So, it’s almost New Year’s Eve (wait, already?!), and you still don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re eating to celebrate the end of the last odd-numbered year until 2017. Well, don’t sweat it, because we’ve got 20 great places to eat on December 31.
In addition to the regular menu (hello, pretzel bites), $50 will get you a four-course meal at either Culinary Dropout location. There aren’t a whole lot of choices to be made, but when you’re served antipasti, a gorgonzola salad, pan roasted salmon, Korean ribeye cap steak, and bourbon black bottom pie, there’s really not much to complain about either. In addition, a glass of champagne will accompany your first course. Reservations can be made on the Culinary Dropout website.
At $59 per person, Marigold Maison offers another decent-priced option for New Year’s Eve. It’ll also be one of the only Indian feasts available on that day, as the four-course dinner will contain everything from paneer tikka to lobster makhani. The meal is only available during normal business hours, so you best not show up too late for dinner. Check out the Marigold Maison website for more information.
Talking Stick Resort
If you live near Talking Stick Resort, the various food options on the grounds will certainly provide you with plenty of variety come New Year’s Eve. There’ll be either a prix fixe menu or buffet option at every eatery inside of the resort, and with meals ranging from $12 to $125+, there should be an option to fit any budget. Visit the Talking Stick Resort website for more information.
Want some tapas with your meal to close out 2015? Salut in Tempe is the place to go, and it’ll only set you back $40 for the three courses. Crab hummus cucumber rolls, stuffed pork tenderloin, pan seared scallops, and much more will be up for grabs. Drinks aren’t included, but you’ll have some extra money in your wallet for that champagne anyway.
Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails
Reservations will definitely be required if you want to experience one of the finest New Year’s meals in the Valley at Blue Hound Kitchen and Cocktails. Sure, it’s not a cheap option at $80-135, but if you’re looking for four of the most delicious courses (plus champagne) you can consume to end 2015, Blue Hound is worth checking out. Whether it’s a roasted artichoke tart, lobster bisque, filet and foie gras, or chocolate trifle you’re after, Blue Hound will have it all, plus much more. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 602-258-0231.
Sierra Bonita Grill
Although not entirely Mexican fare, the New Year’s Eve specials at Sierra Bonita Grill in Phoenix will still be worth checking out. There’s a prime rib special available ($36), a grilled scallops and shrimp pasta ($37), and happy hour containing many $6 specials earlier in the evening. If you’re just looking for a dish instead of a giant multi-course meal, it’s a solid choice. For more information check the Sierra Bonita Grill website.
Old school hip hop and R&B will accompany your New Year’s Eve dinner at Casablanca Lounge in Scottsdale. The three-course meal costs $75 per person, but it’s sure to be entertaining (even more so if you choose to purchase one of the drink pairings as well). Items include bacon-wrapped bison, fish so fresh they don’t even know what it’ll be yet, smoked cognac lobster bisque, and much more.
There are three seatings for Roka Akor’s New Year’s Eve dinner, and every one of them comes with one of the best Japanese meals you’ll ever eat. The early seating (5 p.m.) only costs $75 and features four delicious Japanese courses, while the later ones (7 and 9 p.m.) bump up to $128 and include six dishes. Sashimi, steaks, Asian classics, they’ll all be there and tasty, so go ahead and splurge if that’s what you’re looking for. Reservations are required and can be made online, in-person, or over the phone with a credit card at 480-306-8800.
Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend
Seafood is a classic meal to eat in celebration of a new year, and there are few places with better NYE specials than Little Cleo’s. For between $45 and $85 (depending on options and timing), a wide array of aquatic delicacies (fish, scallops, lobster, etc.) will be available. There’ll also be non-seafood dishes like short ribs and desserts for you to enjoy over the course of your four course meal. You can view the complete NYE menu online.
