New Year’s Eve calls for a celebration — and dinner — unlike any other. From Prime Steakhouse’s sweeping decor in Las Vegas to the breathtaking Chicago skyline at The Signature Room at the 95th, these restaurants offer the perfect backdrop for sending off 2012 in style. We compiled the ultimate Food Network fan restaurant guide with the help of the On the Road app and website.
For party animals everywhere, look no further than TAO Nightclub in Las Vegas, where they major in over-the-top parties and spectacular displays. In Beverly Hills, Nic’s Restaurant and Martini Lounge serves a chillingly sweet cocktail. Just step into Nic's walk-in freezer, the VODBOX, and sample some of the best vodkas from all over the world. Or, for a taste of New York’s finest, venture to Ouest in the Upper West Side where Chef Tom Valenti lives up to his nickname, “Flavor King of New York.”
Fearing’s at the Ritz Carlton epitomizes fine dining with a Southwestern flair. Nearby, guests can eat poolside or relax by the spa. But for New Year’s Eve, Chef Dean Fearing will take recipe cues from his grandmothers, who both taught him the principles of Southwestern cuisine. To top it off, there’ll be fresh-baked holiday cookies too.Rice & Company at The Luxor, Las Vegas
As the designated Food Network heat seekers, Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking were impressed with Rice & Company’s ferocious Fire Breathing Dragon Roll made with spicy tuna, habanero peppers and a sprinkling of Pop Rock candy. This New Year's, Rice & Company will offer a cooler alternative with its “Roll in the New Year” sushi roll made with cream cheese, smoked salmon and a spicy mango sauce.
TAO Nightclub and Asian Bistro at the Venetian, Las Vegas
The 60,000-square-foot venue at TAO nightclub features a rooftop pool, lounge, sushi bar and dance hall packed to the brim with live music and the occasional A-list celebrity drop-in. But diners have lucked out with TAO’s Asian Bistro that includes not just Chinese, but Japanese and Thai cuisine too.
Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio, Las Vegas
Inside Prime’s romantic speakeasy-style restaurant, Chef Jean-Georges combines classical French ingredients with those of Thailand and Vietnam. His perfectly cooked steaks with sweet and savory sauces create mouthwatering cravings for his food — a feat Jean-Georges considers his absolute duty as a chef.
Nic’s Restaurant & Martini Lounge, Beverly Hills
As one of the hottest lounges in Beverly Hills, Nic’s Restaurant and Martini Lounge features one chilly attraction. Inside you’ll find the VODBOX, a glass walk-in freezer lined with 30 shelves of the finest vodkas from around the world. Don a faux-fur coat, head in and you’ll be greeted by a “vodka impresario” who will assemble a one-of-a-kind vodka tasting for you and your friends. Make sure to reserve your spot early.
The Signature Room on the 95th, Chicago
At The Signature Room on the 95th, diners obsess over the food, and they can’t stop staring at the view of the Chicago skyline. Located on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Center, The Signature Room has been a Chicago favorite for romantic evenings — and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Pull out your tux and grab your heels for a black-tie event replete with a six-course gourmet menu and dancing curfew of 1 a.m.
Ouest, New York
Known as the “King of the Lamb Shank,” Chef Tom Valenti also holds the title of “Flavor King of New York.” Valenti lives up to his name as he masterfully elevates comfort foods to a first-class dining experience. His braised lamb shanks have received high praise, but critics have an equal fascination for his double rib pork chops and creme fraiche panna cotta.
The National, New York
The New Year’s menu at The National in New York epitomizes Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s modern take on New American cuisine. The four-course prixe fixe menu includes starters such as a cauliflower veloute with two types of sturgeon: smoked and caviar. Entrees feature succulent striped bass with dashi and preserve lemon. For a heartier send-off, opt for the venison with pear and marrow.
Dining at Wynn, Las Vegas
For New Year’s Eve, Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas will open its exclusive Lafite Ballroom for the ultimate in New Year’s Eve celebrations. Think: exquisite food from each of Wynn’s six restaurants, open bar and overhead screens sharing the New Year’s Eve celebrations from around the world. The Foundry on Melrose, LA
With scenic views of the Los Angeles skyline, The Foundry on Melrose has been the muse for Chef Eric Greenspan’s whimsical take on American, French and Spanish cuisine. This New Year’s Eve, The Foundry’s prixe fixe menu features a little of all three cuisines with such entrees as potato gnocchi with lobster or black cod served “meuniere” style with a rich, brown-butter sauce.