New Year's Eve 2009: Dining | Food & Drink News | Chicago Reader

New Year's Eve 2009: Dining 

Menus and specials, from Adobo Grill to Zocalo

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Adobo Grill Three-course prix fixe menu featuring a choice of items such as guacamole prepared tableside and roast rack of lamb, dessert, unlimited margaritas, beer, and wine, a tequila toast at midnight, and live mariachi music. Seatings start at 9 PM; reservations required.  1610 N. Wells, 312-266-7999,, $89.

Alhambra Palace A five-course prix fixe meal will be offered in the main dining room at 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30 PM, with belly dancing beginning at 9 PM. The party in the ballroom is sold out.  1240 W. Randolph, 312-666-9555,, $75.

Avec The restaurant is offering a five-course "Land and Sea" tasting menu; reservations accepted.  615 W. Randolph, 312-377-2002,

Ben Pao The "group share" menu, priced at $23.95 per person, allows patrons to choose starters, three main dishes, and a side to be served family style.  52 W. Illinois, 312-222-1888,

Big Jones The restaurant will resuscitate the Gullah custom of eating sea island red peas for good luck in the coming year, offering red pea "cappuccino" with puffed rice and bacon froth as the first course. Other items in the five-course prix fixe ($55) are a choice of gumbo, turtle soup, or salad; New York strip or low-country bouillabaisse; and bourbon-chocolate beignets or red velvet cake. The regular menu will also be available.  5347 N. Clark, 773-275-5725,

Bin 36 This New Year's bash features multiple food stations, an open bar, a DJ, and coffee and doughnuts "for the trip home."  9 PM-2 AM, 339 N. Dearborn, 312-755-9463,, $100.

Bistrot Margot The Old Town bistro will be offering a select menu featuring favorites from its regular menu such as escargots, Brie tart, and rack of lamb as well as New Year's specials including beef Wellington and Dover sole. Complimentary glass of champagne at midnight.  1437 N. Wells, 312-587-3660,

Blackbird Chef Mike Sheerin is rolling out special items featuring Mangalitsa pigs, a rare heritage breed, in an eight-course tasting menu for $125, which includes a complimentary champagne toast. The regular menu will also be available; there will be Mangalitsa specials throughout the month.  619 W. Randolph, 312-715-0708,

Blue 13 Celebrating its first year by offering two "grown-up New Year's Eve" packages: a five-course prix fixe dinner menu from 5 to 10 PM for $100 and, from 10 PM to 2 AM, a party with heavy appetizers and a champagne toast for $30. Cash bar.  416 W. Ontario, 312-787-1400,

Boka Chef Giuseppe Tentori offers two seatings, the first a three-course prix fixe at 5:30 PM ($65), the second a six-course prix fixe with a complimentary glass of champagne at 8:30 PM ($95). Featured in both are Maine diver scallops with celery risotto and crispy pig's tail, Kobe short ribs with pickled crosnes, rutabaga, and a juniper-beet emulsion, and warm flourless chocolate cake with black truffle ice cream; the second adds big-eye tuna with American caviar and a parsnip and yuzu puree, black truffle raviolo with roasted chestnut ragout and pheasant consomme, and duck breast with confit turnips.  1729 N. Halsted, 312-337-6070,

Bonsoiree A five-course prix fixe menu from 5 to 7:30 PM is $90, a seven-course prix fixe from 8 to 11:30 PM is $120. Offerings include Nantucket Bay scallop and peekytoe crab motoyaki; French onion soup; rack of lamb, and chocolate three ways with butterscotch-walnut ice cream and sansho; the seven-course option adds five kinds of mushrooms with truffles and truffle oil and a foie gras course.  2728 W. Armitage, 773-486-7511,

Brasserie Jo A three-course chef's tasting menu is $39 at the first seating, from 5 to 6 PM; the second seating, from 6 to 11 PM, features a four-course prix fixe for $59, plus live music, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. The a la carte menu is also available.  59 W. Hubbard, 312-595-0800,

The Bristol Chef Chris Pandel offers a three-course prix fixe menu for $49 from 5:30 to 10:30 PM; reservations accepted.  2152 N. Damen, 773-862-5555,

