It’s time to put on that party dress, break out a jacket and hit the town to ring in 2010. But figuring out where to celebrate New Year’s Eve can be a daunting task. There are an overwhelming number of choices in Washington’s bars and restaurants. But here at Hot Plate, we aim to make your life a little bit easier and a lot more fun, so we’ve taken the liberty of doing some research and creating a list of where to go and what to eat.
Chef Eric Ziebold at the Mandarin Oriental (1330 Maryland Ave. SW) is opening both CityZen and Sou’Wester for New Year’s Eve. While CityZen will break the bank, Sou’Wester offers a more affordable experience. For $75 a person, diners can enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu filled with Southern and American fare.
For those who are looking for more of a fine dining experience, CityZen is offering two seatings, each featuring extensive tasting menus. The first seating runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for $185 a person and features six courses, while the second seating is from 8 to 10 p.m., will set you back a whopping $225 and includes seven courses and a midnight Champagne toast. Guests will have an opportunity to indulge in such dishes as herb-roasted calotte of prime Midwestern beef, sashimi of blue fin toro, and sweet onion and applewood-smoked bacon tartiflette. Those who attend the second seating will also have access to a dessert reception in the hotel’s lounge.
Wolfgang Puck will be serving his Asian fare in two seatings at the Source (575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) on New Year’s Eve. The first seating will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and will cost $65 a head, and the second seating will be $95 a person and occur from 8 to 9 p.m. The menu will include crispy veal sweetbread with drunken noodles, Kobe beef short ribs and tandoori-spiced wild king salmon.
The Source will also have an option for those who would rather drink the night away than eat. The first floor lounge will be open from 9 p.m. to midnight. For $50, guests can munch on passed hors d’oeuvres while sipping unlimited wine and Champagne.
Birch & Barley
On New Year’s Eve, newly opened Birch & Barley (1337 14th St. NW) will be rolling out a menu including French onion salad and beef strip loin, among other dishes. The first seating will begin at 5:30 p.m. and include a three-course menu priced at $55 a person, while the second seating will begin at 9 p.m. and feature a five-course tasting menu for $90 a person.
The upstairs bar ChurchKey will also be ringing in the new year, though without a cover charge. The bar will be slinging drinks from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. and serving food from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Kennedy Center
The Roof Terrace Restaurant and Bar at the Kennedy Center (2700 F St. NW) will be opening its doors for New Year’s Eve revelry. Not only does the restaurant offer one of the best views in town, but it will also be offering complimentary sparkling wine and music by the Potomac Jazz Project.
A four-course menu will be available throughout the evening for $95 a person. Dishes include choices of roulade of wild-caught salmon, pepper-crusted tenderloin of beef and ratatouille Napoleon provencal. The upper terrace of the Kennedy Center will also be open for those who wish to take in the skyline and enjoy the chill in the air.
Think Food Group
Chef Jose Andres’ seafood haven, Café Atlantico (405 Eighth St. NW), will be celebrating both New Year’s Eve and the restaurant’s 20th anniversary with a tasting menu, DJ and dancing. Seatings will occur from 8:30 to 10 p.m. for $95 a person. Guests will be served a tasting menu, along with a midnight toast and late-night dancing to Latin music spun by DJ Bruno.
Jaleo (480 Seventh St. NW), Andres’ tapas eatery, will be offering unlimited tapas, a choice of dessert and a midnight cava toast to all who attend on New Year’s Eve. Reservations are available from 8:30 to 10 p.m. The cost is $85 a person at the Penn Quarter and Bethesda, Md., locations, and $75 at the Crystal City, Va., location. Diners will also enjoy dancing into the night.
Oyamel (401 Seventh St. NW), a favorite of Michelle Obama, is doing a similar setup for New Year’s Eve. Guests will be able to munch on unlimited antojitos — also known as small plates — and choose a dessert in addition to a midnight toast. The Mexican restaurant is also offering cocktail flights for those in a celebratory mood. Reservations are available from 8:30 to 10 p.m. for $85 a person.
Keeping with the unlimited small plates theme, the eastern Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya (701 Ninth St. NW) will be serving all-you-can-eat mezze, a choice of dessert and a midnight toast to diners for $95 a person. Reservations are available from 9 to 10 p.m. and, like Café Atlantico, there will be a DJ and dancing until well after midnight.
Italian eatery Potenza (1430 H St. NW) will be offering a choice of a three-, four- or five-course meal in celebration of the new year. Seatings begin at 5 p.m. and run through midnight. Chef Bryan Moscatello will be preparing such Italian fare as potato gnocchi, roasted veal and duck egg ravioli. The three-course menu is $40 a person, the four-course menu is $50 and the five-course menu is $65.
Robert Wiedmaier’s Belgian restaurant Brasserie Beck (1101 K St. NW) will be offering an a la carte dining experience. Reservations begin at 5 p.m. and will feature entrees priced from $19 to $39. Roasted New Zealand venison, pan-seared Gulf of Mexico snapper and seared scallop and wild mushroom risotto will all be available.
Wiedmaier and his staff will also be serving Aventinus Ice Bock, a hard-to-find lager. Only two kegs of the beer exist in the United States, and Brasserie Beck will be serving glasses for $15 in honor of the new year.