Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Houston
Congratulations, you’ve made it through another year! Ready or not, it’s time to bring on the bubbles and bashes as we send off 2018 and welcome a new beginning. Houston bars and restaurants are offering a plethora of parties, from intimate low-key affairs to rowdy romps ideal for a crowd. Read on for our list of where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Houston.
El Big Bad, 419 Travis: For a rowdy fiesta with no cover and plenty of tequila, head to one of downtown’s favorite party places. The annual El Big Bad New Year’s Eve party is featuring Mexican food, plenty of margaritas made with house-infused tequilas, a Champagne toast and a unicorn piñata drop at midnight. Food details are still limited, so keep an eye on the event’s Facebook page for updates and to RSVP.
Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar: This swank hotel is offering two New Year’s Eve dining options. Quattro, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, has a 7 p.m. dinner service featuring a four-course menu for $135 per seat. Menu options include a selection of cured meats, house-cured smoked salmon, Celery Root Raviolo with Winter Black Truffle, Red Snapper Aquapazza (which means “crazy water,” an Italian tomato and garlic broth) and osso buco alla Milanese, among other selections. An optional wine pairing is available for $60 and includes four three-ounce servings. A la carte ordering is also available. For reservations call (713 )276-4700.
For night owls, the hotel’s chic bourbon bar Bayou and Bottle is hosting a Prohibition-themed New Year’s party with era-inspired cocktails, two DJs, and an LED dance floor with the kitchen’s full menu of food available for when it’s time to recharge. Doors open at 9 p.m. and cover starts at $30 with advanced purchase. Table reservations are available but require a minimum $400 purchase. Tickets are available online.
Hotel Alessandra, 1070 Dallas: This relatively new boutique hotel offers holiday dining at both of its in-house establishments. Lucienne, chef Jose Hernandez’s celebrated Mediterranean concept, is offering a four-course New Year’s Eve dinner with three seating times. The 4:30 p.m. seating is $55 per person, the 6:30 p.m. seating is $75 per person and the 9 p.m. seating is $95 per person. Menu highlights include beef consommé en croute, foie gras cappuccino and duck a l’orange. Formal dining attire is requested if attending the 9 p.m. seating.
For light bites high above downtown, head instead to Bardot Lounge for an a la carte menu from 3 p.m. to midnight. The bar’s menu of small bites includes tuna tartare, Duck Confit Tostadas, escargot and crispy truffle fries. There is no cover charge and guests can enjoy music by DJ Matt Murdock from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. as well as a midnight balloon drop.
Looking for a deal? Guests who book a New Year’s Eve room package get a $200 dining credit at Lucienne. To book, or for information on the hotel’s dining options, visit the hotel website.
Mongoose Versus Cobra, 1011 McGowan: For a groovy party replete with cool drinks and hot bites, head to hip Midtown watering hole Mongoose Versus Cobra for a 1970’s disco party. There is no cover charge and no reservations required. Drinks include craft cocktails along with ’70s inspired drinks such as the Midori Sour and Harvey Wallbanger. There will also be a New Year toast with Saint Arnold’s latest release, Divine Reserve. Disco attire is encouraged. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Weights and Measures, 2808 Caroline: Ring in 2019 near the Museum District with a four-course prix fixe dinner from 5-11 p.m. that includes a Champagne toast and party favors. All dinners start with an amuse bouche of risotto chive cake with creamy black truffle ricotta impastata (a drier version of ricotta), smoked lobster, truffle caviar and micro chives. Course selections include Tallegio cream ravioli with duck confit, walnut sage butter and micro arugula, wood grilled Spanish octopus with roasted purple fingerlings, tomato orange caperberry ragout and toasted sesame semolina, and wood-grilled, grass-fed beef tenderloin with foie gras, fontina black risotto and blackberry demi glace. For dessert, choose between the “chocolate extravaganza” or salted caramel-filled donut. Dinner is $75 per person and reservations are suggested. Reservations are available online.
BCK Kitchen and Cocktail Adventures, 933 Studewood: This nostalgia-fueled diner is hosting a Throwback New Year’s Eve. The party includes a four-course menu for $45 per person, plus retro cocktails, DJ and a midnight toast. Menu highlights include Tex-Mex shrimp cocktail, pan-seared heirloom chicken, voodoo (blackened) salmon and the E.T. Sundae with chocolate & peanut butter sauces and Reese’s Pieces. Cocktails include the 1930s Gibson with Gin, the 1940s Zombie (a classic tiki cocktail) and the 1950s Grasshopper with crème de menthe. To make reservations call (832) 831-7155.
Harold’s Restaurant, 350 West 19th: This historic Heights icon is offering a three-course New Year’s Eve meal for $65 or $85 with wine and cocktail pairings. Guests are greeted with welcome Champagne and Bread & Provisions consisting of freshly baked bread, pimiento cheese and pickles before tucking into executive chef Kathy Elkins’ Creole-inspired dishes. The selections include shrimp and okra gumbo, confit chicken with rosemary cornbread, beef short rib with mashed potatoes and harissa brick chicken with basmati rice. Reservations are available with seatings starting at 5 p.m. Call (713) 360-6204 or reserve online.