Paul Martin’s American Grill
Another a la carte option for NYE is the Scottsdale staple, Paul Martin’s American Grill. Decadent items such as Alaskan king crab legs ($25 per half-pound) and herb-crusted filet mignon ($39) are just two of the special items available. And hey, if you’re not into the whole New Year’s Eve scene, the specials continue through January 3.
Looking to do Italian seafood on a budget for New Year’s Eve? Zappone’s in Gilbert has got you covered. For $45 a head, you’ll get a three course meal including options like crab cannelloni and lobster asparagus truffle risotto. What more could you want? Tickets for dinner are available on the Zappone's website.
For an early NYE dinner, the $85 three-course meal from SASSI is about as good of a choice as any. The later dinner is five courses and a whopping $139 per person, but it’s still worth it for options like roasted stuffed lobster with Dungeness crab and foie gras crostini. Drinks aren’t included, but the midnight champagne toast obviously is. For reservations, check the SASSI website.
Are plants your thing? Well, you can go spend the end of 2015 at the Desert Botanical Garden and eat at Gertrude’s. For $90 each, you’ll get a three-course meal comprised of options like hay smoked ribeye, wild arugula salad, and their special “Candy Bar” dessert. The restaurant will also offer the option to add a bottle of Pillsbury Rosé, “One Night Stand," for $40. For more information check the Gertrude's website.
At $75 per person, Taggia’s three-course meal isn’t one of the cheapest options in the Valley, but you’ll hardly mind when you taste the quality of the Italian food. Given the entree options such as smoked beef tenderloin or a hearty risotto, you may barely make it to dessert to taste their chocolate opera cake or lemon tart. At least you can choose some gelato instead, since there’s always room for gelato. For reservations call 480-424-6095 or visit the Taggia website.
All of the fancy food fans in Scottsdale should already be expecting Roaring Fork to do something spectacular for New Year’s Eve this year. Based on the look of it, the landmark restaurant won’t disappoint. Specialties will include pork posole, oysters Rockefeller, seared diver scallops, and (of course) a steak and lobster option. For reservations call 480-947-0795 or visit the Roaring Fork website.
Carvalho’s Brazilian Kitchen
We said we wouldn’t help you pick where/if to party, but if you go to Scottsdale’s newest Brazilian spot, we kind of did. There’ll be a buffet of salads, roast pork leg, tenderloin medallions, fish stew, and a host of other Brazilian specialties. At the same time, there’ll be a party raging on with live music and samba dancing. Tickets cost $100 and the dress theme is “all white attire.” For more information visit the event website.
This New Years Eve, The Gladly's offering a three-course prix-fixe menu that includes options such as the famous Original Chopped Salad, pan-seared scallops, Cafe Du Monde short ribs, and egg nog bread pudding. The menu costs $60 per person and reservations can be made by calling 602-759-8132. You can view the complete menu online.
For a modern twist on a classic Italian dinner, North Italia will be serving a three-course meal with a bevy of options on December 31. The dinner will set you back $55-60 (plus tip, tax, etc.), but it features everything from butternut squash minestrone and Caesar salad to sea bass and tortellini. Of course, the restaurant's desserts will be the same delicious choices as always, from salted caramel budino to tiramisu to a dark chocolate tart. For more information check the North Italia website.
The Boulders Resort & Spa
If you live at the north end of the Valley, you probably know about the wonderful holiday specials Latilla always cooks up at the Boulders. New Year’s Eve will be no different, as the folks at Latilla have a four-course menu they’ve designed that’s worth every penny of the $109 per person asking price. Seriously, there’s caviar, poached king crab, and handmade French macaroons up for grabs. They’re not playing around. For more information, or to make a reservation call 480-488-7317 or visit the resort website.
The Scottsdale Resort
Sticking with the resort theme, don’t overlook the new Kitchen West Restaurant inside the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch. Of the hotel options, the $59 price tag is quite reasonable, and you’ll get everything from lobster bisque to chocolate souffle and champagne. For an entree, the options will include a rack of lamb, beef tenderloin, and Dungeness crab cakes. You could really do a lot worse. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 480-991-9000.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.