Browntrout Chef Sean Sanders offers a five-course tasting with seatings on the half hour for $100 with optional wine pairings. Among the items are a warm duck confit roulade, Lake Erie perch chowder with bacon aioli crostini, porcini and mushroom risotto with truffle oil, and a choice of pan-seared cucumber halibut or grilled Cedar Ranch rib eye. For dessert there's a choice of butterscotch creme brulee with sweet-potato brittle or chocolate torte with strawberry-rhubarb buttercream. A vegetarian menu is available on request.  4111 N. Lincoln, 773-472-4111,

C-House Marcus Samuelsson's restaurant in the Affinia Hotel is offering two options: starting at 5:30 PM a four-course prix fixe is $79 and comes with a complimentary glass of champagne; a 9 PM party at the 29th-floor bar C-View, also $79, includes a premium open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and a champagne toast at midnight. Reservations required for both.  166 E. Superior, 312-523-0923,

Cafe des Architectes Chefs Martial Noguier and Suzanne Imaz offer a "surprise" five-course menu from 5 to 7:30 PM for $130; seating for a five-course prix fixe menu ($89) also starts at 5 PM.  20 E. Chestnut, 312-324-4000,

Cafe Matou In addition to the regular menu, chef Charlie Socher offers a four-course meal ($50) featuring potage parmentier, your choice of grilled market fish with saffron broth or pan-broiled marinated moulard duck breast with garlic sauce, and upside-down cranberry cake with house-made sour cream ice cream and tommies, hazelnut cookies.  5-11 PM, 1846 N. Milwaukee, 773-384-8911,

Campagnola From 5:30 to 6:30 PM a four-course prix fixe menu is $50, a five-course $58; from 7:30 to 10 PM a five-course menu with a glass of sparkling wine is $70. Items include tuna carpaccio with watermelon relish, grapefruit, and argula; potato gnocchi with braised pheasant cacciatore; grilled venison loin; and Italian cookies with blood orange sorbet.  815 Chicago, Evanston, 847-475-6100,

Carnivale New Year's specials on food and drink, a midnight balloon drop, champagne toast at midnight, and entertainment including magicians, stilt walkers, and a DJ.  702 W. Fulton, 312-850-5005,

Charlie Trotter's Trotter's throws open its doors at 7:30 PM for a champagne and canape reception followed by a dinner featuring luxury food stations such as caviar, truffles, and premium Japanese beef. Black tie optional.  816 W. Armitage, 773-248-6228,, $350.

Chen's In addition to the regular menu, Chen's is offering a Chinese buffet, open bar, and party favors from 10 PM to 1 AM.  3506 N. Clark, 773-549-1280,, $45.

China Grill A six-course prix fixe tasting menu ($75, $90 with a glass of champagne) is available in addition to the regular menu; complimentary toast at midnight.  230 N. Michigan, 312-334-6700,

Cibo Matto In addition to the regular menu, chef Todd Stein is offering a five-course tasting menu for $120, $180 with wine pairings. The meal starts with brussels sprouts prepared with speck and includes tagliatelle pasta or truffled risotto, foie gras with dayboat scallops, grilled rack of lamb with minted farro and chestnut-leek puree, and a selection of desserts.  201 N. State, 312-239-9500,

Cité The restaurant on the 70th floor of Lake Point Tower will offer a six-course prix fixe menu at two seatings: 5:30-7 PM ($125) and 8:30-10 PM ($225), followed by jazz, dancing, a champagne toast, and a view of the fireworks at midnight. Both menus feature foie gras, scallops, veal tenderloin, whole lobster, filet mignon, and chocolate fondue.  505 N. Lake Shore, 312-644-4050,

Club Lucky At this restaurant, annually decorated with 5,000 balloons for New Year's, seating starts at 4 PM with a final seating from 9:30-10:30 PM, after which admission is $30. Dining is a la carte; admission to the party covers live music, party favors, and a bottle of champagne per couple. Reservations required.  1824 W. Wabansia, 773-227-2300,

Custom House Four-course prix fixe menu from chef Aaron Deal, offered in two seatings: 5:30-7 PM ($75) and 8:30-10 PM ($110). Live jazz from 9 PM-1 AM; party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. 500 S. Dearborn, 312-523-0200,  

Cyrano's Bistrot & Wine Bar From 5 to 6 PM the a la carte menu is available, after which a four-course prix fixe menu is $59.95 from 6 to 7:30 PM and $69.95 between 7:30 and 9 PM. A cabaret package including appetizers and live entertainment is $89.95, $115 with wine pairings. Items include smoked salmon, duck rilletes, escargots, lobster bisque, grilled gingered swordfish, beef tenderloin, and roast duck.  546 N. Wells, 312-467-0546,

David Burke's Primehouse Chef Rick Gresh offers a four-course prix fixe dinner beginning with passed appetizers and ending with desserts including tiramisu creme brulee, cheesecake lollipops, and caramel pain perdu. Entrees such as filet mignon, a dry-aged bone-in rib eye, and seared Alaskan king salmon come with a choice of two sides.  616 N. Rush, 312-660-6000,, $75.

