What? It's still Christmas Eve? Fine, keep dreaming of cookies and sugarplums—but don't forget that there's just one week until New Year's Eve. If you're going to brave the crowds on one of the zooiest nights of the year, advance planning is essential. We've rounded up some of your best bets for year-end eating and drinking, so start calling to reserve now.
Note: All restaurants listed had openings at the time of publication; please let us know if you hear otherwise. And no, we usually wouldn't call any meal under $50 a cheap option—but it's New Year's, and with prix-fixe meals and champagne toasts, prices go up across the board.
$$$ (over $75)
Aldea: The fine Flatiron Portuguese restaurant offers three-course prix fixe menus all night, plus the requisite champagne. $85 per person. 31 West 17th Street (b/n 5th and 6th Avenues; map); 212-675-7223
James: Two options at this Prospect Heights restaurant: 6pm,four courses, $75/person; 9pm seating, amuses, five courses, and petit fours, plus champagne at midnight, for $95/person. 605 Carlton Avenue, Brooklyn (at St Marks; map); 718-942-4255
Commerce: Regular menu early in the evening; after 9:30pm, a special four course prix-fixe menu with champagne. 50 Commerce Street (near Barrow; map); 212-524-2301
Clover Club: Care more about cocktails? $135 gets you tasty bar bites and all the incredible cocktails you can manage. Gets our bar correspondent Tia Kim's seal of approval. 210 Smith Street, Brooklyn (b/n Baltic and Butler; map); 718-855-7939
Boqueria: Nine-course menus (tapas menus, don't worry) will be served at both Boqueria locations (Flatiron and Soho). Early dinner $65, with a cava toast; later dinner, $95, also gets you all the wine and sangria you can drink. 53 West 19th Street (near Sixth Avenue; map), 212-255-4160; 171 Spring Street (b/n Thompson and West Broadway; map), 212-343-4255
SD26: Also two seatings: before 9pm, three courses for $55; after 9pm, $165 five-course meal with champagne for the New Year. 19 East 26th Street (b/n 5th and Madison; map), 212-265-5959
Back Forty: This cocktail party, $75, includes an epic buffet—raw bar, rib roast, and more—plus three drinks and dancing. 190 Avenue B (at East 12th; map), 212-388-1990
Dumont: At this Brooklyn restaurant, book before 8:30pm for three courses, $55; the masquerade ball starts at 9pm, also three courses, $65, with a DJ on hand. 432 Union Avenue, Brooklyn (at Devoe Street; map), 718-486-7717
$ (under $50)
Motorino: Is pizza festive enough for New Year's? When it's this good, yes. Both Brooklyn and East Village Motorinos are serving three-course, $38 dinners. 349 East 12th Street (near First Avenue; map), 212-777-2644; 319 Graham Avenue, Brooklyn (at Devoe Street; map), 718-599-8899
Bao Noodles: $50 open bar, with food—three hours with drinks and bites at Bao Noodles. 391 Second Avenue (near East 23rd Street; map), 212-725-7770
Beer Table: The Brooklyn restaurant and beer paradise is holding two dinners—$45 at 8pm, $55 plus toast at 10pm. Three beers, three courses, including a black-eyed pea salad, Bamberg onion, and Bayley Hazen Blue cheese with honey and hazelnuts. 427 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn (near 14th Street; map), 718-965-1196
Arcane: This East Village French-Canadian restaurant is also doing two seatings: before 9pm, $35 for a three-course meal and a drink; after 9pm, $45 for three courses, a drink, and a champagne toast. 111 Avenue C (near East 7th; map) 212-777-0477
Hill Country: Live music. The full Texan barbecue menu. Special lamb and pork belly. Plus a free beer for every pound of meat. This is our kind of New Year. (Add $50 and get a three-hour open bar.) 30 West 26th Street (b/n Sixth and Broadway; map), 212-255-4544
Esperanto: A three-course Latin menu for $29 per person is about as cheap as New Year's specials get. 145 Avenue C (map); 212-505-6559
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