New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate (or shake off) the happenings of the last 365 days, and look forward to improving on the year ahead. And whether you have someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight or not, it’s a holiday best spent with good company and most importantly, great food. But choosing just one perfect place to pass the evening from amongst hundreds of fabulous New York restaurants can cause some extra holiday stress. Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you with a sampling of our favorite spots — from the recently opened Kingside in Midtown and the impossibly buzzy Toro in the Meatpacking District to the cozy neighborhood fixture, Colonie, in Brooklyn Heights.
Marc Murphy’s menu at Kingside draws from many influences— his American heritage, his childhood in Italy and France, and his ensuing obsession with travel. All of this leads to a progression of charcuterie and cheese boards, as well as sharable small and large plates, like Roasted Snails with Bone Marrow, Chitarra Pasta with Tomatoes and Parmesan, and a rustic and an awesome Roast Chicken with Vegetables. What’s not to love about that? And Kingside’s 4-course New Year’s Eve dinner (offered from 9pm to midnight for $150 a person) promises to be every bit as expansive, featuring choices like Soft Boiled Egg Salad with Uni Butter, and Wild Rice-Stuffed Quail with Foie Gras and Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves. If that doesn’t have you convinced, check out their sleek, new Americana digs and you won’t need any more convincing. Read More
Toro may have opened a few months ago, but New Yorkers can’t get enough of the Meatpacking District incarnation of Boston’s beloved Spanish tapas spot. And on a normal day, we can’t get enough of their fresh Razor Clams topped with tangy Piquillo Peppers, Smoked Duck Drumettes, or Blue Cheese-stuffed, Serrano Ham-wrapped Dates. But this is New Year’s Eve we’re talking about, so skip the standard sit down menu and get a reservation for Toro’s extra celebratory “Holiday in Barcelona.” For just $125 per person, you’ll enjoy a full evening of passed tapas, a DJ and dancing, Sangria on tap, and a full bar of Spanish wines, beers and cocktails. Olé! Read More
Charlie BirdCuisine: Italian
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Charlie Bird is a mellow, smoky hangout inspired by the illustrious jazz legend. Because the consistently raved about new restaurant actually revels in raw, urban NY chic, with exposed brick and metal interiors, bright yellow banquettes and pictures of boom boxes lining the walls. And while the menu is Italian-influenced (think Risotto with Baby Clams and Fennel, and Pounded Veal Chop with Radicchio Agrodolce), even the chef admits that his ideal meal here consists of Oysters, a plate of Roasted Chicken, and a side of crispy French Fries with Rosemary and Sea Salt. You’ll find all of those dishes and more during three separate seatings on New Year’s Eve, but why not go all out and reserve the private dining room with 13 of your friends? It’s definitely a splurge at $3,500-5,000, but you can always resolve to be a bit more frugal next year.
The Little OwlCuisine: Mediterranean
Looking for a more mellow way to spend New Year’s Eve? It doesn’t get much more intimate than The Little Owl, a reliable West Village favorite with just ten tiny tables (read: hurry and make those reservations now!). Just because the eight-year-old restaurant isn’t generating the same amount of buzz as outsized, new-to-the-scene contenders, like Toro, doesn’t mean it isn’t every bit as celebratory. Chef & owner Joey Campanaro will be offering a special, four-course menu for $125, along with a $40 white truffle supplement option. And really, as delicious as these dishes sound already (Basil Gnocchi with Pork Belly Tomato Gravy, Pancetta-Wrapped Veal Tenderloin with Parsnip Mousse and Balsamic, and Whole Fish with Lobster Risotto), what isn’t improved by fragrant, paper-thin slices of the world’s most sought-after fungus? Especially on New Year’s.
Pearl & AshCuisine: American
An alum of wd-50 and a partner in the Brooklyn pop-up, Frej, Richard Kuo finally struck out on his own this year with the idiosyncratic small-plates spot, Pearl & Ash (Bread with Chicken Butter and Maple Syrup, anyone?). And Kuo certainly isn’t pulling any culinary punches with his wonderfully inventive New Year’s Eve menu. At just $68 per person (a total holiday steal!), expect unique items like Soft Poached Egg with Onion, Walnut and Kale, Quail with Almond, Pomegranate and Chicken Skin, Skirt Steak with Celery Root, Maitake and Porcini Mushrooms, and Apple Cilantro Sorbet for dessert. Did we mention how sexy the room is to boot? It is.
From his fine-dining crown jewel, Daniel, to his laidback burger spot, DBGB Kitchen & Bar, there’s a restaurant in Daniel Boulud’s empire to suit any taste (or budget). But for New Year’s Eve, we say split the difference and head to his Upper East Side staple, Café Boulud. You can enjoy a 3-course meal from 5:30-7pm, including options like House-smoked Salmon with Roasted Beets and Rye Blini, Squab en Croûte with Quince Purée, and a Coconut Délice with Brown Sugar Shortbread and
Lime Curd. Or, you can go big with the 5-course Gala, complete with dinner, dancing and a champagne toast for $450 a person… because New York on New Year’s Eve ain’t cheap or bland. Read More
Traditionally, Brooklyn Heights has been better known for its charming, tree-lined streets, townhouses and stunning views of Lower Manhattan rather than its culinary options. But that changed when Colonie moved in three years ago, and the restaurant has been wowing the neighborhood with highly creative and seasonal fare ever since. It’s also sure to be a hot option amongst Brooklyn revelers on New Year’s Eve, when a 5-course menu goes for only $95 (we recommend booking the late 10pm seating now, so you can stay on afterwards for a DJ and dancing!). Edible highlights will include Oysters with Pickled Salsify and Herb Snow, New York Strip with Garlic Puree, Chanterelles and Bordelaise, and a seriously decadent Peanut Butter and Banana Chocolate Mousse for dessert. You can always start counting calories tomorrow.
The Farm on AdderleyCuisine: American
This unassuming restaurant in sleepy Ditmas Park might seem a bit out of the way for most New Yorkers, but isn’t the New Year all about starting new and taking chances? You’ll thank us later. The quaint Brooklyn eatery strictly adheres to its farm-to-table mission, with committedly seasonal menus and locally raised meats. Which is why they probably won’t finalize their New Year’s Eve menu ($65 for an early seating, $95 for dinner after 9pm, which includes a midnight champagne toast and live jazz), until the last possible second. Still, patrons can expect exquisite options in line with their regular offerings, like Winter Carrots with Ricotta, Pine Nuts and Olive Oil, Pan-Roasted Skate with Beets, Lentils and Pickled Garlic, and Kabocha Squash Tart with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese and Chestnut Honey.