Top picks for New Year's Eve dining | Bleader

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Top picks for New Year's Eve dining

Posted By on 12.14.11 at 04:53 PM

Atwood Cafe
  • Atwood Cafe
Compiling New Year's Eve listings tends to turn me off from the holiday—one "platinum" table package at the Melman boys' Studio Paris is going for the ridiculous sum of $35,000—but there are some dining deals and events that seem appealing despite the overkill. Here are a few I'd consider checking out.

The scaffolding's off at the Atwood Cafe, and with his space—which was modeled after an actual French bistro—restored, chef Derek Simcik is offering a four-course Parisian-bistro-themed prix fixe for $50; $70 with wine pairings.

At Stephen Cole's new Barrelhouse Flat, parties from 9 PM to 2 AM featuring punch bowls, draft beers, highballs, and passed hors d'ouevres are $100 in the downstairs bar, $150 in the upstairs lounge, where there will be reserved seating.

At Big Jones chef Paul Fehribach is once again reviving the Gullah custom of eating sea island red peas for good luck in the new year as part of a five-course prix fixe for $65.

At Frontier, a premium open bar package with a whole-smoked-animal buffet, a DJ, and a toast at midnight is $95.

Green Zebra's offering a five-course vegetarian prix fixe menu at four seatings. It's $75, $110 with wine pairings.

Andy Motto of Evanston's Quince is a supertalented chef who for some reason seems to get overlooked. His four-course prix fixe dinner would be a serene option for New Year's Eve. There are also overnight packages available at the Homestead.

By far the best deal I've come across is at Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, where chef Duncan Biddulph is offering a four-course prix fixe menu for $35.

Finally, there are civilized places eschewing all the hullabaloo, like West Town Tavern, which promises "no hype, no noisemakers, no cheap sparkling wine."

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