The Reader's Guide to New Year's Eve 2013 

The best places to be when the ball drops

Kiss Kiss Cabaret

Kiss Kiss Cabaret

Greg Inda Photography

Parties & Events

Black Ensemble Theater New Year's Eve Celebration Hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and performances by ensemble members along with the Michael Ross Trio and DJ Ervin "Magic" Gardner. 8 PM, Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark, 773-769-4451, blackensembletheater.org, $125, $200 per couple.

Bootlegger's Ball Roaring 20s-themed party includes an open bar, dinner buffet, a champagne toast, and music from DJs Ryan Ross and Greg Bauer. 8 PM, Moonshine Brewing Company, 1824 W. Division, 773-862-8686, moonshinechicago.com, $90, $75 in advance.

Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Dinner and drinks followed by an improv performance at 9 PM, a champagne toast at midnight, and music and dancing until 2 AM. Advance purchase required. 8 PM, Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park, 773-865-7731, cicomedy.com, $50, $95 per couple.

The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier Open bar, party favors, hors d'oeuvres, and a countdown on the Ferris wheel, with fireworks and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM, Navy Pier Crystal Gardens, 700 E. Grand, 312-595-5436, $125.

First Night Evanston A day filled with workshops, food trucks, ice sculptures, and a showcase of more than 30 musical and theatrical acts, including bluegrass master James King and slam poet Marc Smith. A parade begins in Raymond Park (Chicago and Lake) at 11:45 PM to ring in the new year. 1 PM, various locations, $20, $15 in advance.

1st Ward and Chop Shop Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and performances by DJ Saam and the Gold Coast All-Stars (8 PM and 11 PM, respectively). A VIP chef's dinner package is available for $225. 8 PM-2 AM, the Chop Shop, 2033 W. North, 773-537-4440, chopshopchi.com, $150.

Ignite the Night The Numbered Days and Cause & Affect host this bash, which features the requisite open bar and appetizer spread, in addition to a heated rooftop deck, a s'more station, and work by local artists. 9 PM, Ignite Glass Studios, 401 N. Armour, facebook.com/TheNumberedDays, $75-$85.

iO Theater's New Year's Eve Performances include the Improvised Shakespeare Company at 8 PM, with Whirled News Tonight: The Year in Review and iO's Interactive New Year's at 10:30 PM ($65 includes party favors, champagne toast, and open bar; $25 without the open bar). 8 and 10:30 PM, iO, 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199, chicago.ioimprov.com, $25-$65.

Kiss Kiss Cabaret New Year's Eve Hullabaloo A night of burlesque, music, comedy, and magic hosted by the Flattery Brothers and starring the Kiss Kiss Coquettes. Hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, champagne toast, and postshow dance party included. 10 PM, Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-404-7336, greenhousetheater.org, $42, $75 for two.

Mr. Olsen's New Year's Rockin' Neighborhood Screenwriter Dana Olsen presents a variety show featuring Steve Rashid and Victoria Zielinski and Paul Barrosse of The Vic and Paul Show. A performance by Riffmaster & the Rockme Foundation follows at 10 PM, and DJs spin from midnight till 2 AM. 8 PM, 27 Live, 1012 Church, Evanston, 855-927-5483, 27live.com, $25-$100.

New Year's Eve at the DANK Haus The night kicks off with a demonstration and tasting of "Feuerzangenbowle" (aka fire-tongs punch) and continues with music from the Polkaholics. Admission includes entry into a raffle to win an Epiphone guitar. 9 PM, DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western, 773-561-9181, dankhaus.com, $15, $10 in advance.

New Year's Eve: Moulin Rouge Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar before a 9:30 PM screening of the Baz Luhrmann musical. Following the film, a countdown to midnight with a champagne toast, dessert, and live music. 8 PM, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com, $50-$105.

New Year's Eve Revolution Open bar, unlimited desserts, and a performance by the O'My's. Sweets and champagne served from above by suspended acrobats. 9 PM, Redmoon Theater, 2120 S. Jefferson, 312-850-8440, redmoon.org, $100.

Official Playboy New Year's Eve Soiree Celebrating Playboy's 60th anniversary. Hors d'oeuvre buffet, cocktail reception, live music, and multiple rooms of entertainment. 9 PM, Hard Rock Hotel, 230 N. Michigan, 866-966-5166, chicagonyeparty.com/hardrockhotel, $150.

Pleasure Principle Party includes an open bar with "Best of 2013" cocktails, food, midnight toast, and music from DJ Gloria Vanderbilt & Pandabrand. 9 PM, Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-3530, whistlerchicago.com, $99.

