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Chicagoist's Big-Ass Roundup to Dining on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 22, 2009 7:00PM

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It's getting close to New Year's Eve. There are some of you reading who want to dine out on one of the busiest party nights of the year, but are waiting until the last minute to reserve a table. Normally we post a few options for you. This year, however, we may have gone overboard.

Following are 30 restaurants that are offering dinner or brunch service for the New Year's holiday, encompassing a wide range of restaurants throughout the city and near suburbs.

  • Kiki’s Bistro will be ringing in the New Year with food, drink, and fun. Regular menu items will be served under candlelight with Champagne specials. There will be three seatings, the earliest at 5pm to 6pm, the second at 8pm, and the midnight celebration seating at 10pm. Reservations are recommended and valet parking is complimentary. (900 N. Franklin Street 312-335-5454)
  • Branch 27: Four-course menu w/complimentary champagne. $65 per person (1371 W. Chicago Ave., 312-850-2700)
  • Graham Elliot (217 W. Huron, 312-624-9975) will be open on New Year’s Eve serving a $79 4-course prix-fixe menu in the early seating [6-6:30PM] and a $129 8-course menu in the second seating [8:30-9PM] which will also include a festive sparkling cocktail from beverage director Lynn House. Chef Elliot promises to have you well-sated and out in time to make it to the ball dropping parties at midnight.
  • one sixtyblue (1400 W. Randolph, 312-850-0303) is open from 5:30pm-9:30pm serving $75 five-course prix fixe.
  • Vermilion (10 West Hubbard, 312-567-4060) will be open on New Year’s Eve and offering three different five course pre-fixe menus including a seared meat menu, fish or vegetarian; bollywood dancing and music until 3:00am. In addition, Vermilion will also offer 7 different herb and spice champagne “fizzes” such as Cilantro Chili, Rose Fennel and Blueberry Cardamom for $16 each. Dinner reservations made up to 7:30pm are $65 per person, 7:30pm on will be $85 per person. **The restaurant will be open December 24th and 25th and will be serving a 6 course Indian-Latin Christmas menu for $50.
  • L2O (2300 Lincoln Park West, 773-868-0002) is open from 6:00pm-11:00pm serving their regular menus and a special four-course prix-fixe.
  • Sprout (1417 W. Fullerton Ave, 773-348-0706) will be crossing off the hours until 2010 on New Year's Eve, with a 10-point "countdown" of six food courses, complimentary champagne, two intermezzos and a mignardise. The countdown of food and drink offered at 7:30 p.m., as only one seating, is $85 per person, with $40 additional for wine.
  • Hearty (3819 N. Broadway, 773-244-9866 ext. 207) heralds its first New Year's with a lavish music- and food-filled holiday on December 31. Chef Dan Smith will serve a four-course prix fixe menu of celebratory comfort food.
  • Vie (4471 Lawn Ave. Western Springs, 708-246-2082) is capping off '09 with a five-course dinner and optional wine pairings, offering guests a leisurely escape from the hustle and bustle of the downtown party scene. As guests are seated, they will be met with a complimentary glass of Champagne and an amuse of pan-seared day boat scallop with Tennessee black truffles and celery root.
  • WAVE (W Chicago-Lakeshore, 644 N. Lake Shore Dr., 312-255-4460) will be taking it to the streets this New Year's Eve, offering a feast of internationally inspired fare from Executive Chef Kristine Subido. Guests are invited to indulge their "street tooth" on a smorgasbord of small plates, mixed grill items and decadent sweets available on December 31 until 11 p.m., for $65 per person.
  • Land will meet sea at avec (615 W. Randolph, 312-377-2002) on a prix fixe menu for New Year's Eve. For this one night, avec will take reservations.
  • Chaise Lounge (1840 W. North Ave, 773-342-1840) bids a lavish farewell to 2009 this New Year's Eve with boundless pours of bubbly and an open bar.
  • Bonsoirée (2728 W. Armitage, 773-486-7511) is offering 5- and 7-course, fixed price BYOB menus. Seatings are at 5:30-7 p.m. (5-course, $90) and 8-11:30 p.m. (7 courses, $120).
  • Trader Vic’s (1030 N. State, 312-642-6500) will offer Chicagoans a tropical escape and a traditional Polynesian feast. The four-course dinner will be $75 per person or $150 per couple, which includes a bottle of Roederer Estate Champagne to accompany the meal.
  • New Year’s Day brunch at 33 Club (1419 N. Wells, 312-664-1419) will offer cutting-edge versions of classic American fare and includes a wide variety of a la carte breakfast and lunch items.
  • Italiasia (350 W. Mart Center Drive, 312-529-1157) will offer a unique Italian-Asian inspired New Year’s Day Brunch Buffet featuring an array of breakfast items, soups, salads, entrees and desserts.
