New Year’s Eve is meant to be big, and here in Minneapolis and St. Paul, there are options galore for a delicious evening.
Hell’s Kitchen, for instance, is featuring a duo of steak and lobster tail with linguine, and Brit’s Pub is handing out bubbly toasts. La Chaya Bistro is spinning classic proteins like filet mignon with spicy Latin elements, and Saffron‘s tasting menu ($65; $75 with foie gras, $25 extra for wine pairing) will showcase trout, short ribs, and foie gras. Dinner at Sontes in Rochester draws inspiration from 1960s dining, and The Sample Room in Minneapolis will serve an ultra affordable ($45) six-course meal with a deconstructed dessert sampler. In Season is offering a stunning prie fixe menu ($80; +$35 for wine pairing or +$65 for premiere wine pairing) with a saddle of lamb from Shepherd’s Song, and The Kenwood makes the night special with beef tenderloin, Abalone Mushrooms, and pastry-baked Bent River Camembert. Gandhi Mahal is offering a buffet and champagne celebration from 5-10pm ($25 for adults, $10 for children) followed by live music, cash bar, and kids’ activities from 10pm-1am ($10 door charge). The already talked-about, still-to-open Borough is doing a five-course dinner ($50 / $75 with wine pairing with optional oyster, foie gras, and cheese supplements for additional charges).
Below are five other dinners that particularly struck our fancy. But whether or not you indulge on December 31, Tilia is serving brunch for the bleary-eyed starting at 9am on the first day of 2013. Cheers!
The menu: This South Minneapolis cafe is going old school. Expect champagne cocktails and five courses of classic, supper club standbys. Each course includes a few options, so you can style the evening to your particular retro wishes. Think Oysters Rockefeller, shrimp scampi, and a crisp wedge of iceberg with blue cheese for starters. Filet Mignon and Coq Au Vin are just a few of the strapping entrees. Baked Alaska, Bananas Foster, and other goodies finish the whole thing off with a saccharine flourish.
Libations: No specific drink pairings, beer and wine available
Price: A la carte, entrees $20-$25
Citizen Cafe, 2403 E 38th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406; 612.729.1122
The Lynn on Bryant
The menu: One of Minneapolis’ newest neighborhood spots is going big and debuting two unique (one vegetarian),
three-course five-course [corrected 12/21/12] dinners on New Year’s Eve. The Blue Cheese and Pear Souffle (present on both menus) sounds especially festive. Crispy lobster tails and short ribs fill out the non-vegetarian menu, while an imaginative vegetable and tofu Napoleon and bitty pumpkins filled with chestnut custard make the vegetarian side sound swoon-worthy. Rich riffs on celebratory dishes in a gorgeous space.
Libations: Optional wine pairing and a complimentary champagne toast.
Reservations: Encouraged, for both dining room and cafe
Price: $80 / $115 with wine pairing
The Lynn on Bryant, 5003 Bryant Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55419; 612.767.7797
The menu: Probably the most Minnesotan evening you’ll find. Chef Lenny Russo’s (above) four-course meal has three variations, and each one celebrates a different local habitat. Enjoy goose and snapping turtle soup from the Forest and Prairie, or smoked trout, crayfish risotto, and black bass from our Rivers and Lakes. And finally, a vegetarian feast from Farms and Fields includes a kale torte and pumpkin-filled buckwheat crepes. A unique dessert accompanies each option.
Libations: No specific drink pairings, but beer and wine are available.
Reservations: Required, must be secured by credit card
Price: $75 / a la carte at the bar
Heartland, 289 E 5th St, St Paul, MN 55101; 651.699.3536
Wise Acre Eatery
The menu: Things get a little southern and cozy over at Wise Acre Eatery in Tangletown. Their seven-course meal features lots of corn and a kaleidoscope of comforting beans and meats. Dinner starts with corn and crab bisque or a beautiful-sounding Painted Pony Bean Chowder. Choose from duck and grits, pork and beans with garlicky greens, roasted squash and pilaf, or bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin with purple potato cakes. Minnesota’s own Buffalo Creek sheep’s milk cheese — which we can attest, is delightful — makes an appearance at the end.
Libations: Optional wine pairing
Price: $80 / $120 with wine pairing
Wise Acre Eatery, 5401 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419; 612.354.2577
The Bachelor Farmer
The menu: If you like levels (uh, literally) of activity in your New Year’s night, The Bachelor Farmer’s got them. While Chef Paul Berglund’s seven-course dinner is already booked up, the Farmer’s got a few other special things going on. The second floor of the restaurant (in lieu of Marvel Bar) will be open for pre-dinner social hour. Sip a few fireside drinks and snack on complimentary hors d’oeuvres as the Jeremy Walker Trio does its smooth thing in the background. Marvel Bar will open later at 9pm, flush with champagne, New Year’s punch, and tunes by DJ Jonathan Ackerman.
Libations: Champagne, punch, and standard drink menu
Reservations: Not necessary for the second floor and Marvel Bar
Price: A la carte
The Bachelor Farmer, 50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401, 612.206.3920