s signature entreés and shareable appetizers. Guests can dine on classics for the table such as the Deviled Eggs with mushrooms and parmesan crisp; and Country Pâté with whole-grain stout mustard, cornichons, and toasted baguette. Two sides for the table are also included, as well as a choice of entreé like thePan Seared White Fish featuring braised kale, squash, pine nuts, and brown butter vinaigrette; and a choice of appetizer such as theLobster Salad with preserved Meyer lemon, parsley, green grape, and extra virgin olive oil. The Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Cake with hazelnut spike and blood orange finishes meals, which costs $50 per guest, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations suggested; call 312.640.8141. For more on Little Market Brasserie, visit Facebook.com/LittleMarketBrasserie or @littlemarketchi.
Black and White NYE at Filini
Enjoy a night of classic elegance at the Black and White Masquerade Social at Filini Bar & Restaurant (221 N. Columbus Dr.). For a fun evening of dining and dancing, guests can enjoy delectable Italian fare and live acoustic music from 8 p.m.-11 p.m. and a DJ will spin all your favorite hits for the remainder of the evening till 2 a.m.Partygoers can feast upon Bruschetta, Prosciutto-Wrapped Dates, Tomato-Basil Arancini, Sea Scallops, and Ricotta Amaretto Cheesecake Bites for $35 per person. Alternatively, for $75 per person, guests can indulge in a four-course meal with options including Carpaccio with spiced beef, arugula, Grana Padano, and lemon oil; Cappellacci with housemade butternut squash ravioli, sage, amaretti, and Parmigiano-Reggiano; Filleto with grilled filet of beef with speck, gorgonzola, and truffle sauce; andCioccolatissimo, soft center chocolate cake. When the clock strikesmidnight, complimentary Prosecco, party favors, and the traditional Italian “Lucky Lentil Soup” will be offered to all guests. Last but not least, a few lucky attendees leave with giveaways like a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot or compensation for one prize winner’s bar tab (valued up to $200). There is no cover charge, and seating is first come, first serve. For more on Filini, call 312.477.0234 or visit www.filinichicago.com.
Elegant Gourmet Tasting at Lockwood Restaurant and Bar
Executive Chef Joseph Rose at Lockwood Restaurant and Bar (17 E. Monroe St.) is thrilled to bring extra luxurious ingredients to a special tasting menu he’s created for the occasion. Guests will be treated to indulgences such as fresh uni with Prosecco gelee and ocean espuma; raw hamachi; seared foie gras with fried brioche and truffle jus; and Hawaiian blue prawns with Thai spiced shellfish nage and taro root. The eight-course menu is offered at $120 per person and guests can make reservations by calling 312.917.3404 or visiting www.lockwoodrestaurant.com.
Nochevieja at Mercat a la Planxa
Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave.), the modern tapas restaurant inspired by Spain’s Catalan region, will ring in the New Year by honoring the Spanish tradition Nochevieja “Old Night”, in which the people of Spain eat 12 grapes at midnight. Chef de Cuisine Cory Morris will offer a four-course, 12-dish menu inspired by the grape tradition with dishes such as the Ostras, Kumamoto oyster shooters with lavender grape soda and espelette;Albondingas, shrimp meatballs with red grape escabeche and caramelized scallop jus; and Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with muscat-poached grapes and caramelized white chocolate. The New Year’s Eve menu will be offered from 3 to 5 p.m. for $85 with wine pairings and from 5 p.m. to midnight for $125 with wine pairings. A champagne toast will be offered to all guests. The restaurant will also offer a three-course, seven-dish recovery brunch on New Year’s Day for just $35 per person. Reservations are required for the prix fixe menu and can be made by calling 312.765.0524.
Feliz Año at Mercadito Chicago
Share fond memories and make new ones over a special five-course sharing menu of guacamole, ceviche, tacos, botanas, and more at River North hotspot Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie St.) on New Year’s Eve. Friends can celebrate the evening in style with a live DJ at Double A, the restaurant’s subterranean lounge, accompanied by a three-hour open bar of drinks such as the Midnight Fizz, a festive concoction of tequila blanco, cassis, agave nectar, lemon, and sparkling wine. The year 2013 ends with a classic midnightchampagne toast, and 2014 begins with an Ultimate Hangover Cure Brunch to start the New Year right. Recover with three of Chef Sandoval’s satisfying Mexican brunch items, like Chilaquiles andCarnitas Hash, and a cocktail like the Auntie Ox (green-tea infused Finlandia vodka, passion fruit, agave, and guajillo) to offer sweet relief. Regular dinner menu available 5-6:45 p.m.; five-course sharing menu available 7:30-8:30 p.m. for $45 per guest. Beginning at 9:45 p.m., enjoy five-course sharing menu, three-hour open bar, and classic midnight toast in Mercadito ($120 per guest) or Double A ($150). Ultimate Hangover Cure brunch on January 1 is available11 a.m.-4 p.m. for $19.50 per guest.
