Your New Year's Eve Guide
by elle eichinger
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide for the perfect start to 2013—whether you’re celebrating at home or hitting the town.
The latest blow-dry bar to hit Chicago, Blow by Blow is within convenient proximity to your other last-minute NYE errands in the Gold Coast (whether you’re getting your makeup done at one of the Michigan Avenue cosmetics counters or hunting for the perfect dress). This is the holiday to go all out, so we recommend the Jeze “Belle” blowout, which promises to triple your hair’s volume. Or, opt for a pretty up-do to show off a backless dress. $35-70. 67 E. Oak St., 3rd Fl., 312-867-0332
Pay homage to Chicago on the biggest night of the year by sporting a local designer. Our current favorite is Cotton Candy Couture, which rolled out its first collection in the fall and already has to-die-for dresses on pre-order for spring. Designer Jenna Zielbauer set out to create an entire collection of bold, statement-making dresses that are completely unique (each is limited edition and sized to fit). Our pick is the Roscoe ($204), a hot pink confection with pretty petals to create textural detail on its one sleeve. Dress Up, Inc., 1937 N. Damen Ave., 773-235-7780
New year, new nightclub: celebrate 2013 at Bodi, a brand-new downtown destination. A 35-foot wall of water behind a banquette of seats is the ultimate luxe feature, and—combined with the soft walnut accents and ripple-designed ceiling—transports party-goers to somewhere else entirely. Plus, a state-of-the-art sound system will have you on the dance floor in no time. The two-level club’s New Year’s Eve bash is sure to be the ultimate party, featuring multiple DJs, a Champagne toast at midnight, and a premium-hosted bar. Hors d’oeuvres and party favors are also part of the package. Tickets $100 on ticketdriver.com, 8 PM-1 AM. 873 N. Orleans St., 312-440-9680
Take a different spin on NYE fun, and head to Entrepreneurs’ Eve to support a charitable cause. Proceeds from the casino area will be put toward the H Foundation, which raises funds for cancer research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. The event's unique venue—the Adler Planetarium—plays host to five DJs and a Hennessy Black VIP bar tended by Benjamin Newby. It will also feature a cigar lounge and the ultimate viewing access for Chicago’s NYE fireworks over the skyline. Tickets $200-325 on eventbrite.com, 8 PM-1 AM. 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
For those hosting their own New Year’s bash, celebrity event planner Debi Lilly has some great ideas for classy, sophisticated décor. Lilly suggests adhering metallic number label stickers (from an office supply or craft store) to Champagne flutes, labeling them one through ten. When it comes time to count down to the new year, guests will find the labeled flutes on a centerpiece tray surrounded by confetti and noisemakers, and can each raise their glass in turn to ring in 2013. Lilly also suggests hanging crystals around the room, from whatever is available: curtain rods, exposed pipes, and the like. Crystal-covered orbs can hold votive candles for extra flicker and sparkle.
Since we don’t imagine anyone will be waking up early per se, Hub 51 is the best spot for a late brunch (10 AM to 3 PM). A buffet offers a veritable ‘best-of’ Hub’s menu, and is the perfect way to indulge one last time before getting started on your New Year’s resolutions (it is still a holiday, after all). Enjoy brioche French toast, short rib eggs benedict, and even a host of signature sushi rolls. Corned beef—a traditionally ‘lucky’ New Year’s Day dish—is served in the form of a delicious homemade hash. A stiff Bloody Mary or River North Mimosa completes the perfect first meal of 2013. $30, cocktails additional. 51 W. Hubbard St., 312-828-0051
photograph courtesy Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (French Toast)
Michigan Avenue celebrates with cover star Harrison Ford at Chicago Cut Steakhouse.