Chez Nous French Restaurant, 217 South Avenue: In North Houston, Humble gem Chez Nous has a beautifully curated menu of French cuisine for New Year’s Eve. Three seating times are available: 5 to 5:30 p.m., 7 to 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. The first two seatings feature a three-course menu of chef Stacy Crowe-Simonson’s classic French dishes for $95 per person. The final seating includes a special fourth course and costs $125 per person. The dish selection includes Terrine of Rabbit and Berkshire pork with Chestnuts; Beef Wellington with mushroom duxelle and foie gras; slow-braised veal cheeks; and White Chocolate Bergamot Mousse with orange marmalade. The extra course for the late meal, served as the second course, includes choice of vadouvan dusted torchon of foie gras with kumquat marmalade or citrus-cured Atlantic salmon with cardamon beet puree. Make reservations by calling (281) 446-6717.
Alicia’s Mexican Grille, Multiple locations: Join the extended Alicia’s family at their original Cypress restaurant or at locations in Katy, Spring or Houston from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. for beloved Tex-Mex classics on New Year’s Eve. Menu highlights at the semi-upscale Mexican kitchen include certified Angus beef fajitas and the house specialty molcajete for two: a giant bowl filled with an assortment of grilled chicken, steak, shrimp with avocado, cheese, poblano peppers and bacon. The bar is serving a trio of limited edition seasonal cocktails including the Pumpkin Rita with 1800 Silver and pumpkin juice, Hollie Day Kiss with Fireball whiskey, coconut cream, pineapple and orange juice, and Mistletoe Warmer with Gentleman Jack and butterscotch schnapps.
Carmelo’s Cucina Italiana, 14795 Memorial: For an authentic Italian dinner and a low-key yet swanky New Year’s Eve look no further than the Memorial institution Carmelo’s. Benjamin Berg of B&B Butchers purchased the restaurant last year and renovated it with his brother, executive chef Daniel Berg. The restaurant is serving its full menu of Italian classics on New Year’s Eve with menu highlights including filet mignon carpaccio, escargot, tagliatelle in a veal bolognese and an enormous bone-in Parmesan veal chop. The evening will also feature live entertainment from singer Alicia Gianni from 6 to 10 p.m. Advanced reservations are required and can be made by calling (281) 531-0696.
Bistro Menil, 1513 West Alabama: The minimalist and classically defined bistro on the Menil campus from chef Greg Martin is serving a New Year’s Eve wine dinner. The three-course dinner includes an optional pairing of French wines to compliment chef Martin’s customization courses. Highlights include seared sea bass on zucchini latke and wild game grill with Reggiano polenta (venison chop, wild boar chop & duck confit) and wild mushroom demi glaze. For dessert, diners can choose from raspberry and strawberry pavlova or a decadent mocha chocolate mousse. Pricing is $110 with wine pairing and $79 without pairing. For reservations call (713) 904-3537 or reserve online at bistromenil.com.
Georgia James, 1100 Westheimer: Chris Shepherd’s latest culinary conquest is rolling out four “baller” courses this NYE as the Montrose steakhouse celebrates its first holiday season. The $125 dinner includes options like fresh oysters, shaved Wagyu beef and shishito peppers, braised short rib with “pot roast carrot purée” and dumplings and Strawberry-Champagne panna cotta for dessert. Alcohol is not included in the price of dinner. Reservations are accepted until 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and can be made online.
UB Preserv, 1609 Westheimer: If the fine dining ambiance (or prices) of Georgia James isn’t quite your speed, take a walk down Westheimer for a more casual vibe at Shepherd’s 2018 smash hit, UB Preserv. The Montrose kitchen that tells the “story of Houston food” is serving an $85 three-course prix fixe menu with an amuse-bouche. The family-style meal starts with an oyster pakora bite and progresses with three courses of shareable tasting plates. Highlights include king crab, sticky pork ribs, Peking style duck, lobster curry and mango mousse cake. The meal price does not include alcohol and reservations are required. Seating is available from 6 to 9 p.m. Make reservations online.
One Fifth Mediterranean, 1658 Westheimer: The third Chris Shepherd restaurant on this list is One Fifth, which is currently sporting its second Mediterranean theme (the previous Romance Languages theme explored the other side of the sea) and third incarnation in total. (There are still two more to go.) For New Year’s Eve, it is offering a la carte ordering or the signature “Sight Seeing” menu for $60 on New Year’s Eve. One thing is for sure: with the restaurant rebranding to concept number four in July 2019, this is the only time there’s going to be a One Fifth Mediterranean New Year’s event. Reservations are accepted until 11 p.m. that night (assuming it doesn’t sell out earlier) and can be made online.
la Villa Saint-Tropez, 4315 Montrose: Celebrate a balloon drop at Montrose’s ultra-chic southern French and Mediterranean concept. Executive Chef Bruno Gallou is serving a three-course menu of select dishes created just for the holiday. They include an amuse-bouche of black truffle crispy toast and cheese smoked duck gourgere and highlights like beef tenderloin Rossini with warm duck liver and pommes cocotte. The meal costs $119 per person with an optional $49 wine pairing. Make reservations by calling (713) 524-0700.