An Intimate Robatayaki Dinner to Welcome 2014
Chef Gene Kato of the acclaimed Sumi Robata Bar (702 N. Wells St.) offers guests a traditional Japanese culinary experience to commemorate the New Year. The restaurant provides a chic backdrop for 2014 revelry, offering two reservation times for a multicourse meal of Kato’s signature robata dishes. Guests can begin their evening with Maguro bluefin tuna drizzled with white soy, yuzu juice, and crispy shallot, or Madai Usuzukuri, Japanese farmed sea bream with ponzu and ginger. Menu favorites including the Jidori Karaage, a crispy fried chicken accompanied by shishito pepper paste, and the Ishi Yaki, marinated New York strip served tableside on a hot stone. Robata-grilled dishes round out the special prixe fixe menu, with selections that include ohba butter-glazedScallop, King Crab accompanied by housemade spicy mayo, andWagyu Ribeye with wasabi ponzu. Dessert finale options include silky Tofu soy milk panna cotta topped with yuzu curd and the inventive Donatsu, sansho-chocolate filled doughnuts with matcha semifreddo. Sumi offers a $60 six-course or $80 eight-course dinner, exclusive of tax and gratuity, on Tuesday, December 31; first seating 5-8 p.m., second seating 8:30-11:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 312.988.7864 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Michelin-Starred New Year’s Eve Dinner...
Sepia (123 N. Jefferson St.) hosts a chic New Year’s Eve celebration complete with champagne toasts, glamorous décor, and Michelin-starred cuisine. For this evening of decadence, James Beard Award-nominated Chef Andrew Zimmerman creates a feast with choices including Boudin Blanc with black truffle, celery root, and truffle jus; Striped Bass with sunchoke barigoule, carrot, cardamom, and almond; and Venison with pumpkin, confit of chestnuts, fennel, onion, sauce poivrade, and juniper salt. Ending with an inventive dessert prepared by Pastry Chef Cindy Schuman and paired with toast-worthy wines selected by Wine Director Arthur Hon and craft cocktails imagined by Head Bartender Griffin Elliott, this festive dinner is the perfect ending to a wonderful year. The price for the first seating from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. with four courses is $90 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity; optional wine pairings $65 per person. The second seating from 8 to 9:30 p.m. with five courses costs $120 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity; optional wine pairings $90 per person, plus a champagne toast. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.441.1920 or on Open Table.
...or an Intimate Dining Experience in Printer’s Row
For those looking for a more private affair, Private Dining by Sepia—located next door to the restaurant—offers a stunning, one-group holiday package complete with holiday-inspired dishes and drinks, celebratory music, and stellar service. Chef Zimmerman and his team prepare an unforgettable feast that includes a variety of seasonal food offerings, both savory and sweet; an open bar with unlimited premium wines, spirits; a signature cocktail; and music provided by a DJ. To inquire about Private Dining by Sepia, please email email@example.com.
Preserve the New Year and Good Cheer
Vie (4471 Lawn Ave., Western Springs, IL) pulls out all the stops this New Year’s Eve with a festive six-course meal prepared by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Paul Virant. Keeping with his rustic, American style, Chef Virant offers a variety of seasonal dishes including Pan-Roasted Baby Barramundi with wilted escarole, rösti potatoes, preserved white asparagus, and beurre blanc;Truffled Veal Boudin Blanc with creamy parmesan polenta, veal consommé, and lemon-pickled celery root; and Tahitian Vanilla Frozen Mousse with strawberry preserves and chocolate beignets. Late-night diners with also enjoy a complimentary Champagne toast and party favors at midnight. Reservations required and are available between 5- 9:30 p.m. Price is $140 per person, exclusive of tax and tip, with $60 optional wine pairing. Call 708.246.2082 for New Year’s Eve reservations.
Midnight in Paris at Found
Found (1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL) celebrates the New Year with a party Gertrude Stein would be proud to attend. Designed by Proprietor Amy Morton, the Evanston eatery exudes attitude with its 1920s bohemian Paris vibe and on the last night of 2013, guests get transported back to the carefree days of jazzy jubilee. Revelers will feast on Chef Nicole Pederson’s eclectic menu filled with bold flavors and global ingredients on this extra-special night. Found offers its a la carte menu on New Year’s Eve between 5 and 8 p.m., with reservations taken between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Starting at 8 p.m., Found offers a five-course shared plates menu with a glass of champagne for $65, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended for the prix fixe menu and can be made by calling 847.868.8945.