If you'd rather treat yourself to a decadent multi-course meal than wade through the crowds for a watered-down drink on New Year's Eve, there are plenty of great options for you this year. Chicago's best restaurants are dishing out innovative prix-fixe menus, complimentary champagne toasts, live entertainment and so much more. We sorted through all of the deals and found the 12 most promising options to ring in 2018. From a fondue fête to a secret society to an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet, these are the very best dinners hungry Chicagoans can savor on December 31.
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New Year's Eve dinners
The beautiful new West Loop restaurant offers a six-course menu with plenty of delightful bites including venison tartare, braised lamb belly, 21-day dry-aged duck and chess pie with persimmons and caramel. $85 per person, optional wine pairings $45.
If a prix-fixe meal seems too stuffy, choose your own adventure at this Lincoln Park sushi parlor. The full menu is available and includes small plates, rolls and Naoki-style sashimi. Later seatings include a champagne toast.
Dining with a group? Make like Justin Bieber and let the good times roll over a pot of cheesy fondue. Reservations include an array of dippables (think baked pretzels, tempura veggies and cured meats) and a shareable punch bowl filled with Hennessy, Curacao, black tea, lemon, Angostura bitters and an entire bottle of champagne. $265 per booth.
Get the biggest bang for your buck at this design-forward Lakeview spot. Guests choose an appetizer, pasta course, entree and dessert. Wine pairings can be added for $35 per person. This is the kind of meal you'll want to follow up with a Netflix session on the couch. $85 per person.
If you'd rather curl up with a bowl of hand-rolled pasta than hit the town, this sweet veggie-forward Logan Square newbie is your best bet. Chef Joe Frillman will offer a 5-course tasting menu that can be tweaked for vegetarians and meat lovers. Wine pairings can be added for just $25 per person. Reservations recommended, $55 per person.
A four-course dinner should properly line your belly for the boozy night ahead. For under $100, you can feast on Skull Island prawns, egg yolk gnocchi with shaved black truffles, bone-in filet and pistachio semifreddo. There are a few additional surprises along the way, and optional wine pairings can be added for $40. Reservations recommended, $85 per person.
Order from the a la carte menu or upgrade to a five- or seven-course tasting menu at this innovative Loop eatery. Guests who return the next day for New Year's Day brunch will receive a 20 percent discount. Your future self will thank you. Reservations recommended; five courses $75, seven courses $115.
Grab a table and take advantage of this West Loop restaurant’s naschen-style service. New dishes are offered by the hour alongside vintage wine pairings. If vino isn't your jam, grab a warm, boozy beverage from the roaming cocktail cart. 5pm–2am.
Ring in 2018 by joining the Ada St. Secret Society. Sip cocktails at the open bar between bites from the elemental-themed menu. Chef Michael Kornick offers hearty passed appetizers like butternut squash and apple soup, Merguez meatball sliders, lamb ribs, polenta fries and shrimp cocktail shooters. Tickets required, $100 per person
Instead of going the prix-fixe route, West Loop newcomer Proxi offers its regular menu to New Year's Eve revelers. We're quite fond of this idea and suggest you order the tempura elotes, raw tuna, Thai beef salad and tres leches cake. Stay until midnight to enjoy a champagne toast.
Grab a seat and enjoy a four-course Mediterranean feast on December 31. Avec will offer two seating options—6 and 9pm—and serve dishes like lamb tartare with preserved lemon, braised lamb shank and octopus tagine. Tickets are required, $99 per person.