Deleece In addition to the regular menu, there will be a four-course prix fixe ($60, $75 with pairings), plus a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.  4004 N. Southport, 773-325-1710,

Deleece Grill Pub A four-course prix fixe menu featuring bolete mushroom soup, lobster and cave-aged marissa ravioli, a choice of prime rib, braised pork shank, or bacon-wrapped halibut, and a choice of desserts including chocolate-bourbon pecan pie and chocolate mousse with bourbon-soaked cherries. Beer pairings are an additional $15. The a la carte menu will also be available, and there's a complimentary PBR toast at midnight.  3313 N. Clark, 773- 348-3313,, $50.

Dine Four-course prix fixe menu with a choice of a caprese salad or mixed greens with roast pears, fennel and lamb lollipops, and entree choices including pan-seared scallops and short ribs with roasted poblano noodles or filet mignon with a veal demi, and creme caramel with mixed berries. Service is from 4 to 10 PM only.  733 W. Madison, 312-602-2100,, $56.

DMK Burger Bar No cover charge, no package fee, just a $10 donation that will go to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. The regular menu at this new burger place from David Morton and Michael Kornick will be on offer.  2954 N. Sheffield, 773-360-8686,

Duchamp Chef Michael Taus offers a four-course tasting meal with choices including lobster salad, his Return to Thailand bouillabaisse, an artisanal cheese plate, and a dessert trio: lemon tart with strawberry and cardamom, a cupcake, and an ice cream sandwich. Seatings begin at 6 PM, with the last at 11 PM.  2118 N. Damen, 773-235-6434,, $49.

Eivissa At this family New Year's Eve celebration adults eat from a prix fixe tapas menu for $20.09 and kids (one per adult) eat for free. A New Year's Eve countdown featuring sparkling cider and party favors will start at 7:29 PM.  1531 N. Wells, 312-654-9500,

Eve Chef Troy Graves offers open seating and a six-course prix fixe menu including elk tartare, grilled rabbit, and lamb loin for $95.  840 N. Wabash, 312-266-3383,

Everest Chef Jean Joho offers special items from his menu including roasted Maine lobster, Dover sole, and magret of duck breast with wild pine and marinated turnips. Reservations are available from 5 to 10 PM.  40 S. LaSalle, 40th floor, 312-663-8920,

Fiddlehead Cafe A three-course prix fixe for $48 ($65 with wine pairings). Dishes include lobster bisque, rack of lamb, and Peking duck breast with farro, pistachios, sweet potatoes, and black mission fig and port wine sauce.  4600 N. Lincoln, 773-751-1500,

Geja's Cafe Four-course fondue dinner served at three seatings: 5 PM ($75; includes a glass of sparkling wine), 7:30 PM ($95; includes a glass of champagne), and 10 PM ($115; includes a bottle of champagne and party favors). A flamenco guitarist will play throughout.  340 W. Armitage, 773-281-9101,

Graham Elliot A four-course prix fixe dinner with seatings at 6 and 6:30 PM is $79; an eight-course dinner served at 8:30 and 9 PM is $129 and includes a complimentary champagne cocktail.  217 W. Huron, 312-624-9975,

Green Zebra Five-course vegetarian tasting menu offered at four seatings: 6, 6:30, 9, and 9:30 PM ($75, $120 with wine pairings). A vegan version is available with advance notice.  1460 W. Chicago, 312-243-7100,

In Fine Spirits A five-course prix fixe dinner served from 5 to 8 PM is $50 and includes admission to a party beginning at 8 PM; wine pairings are available for an additional $20. The menu includes apple and lobster salad, dayboat scallops, braised short rib risotto, and cheesecake tart. Reservations required. The party alone is $20.10.  5420 N. Clark, 773-334-9463,

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap A bargain New Year's: no cover charge and a $5 all-you-can-eat chef's table featuring wings, a slider bar, a nacho bar, flatbreads, dips and spreads, and a dessert table with espresso brownies, cookies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight.  41 E. Superior, 312-266-0400,

