New Year's Eve dinner and drinks at New York restaurants and bars
Grab a group of friends for New Year's Eve dinner at one of these restaurants, then toast to 2013 at an after-party at a bar in New York City.
Fri Dec 7 2012
Photograph: Michael Kirby
Celebrate making it through another 365 days like the bon vivant you are: wining, dining and making merry. We've found New York's best restaurants for a New Year's Eve dinner to remember, including a multicourse meal at Empellón Taqueria, a large-format feast for groups at Má Pêche and even a no-reservation option at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que for procrastinators. We also have options for where to find a nightcap with a range of parties thrown at trendy bars around town.
RECOMMENDED: New Year's Eve in New York guide
New Year's Eve dinner
Chef Alex Stupak puts a refined South of the Border twist on New Year’s Eve with this six-course menu. The meal kicks off with smoked Shigoku oysters with salsify, chipotle and caviar, followed by dishes like melted Tetilla cheese with lobster and tomato, and chicken tacos with shaved black truffles and potato puree. Unlimited drinks flow from the bar, including Bohemia beer and the house margarita made with Pueblo Viejo blanco tequila. • 212-367-0999, empellon.com. Seatings at 5:45–6:30pm, $95; 7:15–8pm, $125; 9:15–10pm, $150 per person.
- 230 W 4th St, (at 10th St), 10014
- Price band: 4/4
Gather your crew for a large-format, four-course chicken meal at the midtown branch of David Chang’s empire. Two whole chickens—cooked sous vide and then deep-fried—arrive to the table with your choice of yellow rice, pita, sides and condiments, including iceberg lettuce, eggplant, tomato chutney and pickles. There’s a gratis champagne toast at midnight, but you can get the party started earlier with beer, wine and cocktails, like the Bruno (Nolet, Cynar and Punt e Mes; $14). • 212-757-5878, momofuku.com. 10pm; $150 per person.
- Chambers Hotel, 15 W 56th St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
- Critics choice
Daniel Boulud’s raucous brasserie puts on a French-inflected celebration for New Year’s. A DJ spins world tunes in the front tavern, where you can grab a seat and uncork a bottle of velvety burgundy wine or sip international beers, such as a Belgian winter ale ($12). Sample from house-made sausages, including Tunisian lamb merguez ($15), and specials, like spaghetti alla chitarra with freshly shaved black truffle and wild mushrooms. A Black Forest baked Alaska delivered flambé tableside makes for a theatrical lead-in to the midnight champagne toast. • 212-933-5300, danielnyc.com. 5pm–midnight.
- 299 Bowery, (at E Houston St)
Ditch the competitive NYE reservation hunt and head to Harlem for a down-home meal. Comfort food includes a Memphis-style BBQ pork sandwich, served with homemade coleslaw (sandwich $8.50, platter $11.50), or a hearty helping of St. Louis–style ribs ($16.50-$25.95). Knock back a free glass of champagne at midnight to celebrate good times, while a live band plays a set of blues, jazz, rock and funk. • 212-694-1777, dinosaurbarbque.com. 11:30am–12:30am.
- 700 W 125th St, (at Twelfth Ave)
Revelers can swing by this clubby bi-level restaurant, from chef Chris Santos (Stanton Social), for dinner and carousing. The globe-trotting small-plates menu includes dishes like pan-roasted scallops with smoked tomato and sweet-pea risotto ($25). At 10pm the kitchen closes and the doors open to ticket holders and lingering diners (with tickets) for a swinging dance party—a mix of pop and hip-hop—underneath the beaming skylight. Walk beneath the crystal chandelier, snag some hors d’oeuvres, and wet your whistle with potent tipples, like the Book Burner (Scotch-bonnet–cherry-infused Zacapa rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit and sour cherry jam). If your flute is empty, grab a freebie glass in the bathroom, where a bartender keeps the bubbly flowing. • 212-614-0146, beautyandessex.com. Dinner 5–8:15pm, party 10:30pm–1:30am; $175.
- 146 Essex St, (between Rivington and Stanton Sts), 10002
New Year's Eve parties
Lately, this hybrid artist haunt—a coffeeshop, bar and restaurant all in one—has gotten attention as a cutting-edge culinary incubator, with Scandinavian pop-up Frej recently giving way to buzzworthy Aska. But on December 31, the cool industrialist drinkery returns to its laid-back boozy roots with a no-cover dance party (and drinks designed by Aska’s Eamon Rockey). Order champagne ($8–$20), Asahi beer ($6) and cocktails (like a persimmon shandy, $12) at the black-walnut bar. Then get down to an eclectic playlist of pop, hip-hop, underground disco and world music spun by DJs into the wee hours. • 347-799-2946, kinfolklife.com. 10:30pm–2am. Free
- 90 Wythe Ave, (between North 10th and 11th Sts)
Live large like a 20th-century tycoon in this swank bar tucked away inside Grand Central Terminal. You can lounge in one of the luxurious leather booths while sipping a gratis glass of champagne. After the noisemakers and New Year’s hats have been passed around, cozy up at the plush bar for a complimentary chocolate truffle or napoleon at the stroke of midnight. • 212-953-0409, hospitalityholdings.com. 9pm–1am; $30.
- Grand Central Terminal, off the West Balcony, 15 Vanderbilt Ave, (at 43rd St), 10017
If Bacchus were a modern urban dweller, you’d find him here, popping bottles of small-batch local wine. Nibble on a spread of small bites and glug down unlimited open-bar offerings (premium wine, top-shelf liquor and craft beers included). DJ Ness Digi playing a mix of party tunes will help you get into the Dionysian spirt on the dance floor. • 347-763-1506, bkwinery.com. 9pm–1am; $150, before Fri 14 $125.
- 213 North 8th St, (between Driggs Ave and Roebling St)
Ring in the New Year at this Austrian-inspired cocktail bar, from the team behind Edi & the Wolf and Seasonal. At the bar, mixologists will sling complimentary cocktails, like the Warsaw Morning (Zu Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, St.–Germain, grapefruit and sparkling gruner veltliner) and the Archduke (bourbon, Amaro Meletti and Fernet Branca). Graze on free small bites (house-smoked pork belly with pickled-onion horseradish and Liptauer cheese on pretzel crostini) before making your way to the dance floor, where burlesque dancers swing their hips to world-music beats. • No phone yet. 8pm–midnight; $80.
- 116 Ave C, (at 8th St), 10009
Dance your way into 2013 at this sultry art-and-music cabaret. DJs will rock the decks with a mix of hip-hop, dance and ’80s tracks via the rump-shaking sound system. Noisemakers and other party favors will be passed before the ball drops, but the open bar will keep the bash going until 2am. • 212-505-3474, lepoissonrouge.com. General admission: $75, after 12:30am $30.
- 158 Bleecker St, (at Thompson St)