New Year’s Eve is an anniversary of sorts, one of those milestone holidays that speaks volumes of the person on your arm. It could be a first New Year’s Eve date or many in a long line of celebrations with someone special. Another year begins with the person standing or sitting next to you, the prospect of a midnight kiss lingering as time moves from one year to the next. Where you spend New Year’s Eve and what you eat and drink can up the romance factor, sharing a plate of tapas with the likely touch of a hand or brush of an elbow reaching for the olives. A carafe of housemade sangria on the table eases the tensions brought on by too much contact with friends and family over the holidays, releasing whatever inhibitions remain at the end of the evening. Culinary discovery is an aphrodisiac unto itself, bonding over the excitement of sampling a new cuisine for the first time together.
Check out these restaurants for a romantic New Year’s Eve 2018 and get ready to kick off 2019 in a special way. Looking to do something different? Then head on over to our New Year’s Eve 2018 Dining Decider for an assist and more options from the experts at OpenTable. Whatever kind of night you’re after, OpenTable can help you find the perfect place to celebrate.
Plume at The Jefferson Hotel, Washington, D.C.
In one of historic America’s most sublime restaurants for avian and literary lovers, The Bird’s Nest at Plume is nestled into a curved library, boasts the largest collection of Madeira wine in the country. Under a century-old crystal chandelier, this New Year’s Eve Michelin-starred meal served by way of chef Ralf Schlegel will include king salmon yew wood bento soaked in Amish beeswax, New Frontier bison duo, and The Jefferson’s celebrated desserts: sea salt caramel coffee tart and honey marzipan croustillant. Make a reservation at Plume.
Everest Restaurant, Chicago Illinois
Nothing spells out a romantic evening like a towering cityscape. On the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Everest guests have a bird’s eye view of the Chicago skyline. That’s not the only draw – in addition to the French cuisine, Everest has one of the largest Alsace collections in the world and mood-setting artwork everywhere in the Ivo Soldini bronze sculptures on each table, paintings by Chicago artist Adam Siegel, and Virginio Ferrari sculptures in the dining room. Illustrious dishes include home smoked salmon naturel with herbed Alsace fleischnagga and baked wild sea bass Alsace-style. Make a reservation at Everest Restaurant.
Dakota’s Steakhouse, Dallas, Texas
The surroundings at Dakota’s Steakhouse continue to be the reason it’s consistently called the most romantic dining in Dallas from the patio’s five-tiered granite water wall and lava rock fire pit to the black granite bar. The list of New Year’s Eve-worthy steaks and seafood include carved porterhouse and roasted Scottish salmon with drunken raisins, and appetizers like pan-seared foie gras with apple tarte and spiced caramel. Make a reservation at Dakota’s Steakhouse.
MICHAEL MINA, San Francisco, California
Chefs Michael Mina and Raj Dixit have developed a special multi-course tasting menu at the Michelin-starred restaurant for New Year’s Eve. With two seatings for the evening, the first will feature a five-course tasting menu while the second seating will feature seven courses. Dishes will include live Stonington sea scallop, Michael’s parfait of Osetra caviar, smoked salmon, and crème fraîche, charcoal-grilled octopus, Maine lobster, and dry-aged côte de bœuf smoked in alfalfa hay among others. Make a reservation at MICHAEL MINA.
Uchi, Denver, Colorado
It’s a meal built for deux with special ingredients being flown in from around the world for Uchi’s inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration. At $170 per couple, Uchi’s menu includes a fine selection of sushi, foie gras and kohlrabi dumplings, soy-glazed Wagyu beef with avocado, salsify, and Thai basil, and a Black Forest okashi with chocolate, stone fruit, and mushroom. Make a reservation at Uchi.
Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada
Look up the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Vegas and the reviews tell the tale: in this bustling city, romance abounds here. Perched above the dancing fountains of the Bellagio Hotel, the French cuisine is a perfect match to the red-toned dining room where diners fall hard for dishes like cold foie gras torchon with duck prosciutto and fig compote, seafood platters, and venison medallions. Make a reservation at Eiffel Tower.
Peli Peli, Houston, Texas
People are already talking about the special version of Peli Peli’s popular espetada – for New Year’s Eve diners have the option of ordering a bacon-wrapped seafood espetada as part of the Peli Peli special edition, limited menu. New items on the list also include lamb shank served in a stunning space rich with color and creative lighting. Make a reservation at Peli Peli.
Torali, Chicago Ilinois
At the Ritz Carlton in Chicago, this New Year’s Eve for one night only, Torali presents a special la carte holiday menu. It will include Ōra King salmon affumicato with lentil and bean ragu and arugula pesto, plus surf and turf served with housemade gorgonzola popovers. Diners will also have choices of seasonal versions of Torali’s signature housemade pastas, including butternut squash tortellini and sausage cavatelli. Make a reservation at Torali.
