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New Year's Eve 2012: Baltimore restaurants preparing for Y2K+12

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New Year’s Eve comes just once a year — and even less often on a Saturday night. For Baltimore-area restaurants, that’s a very good thing.

One in five Americans is planning to dine out this New Year’s Eve, according to a recent National Restaurant Association survey, and restaurants are competing for them with Champagne toasts, fixed-price menus and views of fireworks.

Not all restaurants are going with fixed-price menus, though. Donna's in Charles Village, Henninger's in Upper Fells Point, Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar in Annapolis, Jack’s Bistro in Canton, The Oceanaire in Harbor East and the Capital Grille Downtown are all serving their regular menus, along with a few celebratory specials.

Here's a list of New Year's Eve dining events.

B&O Brasserie is offering three seatings on New Year's Eve, at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Guests have a choice of a three- or five-course fixed-price menu, and all guests will receive a complimentary glass of sparking wine while dining. Highlights from the menus include shrimp "gnocchi" with Georgia ice cream grits, prosciutto-wrapped pork and a short rib and calves liver duo. The three course option is $45, the five course option is $65.

Blue Hill Tavern is serving a four-course tasting menu. The cost for the early seating, which begins at 5 p.m., is $55, and for the second seating, which begins at 8:30 p.m., is $75. Guests at the second seating keep their table for the remainder of the evening.

Cazbar is serving a $45 three-course menu. Seating begins at 7 p.m. The evening includes belly dancing and a disc jockey, starting at 9 p.m. and a Champagne toast.

Charleston is offering an early- and late-dining option for New Year's Eve. Reservations for the $129 ($189 with wine) fixed-price early dinner are being accepted beginning at 5:30 p.m. Seatings for the gala dinner and celebration are at 8:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets for the gala dinner are $289 per person and include a multi-course fixed-price dinner, endless Champagne, premium open bar and party favors at midnight. Gala dining guests are invited to watch the unobstructed view of the Inner Harbor fireworks on the Harbor East promenade immediately outside Charleston's front door.

Cinghiale will ring in the New Year with a four-course, modern Italian dinner. The cost is $79 and $119 with wine pairings. Guests will receive party hats and favors as well as a sparkling toast at midnight. The bonus attraction is an unobstructed view of the Inner Harbor fireworks from the vaulting picture windows facing the marina and harbor.

City Cafe is offering a $65 fixed-price menu, along with complimentary valet parking and free admittance to the Hippo, a nearby nightclub. Main courses on Chef Chad Gauss's menu include Chilean seabass, honey-stung organic chicken and lobster linguine.

Clementine is serving a five-course dinner courses optional wine pairings and a Champagne toast at midnight. Reservations for an early seating are available from 6 p.m.-7p.m. and for a late seating from 9 p.m.-10:15 p.m. Main course options include oven-roasted grouper, venison rack chop, chicken-stuffed quail and grilled culotte steak.

Corner BYOB is offering an early and late seating. Reservations are accepted for the early seating, which features a four-course fixed price menu, between 4 p.m.-6:45 p.m. and for the late seating, which features a $75 six-course fixed-price menu, between 7 p.m.-10 p.m. The early dinner is $45 per person. It's BYOB, of course. Main course menu options include lobster Thermidor and beef Wellington.

Donna's in Columbia is offering a $65 four-course chef's tasting menu. Main-course options include Sicilian swordfish, Moroccan spiced goat ragout and house made mushroom wagonette with porcini sage butter and truffled arugula. Call for reservations.

Donna's at Cross Keys is offering a $65 four-course menu. Main-course options include Spanish mackerel, grilled venison rack and Korbuta pork loin. Call for reservations.

Elkridge Furnace Inn is offering a choice of fixed-price menus. Each guest has the option of a three-course meal for $70, a four-course meal for $77.50, of a five-course for $82.50. The top-of-the-line option is a four-course meal with Chef’s Wine Selection for $100.00. Reservations are being taken from 5:00-9:30 p.m.

Fleming's  gives diners three nights to ring in 2012. In addition to the regular menu items, Fleming's is offering three exceptional steak and seafood entrees, each priced at $69.95 and festive magnum size bottles of Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial.

Frank & Nic's West End Grille's New Year's Eve celebration features a $35 three-course dinner with an optional $15 beer and wine pairing. Menu highlights include duck bruschetta, pan-seared scallops, New York strip and banana bread pudding.

