Monday, December 17, 2012

Pop the Cork on New Year's Eve Revelry and New Year's Day Dining to Usher in 2013

Atlantans looking for a reason to celebrate Mondays have a big one: New Year's Eve falls on a Monday this year. Our city's restaurants are ready with parties and dinners both elegant and casual. If a resolution is to try out more restaurants, go ahead and start on New Year's Day with some of these suggestions.

Welcome the New Year with the new kid in Midtown, 10th & Piedmont, which is already quite at home on the corner that formerly housed Outwrite bookstore. Food and drink specials, the regular menu and a DJ are part of the plan. Reservations accepted for parties of eight or more. Rent out a booth in the "celebration lounge." Call 404-602-5510 for details and minimums.

Aqua blue in Roswell is hosting a festive Blue Year's Eve celebration. A special three-course prix fixe menu is available for $49 per person in addition to the full à la carte menu. Enjoy menu items like the Maine lobster bisque, five-spice New York strip and crispy shrimp and house-made warm chocolate cake. DJ starts up at 9 p.m. followed by a champagne toast and party favors at midnight. Reservations: 770-643-8886. 

In the heart of Midtown, Ecco rings in the new year with special menu items on Monday, December 31. The special additions include beet velouté with pears, nasturtium, bay scallop crudo and smoked paprika ($13); baked farm egg with charred duck liver, preserved lemon, lavender cream and celery leaves ($10); roasted quail with chestnut risotto and black currant gastrique ($18); wood-grilled rib-eye with smoked cauliflower, crisp chanterelle mushrooms and béarnaise ($58); steelhead trout with scarlet queen turnips, roe, saffron and arugula ($29), and milk chocolate torte with spiced pineapple and pine nut tuile ($9). The regular menu is available in addition to these one-night-only dishes. For reservations, call 404-347-9555.

Ring in the New Year over a weekend-long celebration at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. From 4 p.m. on Friday, December 28 until Tuesday, January 1, indulge in festive holiday cocktails or featured bubbly and then dine from the New Year's menu or famous à la carte menu. The special New Year's menu starts with poached gulf shrimp over Southern-style goat cheese grits, included with entrée price. Entrées include Delmonico steak with blue crab and Gruyère glassage for $74.95, filet mignon and lobster brioche bread pudding for $69.95 and lobster tail with mac and cheese for $79. Chocolate budino finishes the meal for $9.95. Tax and gratuity not included. Reservations: 770-698-8112. 

JCT. Kitchen & Bar is serving a Southern dinner this New Year's Eve on Monday, December 31. For $65 per person, the restaurant is offering a taste plus a three-course meal. Diners begin the meal with the featured taste of aged goat cheese with country ham and garlic herb toast. Other sample items from the menu include smoked baby beets with watermelon radish, Asher Blue, tiny croutons and green goddess; hickory smoked beef short ribs and seared sea scallops with root vegetable Gouda gratin and braising reduction; and "nearly" flourless chocolate cake with milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate sorbet. There is a corkage fee of $10 per bottle. For reservations or more information, call 404-355-2252.

The second annual New Year's Eve party at Kaleidoscope Bistro & Pub happens Monday, December 31, beginning with dinner service from 5 p.m. on and an optional three-course meal for $20.12. Food and drink specials roll all evening, and DJ B-Dub starts spinning tunes at 10 p.m. Champagne is available for a midnight toast, and the bar is open until 2 a.m. No cover charge.

Atlantans can bite into the New Year with Little Cake Bakery's strawberry and champagne cupcakes. These sweet confections pair perfectly with a glass of bubbly. For more information or to place orders, call 404-841-8856.

Visit your neighborhood Marlow's Tavern this New Year's Eve for a chef-driven, prix fixe menu for $37 per person. Start with Maine lobster and shrimp chowder or the winter tavern salad. The main plate is a grilled veal chop with Canadian milk-fed veal, harvest vegetable and lump crab hash, dried cranberry, beurre blanc, asparagus and cranberry veal demi. Chocolate crème brûlée fulfills the sweet tooth. More information and locations are on the website. The newest Marlow's Tavern in Emory Point will be open on New Year's Eve.

Add an Italian twist to New Year's Eve at Decatur's No. 246. Their four-course menu is $55 per person and features local cauliflower panna cotta with frothy sea urchin sweet butter, Osetra caviar, soft herbs and brioche; Nantucket Bay scallop carpaccio with Meyer lemon; local crispy parsnips with Tennessee black truffles; butter-poached Maine lobster with young fennel, blood orange, tarragon, olives and arugula; and brie and white chocolate cheesecake with roasted pears and walnut nougatine. Closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's Day. Reservations: 678-399-8246.

In West Midtown, The Optimist will ring in 2013 with a four-course prix fixe menu on New Year's Eve for $65 per person. Menu items include shrimp pop tarts; baked Virginia oysters with spinach, bacon, preserved lemon and parmesan cheese; grouper with white wine-steamed clams, lump crab meat, leeks, baby bok choy and lemon; and banana custard pocket pie with pralines, pralines and cream ice cream and salted pecans. Reservations: 404-477-6260.

Midtown's RA Sushi Bar Restaurant throws a RAckin' New Year's Eve party from 7 p.m. to close. Evening-long food specials include Firework shrimp, "RA"solution roll, Stroke of Midnight maki and Edamame Eve dip. Party drinks include half-price sake and specialty cocktails. Note: RA Sushi is open on Christmas Eve from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and closed on Christmas Day. More information: call 404-267-0114.

Ray's Restaurants offers diners a warm place to gather this holiday season. Ray's on the Creek in Alpharetta is open from 5-11 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and the bar will remain open until 1 a.m.; New Year's Day hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 770-649-0064. Ray's on the River is throwing a New Year's Eve party from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. in the Grand Pavilion. Guests can partake of the premium open bar, heavy hors d'oeuvre, oyster shucking station, six-piece live band with dancing plus a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast. $125 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations: 770-955-1187 or email; credit card number required to hold reservations. The restaurant itself is open from 5-11 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and the bar will remain open until 1 a.m. They also will be open New Year's Day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Ray's in the City is open New Year's Eve from 4-11 p.m. and New Year's Day from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 404-524-9224.

On Monday, December 31, South City Kitchen Midtown and South City Kitchen Vinings  are celebrating New Year's Eve with a special three-course prix fixe menu at $42 per person. Both locations are offering options such as house-made pimento cheese with toasted corn crackers, butter pickles and celery hearts, pan-seared duck breast with butternut puree, mustard greens and sweet garlic jus, and Velvet Elvis Cake, banana-chocolate mayonnaise cake with peanut butter icing. For more information or to make reservations, call 404-873-7358 for the Midtown location and 770-435-0700 for the Vinings location.

Woodfire Grill is offering several five-course menu options on New Year's Eve. The chef's tasting menu and pescatarian option are priced at $115 per person and the vegetarian menu is $100. Wine pairings are also available for $12 per glass or $20 per glass for premium wines. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 404-347-9055. 

Celebrate New Year's Day with Bantam + Biddy's special menu or order from the regular menu. On Tuesday, January 1, the restaurant offers a traditional Southern special of corned Brasstown ham and ham gravy, stewed organic black-eyed peas, braised collard greens, Buckeye Creek grits and sweet potato pie, all for $20. Bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas are offered all day for $10. Call 404-907-3469 for more information.

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