Best Bets In Houston For New Year’s Eve 2016

13 Celsius patio

For many of us, 2016 was a tough year and we all deserve to shake it off with a terrific New Year’s Eve celebration. Here are our top picks for places that are not only serving a great meal but also cultivating a proper party atmosphere. The list is in alphabetical order, so a quick glance will tell you if your neighborhood favorite is in our top picks.

13 Celsius, 3000 Caroline, (713) 529-8466 (VINO): The theme is “Midnight in Paris” and it celebrates the wine bar’s 10th anniversary, as well as its ongoing collaboration with the Houston Dairymaids. Drop in, raise a glass, sample bites from Weights + Measures and enjoy some of the best bottles in 13 Celsius’s collection. Dinner-only is $125 per person (hors d’oeuvres and Champagne at 6:30, seated dinner at 7:00 p.m.). It’s $150 to both have dinner and hang out for the New Year’s Eve party. The party without dinner is $60 for reserved couch seating (includes a bottle of Champagne and cheese plate) or $39 for a reserved seat at the bar or a table. Reserved seating includes a double Champagne toast as well. Call or email to reserve.

Arnaldo Richard’s Picos, 3601 Kirby, (832) 831-9940: This Mexican restaurant in Upper Kirby is always a happening joint, but check out their “New Year’s Eve In Havana” party, which includes a welcome cocktail, two additional drink tickets, four-course dinner, photo booth, dancing, cigar lounge with complimentary rolling station and a midnight toast. The event runs from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tickets are $175 or $200 VIP (includes cigar lounge and post-party gift bags) and can be purchased online.

Arthur Ave, 1111 Studewood, (832) 582-7146. The hottest Italian restaurant in The Heights is serving a special four-course dinner for $45 with dishes that Italians believe bring good luck for the coming year. Award-winning sommelier Evan Turner of Arthur Ave’s sister restaurant, Helen Greek Food & Wine, has selected the pairings, which can be added on for a mere $20. There are seatings at 6 and 9 p.m. and a complimentary Champagne toast to ring in 2017 at midnight. Email for reservations.

Batanga, 908 Congress, (713) 224-9500. The downtown Latin restaurant will be party central on December 31, with a bottle of bubbles on every table at midnight, a big-screen countdown to 2017, party favors, a balloon drop—and, of course, sharable bites. Salsa-dance the year away from 9 to 11:00 p.m. Three different tasting menus, with six ($54), eight ($66) or 10 ($78) tapas selections, let you pick the perfect size for celebrating. Call or email for reservations.

BCN Taste and Tradition, 4210 Roseland, (832) 834-3411. The fine Spanish restaurant in the Montrose District offers a three-course menu for New Year’s Eve, with choice of appetizers and entrees, as well as milk chocolate mousse for dessert. Select foie gras terrine or green pea soup as a starter, and lobster with clams or lamb tenderloin for the entrée. Add wine pairings for $75. The 6 p.m. seating is $120 per person while the 8:30 p.m. option is $150. Reservations are required; call the restaurant to make arrangements.

Bistro Provence
Charming eatery Bistro Provence is celebrating New Year’s Eve—French style, of course. Photo by Anthony Rathbun

Bistro Provence, 13616 Memorial, (713) 827-8008. Practice your French and say “Bonne Année!” after choosing between the one- or two-hour multi-course dinners. The hour-long seatings are at 5 and 5:30 p.m. Selections include smoked duck breast salad, lobster bisque, Beef Wellington, bacon-wrapped monkfish and chocolate cake. The two-hour seatings begin between 6 and 6:30 p.m. and 8 to 8:30 p.m. Those meals conclude with dessert alongside complimentary glasses of Voirin Jumel Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Champagne. Dinner selections for the longer seatings include housemade foie gras, Muscovy duck breast, Beef Wellington and dessert. The cost is $45 for the early birds and $85 for the later ones. A non-refundable deposit is due at the time of reservation. Call the restaurant for details.

