The Houston Food Finder Guide To New Year’s Eve Dining And Celebrations
Out with the old, in with the new, the saying goes. As 2018 dawns with all dreams yet to be realized, New Year’s Eve celebrations all over town means there are plenty of opportunities to shake off 2017. And boy, this is a year Houstonians are ready to have hit the road. It’s been a bizarre one that’s played with our emotions, with the lowest of lows and the highest of highs.
Fortunately, New Year’s Eve in Houston features something for every taste and budget. This year includes a happening dance party, a quiet dinner for two, a sexy burlesque show and a blow-out, six-course tasting menu. Those planning to head downtown can also check out this extensive list of bars and restaurants; a keyed guide to which are having ball drops, Champagne toasts and more.
As ever, we recommend making reservations whenever possible. Have a joyous 2018!
Americas, 2040 West Gray: Enjoy Americas’ signature Latin cuisine on New Year’s Eve and receive a $20 gift card good for use on a future visit.
B&B Butchers, 1814 Washington: Food, drinks, party favors and entertainment are on offer at this Washington corridor favorite. Jazz tunes both upstairs and down kick off the evening from 7 to 10 p.m., after which DJ Wyatt Magnum takes over on the covered (and heated) rooftop patio. There’s no fee for entry. Guests can order from B&B’s regular menu, but reservations are a must. Call (713)-862-1814. Pre-order Champagne for the midnight toast when reserving and receive 20-percent off the bottle.
Bistro Menil, 1513 West Alabama: Chef Greg Martin’s $65 three-course dinner includes potato gratin with smoked salmon, caviar and chives; a roasted filet with grilled shrimp and truffle cream; and a warm, mocha sticky toffee pudding served with chocolate caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Guests may opt for one or two of those options, if they prefer, with special pricing on each item. The restaurant will also have a la carte menu selections.
Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial: For a New Year’s Even with some French flair, two options are available at this Energy Corridor bistro. The early bird, one-hour seating, with reservation times at 5 and 5:30 p.m., includes a three-course menu with a choice of salad or lobster bisque, tournedos gratin de pommes de terre or salmon fillet and a pear tart or Paris-Brest with hazelnut mousse. The cost is $50 per person. The two-hour later seating, with start times at 6, 6:30, 8 or 8:30 p.m., is $85 per person and comes with a complimentary glass of Voirin Jumel Grand Cru Blancs de Blanc NV to pair with dessert.
Bosscat Kitchen and Libations, 4310 Westheimer: The happening Galleria spot is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but there will be a New Year’s Eve party from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. with DJ Eno spinning tunes and a midnight Champagne toast. The $65 per person, three-course dinner includes an appetizer trio with bacon jam crostini, Pimento cheese and Gulf tuna wrap; choice of entrée between Cajun brick chicken, 12-hour beef short ribs or Gulf snapper (each paired with a wine, cocktail or whisky) and chocolate silk custard for dessert served with Moët Champagne.
Broken Barrel, 1950 Hughes Landing, The Woodlands: With two seatings from 5 to 7 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m., chef Hilda Ysusi’s four-course menu includes an amuse bouche and choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Selections include tuna tartare, Not A Caesar Salad, seared scallops and Baked Alaska. Each dinner includes a Champagne toast, and guests still there at midnight will be fashioned with party favors to celebrate in style. The cost is $80 per person; reservations encouraged. Make those online or by calling (281) 719-8542.
Cafe Azur, 4315 Montrose: Chef and owner Sidney Degaine has two seatings available for guests, both featuring dish selections from the Nice region of France. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., enjoy a $69 per person, four-course menu with an option $39 per-person wine pairing. The second seating begins at 8:30 p.m. and is a five-course menu for $100 per person, with an optional $49 wine pairing. The later seating also features a deejay and midnight Champagne toast. Menu selections include cheese Feuilleté, bon-bon fromage, quiche Lorraine, foie gras, Alaskan seared halibut with braised “Du Puy” lentils in white truffle oil and Xérès vinegar and tenderloin filet mignon with asparagus served with morel sauce and truffle sauce. Those interested in staying after 12:30 a.m. can indulge in late-night Croque Monsieur and French onion soup to start the New Year.
