Expectations are so high for New Year’s Eve to be one of the best nights of the year, that it often misses the mark. And this year, with New Year’s Eve on a Saturday, expectations are that much higher. Starting with a special dinner is one way to ensure that the night at least starts off well.
The State Journal compiled a list of a few places with special dinners or parties planned that will help you live it up on the last night of 2016.
Brocach, 7 W Main St.: Will be hosting the Americana and bluegrass band WheelHouse and will offer cocktail and food specials. The Irish pub and restaurant will have its full menu available, but will likely add a prix fixe option. Co-owner Don Gautreau said its approach has traditionally been to serve as an alternative to ticketed, all-you-can-drink events.
Cento, 122 W. Mifflin St.: Chef Giovanni Novella has created a 3-course prix fixe menu with a glass of prosecco for $60/person. For the menu, visit centomadison.com.
DLUX, 117 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., is holding its 4th annual New Year’s Eve party and $85 tickets include a premium open bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJ and champagne toast. Visit dluxmadison.com.
The Edgewater, 1001 Wisconsin Place, will be holding a New York-inspired night with a countdown at midnight on the Edgewater Plaza, which is free and open to the public, and will feature what it calls “the Midwest’s only ball drop.” The elegant Statehouse restaurant will feature Empire State fare (the 5-course prix fixe menu is $85 per person) and there will be ice skating on the hotel’s “mini Rockefeller Center rink.” Tickets are necessary for the Edgewater’s New Year’s Eve party in its grand ballroom from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., with beer, wine and champagne included. The 10-piece big band Talk of the Town will perform. The night will end with a midnight “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” buffet. Visit theedgewater.com for more information.
Essen Haus & Come Back In, 514 E. Wilson St.: The adjoining German restaurants and bars are offering buffets and bands on both sides. (The Tom Brusky Band at the Essen Haus and Live at Nine at the Come Back In.) Tickets are $80 and available at the restaurants or by calling 608-258-8619.
Everly, 2701 Monroe St.: Chef Scott Harrell has created a diverse New Year’s menu of California-inspired plates. Choose eight family-style selections from a menu of 16 items to share with your table. $45/person with California wine pairings for $25/person. Two seatings available, call 608-416-5242 for reservations. Visit everlymadison.com for the menus.
Fresco, 227 State St.: This upscale restaurant on the top level of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is having an ArtPOP party in the museum, and is also serving $50, 3-course prix fixe dinners in the restaurant. A $60 party ticket includes a glass of sparkling wine, a choice of two full pours of wine from the Bubbly Bar, music from DJ Jean Le Duke, hors d’oeuvres from Fresco Chef Chris Myers, more champagne for a midnight toast and a balloon drop. Visit frescomadison.com for menus or more info.
Great Dane, all four locations: Will have a cover charge of $5 starting at 9 p.m., which will include party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. All locations will also have DJs playing throughout the night.
Graft, 18 N. Carroll St.: Chef Travis Vaughn has put together a New Year’s prix fixe menu for $85 per person plus tax and gratuity. Call 608-229-8800 for reservations.
Graze, 1 S. Pinckney St.: Will have a 3-course menu for $65 per person. Call 608-251-2700 for reservations.
Julep, 829 E Washington Ave., is hosting a three-course prix fixe dinner with a glass of bubbly for $45 per person.
L’Etoile, 1 S. Pinckney St.: Is offering a 5-course menu at $125 per person with wine pairings for an added $65 or $95. Call 608-251-0500 for reservations.
Ivory Room Piano Bar, 116 W Mifflin St.: Is holding a party with an open bar (excluding top shelf and premium liquors) with beer, wine and signature cocktails all night. There will be an all-request dueling pianos show by Piano Fondue’s Josh Dupont and Connor Brennan. Tickets are $100 each or $180 for a couple. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.
Liliana’s, 2951 Triverton Pike Dr, Fitchburg: The restaurant will offer live jazz all night along with a $65, 5-course, prix fixe meal. Advance tickets are necessary and can be ordered at lilianasrestaurant.com. The menu can be found on the website as well.
Lucille, 101 King St.: is holding a ball starting at 7 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres and chef stations throughout the restaurant, a complimentary champagne fountain, and punch and live music from the Tony Castaneda Quartet. The cost is $75, and for an extra $50, partygoers can have access to an open bar all night. A late night party starts at 10:30 and is also $75. It includes the same drink options plus DJ Fuzzy Duck and party favors. Tickets are available at lucillemadison.com.
Merchant, 121 S. Pinckney St.: Is holding a 3-course, prix fixe dinner starting at 5 p.m. It’s $75 with optional cocktail and wine pairings for $25 per person. Diners get free entry into the bar’s late-night party with DJ Phil Money starting at 11 p.m. Call 608-259-9799 for reservations and more info.
The Old Fashioned, 23 N. Pinckney St.: Is open to all of its “Big Shots” or card-holding frequent diner members. It’s easy to get a card for those who don’t have one. Guests can pick one up any time.
Rare Steakhouse, 14 W. Mifflin St., is doing special lobster and steak dinners with champagne for $110.
Sujeo, 10 N. Livingston St.: Share a shabu shabu hot pot for $35 per person, plus additional optional beverage specials. The regular menu will also be available. Call 608-630-9400 for reservations.
Tavernakaya, 27 E. Main St., is serving a 5-course dinner comprised of TK’s greatest hits of 2016. Starting at 10:30 p.m., Tavernakaya will host a New Year’s Eve party with DJ Radish, happy hour drink specials and complimentary champagne toast at midnight. $10 cover, for tickets visit tavernakaya.com.