The gorgeous and funky Macao Trading Co. in Tribeca is throwing a "decadent" party with no cover. The fun-sounding shebang is intended to evoke the red light district of 1930s Macao, created by set designer Adam Aleksander (check it out). Starting at 11 p.m., there will be DJs on both floors, a burlesque performance and a midnight Fernet Branca toast. Before all that, they'll be serving their regular Chinese vs. Portuguese menu; details here.
EN Japanese Brasserie on Hudson Street will ring in the New Year with their annual mochi-tsuki event, a Japanese tradition in which guests get to pound fresh mochi with a giant hammer and then break open a giant cask of sake at midnight. As if that's not enough excitement, a special eight-course kaiseki menu ($95 per person, $150 with sake pairing) will be offered in addition to the regular à la carte menu.
Bar Henry, a warm and inviting subterranean restaurant on Houston Street (near Arturo's), is offering a three course prix fixe from 5:30-7:30 p.m. That costs $60 per person, with optional wine pairings at $30 or $50. From 8:30-11:30 p.m. they kick it up a notch with a four course dinner for $80 per person, with optional $35 and $55 wine pairings. It all begins with a welcome toast of Spagnol Brut Rosato Spumante NV, and the late seating climaxes with a champagne pairing at midnight. Peruse the menu here.
Emporio (Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)
Casual but pretty Italian restaurant Emporio on Mott Street has a 3 course menu for $85 per person. Options include warm Maine lobster salad with preserved truffle & cauliflower emulsion, or seared venison medallions with mashed winter vegetables, roasted chestnuts & glazed baby vegetables. All meals will come with complementary wood-fired pizzette and focaccia bread, and a selection of east and west coast oysters will be available a la carte.
The tragically doomed Monkey Town in Williamsburg will close next month, but owner Montgomery Knott has something special planned for Thursday night: "Before you go off and drink yourself into a lustful oblivion and dream of an America with Universal Health Care to nurse your ridiculous hangover, we would like to offer you a feast of epiphany at a reasonable price." The $35 3-course prix fixe includes veggie, seafood and meat options such as Winter squash salad, Seared sea scallops, and Grilled petit filet mignon with truffled mash, creamed chard, huitlacoche bordelaise. (In the back room, Excepter performs at 10 p.m.)
You can celebrate el Año Nuevo the Mexican way at the Mercadito restaurant of your choosing. Starting at 9:30 p.m., Mercadito (179 Avenue B between 11th and 12th Streets) and Mercadito Grove (100 Seventh Avenue South at Grove Street) will offer a 4-course family style tasting menu for $50 (food only) or $100 (food and open bar). That includes a guacamole tasting, a ceviche or botana tasting, a tasting of their renowned tacos, and dessert. Mercadito Cantina (172 Avenue B between 10th and 11th Streets) is offering a 3-course family style tasting menu for only $40 (food only) or $80 (food and open bar) per person.
East Side Social Club (Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)
Industria Argentina in Tribeca is forgoing the prix fixe formula and serving their regular dinner menu, with some festive specials priced from $12-$29. These include Maine lobster, grilled on the famous Argentinean parrilla, accompanied by Swiss chard, baked potatoes and thyme butter ($29). Also intriguing is the Trio de Pato, an appetizer of duck prepared three ways, includes a duck confit empanada, smoked duck over quinoa risotto and duck liver pâté on a garlic toast ($15). And save room for a special molten Dulce de Leche cake, in addition to their regular dessert menu.
Crema, an upscale Mexican restaurant in Chelsea, is doing their annual Frida Kahlo New Year’s Eve menu. Each dish on Chef Julieta Ballesteros's menu is inspired by dishes that Frida herself made for each of her seven lovers. That includes oyster soup, a tribute to Japanese architect Isamu Noguchi; Andre Breton-inspired braised duck envueltos with foie gras and green chile salsa; and for Kahlo’s tempestuous relationship with husband Diego Rivera, there’s shrimp and spinach-stuffed chicken in huitlacoche sauce. The menu, $100 for three courses, is available in two dinner seatings, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
The glamorous Indian/Latin American restaurant Vermilion (480 Lexington Avenue) will be offering three different five-course pre fixe menus, allowing guests to choose from a seared meat menu, fish or vegetarian. There will be "Bollywood dancing" and music until 3 a.m., with seven different “Herb and Spice” champagne fizzes such as Cilantro Chili, Rose Fennel and Blueberry Cardamom to fuel the festivities. Dinner reservations made up to 7:30 p.m. are $65 per person; 7:30 p.m. on will be $85 per person. Details here.
Sho Shuan Hergatt (Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)
And last but not least, don't be intimidated by the spectacularly elegant SHO Shaun Hergatt (photos) in the Setai New York; the quality of the food here is worth way more than the relatively modest prices. SHO is celebrating with champagne at midnight and live music and dancing until 1 a.m. Ambitious Chef Shaun Hergatt is preparing a "lavish" five-course tasting menu with French and Asian accents. Seatings are from 5:30 - 7 p.m. for $150 per person, and from 9 p.m. on for $250 per person. This is our recommendation for fellas who want to impress a lady who thinks she knows all the best restaurants. Details here.