Concerts

Baathhaus, Big Dipper An undoubtedly outrageous and fun queer dance party hosted by Jane Beachy. Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake, 312-666-6775, bottomlounge.com, $15.

Crowbar The New Orleans-based sludge metal juggernaut creates a thunderous racket best described by Beavis & Butthead as "slow and fat." 8:30 PM, Cobra Lounge, 235 N. Ashland, 312-226-6300, cobralounge.com, $40.

Death The legendary protopunk trio from Detroit, who re-formed when Drag City released their recordings back in 2009 for the first time, bring their rock 'n' roll fury. 8:30 PM, Reggie's Rock Club, 2109 S. State, 312-949-0121, reggieslive.com/rockclub, $25, $20 in advance, $50-$80 for VIP packages.

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe The jazz and funk saxophonist, who's performed with everyone from Lenny Kravitz to Slightly Stoopid, will be playing with his own Tiny Universe band. 9 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959, parkwestchicago.com.

Dessa The rapper from the Doomtree collective has been described as "Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker." 10 PM, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2501, lincolnhallchicago.com, $35, $30 in advance.

Roky Erickson, Hounds of Baskerville Psych-rock pioneer and former 13th Floor Elevators front man Roky Erickson gets far out with a pair of dates. 9:30 PM, also Mon 12/30, 9 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444, beatkitchen.com, $30.

Alejandro Escovedo & the Sensitive Boys This Texas-based alt-country songwriter brings some Austin flavor with his band, the Sensitive Boys. 10 PM, SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston, 847-492-8860, evanstonspace.com, $65-$80.

Flosstradamus The formerly local mashup-master duo makes a homecoming with two shows at the Riv. 10 PM, also Mon 12/30, 7:30 PM, Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine, 773-275-6800, rivieratheatre.com, $60.

Girl Group Chicago The all-female girl-group tribute act rings in the new year with another set of 60s classics. 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, hideoutchicago.com, $20.

Jimmy Eat World, Smoking Popes The massive emo institution teams up with the local pop-punk mainstays for a good-vibes celebration. 10 PM, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 312-923-2000, houseofblues.com/chicago, $100.

Lawrence Arms Midwestern punk rock perfectly crafted for guzzling tons and tons of beer. 7:30 PM, Concord Music Hall, 2047 N. Milwaukee, concordmusichall.com, $25.

Black Joe Lewis Austin's blues and soul revivalist has more than a soft spot for James Brown. 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203, metrochicago.com, $71, $61 in advance.

Local H It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without a performance from this heavy-hitting local alt-rock duo. 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600, subt.net, $30, $27 in advance.

Los Lobos This hugely popular, forty-year-old rock band headlines two New Year's shows tonight. 7:30 and 11 PM, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, 312-733-9463, citywinery.com, $85, $125 for premiere, $175 for VIP.

Motion City Soundtrack It's the ten-year anniversary of the pop-punk band's debut, I Am the Movie, so it's getting played in full. 9 PM, Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake, 312-666-6775, bottomlounge.com, $45.

Mucca Pazza This massive punk-rock marching band turns any place it shows up into a huge party. What better way to ring in the new year? 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160, doubledoor.com, $28, $25 in advance.

Oozing Wound, Magic Milk, Jimmy Whispers The all-local lineup brings together Oozing Wound's relentless thrash, Magic Milk's party garage, and Jimmy Whispers's dream pop. Mike Lust spins records all night. 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600, emptybottle.com, $20, $10 in advance.

Clubs

The Castle Open bar (9 PM-1 AM), dinner buffet (9-11:30 PM), and live entertainment. 7 PM, 623 N. Dearborn, castlechicago.com, $159.

Club Foot No cover for the usual drink specials, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. 8 PM, 1824 W. Augusta, 773-489-0379, clubfootchicago.comF

Enclave Open bar, dessert bar, DJs, and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM, 220 W. Chicago, 312-654-0234, enclavechicago.com, $90.

Estate Ultra Bar Open bar, party favors, DJs, and, as always, a champagne toast. 9 PM, 1177 N. Elston, 312-582-4777, estateultrabar.com, $55.

The Fifty/50 Welcome to a five-hour open bar—wine and beer included—and two-hour food buffet (9-11 PM). 8 PM, 2047 W. Division, 773-489-5050, thefifty50.com, $70-$80.

Funky Buddha Lounge Catering from La Scarola and a champagne toast. Premium packages including open bar and bottle service available for $50 and $450. 9 PM, 728 W. Grand, 312-666-1695, funkybuddha.com, $30.