Cuchara, 214 Fairview 713-942-0000. Party like you’re south of the border without leaving H-Town. Cuchara is offering a four-course dinner with unlimited tacos, two cocktails, a midnight toast, party favors and a DJ spinning danceable tunes. Adults only; no exceptions. $100 per person.

Chef William Wright at Arthur Ave
Among the many places celebrating New Year’s Eve are Arthur Ave and Helen Greek Food & Wine. The kitchens of both are overseen by chef William Wright.

Helen Greek Food & Wine, 2429 Rice, (832) 831-7133. While the rest of us look forward to 2017, Helen Greek Food and Wine will transport you to ancient Greece on New Year’s Eve, featuring a five-course dinner with inspired Hellenic offerings. Bonus: you’ll drink Greek wines that aren’t available anywhere else in the city. The cost is $200 per couple and reservations are a must. Call for tickets.

La Table, 1800 Post Oak, (713) 439-1000. The sophisticated Galleria restaurant is offering a special a la carte New Year’s Eve menu. Select items from the raw bar, foie gras, cheese soufflé, filet mignon or get really decadent and spring for the ossetra caviar. Topping the experience is a New Year’s Eve “dessert extravaganza.” Check out the full menu online.

Le Bistro, 7070 Allensby, (713) 358-5079. The New Year’s Eve party at the restaurant nestled within Culinary Institute LeNôtre includes an array of dishes (prime rib, Gulf shrimp, duck in cherry sauce and Grand Marnier Vanilla-Raspberry ice cream flambé), plus live music by Bubba and Greg. $85 gets you into the affair and includes a midnight Moët & Chandon Champagne toast.

MKT Bar at Phoenicia, 1001 Austin, (832) 360-2222. There’s always something going on at MKT Bar but New Year’s Eve will be something special. DJ Sun will spin the tunes for a global dance party. The passed hors d’oeuvres and buffet will reflect the international theme. The many featured dishes include steamed dumplings, mini feta flatbreads with olives and mint, Chinese barbecued pork ribs and jerk chicken skewers. The event runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Save $10 on general admission tickets and buy online instead of at the door. Several VIP options that include table reservations, Champagne and party favors are also available online. Time Sensitive Note: Until midnight on December 29, MKT Bar is offering a two-for-one deal on general admission tickets, so that’s two for only $45!

Mongoose versus Cobra, 1011 McGowen, (713) 650-6872. The team will tap into a cask of Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 16 and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight. It’s an annual tradition that also includes the gang from across the street at Leon’s Lounge. Join the fun, complete with a four-cocktail special menu along with the regular offerings – and no cover charge.

Ouisie’s Table, 3939 San Felipe, (713) 528-2264. offers a special four-course meal starting at 9 p.m. (there’s an early-bird special from 5 to 9 p.m., too) that includes a Champagne toast at midnight. For $45, you can sample the restaurant’s signature Southern hospitality.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, 5839 Westheimer, (713) 780-7352 or 1200 McKinney, (713) 658-1995. For that classic New Year’s Eve vibe, head to Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. The four-course, pre-fixe menu includes a choice of appetizers, salad, dessert and the restaurant’s signature steaks, chops or seafood. The cost is $109.95 per person and reservations highly recommended.

Ritual, 602 Studewood, (832) 203-5180. Forget the silly horns and hats. Ritual has possibly the best New Year’s Eve giveaway going. One lucky winner will get tickets to Super Bowl LI which is being hosted right here in Houston in February. There are chances to win other prizes, too, such as a 70” flat-screen TV, Bose headphones, Rockettes tickets and a four-course wine dinner at Ritual. The six-course dinner costs $199 and includes entry into the Super Bowl ticket drawing. Buy tickets online.

Triniti, 2815 South Shepherd, (713) 527-9090. Chef Ryan Hildebrand is serving up a 12-course dinner based on the signs of the Zodiac. The cost is $195; add $100 for wine pairings. Reservations are a must.

Uchi, 904 Westheimer, (713) 522-4808. Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a contemporary omakase menu at Uchi. Dinner includes seven courses, as well as a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight. $175 per couple.

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