Food and fun to ring in 2019 By Evan W. Black
Another year has come and gone, and a mild, merry New Year’s Eve awaits. Here are some of the city’s sexiest and most savory spots to send off 2018.
Arnaldo Richards’ Picos
Tex-Mex to close out the year? Always a good pick. Picos is throwing a New Year’s Eve bash with live music and open bar ($100/person, add $75/person for four-course dinner).
The charming holiday-season fave boasts live tunes, a complimentary midnight toast and a multicourse menu ($79/person) that includes duck confit with sweet potato gratin, and affogato with Champagne-candied strawberries. Cheers!
Bayou and Bottle
A Prohibition-themed party, DJd by Asli and Andres of the TonTons, takes over the Four Seasons. (The more formal Quattro has one seating at 7pm for a four-course meal.)
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse
With so many new options for dining in the Galleria, don’t forget about Del Frisco’s. Their pre-fixe menu ($150/guest, add $45 for wine pairings) is classic and mouthwatering, from a shaved-truffle Wagyu carpaccio starter, to the rich butter cake for dessert.
Fig & Olive
For its first New Year’s Eve in Houston, the stylish Galleria restaurant will celebrate with a white-and-gold-themed party. Expect live DJs all night long, plus specialty cocktails, a four-course menu — braised New Zealand lamb shank, Hamachi crudo and more — and a dessert trio.
At this four-course feast ($125/person), choose among decadent dishes like boudin-stuffed quail with creamed collards, or braised short rib and dumplings. Reserve online here.
Celebrate the season family-style, with a Southern-fried three-course menu from Bobby Matos. Or just pop by for a late-night cheeseburger — $0.69 from 10pm until 12am! — and a complimentary glass of Champagne for a midnight toast.
The twinkling lights of River Oaks District will make for a festive-feeling New Year’s Eve. A midnight toast at Le Colonial follows a $75/person three-course meal, including the popular papaya-and-shrimp salad and braised beef short ribs.
A fantastic Downtown option for dinner is Lucienne at the Hotel Alessandra (overnight packages available!). There are three seatings, at 4:30pm, 6:30pm, and 9pm — the final seating is festively formal. Keep the party going in the Bardot lounge.
One Fifth Mediterranean
Chris Shepherd is making it easy on larger groups with the First Class Sightseeing Tour tasting menu ($75/person), which touts larger portions. A la carte is an option, too! Reserve online here.
Take in epic skyline views while sipping artisan cocktails, and opt for the $125/person tasting menu with Southern-tinged dishes.
Dine early at this cozy cabin. Reservations for a three-course meal — all chosen from the regular menu — are taken until 9:30pm. Glass of bubbly included, all for $79/person.
A romantic evening awaits at the Hotel Granduca, where a five-course dinner ($85/person, add $45/person for wine pairing) includes Italian classics from new chef Maurizio Ferrarese.
Think of it as a mini-omakase: A special tasting menu ($135/person) boasts some of the chef’s specialties, like grilled Maine lobster in yuzu-kosho butter — or opt to upgrade to the Japanese Kobe A5 Wagyu to end your 2018 on a truly indulgent note.
A four-course meal ($85/person) is more like nine courses, because each the appetizer, main plate and dessert is a delicious sampling of chef Chris Shepherd’s brilliance. Think pupusa (black-eyed peas and collard greens, for luck!), foie gras and truffle fried rice, and mango mousse cake — just to name a few. Reserve online here — just a few spots left!
The award-winning Downtown restaurant rings in 2019 with a hefty four-course meal ($79/person). Enjoy the Molotes de Platano (aka plantain cakes) or wood-roasted oysters to start, a soup or salad, and one of seven tasty entrees like the cacao- and coffee-rubbed venison with mole Coloradito. Enjoy on the bustling patio, and consider booking a room at the Marriott Marquis and keep the party going!
AT TOP: A cocktail at La Lucha