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 2013 in style. We compiled the ultimate Food Network fan restaurant guide with the help of the On the Road app and website.
Nic's Restaurant and 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.
Craigie on Main — Boston
A favorite of Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, Boston's Craigie on Main receives accolades year after year for its decadent, multicourse New Year's Eve dinners. Chef Tony Maws creates seasonal tasting menus worthy of celebration. There are two seatings — the second comes with gratis champagne to toast to the new year at midnight.
Pearlz Oyster Bar — Charleston, S.C.
This oyster bar is a hot spot for New Year's Eve in more ways than one. On Heat Seekers, Roger Mooking and Aaron Sanchez discovered seafood favorites with a spicy kick, like the oyster shooters made with Pearlz's own Peppar vodka or wasabi tobiko and citrus vodka. Pearlz's New Year's celebration includes a live DJ, party favors and plenty of spiced-up seafood.
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 1am.
Fearing's at the Ritz-Carlton — Dallas
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.
St. Elmo Steak House — Indianapolis
Kick off New Year's Eve with a raw bar treat — yes, in Indianapolis. The St. Elmo Shrimp Cocktails have been giving visitors like Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ, a kick in the jaw for nearly 107 years. The special cocktail sauce slathered over giant shrimp is loaded with horseradish. Steak lovers should zone in on the equally tasty filet mignon.
Rice & Company at The Luxor — Las Vegas
As the designated Food Network heat seekers, Aaron and Roger 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, which includes not just Chinese, but also Japanese and Thai cuisine.
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.
The Foundry on Melrose — L.A. Mestizo — Leawood, Kan. Prime 112 — Miami Mustards Grill — Napa Bayona — New Orleans Ouest — New York The National — New York Revel — Seattle
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 prix fixe menu features a little of all three cuisines with such entrees as potato gnocchi with lobster and black cod served meuniere-style with a rich brown-butter sauce.
Chopped judge Aaron crafted Mestizo's menu as a tribute to Mexico's melting pot of flavors. He includes such time-honored family recipes as Braised Lamb Enchiladas made with a tomatillo avocado sauce and mom Zarela's famous Arroz con Crema. To ring in the new year, they offer a special four-course menu complete with champagne.
This South Beach hot spot is known for its decadent Kobe beef hot dogs and, of course, prime steaks. Chopped judge Chris Santos also raves about the desserts — especially the Peanut Butter S'more. On New Year's Eve, they throw an all-out bash complete with a bottle of bubbly per couple, party favors and an a la carte menu.
If you're lucky enough to ring in 2014 in the California wine country, head to Mustards Grill for a celebratory meal. For more than 29 years, they've been serving fine American cuisine and Napa's best wines to locals and tourists alike. Bobby's favorite dish is the wood fire-grilled Famous Mongolian Pork Chop. The Iron Chef says the marinade is "sensational." For a sweet finale to 2013, try the lemon-lime tart.
A New Orleans restaurant icon, Chef Susan Spicer brings out the true essence of the French Quarter with dishes like Eggplant Caviar or Veal Sweetbreads with Sherry Mustard. Her special New Year's Eve dinners are beloved by locals and tourists alike.
Known as the "king of the lamb shank," Chef Tom Valenti also holds the title of "flavor king of New York." Tom 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 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 prix 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 sendoff, opt for the venison with pear and marrow.
Husband-and-wife duo Rachel Yang and Seif Chirch are fine dining veterans, but at Revel they serve Korean-inspired "drinking food," like an asparagus rice bowl with grilled asparagus and a tangy pickled-onion-and-pistachio mix and egg yolk on top. For starters, try the short rib dumplings. On New Year's Eve, they break their regular rules and take reservations for parties smaller than six.
Mestizo — Leawood, Kan.
Prime 112 — Miami
Mustards Grill — Napa
Bayona — New Orleans
Ouest — New York
The National — New York
Revel — Seattle