  • Sabor Saveur (2013 W. Division, 773-235-7310) will offer two dinner seatings (6 p.m. and 9 p.m.), both featuring a festive five-course menu with a choice of entrees for $75 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).
  • Aja (660 N. State, 312-202-6050) has seating for its regular dinner menu New Year's Eve from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., accompanied by a selection of fine champagnes available by the bottle for only $99 each.
  • Cibo Matto (201 N. State, 312-239-9500) offers a celebratory five-course tasting menu featuring the hearty flavors of the season, including a decadent pasta or risotto topped with a shower of highly prized shaved white truffles. Cost is $125 per person; an additional $60 per person with wine pairings. Three seating times will be offered—6 p.m., 8 p.m., and 10 p.m.—and the final seating will include a midnight sparkling rosé toast.
  • Custom House (500 S. Dearborn, 312-523-0200) invites guests to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style with a special four-course menu by Executive Chef Aaron Deal. The menu guests a choice of dish options for each course served, and two seatings will be available for the evening: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for $75 per person; and 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for $110 per person. The latter seating will include live jazz in the lounge and a celebratory Champagne toast at midnight complete with party favors.
  • Epic (112 W. Hubbard, 312-222-4940) will be open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. (the bar will be open 4:30 p.m. until 2 a.m.) and will offer a regular dinner menu featuring contemporary American dishes prepared with French technique.
  • Inovasi (28 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff, 847-295-1000) raises a glass to the New Year with a special menu created just for New Year’s Eve, incorporating produce and ingredients grown only for this menu from Freedom Organix Farm in Harvard, Illinois. Chef John des Rosiers offers guests a three-course menu, each course offering four selections. The special New Year’s Eve menu will be offered beginning at 6 p.m. At the stroke of midnight, guests will be treated to a complimentary champagne toast. Cost is $38 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity).
  • Lockwood's Phillip Foss treats guests to an extravagant New Year’s Eve with a menu of upscale, contemporary American cuisine, featuring a special tasting menu for $95 per person. Two- and three-course menus are also available, for $45 and $55 per person, respectively. Lockwood will also be offering a New Year’s Day brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $30 per person; $40 per person includes the Bloody Mary Bar with toppings. Prices are exclusive of tax and gratuity; reservations are required. (Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe, 312-917-3404)
  • Rodan (1530 N. Milwaukee, 773-276-7036) has a 4-course meal for $35 with beer pairings from Surly Brewing for an extra $15.
  • Taxim (1558 N. Milwaukee, 773-252-1558) offers a six-course menu from 5-10:30 p.m., which includes includes a glass of champagne and a slice of Cretan vasilopita, the traditional Greek New Year's/St. Basil's Day cake for dessert. the cake is baked with a coin inside and the diner lucky enough to get the slice with the coin, as per tradition, is granted wealth and good luck in the coming year. The dinner is split up into two seatings: 5-8 p.m. ($65) and 8:15-10:30 p.m. ($95).
  • 312 Chicago (136 N. LaSalle, 312-696-2420) has its full a la carte menu. Additionally, chef Luca Corazzina will be offering a four-course pre-fixe menu ($50 per person, $65 pp with wine pairings).
  • Sepia (123 N. Jefferson, 312-441-1920) has a four-course menu with two seatings at 5:30 p.m. ($65, wine pairings $45 extra) and 8:30 p.m. ($85, wine pairings an extra $60).
  • Otom (951 W. Fulton Mkt., 312-491-5804) has a five-course tasting menu for $75, additional wine pairings for $30
  • Chef Bruce Sherman of North Pond (2610 N. Cannon Dr., 773-477-5845) will be offering a special seven-course prix-fixe menu, $120, wine pairing available for $60, with open seating. A credit card is required to hold the reservation and there is a 72 hour cancellation notice.
  • (k)new Restaurant (2556 W. Fullerton, 773-772-7721) has a special $45 four course prix fixe menu (plus tax and gratuity) and a no corkage BYOB policy. Seating times are at either 6:30 p.m. or 9:00 p.m.
  • Chef Andy Motto of Quince (1625 Hinman, Evanston, 847-570-8400) is offering a 5-course, prix fixe menu. Diners can choose either a regular or a vegetarian option for dinner, which begins with a complimentary glass of Gruet sparkling wine. Cost is $75.