It’s literally the nth hour. 2013 is just a few hours away, and you suddenly decide that you don’t want to spend it on the couch, watching the ball drop on TV. You decide that you want to get dressed up, go out, and ring in the New Year the right way.
In other words, you want to find a great restaurant and feast. We’ll gladly help with some last minute ideas. Here are our top picks.
Take a virtual trip to Lima, Peru without leaving Houston. Eater Houston’s Chef of the Year 2011, Roberto Castre, is offering a six-course tasting menu which includes his ceviche mercado, a passionfruit tiradito, duck confit over cilantro rice, veal osso bucco on puree of purple potatoes, braised lamb stew accompanied by Peruvian style risotto, and a delectable chocolate hazelnut custard with white chocolate and pisco.
Cost: $60 per person, $30 for wine pairing, $40 for cocktail pairing. Click here for menu
Latin Bites, 5709 Woodway, Tel: 713-229-8369; http://latinbitescafe.com
There are only 20 seats available to the exclusive NYE omakase, or chef’s tasting, at Kata Robata. Perhaps they are sold out. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to snag the last seat. If you do, be prepared to enjoy one of the finest 10 course tasting menus you’ll ever have the pleasure of sampling. Menu by James Beard nominated Executive Chef Manabu Horiuchi and Pastry Chef Chris Leung.
Cost: $120 per person, $50 for wine/cocktail pairings.
Kata Robata, 3600 Kirby Dr, Ste H, Houston, TX 77098, Tel: 713-526-8858; http://katarobata.com
If you want a beautiful dinner, beautiful ambience, and an all-around grand time, look no further than the so-gorgeous-it’s-made-for-New-Year’s-Eve Triniti. Let Chef Ryan Hildebrand and his team of chefs regale you with a five or eight-course meal with or without drinks. Come midnight, prepare for a champagne toast, and continue the merriment into the wee hours with reverse happy hour from 11pm-1am.
Cost: $65 for 5 courses at 6:00 p.m., wine pairings $45; $95 for eight courses at 9:00 p.m., wine pairings for $55.
Triniti, 2815 S. Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77098; Tel: 713-527-9090; http://trinitirestaurant.com
Newcomer Philippe Verpiand at Etoile has been taking the Houston dining scene by storm with French classics that aim to please. New Year’s Eve is no different. Dine on lobster, crab, or foie gras to start, followed by choice of seared seabass, breast of pheasant, duo of beef tenderloin and braised short rib, or the classic magret de canard, then finish off with a delectable chocolate dessert.
Cost: $68 per person. Click here to see menu
Etoile, 1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd, Houston, TX 77056, Tel: 832-668-5808; www.etoilecuisine.com
For NYE, Chef David Grossman is offering a mouthwatering menu of some of his favorite dishes. Standouts include the Iberico de Bellota with quail egg, roasted sqash and mostarda, or his foie gras terrine with sauternes gastric, quince compote and air-cured duck on brioche to start. For mains, there’s a choice of rack of venison, roasted halibut, filet and lobster, or pan-seared pheasant, followed by a trio of desserts. Starting at 8:00 p.m. through midnight, diners can enjoy live music and a champagne toast for 2013.
Cost: $75 per person – wine pairings available. Limited seatings at 7:00, 7:30, 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. Click here to see menu
Branch Water Tavern, 510 Shepherd Drive Houston, TX 77007, Tel: 713-863-7777; www.branchwatertavern.com
If Italian is your flavor, head over to Tony Vallone’s Ciao Bello, where Chef Bobby Matos and team are offering a three course prix-fixe with boundless choices. For the primi, try a creamy Risotti ai Puntini with tenderloin and wild mushroom, a classic Cioppini Genovese shellfish soup, or the melt-in-your-mouth Pansoti stuffed with roasted butternut squash. For mains, feast on Braised Colorado lamb shank, Osso Bucco, Parmesan-crusted red snapper, Veal Picatta and more. To celebrate, why not order a bottle of a Italian sparkling wine? The choices are fabulous. All this, while enjoying the sounds of Houston musician Louis Carrington, Jr., will make the night an evening to remember.
Cost: $55 per person; Click here for menu
Ciao Bello, 5161 San Felipe St., Tel: 713-960-0333; http://ciaobellohouston.com
French with Flair
L’Olivier will give you that chic, French feeling along with a tasting menu offered in three seatings. Early birds dining at 5:00pm can enjoy Chef Olivier Ciesielski’s three-course menu that includes house-smoked salmon, french onion soup, or homemade pate, followed by a choice of sauteed shrimp, beef medallions, and grilled salmon, which can be finished off with a lovely isle flotante. Diners looking for later reservations can choose the 7:00 or 9:00 p.m. seating, and partake of a four course menu that includes more decadent choices like butternut squash pasta with parmesan lobster, lobster bisque, lamb chops with mint bearnaise or seared scallops, and choice of traditional French desserts like chocolate mousse, or sauternes poached pear.
Cost: $45 for 3 courses at 5:00 p.m.; $85 for four courses at 7:00 p.m or 9:00 p.m. Click here to see menu
L’Olivier, 240 Westheimer Road Houston, TX 77006, Tel: 713-360-6313; www.olivierhouston.com