For some, New Year’s Eve means donning sweatpants and ordering take-out. But for those who want to ring in 2013 by eating something a little fancier, there are some options.—Rebecca Fleming
Parts & Labour
P&L NYE: White Girl, $30 (early bird).
The most reasonably priced ticketed event on the list includes an all-you-can-eat “special menu” of surprises, and a champagne toast. Head downstairs to The Shop after your meal for the White Girl party, featuring rap tracks from 1993-2013.
1566 Queen St. W., 416-588-7750, www.partsandlabour.ca
The Gladstone Hotel
Lucky 13, $100-$110.
Enjoy a Vegas-themed night with casino games, and karaoke. The buffet dinner includes the usual suspects (bread, crudités, salad, various proteins, and a pasta option), and for $10 more you can have the prix-fixe meal, which is pretty much the same menu, but minus the disappointment that empty trays bring. And remember: what happens at The Gladstone stays at The Gladstone.
1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635, www.gladstonehotel.com
One Stop, $120.
Ring in the New Year with Top Chef Carl Heinrich, a cocktail, five courses of deliciousness and, of course, some bubbly. Choose from dishes such as lobster cocktail, duck terrine, speckled trout, and mushroom and artichoke strudel.
1 Richmond St. W., 647-748-1444, www.richmondstation.ca
Osteria dei Ganzi
A Time to Remember, $75.
Be the first to dine at this restaurant that doesn’t open to the public until February. It’s a Venetian-masquerade affair, so expect an Italian dinner; a mask is “recommended.” Who knows what might happen if you show up mask-less but, if it’s anything like the movies, you won’t meet and fall in love with another masked stranger who doesn’t end up being a stranger after all, but the best friend you never knew you had a crush on until now. Roll credits.
504 Jarvis St., 647-348-6520, www.ganzi.ca
Sen5es rings in the New Year with GwaiLo, $85.
Kitchen-less chef Nick Liu is borrowing the one at Sen5es to bring you a Chinese New Year-inspired dinner. There is no choice within the seven-course meal that includes Asian charcuterie, Szechuan-spiced venison, and a tea-stained quail egg in a pear tree. (Alright, it’s just the egg.)
328 Wellington St. W., 416-489-8922, www.senses.ca
The Drake Hotel
NYE Masquerade, $75-$100.
The masquerade theme seems to be a popular one this year. There are three dinner options available here, but if you purchase tickets for the “strolling cabaret dinner” ($75), you get to enjoy a lobster nacho station. For $25 more, you can get not only a four-course dinner, but a mini midnight brunch (because by that time it’s possible that you’ve danced off your previous meal).
1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042, www.thedrakehotel.ca
New Years Eve 2013, $49-$79.
Choose between a three-course prix fixe menu and a six-course tasting menu. Or, seeing as it’s a special occasion, and the first seating ends at 7 p.m. with the next beginning at 8:30 p.m., go big and buy tickets for both!
50C Clinton St., 416-792-6002, www.acadiarestaurant.com
A la carte pricing.
Meanwhile, in Parkdale, Chefs Poon and Wharton-Shukster are keeping things simple by serving popcorn chicken and “slinging lettuce” until late. Reservations are still available, but filling up fast.
1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586, www.restaurantchantecler.ca
Midnight in a Perfect World
If you’re in the market for a liquid dinner (beer is kind of like bread, right?) then head to Bar Volo, where they will be opening different bottles from their cellar every half hour. Beers will be available in 5 oz. samples while supplies last. Obligatory food menu will be announced on their blog.
587 Yonge St., 416-928-0008, www.blog.barvolo.com
A la carte pricing.
The Rubino brothers are promising a fun night, but without a big price tag. Guests are encouraged to bring their own records, and Guy’s band Curtain Call will be beat-matching vinyl. The regular menu items will be available, and there is no cover charge, but those wishing to attend are being asked to RSVP by email.
241 Spadina Ave., 647-351-1200, www.strada241.com
NYE 2013, $99.
I got 99 problems but a course ain’t one. That’s because for $99, you get a nine-course meal with (as chef Claudio Aprile stated on Twitter) “no loud beats”—just good eats. An extra $45 buys you wine pairings.
45 Colborne St., 416-368-9009, www.colbornelane.com
Start off a four-course dinner by sharing a tapas plate with your party alongside some bubbly. Follow it up with a Portuguese version of cassoulet, and fish stew with Alaskan king crab. Churros for dessert!
1282 Dundas St. W., 416-534-0407, www.quinta.4ormat.com
NYE with Guy Rawlings, $125.
Like intrigue? Then head to Room 203 for a tasting menu created by Chef Rawlings that includes drink pairings and midnight toast. Where is Room 203 you ask? It’s a secret. Buy tickets to find out.
Tied for the priciest option on this list, Brassaii’s offering consists of a four-course menu that includes chilled Nova Scotia lobster and marrow-crusted bison tenderloin. Dessert takes on a less serious tone when milk-chocolate champagne cake is paired with popping candy. Not a carnivore? No problem: Vegetarian substitutions are available. Note: a 15 per cent gratuity will be added to the bill, and a formal dress code is in effect.
461 King St. W., 416-598-4730, www.brassaii.com
The menu remains a bit of a secret at this Maritime resto, but includes three courses, a “special snack” in between each one, and a glass of not just ordinary, but vintage, champagne!
325 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-533-2723, www.hopgoodsfoodliner.com
Ella M’a Dit
NYE Festive Tasting, $45
Voulez-vous manger avec moi ce soir? At this French bistro, enjoy an Alsatian-inspired six-course tasting menu that includes raw oysters, rabbit confit, and lobster bisque. Not only are there vegetarian substitutions, but a separate veggie menu including dishes such as char-grilled leeks with butternut squash risotto. Bon appetit!
35 Baldwin St., 416-546-3448, www.ellemadit.com
Fake NYE Party!
And the award for the most laid-back party goes to Patrick McMurray for kicking off New Year’s festivities a day early. Avoid the crowds and the long wait for taxis by celebrating at Ceili Cottage on Dec. 30 instead. Sweatpants and ponytails are encouraged. Oh yeah, and there’s this.
1301 Queen St. E., 416-406-1301, www.ceilicottage.com