Hungry’s, 2356 Rice: Celebrate in Rice Village at this forty-year mainstay. The restaurant is serving a $60 prix fixe, four-course dinner featuring baked goat cheese with French baguette, herb parmesan-crusted trout and housemade bread pudding topped with berries. Seating is at 8 p.m. and reservations can be made online.
Eddie V’s Seafood, 2800 Kirby: River Oak’s swanky seafood kitchen is offering an equally stylish New Year’s celebration. The party starts at 10 p.m. with a late-night menu of chef’s teasers and a half-shell oyster menu. Additional features include a live band, Moët and Chandon available by the glass and a complimentary dessert bar. Highlights of the a la carte menu include lamb lollipops, mini fillet sandwiches and steak tartare. The restaurant is also open for full dinner service earlier in the evening. Make reservations for either portion of the night online.
Roka Akor, 2929 Weslayan: One of Houston’s premiere Japanese kitchens is offering a special five-course New Year’s Eve menu this year for $135 per person. A big feature of this River Oaks sushi and robata house is that it boasts Houston’s most extensive Wagyu beef program. There are three Japanese varieties including Kobe and one domestic variety. The New Year’s Eve menu features highlights like foie gras mousse, Wagyu kimchi dumplings, grilled pork belly and a full sashimi platter. The kitchen’s full dinner menu is also available for a la carte ordering. Purchase reservations online.
Arnaldo Richard’s Picos, 3601 Kirby: The traditional Mexican kitchen known for its “seven regions of Mexico” menu is hosting a disco party and dinner this year. Seating begins at 8 p.m. for the four-course dinner created by its namesake chef-owner. There is a premium open bar and live entertainment plus a complimentary cigar rolling station at the outdoor lounge. Tickets for the open bar and show start at $100 and cost up to $200 depending on dinner and other options. These are inclusive of taxes and gratuity and can be purchased online.
La Table, 1800 Post Oak: Galleria-area celebrations are predictably lavish and with decadent dinners and the story is no different at Houston’s chic dual concept French brasserie. This year the restaurant offers an a la carte menu featuring selections like Périgord Truffle & Lobster Gnudi and Strube Ranch Wagyu beef en croute. The evening also features live entertainment and a sparkling wine midnight toast. Make reservations online or by phone at (713) 439-1000.
Celebrate and dine at Hotel Granduca. Photo by Vicheka Im
Hotel Granduca, 1080 Uptown Park Boulevard: Ristorante Cavour in Hotel Granduca — now helmed by longtime Quattro at the Four Seasons Houston chef Maurizio Ferrarese — is known for its elegant holiday dining events. That tradition lives on with a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner starting at $85 with an optional $45 wine pairing. The hotel is also offering holiday package deals with dinner at Ristorante Cavour included in the price. Make dinner reservations by calling (713) 418-1000 and book rooms online.
Yauatcha, 5045 Westheimer: This New Year’s Eve, fine Chinese restaurant Yauatcha in The Galleria is showcasing dumplings galore with a prix fixe menu for $88 per person. Wine pairings are optional and cost $45. The three-course meal features highlights like morel, lobster and edamame truffle dumplings, truffle duck, sweet and sour pork and Wagyu beef puff. Make reservations by phone at (713) 357-7558 or online.
Pappas Bros Steakhouse, two locations: Celebrate at this acclaimed Houston steakhouse either in the Galleria area or downtown. It is serving a special four-course menu with choices for appetizer, soup or salad, entrée, vegetable and dessert. The holiday menu features selections like shrimp remoulade, lobster deviled eggs, lobster bisque, filet mignon, prime ribeye, and New York strip and roasted wild mushrooms. The New Year’s Eve dinner is being served from 4 to 10 p.m. at the downtown location and 5 to 10 p.m. at the Galleria location. The price is $110 per person or $100 per person for early bird reservations placed before 6 p.m. Reservations can be made online.
B&B Butchers, 1814 Washington: Benjamin Berg’s craft butchery and steakhouse is a popular destination for holiday dining thanks to the multi-level entertainment and menu of opulent beef cuts. This New Year’s Eve, diners can order anything off the standard dinner menu, including B&B’s popular thick cut bacon and cuts from the Texas Wagyu and USDA dry-aged programs. There is also live music from both the Kelly Peters Jazz Trio and singer Bob Luna. Live music will play upstairs and downstairs from 6 to 10 p.m. followed by a DJ performance until 2 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (713) 862-1814.
B.B. Lemon, 1809 Washington: Benjamin Berg’s newest Houston opening, the art-deco style Americana diner B.B. Lemon, is also serving the full dinner menu and offering entertainment in the form of a DJ until 2 a.m. The menu includes highlights such as oysters on the half-shell, blue crab beignets, Cajun chicken and pork schnitzel.
There is no cover charge but reservations are required and can be made by calling (713) 862-1814.