CRU, 2800 Kirby and 9595 Six Pines Drive, The Woodlands: Ring in the New Year with a celebratory menu. Two seatings are available, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at $50 per person and 8:30 to 10 p.m. at $65 per person. Both include a three-course menu. Guests who attend the late seating and stay until midnight will receive a complimentary glass of Champagne to toast 2018.
El Big Bad, 409 Travis: In addition to bottomless free food until 10 p.m., the party at this downtown spot includes complimentary Champagne when guests walk through the door, five drink tickets redeemable for house margaritas, wine and or beer and a Champagne toast at midnight. The all-inclusive cost is $100 per person, but those who only want access to the party and a glass of champagne can get in before 11 p.m. for a mere $25. Get tickets online.
Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room, 350 West 19th: Chef Antoine Ware and staff are putting on a multi-course feast New Year’s Eve. Start with Champagne and housemade bread and butter, then move to appetizer selections that include Ware’s outstanding gumbo or the inventive Rice-Crusted Pork Belly with red bean ragu. Entrée choices include grilled 44 Farms steak served with garlicky spinach and potato rosti as well as a warming bouillabaisse with tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil. The complete menu is available online. Cost is $65—or bump up slightly to $85 to include wine or cocktail pairings—plus tax and gratuity. Seatings are until 9:30 p.m., but diners who want the festivities to continue can simply head downstairs to the tap room, which is open until 2 a.m.
Hotel Alessandra, 1070 Dallas: This downtown newcomer offers a luxurious package featuring accommodations for two, a four-course dinner in chef Jose Hernandez’s excellent restaurant, Lucienne and a bottle of Champagne. Reserve online. As an alternative, guests can also reserve just for Lucienne’s New Year’s Eve dinner. There are three seatings at different price points: 4:30 p.m. for $75, 6:30 p.m. for $85 or 9:00 p.m. at $95. A glass of Champagne is included, and dishes in the four-course meal include entreé choices of Snapper with Winter Vegetables and Meyer lemon butter; Pheasant with Apple Mousseline, new potatoes and cardamom sauce or a 12-ounce New York strip with Rosemary Wild Mushrooms pommel soufflé. There’s a choice of Hernandez’s spectacular desserts at the end as well; his career has included stints as a pastry chef. Call (713) 242-8555 for dinner-only reservations and (713) 242-8555 for the hotel package deal.
Killen’s Steakhouse, 6425 Broadway, Pearland: Chef Ronnie Killen’s original restaurant is hosting a four-course dinner where guests can choose an appetizer (bacon-wrapped scallops or Kurobuta pork belly, for instance), soup or salad, entree (chicken Frances, lobster Rockefeller or sautéed snapper). Dessert by pastry chef Samantha Mendoza is included and the cost is $85 plus tax and gratuity. Up the ante by choosing domestic Wagyu beef selections (an eight-ounce center cut filet costs $30 more, for example) or a go all the way by adding a $100 New York Strip Flight that includes four ounces each of RC Ranch, Cabassi Australian Wagyu, Snake River Farms and 100-percent Japanese Wagyu from the Kagoshima Prefecture. Call (281) 485-0844 to reserve or make reservations via Open Table.
Killen’s STQ, 2231 South Voss: The prix fixe menu, similar to Killen’s Steakhouse, is $85 per person. Entrée selections include barbecued lobster, a Black Hill Meats pork chop or lobster Rockefeller. USDA wet and dry aged beef options are also available and so is Mishima Ranch Wagyu beef. Each of those upgrades are at additional cost. Call (713) 586-0223 to reserve or make reservations via Open Table.
Liberty Kitchen, 4224 San Felipe and 1050 Studewood: Both locations will be open regular hours for New Year’s Eve, but there are a few specials added to the regular menu, including lobster bisque with sherry butter and a mini grilled cheese sandwich for $14; surf and turf with bone-in filet mignon and a shrimp and mushroom fondue served with a Maine lobster tail at $55 and a caramelized banana split waffle with pineapple sauce for $12.
