2014 has been a year filled with good eating—a whole lot of it, in fact. So this New Year's Eve, it just makes sense to feast your way into the upcoming year.
Instead of going the boozy bar route, ring in 2015 at some of our favorite restaurants in town. Check out our 10 picks for a very delicious New Year's Eve.
Dungeness Crab and Cocktails at Chino, Mission
Capping off the year with a whole lot of Dungeness sounds like a great plan: Chino's New Year's four-course menu ($70, reservations here) features crab five ways, including stir-fried crab noodles, crab and pork belly soup dumplings, and spice-roasted crustaceans "Chino style." You can (and should) add cocktail pairings ($25) to your meal, which include a shiso-infused gin concoction. Reservations are available from 6:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Havana Nights at Palm House, Cow Hollow
Pick your pleasure: a three-course prix fixe ($60 and up, call 415-400-4355 for reservations); a late-night, open-bar bacchanal ($95); or a combination of the two ($145) at Palm House's Cuban-inspired fiesta. Start with dishes including seared scallops with rum beurre blanc and chimichurri-sauced skirt steak, then get ready to rage come 10 p.m. The party includes passed apps, live entertainment and, yes, that open bar.
Oysters and cocktails at Hog & Rocks | Photos: Nader Khouri
Beers and Beyond at The Abbot's Cellar and The Monk's Kettle, Mission
Fancy ending your year with one of the best beer lists in town? You have your choice between a sit-down, beer-paired feast at classy brew temple The Abbot's Cellar ($65 for three courses, $85 with beer pairings; $95 for five courses, $115 with beer pairings; reservations here) or an all-inclusive, free-flowing party at The Monk's Kettle ($175, tickets here). At Monk's, the ample selection of heavy apps and bites includes cheese and charcuterie platters, mini burgers, mushrooms and burrata on toast and desserts. Your ticket also includes unlimited beer from all of Monk's taps, plus special additions for the evening. The party is limited to 45 guests, so get on this baby fast.
Uni and Cocktails at Maven, Lower Haight
Pregame midnight madness at Maven with a four-course prix fixe ($49, plus $40 for cocktail or wine pairings; email here for reservations) featuring dishes like glazed pork belly with Manchego and seared Asian pears; black cod with sea urchin and dashi broth; and a slow-cooked egg amuse-bouche, served with maple syrup and sherry whipped cream. Experiencing the excellent (and boozy) cocktail pairings is a must.
Oaxacan Snacks and Latin Funk at Comal, Downtown Berkeley
Get your groove on at one of our favorite spots for creative Mexican cuisine. Comal is throwing its third NYE party ($45, tickets here), which includes a mouthwatering selection of snacks (mole-sauced chicken wings and chipotle deviled eggs, among others), serious grooves from DJ Jose Ruiz and a one-night-only mezcal cocktail called the One-Two Punch.
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Family Style and Whiskey at Hog & Rocks, Mission
Dive into oysters (and then some) with a five-course family style meal ($65, reservations here) at Hog & Rocks. You'll want to go for the whiskey-centric beverage pairings ($35). There's an intriguing "luxury supplement," too ($30, we're crossing our fingers for foie gras and caviar). Foie dreams aside, the menu includes tarragon pappardelle with Dungeness and sunchokes, and roasted quail with chicories and truffled blackberry jus.
Purple Rain at Foreign Cinema, Mission
Everyone's favorite gourmet movie theater is having a 1980s-themed, Prince-centric, Purple Rain-inspired party ($100, reservations here). Oh, and there will be a delicious four-course menu, too. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m., and costumes are highly encouraged—by us.
Diners at Locanda | Photo: Eric Wolfinger
Italian Food and Champagne Toasts at Locanda and Delfina, the Mission
Looking to avoid the pressures of prix fixe? Locanda and Delfina are both offering their regular à la carte menus of California-fied Italian fare, paired this time with bubbly filled midnight toasts. Snag a spot for the 9:30 p.m. seating at Locanda (reservations here) and feast on caviar, truffles and burrata. Or plan on an 11 p.m. reservation at Delfina (get one here) and ring in 2015 with lobster spaghetti, chocolate bomba and Prosecco cocktails.
Feasting and a Photo Booth at Bar Agricole, SoMA
We'll take a meal at Bar Agricole any day of the week, but the December 31 prix fixe ($120, reservations here) is shaping up to be unmissable. Expect a combination of individual courses and family style dishes; the former includes baked ricotta and grass-fed rib eye, while the latter involves wild mushroom and nettle risotto, baked oysters and roasted vegetables. In addition to a photo booth, get down to the sounds of a gypsy jazz guitar trio.
VIP Partying at Dirty Habit, SoMA
Obviously Dirty Habit is offering a killer New Year's party lounge ($120, plus fees, tickets here). Your ticket gets you access to a private bar, specialty cocktails, a Champagne station and food offerings that include roast lamb, squash agnolotti with white truffles, duck liver torchon and a raw bar. This is one habit we'll be keeping for next year.
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