Regardless of what you endured in all that was 2017, everyone deserves to ring in the New Year in style—it’s the best way to start that clean slate, after all.
And 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 D.C. area that are open for service, we’ve rounded up five hotspots for your perusal.
Celebrate like those down on the Bayou with a prix fixe menu filled with classics. Guests will start off the night with black-eyed pea ravioli—for good luck, of course—before choosing a selection of appetizers, like classic turtle soup, lobster étouffée or country-fried quail with redeye gravy and cheese grits. Entrées include rack of lamb with celery root gratin and hunter’s sauce, as well as New Orleans-style barbecued shrimp.
Two seatings are available at Eric Ziebold and Célia Laurent’s one-Michelin-starred restaurant in Shaw. Like their Christmas Eve menu, the tasting is broken down into Ingredients, Indulgence, History and Craft. Guests will start the meal with an option of warm pavé of smoked Columbia River Sturgeon, double-cut lamb chops en persillade
or crispy corned beef short ribs before moving onto dishes like savoy cabbage and Périgord truffle tagliatelle, warm lobster-yuba ravioli or Kinship jambalaya with sautéed redfish with Carolina Gold Rice. All seatings include a Champagne toast, decadent dessert table and party favors.
A special six-course menu will be offered for the holiday at Honeysuckle. Photo courtesy of Honeysuckle.
At chef Hamilton Johnson’s Nordic-meets-Southern restaurant in Dupont Circle, diners can ring in the New Year with a special six course menu (the last course is a Champagne toast, natch). Courses include American Sturgeon caviar with cured char, radish butter, quail egg and Icelandic rye bread; Icelandic cod cheeks with yellowfin potato confit, smoked pork, dill, trout roe and Champagne-scallop velouté; and dry-aged Roseda rib eye with crisp oxtail, truffle-porcini puree, red wine-onion jam and caraway jus.
Those looking for something on the untraditional side can grab unlimited Balkan eats at this Capitol Hill neighborhood establishment. Menus are offered in three formats according to price—guests who opt for the $79 and $99 menus will receive unlimited drinks until 12:30 a.m. All of Ambar’s favorites are up for grabs, as well as special additions including Adriatic risotto with prime shrimp, squid ink and Parmesan; veal sweetbreads with paprika and yogurt; and Karadjordjeva schnitzel featuring veal top round, kajmak and tartar sauce.
Bring on 2018 with a six-course menu at Puck’s D.C. outpost inside the Newseum. Guests will start off the meal with cured salmon, oyster, caviar and uni toast before moving on to razor clam “carpaccio” with Sichuan chile sauce, soy-lacquered quail with wok-charred cipollini onions, pomegranate and black pepper, and 72-hour Pineland Farm’s beef short rib with Sichuan beef broth and wild mushrooms. And say “farewell to 2017” with a dessert with the same name: passion fruit and dark chocolate tarte with coconut sorbet and fresh raspberry.Ambar hero image courtesy of Goran Kosanovic/Ambar.