New Year’s—a time where many celebrate (or mourn) what has transpired over the last year and revel (hopefully) in anticipation of what’s to come. No doubt, the City by the Bay is ready for 2020, with many restaurants and bars hosting a night of nights with prix-fixe menus and Champagne toasts.
From a sublime dim sum feast to a morning-after spread, here’s where to head this New Year’s in San Francisco and wipe that slate clean.
“Few grandes dames of high-end French cuisine remain in the city, but this long-running elder from Chef/owner Roland Passot has held strong,” inspectors say of this stalwart stunner on Polk Street. This New Year’s Eve, a seven-course menu will be offered over two seatings at $250 and $295. Guests will start the celebration with Tsar Nicoulai osetra caviar with crab gelèe and butter-poached lobster with parsnip agnolotti, celery root and truffle beurre fondue before moving onto Snake River Farm rib eye with nettle purée and bone marrow, morel mushroom boudin blanc and Madeira sauce, and brioche-crusted Dover sole with Champagne sauce. Diners will end the night with a cheese course of truffle Brillat-Savarin and a chocolate crémeux with mango and passion fruit mousse—the best of both worlds.
For those looking to dial it up a notch, head to two-MICHELIN-starred Acquerello in Nob Hill, where chef/owner Suzette Gresham is serving up a seven-course tasting menu for a cool $295 per person (a coursed wine pairing is available for $175). Here, guests begin with chef’s “surprises for the evening,” before dining on langoustine crudo with black lime, sudachi and pink peppercorn; creamy heirloom polenta with roasted chestnut and shaved black truffles; Willamette Valley lamb with grilled puntarelle, porcini and peperonata; and dark chocolate with passion fruit and caramel for dessert.
“Chef Corey Lee’s take on timeless bistro cuisine is as sleek and striking as the space it’s served in,” state MICHELIN inspectors of Lee’s more casual sibling to his three-MICHELIN-starred Benu
. A special set menu can be had this New Year’s Eve for $95 per person (and an optional beverage pairing for $45), complete with a complimentary glass of Champagne at midnight. Partake in classic bistro hits like potato and leek croquettes; endive salad with bleu cheese, apple and walnuts; Gulf flounder gratineé stuffed with spinach; beef short rib Bourguignon with pommes purée and bacon; and huckleberry profiteroles for dessert.
It’s the final countdown at this behemoth $14-million space in the Embarcadero Center, where guests are invited to join “a night of Old Shanghai Glamour and Fireworks.” Opt between bar and lounge party fun where the $100 entry fee will get you complimentary dim sum and hors d’oeuvres, two drink tickets, gelato cart and midnight Champagne toast courtesy of Moët, or a nine-course dinner tasting menu featuring a variety of dumplings, crispy quail, baked black cod, and Chinese bacon and sausage sticky rice, as well as that aforementioned gelato cart and Champagne toast. The fun begins promptly at 9:00 p.m.—and regardless of your choice, both options grant access to a private patio for the fireworks display.
After the party it’s the after-party at Carrie and Rupert Blease’s one-MICHELIN-starred Euro-Californian mash-up in Russian Hill, where the duo is hosting a first feast of the year on New Year's Day. From 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., a five-course shared format menu is on offer for $80, with dishes including whole steamed Dungeness crab with ginger, coriander and lemongrass; lobster salad with alliums, gems and Old Bay dressing; crêpes Suzette with Mandarin and chantilly cream; and smoked salmon with house bagels, fried capers and cultured cream—arguably the best way to right those wrong-doings.