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The Procrastinator's New Year's Eve Dining Guide

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So...you've waited till the last minute again and all of your usual haunts are sold out this New Year's Eve. We don't blame you for being distracted, what with all that last-minute holiday shopping and gorging and partying.

If you're not keen on spending your NYE clubbing it up or squeezing in between a hundred thousand or so middle-aged ex-metalheads and rockhounds craning their necks to see The Doobie Brothers and Nonpoint at the Fiesta Bowl Block Party, we've got a few classier alternatives for you.

Here are some local restaurants that will welcome you and your last-minute pals for dinner on the final night of 2009 (seats still open as of this posting).

  • Nine05 at 905 N. 4th St. in Phoenix is offering a festive three-course prix fixe menu on December 31, which includes citrus pork belly with soba noodle salad, diver scallops with pumpkin & vanilla lobster sauce and chai bread pudding. Cost is $49 per person, and a champagne toast is included. If you prefer to create your own feast, Nine05 will also have their regular menu available. Call 602-254-6424 for reservations.
  • If you're not looking for a full dinner, Roka Akor at 7299 N. Scottsdale Rd. in Scottsdale still has openings for their 2009 Masquerade Ball. Ring in the New Year with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight. This is Scottsdale after all, so be sure and dress to impress. Cost is $75 for ladies and $100 for gentleman, or $150 per couple. Call 480-306-8800 for tickets.
  • Cheuvront

    at 1326 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix is serving a five-course plated dinner beginning at 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Selections include pan-seared scallops; lobster bisque or granny smith salad; choice of filet mignon, buttered lobster with braised celery

    hearts or stuffed chicken breast; and cheese plate or Belgian cherry torte. Cost is $75 per person including Shramsberg Blanc de Blanc '05 toast; $95 per person with full wine pairings. Call 602-307-0022 for reservations.      

  • Glendale's NoRTH at 20004 N. 67th Ave. in Glendale is offering a three-course "choose your own" New Year's Eve Dinner with selections including roasted baby beet salad, short ribs "osso bucco," apple cider pork tenderloin and Nutella mousse cake. Cost is $55 per person and there are plenty of spots open after 6:30 p.m. Call 623-537-4500.
  • Also in Glendale, Arrowhead Grill at 8280 W. Union Hills Drive is still accepting NYE reservations, though they may switch to the regular menu rather than the planned Champagne Dinner with three kinds of bubbly. Call 623-566-2224 for info.
  • Indulge in a Five-course Winemaker Dinner with wine pairings at Kokopelli Bistro, 35 W. Boston St. in Chandler. For $60 per person, guests receive a Southwest caesar salad, chicken velvet soup and beef brisket & blue cheese crostini, plus choice of entree (options include Pasta Cardinale, garlic-rubbed prime rib, chicken cordon bleu and mahi-mahi with grilled shrimp) and dessert. Kokopelli wine pairings are included with each course. Call 480-792-6927 for reservations. A similar menu is also available at Kokopelli's Surprise location at 14719 W. Grand Ave.

If you manage to procrastinate until the last second (like some of us), don't worry. Several new restaurants including Sucker Punch Sally's in Tempe and The Living Room in Chandler plan on opening New Year's Eve, which means walk-ins are welcome. 

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