New Year’s Eve quite possibly may be the busiest night of the year for restaurants. Year after year, chefs go bananas showcasing a special prix fixe menu, decorations galore and, of course, a Champagne toast at midnight.
While there is certainly no shortage of excellent restaurants in the Bay Area that are open for service, we’ve rounded up five Michelin-recommended restaurants for your perusal.
At Srijith Gopinathan’s California-meets-Indian restaurant, two five-course menu options—one of which is vegetarian—are available for New Year’s Eve, with each menu having an array of shared plates to start. (Think Osetra caviar with smoked potato raita, Meyer lemon and fennel, and papadum waffle with foie gras mousse.) On the vegetarian menu, look for taro root skin samosa with dried mango powder, yogurt and mint; tender jack fruit kebab with pongal, cashew nut, coconut chutney and citrus milk; and spice-roasted cauliflower with edamame korma
with string hoppers.
Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski are hosting a special “moveable feast” between their two restaurants for the holiday, kicking things off at State Bird Provisions with Champagne and passed hors d’oeuvres. Afterwards, head next door to The Progress for a family-style feast; menu items include California Sturgeon caviar and smoked trout pancakes, smoked squab with wild mushroom farro and Perigord truffles; Japanese A5 Wagyu with barley miso, fava greens and “the best” potatoes; and soufflé cheesecake for dessert. Tickets run for $250 per person.
The team at flour + water is serving up a five-course Italian feast this New Year's Eve. Photo courtesy of Eric Wolfinger/flour + water.
Transport yourself to Italy by way of executive chef/owner Thomas McNaughton’s Mission District hotspot, where a five-course feast is up for grabs at the tune of $125 per person (with optional wine pairings for an additional $75). Stuzzechini
includes 28-month aged Prosciutto and gnoccho fritto
with whipped buffalo’s milk butter, caviar and garlic blossoms, while chestnut and porcini cappelletti and duck cannelloni are highlighted in the pasta course. Sweet tooths will revel in the chocolate budino with espresso cream and sea salt dessert, perfect for gearing up for the midnight hour.
At the Spanish-focused restaurant in SoMa, executive chef Ryan McIlwraith is adding special items to the regular menu for the big night. Ring in the New Year with croquetas with Jamón Ibérico, quince conserva and Manchego cheese; scallop ceviche with heirloom citrus and cilantro; and a slow-roasted prime rib of beef with horseradish-potato crema and jus.
Reserve your tickets for a six-course Chinese feast at Brandon Jew’s one-Michelin-starred Nob Hill favorite. The tasting menu highlights traditional “good luck” recipes using local and seasonal ingredients. Dim sum items include pork jowl and Dungeness crab, while larger plates feature spiny lobster with pomelo, almond milk and chrysanthemum, black cod with aged Shaoxing and celery root, and lamb loin with pumpkin, shi san jiang
and mandarin. Tickets are priced between $125 and $150 per person.Bellota hero image courtesy of Kelly Puleio/Bellota