ETARU, Hallandale, Florida
Taste anything cooked on a robata grill and you’ll always recall that specific cooking style perfected over centuries. As the ocean breeze blows onto the terrace at ETARU Japanese restaurant, New Year’s Eve guests will sample the menu honoring this ancient grilling technique, along with sushi and sashimi. A few of the robota meat and fish specialties include pork ribs with tobanjan sauce, beef skewers with shishito peppers, tiger prawns with arima sansho and garlic, and black cod marinated in yuzu miso. Make a reservation at ETARU Hallandale.
The Bristol, Chicago, Ilinois
Four courses of seasonal produce, housemade pastas, and nose-to-tail proteins make up the prix-fixe menu at The Bristol this New Year’s Eve. The Bristol is a staple of Chicago’s Bucktown locale and the home away from home for other local chefs. Dinner may be serious business, but expect it to turn into a party when the dining is done. Local favorites include boquerones with celeriac butter, monkey bread, Parisienne gnocchi with duck hearts and fennel garlic sausage stuffed porchetta. Make a reservation at The Bristol.
Lancellotti Dining Room & Parlor Bar, Geneva, New York
Tapestries, 17th-century décor, columns, and all the ambiance of a restaurant by a lake make Lancellotti Dining Room & Parlor Bar the target for romance on New Year’s Eve. This Geneva on the Lake in the Finger Lakes region of central New York gem is preparing sun-dried pepper polenta, Australian lamb rack, and lemon and chèvre cheesecake with housemade sorbet for dessert. Make a reservation at Lancellotti’s Dining Room & Parlor Bar.
Geja’s Café, Chicago, Ilinois
Perhaps nothing strikes joy in the hearts of cheese lovers like cheese fondue, which happens to be the appetizer for Geja’s Café on New Year’s Eve. In addition, the other three courses will include salad, lobster, and a shrimp and beef entree, plus Geja’s flaming chocolate dessert fondue. The first seating includes a glass of Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne and the second seating includes a glass of Charles Heidsieck Brut Rose Champagne, while the last seating includes a bottle of Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne per couple, plus party favors. Make a reservation at Geja’s Café.
Scarpetta, New York, New York
For Scarpetta’s first New Year’s Eve at their new flagship location, there will be three seatings. The first seating is at 5PM with an a la carte menu, followed by a 7PM seating with a prix-fixe menu for $125 per person. The last seating at 9:30PM includes live music, a Champagne toast at midnight and a prix-fixe menu for $195 per person. Look for menu items like braised octopus, duck and foie gras ravioli, and Akuashi wagyu beef. Make a reservation at Scarpetta.
The Grill at The St. Regis, San Francisco, California
The menu at The Grill at the St. Regis seems perfectly suited to this classic eatery. The five-course dinner will feature a winter greens salad, cream of potato and leek soup, butter-poached Maine lobster, Brandt Farms prime ribeye, and bittersweet chocolate mousse. After dinner, dessert and live jazz music, St. Regis continues the New Year’s Eve sabering ritual of a magnum bottle of Champagne at the stroke of midnight. Make a reservation at The Grill at The St. Regis.
The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Livermore Valley, California
Mocha pudding cake with citrus, pistachio, and cinnamon cream sounds like an outstanding way to punctuate a New Year’s Eve dinner, as part of the four-course, prix fixe menu at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. In addition, diners can choose between filet mignon with celery root, potatoes, Brussels sprouts with sauce Diane, and blackened sea bass with creole tomato couscous, mussels, and andouille. Make a reservation at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards.
RARE Steakhouse & Tavern, Washington, D.C.
To honor the holiday, D.C.’s RARE Steakhouse & Tavern is hosting celebrations in both the steakhouse and tavern dining rooms. Vintage spirits pave the way early in the evening toward fine wine pairings with dinner. Among RARE Steakhouse & Tavern’s succulent dishes are steakhouse pig and cheese and roasted bone marrow appetizers, dry-aged double bone chop, and Kusonoki A5 wagyu strip. Make a reservation at RARE Steakhouse & Tavern.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Dallas, Texas
Steak in Texas is almost a rite of passage for carnivores on New Year’s Eve. Fans of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse love the romantic surrounding of this classic Lone Star state eatery, with locations in Houston and Dallas. On New Year’s Eve, diners can enjoy a prix-fixe menu with a choice of appetizers, such as lobster deviled eggs and shrimp remoulade, salad or soup, prime New York strip, broiled Ōra king salmon, or grilled double lamb chops, plus veggie option like roasted wild mushrooms or au gratin potatoes. Make a reservation at Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.
Kiki on the River, Miami, Florida
In one of America’s best-known party cities, locals love Kiki on the River for its Sunday Funday events in this destination eatery’s waterfront garden. And on New Year’s Eve, seatings will include a complimentary bottle of Moet Brut or Dom Perignon with Kiki on the River classic Greek favorites grilled octopus, grilled lavrak, and lamb rack among others. First-course choices will include Dungeness crab bites and truffle heirloom tomato salad, while the second course also includes jumbo grilled prawn dressed with Ladeomono sauce. The third course features surf and turf Waygu filet with lobster and truffled mashed potato and pasta fruit de mare followed by chocolate mousse cake or fruit tart for dessert. Make a reservation at Kiki on the River.