Gertrude's supper-club style New Year's Eve party has an early- and late-seating option The early seating, from 6:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m., offers a $59 ($49 vegetarian) three-course menu. The late seating, from 9:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m., offers a $95 ($85 for vegetarian) four-course menu, along with live music by the Dottie Tim Jazz Trio, festive party favors, and a midnight Champagne toast.

Jack's Bistro is taking New Year's Eve reservations for all parties. There is no fixed-price menu, and no minimum spending limit

Langermann's in Canton is throwing New Year's Eve Titanic Dinner, featuring a four-course menu inspired by the heyday of trans-Atlantic travel -- oysters a la Russe, poached salmon fillet, canapes a l'Admiral, roast tenderloin of beef and peaches in chartreuse jelly. The cost is $50, $75 with wine pairings.

The Milton Inn is offering a four-course menu. Seatings begin at 5:30 p.m. and reservations are required. (So is a $50 per person deposit.) The cost is $100.

Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar is serving from its regular menu with some festive additions like adobo-cornmeal crusted rainbow trout, smoked duck mole and caramelized apple cookies. Dinner will be served from 11 p.m., with dancing to disc jockey Adam "Dutch" Durham from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Maracas for everybody!

Mr. Rain's Fun House will host two seatings on New Year's Eve. Guests choosing the late seating, from 9-10:30 p.m., will enjoy a five-course dinner, a Champagne toast and a great view of the fireworks. That option is $65 ($105 with wine pairings). Guests choosing the  early eating option, from 6-8 p.m., get three courses for $40 ($65 with wine pairings). The full menu includes oysters Rockefeller, bison tartare, wild boar, foie gras and bone marrow. In addition, the bar area will be serving an a la carte menu and a special list of celebratory cocktails, punches and nogs from Mixologist Perez Klebahn.

Pazo is offering three New Year's Eve options. Guests headed for the bar and lounge, including walk-in guests, pay a $25 cover charge. They'll receive party favors and a Champagne toast at midnight. Diners with reservations between 5-8 p.m. pay no cover charge. (However, if they move to the lounge after dinner, they pay $25). Guests with reservations after 9 p.m. pay a $50 ticket that does not include food or beverage but secures them a table for the evening. Dancing to live music for everyone!

Petit Louis is offering a multi-course fixed-price dinner. The cost is $59 or $89 with accompanying wines. Party hats and party favors for everyone! SOLD OUT!

Slainte in Fells Point is offering its new Irish Flight Menu. The fixed-price, five-course dinner is available for $35 a person or $60 for two.

Vino Rosina is offering a four-course fixed price dinner. The cost is $65 or $105 with wine pairings. Main course options include filet Mignon, portabello and porcini stuffed ravioli and pan-roasted halibut.

Victoria Gastro Pub is offering a special menu beginning at 4 p.m. with live music and complimentary Champagne.

Waterfront Kitchen is serving a five-course gala dinner with complimentary Champagne. The early 6:30 p.m. seating is $125 ($175 with wine parings). The late 9:30 p.m. seating is $175 ($225 with wine pairings) and includes a front-row seat for the Inner Harbor fireworks. Main course options include pan-seared Chesapeake rockfish, roasted half "redeye" coffee-brined poussin and grilled Creek Stone petit filet.

The Wine Market is offering a fixed-price menu by Chef Andrew Weinzirl. The cost is $59, or $89 with wine pairings selected by Wine Director Lucien Walsh. Seating times are 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Guests at the 10 p.m seating will have a great view of the fireworks from the Wine Market's patio. Main course options include grilled sturgeon, slow-roasted Wagyu sirloin, Marvesta shrimp and a half-roasted rabbit with cornbread pudding, cranberry mostarda and Swiss chard.

Wit & Wisdom is offering an early- and late-dinner option on New Year's Eve. The early dinner, which features a fixed-price $95 menu, seats between 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. The late dinner seats between 8-9 p.m. and features a $225 fixed-price menu. Guests at the late seating enjoy a view of the fireworks, a Champagne toast and a disc jockey at the bar. Wit & Wisdom is also serving a New Year's Eve brunch between 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Send your restaurant's New Year's Eve plans to richard.gorelick@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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