Where to Eat on New Year's 

Our annual guide to New Year's dining.

Page 2 of 2

At La Rose Bistro, a $40 three-course dinner with servings at 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. features California-French specialties; this is the place that on ordinary days brings you veal sweetbreads with Banyuls demiglace, escargot and mushroom millefeuille, and salmon tartare. 510-644-1913; 2037 Shattuck Sq., Berkeley, LaRoseBistro.com

Bistro Liaison is offering a four-course prix-fixe dinner. 510-849-2155; 1849 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, LiaisonBistro.com

The menu at Luna Ristorante is $39.95 for three courses, $29.95 for one course. À la carte options also available, with three servings — at 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. 925-691-4080; 2118 Willow Pass Rd. 100B, Concord.

Hawaiian-inspired Mahalo Grille will have decor and some kind of champagne-cocktail thing going on," along with a prix-fixe meal showcasing seafood and steak. 925-462-2800; 425 Main St., Pleasanton, MahaloGrille.com

Eclectically nautical Maritime East will serve only a $75 four-course prix-fixe menu, with seatings at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. At both seatings, the price includes a glass of champagne to start the meal and party favors to rock it. 510-848-9299; 2826 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, MaritimeEast.com

There's a new rim in town: the "Mediterranean Rim," as it is called and celebrated at casual-chic Mezze, whose chef pushes the Cal-Greek-cocktail envelope. Ring in the New Year here with a $75 four-course dinner or a $100 six-course dinner, wine pairings extra and optional. Servings are at 5:30 and 7:30, but "we'll stay open as long as people are here." 510-663-2500; 3407 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, Mezze.com

Head for the hills, where the Montclair Bistro offers a special three-course meal and doesn't forget about families: While the meal is $75 for adults, it's only $37 for kids under twelve. Options include Maine lobster bisque, grilled sea bass, artichoke-eggplant-tomato Napoleon, and a praline creampuff swan. 510-482-8282; 6118 Medau Pl., Montclair Village, Oakland, MontclairBistro.com

"A night in Venice" is the theme at Oliveto. The 6 p.m. seating features a four-course meal ($85 upstairs, $75 downstairs) and the 8 p.m. seating features five courses ($130 upstairs, $100 downstairs). Canal-city specialities such as lobster-wild mushroom risotto, winter root vegetables with black truffles, spit-roasted duck, pork-and-chesnut sausage, and blood orange-pomegranate sgroppino. Live band upstairs. 510-547-5356; 5655 College Ave., Oakland, Oliveto.com

Even if they didn't feed you, the view from Paragon Bar and Cafe would almost be worth the price. But they will feed you — a four-course prix-fixe meal for $100, with the last diner seated at 10 p.m. 510-549-8585; 41 Tunnel Rd. in the Claremont Hotel, Berkeley, ClaremontResort.com

Spanning five rooms in a sprawling historic brick-walled, slate-roofed former post office, atmospheric Postino is serving a prix-fixe menu in addition to its regular menu. 925-299-8700; 3565 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, PostinoRestaurant.com

Riva Cucina's chef-owner Massimiliano Boldrini has crafted an eight-course prix-fixe menu whose options include three different kinds of oysters, crab claw with avocado and blood orange, butternut-squash ravioli, chestnut pappardelle, grilled striped bass, and fruit cooked with honey and mustard seeds. Also on the menu is a specialty from Boldrini's native Ferrara: sausage long-cooked in broth, served with mashed lentil, chestnut, and balsamic reduction. Servings, at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. 510-841-7482; 800 Heinz Ave., Berkeley, RivaCucina.com

Known for its small plates and vegetarian specialties, Six Degrees on Solano plans a New Year's Eve menu featuring pan-seared sea scallops with blood-orange reduction, escargot gateaux with white truffle oil, torchon of foie gras with pomegranate gastrique, duck à l'orange, grilled Niman filet mignon with chanterelles, salmon with lemon caper beurre blanc, signature cocktails, and more. Three shows feature East Bay performers: guitarist-composer Matthew Charles Heulitt, vocalist Moorea Dickason, drummer David Flores, and multi-instrumentalist Tarik Ragab. 510-528-1237; 1403 Solano Ave., Albany, SixDegrees6.com

At Skates on the Bay, gaze out the windows for a dazzling view or gaze at the party favors and complimentary champagne. Expanding its hours and menu — adding customer favorites such as crab-stuffed mahi, prime rib, and peppercorn salmon — Skates will open for dinner at 4 p.m. instead of the usual 5, and will serve until 11 p.m. The bar will stay open until midnight. 510-549-1900; 100 Sea Wall Dr., Berkeley.

Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto will augment its regular à la carte mainly-seafood menu with some holiday specials. It's a tradition here to watch the televised festivities in New York City's Times Square, culminating at 9 p.m. 510-845-7771; 1919 Fourth St., Berkeley, Spengers.com

Serving until 11 p.m. instead of its usual 9:30, the historic Townhouse Bar and Grill will serve its usual menu along with some holiday specials, amid an eclectic atmosphere in a space dating back to 1926. 510-652-6151; 5862 Doyle St., Emeryville, TownhouseBarAndGrill.com

Renowned as the place that invented tropical kitsch, Trader Vic's is finalizing "a small special menu" of "high-end à la carte specials," and will be open its usual hours. 510-653-3400; 9 Anchor Dr., Emeryville.

"Everybody's getting dolled up" at Venus, where balloons and other decor augment a $75 prix-fixe menu, with or without wine pairings, whose many choices include grass-fed beef tenderloin, Dungeness crab salad, and made-from-scratch cognac-flamed lobster bisque. 510-540-5950; 2327 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, VenusRestaurant.net

"Everybody's gonna be here and it's gonna be a great night" at the Warehouse Bar and Grill, where a DJ will get the party started and keep it movin', movin', movin'. 510-451-3161; 4th and Webster streets, Oakland, TheWarehouseBar.net

A glass of brut comes with the main course, and well-qualified staff members offer their assistance on pairings for the others at Wente Vineyards, where an $85 four-course prix-fixe menu (price doesn't include wine) is in the works at press time. Lacking "midnight fanfare," Wente offers "more of a soft, quiet, romantic New Year's Eve." 925-456-2450; 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, WenteVineyards.com


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