Japonais Seating prior to 7:30 PM requires a minimum of $75 per person; after that $100 minimum per person is required. A DJ spins from 9 PM on, and there's a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.  600 W. Chicago, 312-822-9600,

Joey's Brickhouse An open bar from 8 PM to midnight with a DJ, party favors, and a spread including shrimp, skirt steak, pizza, and make-your-own-s'mores is $44; after that there's a cash bar till 2 AM.  1258 W. Belmont, 773-296-1300,

Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club The restaurant "transforms into Chicago's infamous Chez Paree lounge" for the evening, re-creating the atmosphere of the mid-20th-century club with servers in costume and period performances by Diva Madame X. Chef Mark Kasper's five-course menu featuring retro items like shrimp cocktail and chateaubriand will be offered in three seatings, at 6 PM ($50), 8 PM ($75), and 10 PM ($85).  3700 N. Halsted, 773-525-1111,

Kohan Japanese Restaurant Japanese buffet, open bar, DJ, and a champagne toast.  730 W. Maxwell, 312-421-6254,, $50.

Koi A kids' New Year's celebration features a la carte dining and a kids' menu, plus hats and party favors for a 7:59 PM New Year's countdown.  624 Davis, Evanston, 847-866-6969,

Mac's American Pub A la carte dining and beverages, a DJ from 9 PM to 2 AM, and complimentary party favors and champagne toast. An optional drinks package including beer, wine, and call liquor from 10 PM to 1 AM is $35.  1801 W. Division, 773-782-3040.

Mado At two seatings, 6 and 9 PM, chefs Rob and Allison Levitt are serving a Tuscan gran bollito misto, simmered meats served with accompaniments after the brodo, or broth, is served as a course of its own. The meal starts with charcuterie and antipasti: braised fennel with truffle fonduta, a buckwheat crespelle with creme fraiche and caviar, and smoked sturgeon with blood orange. Then comes the brodo, served with tortellini, then the bollito, veal breast, beef shank, cotechino sausage, chicken, and beef tongue, served with potatoes and traditional accompaniments. For dessert there are Italian pastries and candies. BYO.  1647 N. Milwaukee, 773-342-2340,, $100.

Marché Kids (one per parent) dine for free at a kiddie New Year's Eve party with 5:30, 6, and 6:30 PM seating times and a 7:29 PM countdown. From 8 PM to 12:30 AM there's a surf-and-turf menu and live entertainment including burlesque dancers, aerialists, and a smoke eater. Complimentary champagne at midnight.  833 W. Randolph, 312-226-8399,, $45.

May Street Market Chef Alex Cheswick offers two prix fixe options: a five-course menu at 5 PM ($65, $90 with wine pairings) and a six-course menu at 8 PM ($75, $100 with pairings). Both include a "Bavarian cream doughnut" with gravlax, roasted beet cream, and fennel pollen as an amuse, followed by an appetizer of smoked scallops and caviar or duck consomme with duck prosciutto. For entrees there's a choice between a free-range veal chop or butter-poached Maine lobster with black tagliatelle. The six-course meal adds teriyaki salmon or bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with pumpkin and foie gras to that.  1132 W. Grand, 312-421-5547,

La Mediterranee The 5:30 PM seating for $70 includes a four-course prix fixe menu; the seating at 8:30 PM includes the prix fixe menu, champagne toast, and burlesque cabaret from Michelle L'amour's Chicago Starlets for $85.  941 W. Randolph,

Mercadito Between 5 and 7 PM the a la carte menu will be available. Starting at 9 PM, a five-course prix fixe menu of guacamole, ceviche or botanas, tacos, and dessert is $50; a four-course meal with an open bar from 9:30 PM to 12:30 AM is $100.  108 W. Kinzie, 312-329-9555,

Mercat a la Planxa Executive chef Jose Garces offers a three-course prix fixe menu for $75 ($65 from 4 to 7 PM). Champagne toast at midnight.  638 S. Michigan, 312-765-0524,

Merlo la Salumeria Executive chef Luisa Silvia is offering a five-course prix fixe menu at all three Merlo restaurants; here it's $75, with complimentary glasses of prosecco and muscato. To accommodate theatergoers, the restaurant will open at 4 PM.  2638 N. Lincoln, 773-529-0747,


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