What with politics, wildfires, hurricanes, and a whole ton of restaurant closures (RIP, Sabatino’s), it’s not surprising that a lot of people are excited to see the dumpster fire that is 2018 come to an end. Whether you’re in that camp, or you happened to defy the prevailing winds and had the best 12 months ever, the end of the year is still a great excuse for a party.
Here are some of my favorite ways to ring in the New Year:
Indulge at Ada Street
Ada Street’s New Year's Eve is a celebration of “guilty pleasures.” With a menu that includes caviar, fried oyster bahn mi, foie gras, beef tenderloin, and more rich treats, you might be feeling a little guilty the next day, but it’ll definitely be worth the $85 ticket price. There’s even an after-midnight special snack: brie, bacon, and apricot grilled cheese sandwiches. Happy New Year, indeed!
Hot Doug’s Is Back
If you’re an old fan of Hot Doug's, you need to buy tickets for this event right now. At Ambassador Hotel (1301 N. State Pkwy., Gold Coast), Hot Doug’s is doing a full menu pop-up on New Year's Eve. In the hotel's Library Bar, you can enjoy unlimited sausages (including the legendary foie gras), duck fat fries, and a playlist curated by Doug Sohn himself. The party costs $75, and runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
All You Can Eataly
If I had to recommend just one New Year’s party (and the person I was recommending it to had a bottomless capacity for eating), it would be this one. Three of Eataly’s restaurants will be serving unlimited food, including fresh pasta, pizza, focaccia, and fresh mozzarella. All sorts of wine will be flowing all night (including, of course, a midnight spumante toast), and different bars will also be offering beers and cocktails. Tickets are $125 a person, but if you can’t eat and drink your way to breaking even with that price, you’re doing it wrong.
Ring in the New Year With Soul
Virtue (1462 E. 53rd St.), the new American Southern spot in Hyde Park, is serving an amazing-looking menu for New Year’s Eve. Seatings from 8 p.m. onward cost $85 and include a champagne toast; earlier seatings, sans toast, are $65. Look forward to dishes like fried green tomatoes with smoked turkey, quail served with Carolina gold rice and Louisiana gravy, and scallops with black eyed peas and tasso ham vinaigrette.