MKT Bar, 1001 Austin: With DJ Conz spinning tunes all night, this downtown destination is transforming itself into a 1980s prom scene. There’ll be voting for a king and queen and the decor will take guests back to a time when Ferris had that righteous day off. Between the food and drink specials, an extensive list of bubbles from around the world and the nostalgia factor, it might be, like, tubular. Free admission or $25 per person minimum for reservations. Call (832) 360-2222, extension 112 to snag a table.
Potente, 1515 Texas: Stylishly ring in 2018 and get what’s likely a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get a photo with the Astros’ World Series trophy. It’s happening at Potente’s, which is owned by Jim Crane—who also just happens to own the Houston Astros. The “World Series Champions Dinner” costs $125 per person and features a five-course menu that starts with caviar and progresses through appetizer and entrée courses, before ending with a choice of desserts. Multiple Champagne options are available.
Prohibition Supper Club and Bar, 1008 Prairie: Step back in time to the Jazz Age, as Prohibition and burlesque troupe The Moonlight Dolls offer up an evening of food and entertainment. The blend of comedy, dance and jazz music will have guests feeling like they’re part of The Lost Generation. The seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. include dinner and the show (cost runs $30 to $95; the prix-fixe Decadent Dinner is $65) while the 11 p.m. countdown features the Jazz Age Show, The Moonlight Dolls’ ball drop and a complimentary 2018 breakfast buffet. Cost for the late night festivities is $45 for the mezzanine while seated tickets run $65 to $115.
Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella: One of Houston’s coziest and best restaurants is hosting New Year’s Eve dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Take a peek at the menu online to see the dishes that chef Mark Schmidt and team are preparing for the night. Everyone gets to start with sparkling wine and several dishes of the four-course meal will include hearty wild game meats, as is Lodge tradition. These include the famous smoked duck gumbo, Coffee Rubbed Elk Loin with salsify purée, horseradish beets and bittersweet chocolate jus. The cost is $85 plus beverages, tax and gratuity. Call (713) 861-8666 to reserve or make reservations online. Wrap up with one of three desserts perfect for cool weather:Warm Croissant Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce, Fig Leaf Scented Crème Brulee with Cranberries and Gingerbread Biscotti or the Chocolate Ancho Ganache Torte made with Chocolate Shortbread Crust and accompanied by Chocolate Sorbet and Brandied Cherries.
Roka Akor, 2929 Weslayan: This Japanese newcomer marks its first New Year’s Eve celebration in Houston with an inventive six-course tasting menu. It features inventive Japanese dishes such as prime beef Tataki with shaved black truffle, lobster and shrimp dumplings and grilled corn with soy garlic butter. Reservations are available from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and there is a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight.
San Luis Resort, Spa and Conference Center, 5222 Seawall Drive, Galveston: The elegant seawall location rings in the new year with a “Puttin’ on the Ritz” party in the grand ballroom. Executive chef Phillip Bouza designed a four-course culinary feast and the event features a generous premium bar. Entertainment will be provided by the Password Band. Guests also get party favors, hats, a Champagne toast and a ball drop at midnight. The event runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and the cost is $209 per couple. Packages with overnight accommodations start at $582 per couple. To reserve, call (409) 477-1500.
Star Fish, 191 Heights: The hip Heights spot is open from 4 to 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, making it the perfect place to kick off an evening of festivities. If you want to get a toast in early, choose from one of the restaurant’s 30 sparkling wines available by the glass.
Sud Italia, 2347 University: For a stylish Italian meal with a minimum of crazed revelers, this cozy Rice Village restaurants offers a New Year’s Eve dinner for two by chef Maurizio Ferrarese (formerly of Quattro at Four Seasons Houston). The Capodanno (New Year) selections include a seafood platter of oysters, crab claws and Gulf shrimp as well as a duo of beef short ribs and diver scallops served with heirloom carrots and celery root. All are paired with Canti prosecco. The cost is $149.50 per couple, plus tax and gratuity.