Headquarters Beercade A buffet (8-10 PM), champagne toast, and an all-night dance party. 8 PM, 950 W. Wolfram, 773-665-5660, hqbeercade.com, $70.

Howl at the Moon Open bar (9 PM-midnight), champagne toast, and party favors available for $75. Premium package includes seated service, an open bar (7 PM-midnight), dinner buffet (7 PM-9 PM), one bottle of champagne per table, and party favors for $130. 7 PM, 26 W. Hubbard, 312-863-7427, howlatthemoon.com, $75-$130.

The Mid Open bar (9 PM-1 AM), party favors, music from DJs Adonis S and Ian Ross, and a champagne toast and confetti storm at midnight. 9 PM, 306 N. Halsted, 312-265-3990, themidchicago.com, $165, $125 in advance.

The Palace Open bar (10 PM-midnight), music from DJs Commando and Jay Illa with accompanying belly dancers, and, at midnight, a champagne toast and balloon drop. 9 PM, 1240 W. Randolph, 312-666-9555, nyeatthepalace.com, $75.

Spy Bar Open bar (9 PM-1 AM), hors d'oeuvres, party favors, and a champagne toast. Music by DJs Kalendr & Inphinity and Dustin Sheridan and a performance by the Zhantra dancers. 9 PM, 646 N. Franklin, 312-337-2191, spybarchicago.com, $85, $50 in advance.

Three Dots and a Dash Island-themed hors d'oeuvres, a souvenir mug, and an assortment of tropical party favors. 9 PM, 435 N. Clark, 312-610-4220, threedotschicago.com, $45.

The Underground Open bar, dinner package, and, yes, a champagne toast. 8 PM, 56 W. Illinois, 312-644-7600, theundergroundchicago.com, $175.

Vertigo Sky Lounge House DJs Dmitry KO and StarKillers ring in the new year. Premium cocktails, appetizers, and party favors abound. 8 PM, 660 N. State Street, 312-202-6000, $125.

Where to eat . . .

Acadia Chef Ryan McCaskey presents a five-course dinner with the theme "1889 Cabaret, Paris, France," featuring lobster thermidor, beef Wellington, and opera cake; seatings at 5:30 and 9 PM are $125 and $175, respectively ($200 and $280 with wine pairings). The night includes surprise performances, music by DJ Lords and Ladies, champagne, and an afterparty from 12:30 to 3:30 AM. 1639 S. Wabash, 312-360-9500, acadiachicago.com.

Ada St. "Vinyl & victuals with Zoe Schor" features the chef's music picks and a five-course prix fixe menu with seatings at 6:30, 7, and 7:30 PM ($78 per person, $52 at the bar) and 9, 9:30, and 10 PM ($104, $78 at the bar); a vegetarian option is available, as is an additional starter of oysters and champagne for two ($75). 1664 N. Ada, 773-697-7069, adastreetchicago.com.

Avec Chef Perry Hendrix's five-course Mediterranean prix fixe includes paella and a Sicilian cassata for dessert. 615 W. Randolph, 312-377-2002, avecrestaurant.com, $65, $105 with pairings.

Big Jones A four-course prix fixe menu begins with chef Paul Fehribach's now traditional red pea "cappuccino" and includes courses such as salsify "oysters" circa 1840. 5347 N. Clark, 773-275-5725, bigjoneschicago.com, $75, $105 with pairings.

The Boarding House Two seatings: from 5 to 8 PM a four-course prix fixe menu is $65 ($110 with wine pairings) and from 8 to 11 PM a six-course menu is $85 ($145); beginning at 8 PM, admission downstairs at the bar is $30, which includes a champagne station. 720 N. Wells, 312-280-0720, boardinghousechicago.com.

CH Distillery A five-course menu with cocktail pairings is $150; walk-ins are welcome starting at 9:30 PM. 564 W. Randolph, 312-707-8780, chdistillery.com.

Chilam Balam A five-course prix fixe with seatings at 5:30 and 7:30 PM is $60 ($120 with pairings) and $75 ($150 with pairings) at 9:30 PM; vegetarian menu available upon request. 3023 N. Broadway, 773-296-6901, chilambalamchicago.com.

County Barbeque A pig roast plus an open bar, "bottomless bacon," and a toast. 1352 W. Taylor, 312-929-2528, dmkcountybarbeque.com, $60.

The Drawing Room New chef Tommy Sheean offers a five-course tasting menu. 937 N. Rush, 312-255-0022, thedrchicago.com, $85, $120 with pairings.

