By elle eichinger | December 26, 2013 | Food & Drink
Ring in the New Year at The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier.
The spot: Fish Bar, 2956 N. Sheffield Ave.
The deal: $60, 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
The details: Ditch the ballgown this year and opt for a casual night out at Fish Bar. The resto hosts a coast-to-coast culinary celebration featuring the best dishes and drinks from the Atlantic and Pacific. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat seafood feast of Washington state oysters, lobster rolls, Satchmo Po’Boys, chowder, bisque, and more, alongside drinks like Seattle’s 2bar spirits and Cambridge Jack D’Or.
The spot: Travelle, 330 N. Wabash Ave.
The deal: $175, 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m.
The details: The Langham Hotel’s Travelle restaurant harkens back to the famous Truman Capote-hosted black and white ball of 1966 with a mod-style dinner party. The evening begins with a five-course feast featuring dishes like porcini bisque, black and white bow-tie pasta, black truffle-crusted sea bass, and more, before the party continues into the night. Guests are invited to don their best black and white apparel and a masquerade mask: the most festive mask wins a magnum of Veuve Clicquot Champagne for his or her table.
The spot: Red Door, 2118 N. Damen Ave.
The deal: $100, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
The details: Red Door’s New Year’s Eve party is a celebration of all things bacon and bourbon, starting with gourmet passed apps like Bulgogi-glazed bacon meatball sliders with kimchi mayo and lobster pancetta croquettes with pistachio pesto. Expect strong signature drinks like the Punch Drunk Johnny—Old Overholt Rye, Seedling Farms apple cider, brown sugar, and spices—included in the open bar. At midnight, Red Door replaces the traditional Champagne with bacon-infused, barrel-aged Manhattans for a toast; plus, a portion of the evening’s proceeds benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
The spot: The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave.
The deal: $155-$175, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
The details: The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier is the spot for one of the most festive New Year’s celebrations in Chicago, packed with thousands of cocktail-clad partiers. Grab a drink from one of the more than 20 bars and watch the countdown to 2014 projected on the famous Ferris Wheel, then peer though the surrounding glass windows—or step out onto the terrace—for celebratory fireworks.
The spot: Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan Ave.
The deal: $125, Menu offered from 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
The details: Chef de cuisine Cory Morris was inspired by a Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight to ring in the New Year. His four-course menu features the symbolic fruit in unexpected ways: oyster shooters with lavender grape soda and espelette, goat cheese panna cotta with muscat-poached grapes, and more.
The spot: Private Dining by Sepia, 135 N. Jefferson St.
The deal: E-mail to inquire about times and prices
The details: Adjacent to the Michelin-starred Sepia is the restaurant’s newer space for more intimate dining. James Beard-nominated chef Andrew Zimmerman prepares a holiday-inspired menu of savory and sweet items with pairings. For New Year’s Eve, book the space for a small gathering and enjoy a premium open bar, live DJ, and more.
The spot: The Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton Pl.
The deal: $155-$175, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
The details: Chicago Scene’s New Year’s Eve sponsored by Akira brings out an ultra-fashionable crowd of more than 2,500 people spread through four ballrooms with 45 bars. At midnight, make your way to the Gold Coast Room or Grand Ballroom for a Champagne toast and festive balloon drop.
Tickets: chicagoscenenewyearsparty.com or eventbrite.com
NEW YEAR’S DAY
The spot: Sixteen, 401 N. Wabash Ave.
The deal: $95, $35 for children 8 and under, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
The details: Whether you’re relaxed from a night in or still reeling from the party, welcome 2014 with a hearty New Year’s Day brunch at Sixteen. You’ll find something for everyone between an omelet station, sushi and nigiri station, raw bar, charcuterie, a menu full of breakfast items, and more. There’s even a kids’ table with mini burgers, grilled cheese, and other classics.
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