Due Lire A five-course traditional Italian menu features osso buco and tagliatelle with lobster. 4520 N. Lincoln, 773-275-7878, due-lire.com, $55, $80 with pairings.

Dusek's Board & Beer Chef Jared Wentworth offers a five-course prix fixe with beer pairings at two seatings, 8:30 and 9:30 PM. 1227 W. 18th, 312-276-3000, dusekschicago.com, $75.

Fork Five-course prix fixe served family style with optional pairings of beer ($23) or wine ($35); a vegetarian option is $55. 4600 N. Lincoln, 773-751-1500, forkchicago.net, $59.

Homestead Executive chef Chris Curren offers a five-course tasting menu with pairings from 6 to 8:30 PM ($130) and an eight-course menu from 9 PM to 1 AM ($185); the latter includes admission to an afterparty downstairs at Roots Handmade Pizza. 1924 W. Chicago, 773-645-4949, homesteadontheroof.com.

Hot Chocolate Chef Mindy Segal's Paris-themed menu is available at 6 and 6:30 PM ($60 for four courses) and 8:30 and 9 PM ($75 for five courses); an optional pairing featuring an aperitif, wines, and ice cider is $40. 1747 N. Damen, 773-489-1747, hotchocolatechicago.com.

La Sirena Clandestina Chef John Manion's regular menu will be available along with a five-course prix fixe ($80). 954 W. Fulton, 312-226-5300, lasirenachicago.com.

Le Colonial A three-course prix fixe is $65, with seatings available every half hour. 937 N. Rush, 312-255-0088, lecolonialchicago.com.

Longman & Eagle Chef Jared Wentworth presents two five-course tasting menus ($95, seatings at 5:30 and 8 PM) and an eight-course dinner with champagne toast ($125, 10 PM); beer and wine pairings are available for each. 2657 N. Kedzie, 773-276-7110, longmanandeagle.com.

Lula Cafe A five-course prix fixe menu featuring classic dishes from the restaurant's repertoire. Reservations required. 2537 N. Kedzie, 773-489-9554, lulacafe.com, $65.

Mercadito A five-course menu of shared plates, plus a three-hour open bar, champagne toast, and a DJ is $120, $150 with VIP seating. 108 W. Kinzie, 312-329-9555, mercaditorestaurants.com.

Rodan An Asian prix fixe menu is available at 6:30 ($55, $95 with pairings) and 9 PM ($75, $135 with pairings). 1530 N. Milwaukee, 773-276-7036, rodanchicago.com.

Senza Chef Noah Sandoval offers a gluten-free seven-course tasting menu with a champagne toast. 2823 N. Broadway, 773-770-3527, senzachicago.com, $150.

SmallBar Division From 8 to 10 PM a three-course meal with pairings and a bottle of champagne per couple is $100 per person (reservations required); it's followed by a dance party with DJs and no cover. 2049 W. Division, 773-772-2727, smallbardivision.com.

Table, Donkey & Stick Chef Scott Manley's tasting menu is $75, $120 with pairings; a vegetarian menu is also available. 2728 W. Armitage, 773-486-8525, tabledonkeystick.com.

Tanta Chef Gastón Acurio offers two seatings featuring a five-course tasting menu, the first from 5 to 7:45 PM, the second from 8:45 to 11 PM; a glass of sparkling wine is included. 118 W. Grand, 312-222-9700, tantachicago.com, $125.

Tesori Chef Andrew Deuel offers a five-course tasting menu for $65, with pairings at $35 and $55, the latter for reserve wines; optional upgrades include caviar service for two ($75). In the bar from 9 PM to 1 AM, a package including call liquor, two specialty drinks, prosecco, and passed antipasti is $65 per person. 65 E. Adams, 312-786-9911, tesorichicago.com.

Travelle Chef Tim Graham offers a menu featuring both black and white truffles at two seatings, from 5 to 6:30 PM ($125 for three courses) and 7:30 to 10 PM ($175 for five). 330 N. Wabash, 312-923-7705, travellechicago.com.

Trenchermen Chef Pat Sheerin offers a three-course tasting menu from 5:30 to 8 PM ($55, $80 with pairings) and a five-course menu including a champagne toast from 8:45 to 10 PM ($85, $130 with pairings); starting at 10 PM reserved bar seating is available for $30 per person, which includes bar snacks and a toast. 2039 W. North, 773-661-1540, trenchermen.com.

Yusho Chef Matthias Merges offers a six-course tasting menu with seatings at 6 and 9 PM and a champagne toast at midnight. 2853 N. Kedzie, 773-904-8558, yusho-chicago.com, $99, $145 with pairings. 

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Agenda Teaser

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