New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year for dining out. Let someone else do the cooking (and driving). Many restaurants will be open serving their regular menus, but the ones listed here all have special menus planned for the big night. Important note: Congress and the current incarnation of Barley Swine will serve their final New Year’s Eve dinners.
* = My picks
Andiamo Ristorante. 2521 Rutland Drive. 512-719-3377, andiamoitaliano.com. The friendly neighborhood Italian restaurant will serve a four-course dinner for $75, with dishes including salmon carpaccio and seafood risotto.
*Apis. 23526 Texas 71. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant. The fine dining retreat at the edge of the Hill Country in Spicewood has two options on New Year’s Eve. The 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. seating is a $70 dinner with snacks and choices of small plates like Spanish mackerel sashimi or beef crudo, entrees like black truffle-wrapped Carolina grouper and desserts such as white chocolate ganache with jackfruit and blood orange. An expansive chef’s tasting menu will be served later in the evening, with canapé service at 7:30 p.m. and dinner at 8 p.m. The cost for that exquisite feast is $165 per person ($300 with wine pairing).
*Barley Swine. 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-394-8150, barleyswine.com. It’s the end of an era at Bryce Gilmore’s farm-to-table game-changer. The restaurant will serve its final New Year’s Eve meal, a 12-to-15-course tasting menu for $120, with beverage pairing for an additional $60. There are early seatings (6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and seatings at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The restaurant will close after dinner on Jan. 2 and re-open in a larger incarnation on Burnet Road in 2016.
Bonneville. 202 W. Cesar Chavez St. 512-428-4643, thebonnevilleaustin.com. The downtown restaurant from husband-and-wife chef team Jennifer and Chris Costello will serve a four-course dinner for $75. The menu includes fresh fig and stilton salad, duck confit wonton consomme and crab-stuffed filet of sole.
Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404-3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The elegant restaurant at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at the University of Texas will serve a six-course dinner featuring elk carpaccio, crispy grouper and smoked beef short rib. There are 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. seatings for the meal that costs $75 (additional $35 for pairings).
*Congress. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2760, congressaustin.com. One of the city’s best chefs, David Bull, says goodbye to his fine dining restaurant at the base of the Austonian. The restaurant will serve its final meal on New Year’s Eve, with a five-course dinner for $125 ($195 with pairings) at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. and a seven-course dinner for $185 ($265 with pairings) at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
*Contigo. 2027 Anchor Lane. 512-614-2260, contigotexas.com/austin. The ranch-style restaurant off Airport Boulevard in East Austin will throw a party under its outdoor tent. The event ($85 for the first 80 tickets sold and $110 after that) includes an open bar, dancing and an impressive buffet of rabbit liver boudin, tri-tip, roasted vegetable terrine and more.
*Dai Due. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-0688, daidue.com. Jesse Griffith’s quintessential Austin restaurant will serve a four-course dinner sourced from land and sea, with options like bowfin caviar, Lavaca Bay oysters, venison ceviche and a grilled venison chop. The cost is $95.
Due Forni. 106 E. Sixth St. 512-391-9300, dueforni.com. The Italian restaurant downtown will serve a three-course dinner, which includes steak tartare pizza and seared diver scallops, for $55 (additional $20 for wine pairings).
*Emmer & Rye. 51 Rainey St. #110. 512-366-5530, emmerandrye.com. One of the Rainey Street district’s newest restaurants will serve an eight-course dinner for $100 (an additional $65 for pairings). The menu includes lamb tartare, mackerel escabeche and dry-aged steak.
*Foreign & Domestic. 306 E. 53rd St. 512-459-1010, fndaustin.com. Ned Elliott’s North Loop restaurant is offering four seatings (6:45 p.m., 7:10 p.m., 9:40 p.m., 10 p.m.) for a seven-course dinner that includes bigeye tuna belly with duck leg fricassee, king crab and persimmon salad and short rib with uni. The meal costs $130.
*Gardner. 1914 E. Sixth St. 512-354-1480, gardner-austin.com. The elegant veggie-forward East Austin restaurant will serve a four-course dinner ($65, with pairings for an additional $35) and seven-course dinner ($115, with pairings for an additional $55). The four-course meal has seatings between 6 and 7 p.m. and includes raw scallops and ribeye. The seven-course dinner has seatings between 8 and 9:15 p.m. and includes beets with satsuma kohso, sturgeon and gnocchi with black trumpet mushrooms.
Geraldine’s. 605 Davis St. 512-476-4755, geraldinesaustin.com. The restaurant at the new Hotel Van Zandt will serve its regular menu, along with decadent specials like caviar, foie gras and truffles. The restaurant will also host live music from Drew Davis and Ben Cina from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Goodall’s Kitchen. 1900 Rio Grande St. 512-495-1800, goodallskitchen.com. The restaurant at the Hotel Ella near the University of Texas will serve a fixed menu for $70.
*Hopfields. 3110 Guadalupe St. 512-537-0467, hopfieldsaustin.com. The French-inspired gastropub serves a four-course dinner featuring wild mushroom risotto and rack of lamb. The cost for the event that starts at 6:30 p.m. is $90. If you want to skip dinner, you can arrive at 9:30 p.m. for late-night snacks, bubbly and a cash bar. Cost is $45.
LaV. 1501 E. Seventh St. 512-391-1888, lavaustin.com. LaV is throwing a dance party from 9 p.m. to 1 .a.m., with hors d’oeuvres including a charcuterie and cheese station and oysters. Tickets are $75 per person.
*Launderette. 2115 Holly St. 512-382-1599, launderetteaustin.com. Chef Rene Ortiz’s nouveau diner will serve a four-course dinner that includes mackerel crudo, truffle gnudi and the intriguing sounding “disco trifle.” Early seatings at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. cost $65 (with a special prix fixe option for children), and meals at the 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. seatings cost $85.
*Lenoir. 1807 S. First St. 512-215-9778, lenoirrestaurant.com. One of Austin’s best restaurants, chef Todd Duplechan’s shabby chic bungalow restaurant will serve a four-course menu for $75 that includes peach leaf labneh with miso carrots, Gulf shrimp in kabocha curry and smoked fried duck.
Las Palomas. 3201 Bee Cave Road. 512-327-9889, laspalomasrestaurant.com. The family-friendly West Lake Mexican restaurant will serve dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. The $45 meal includes cream of poblano soup, shrimp enchiladas and salmon al chipotle.
*Lonesome Dove. 419 Colorado St. 512-271-2474, lonesomedoveaustin.com. Tim Love’s wild game grill and steakhouse will serve four-course prix fixe dinners for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. The carnivorous option includes the chef’s signature roasted garlic-stuffed beef tenderloin, deviled blue crabs and striped bass, while the vegetarian meal includes vegetarian tapas like burn carrot with goat cheese and honey, winter squash congee and grilled cauliflower steak. Both meals are $95.
Max’s Wine Dive. 207 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-904-0111, maxswinedive.com. The lovers of fried chicken and champagne serve a four-course dinner for $50 (additional $25 for wine pairings). Seatings begin at 7 p.m. for the dinner that includes deviled quail eggs and butter-poached sea bass.
Olive & June. 3411 Glenview Ave. 512-467-9898, oliveandjune-austin.com. Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s modernist treehouse Italian restaurant serves a four-course dinner for $90. The meal includes razor clams, leek risotto with lobster and shrimp, and roasted chicken.
*Prelog’s. 360 Nueces St. 512-350-2895, prelogs.com. Austrian chef Florian Prelog’s downtown restaurant serves a six-course dinner for $115. The meal includes scallop salad, foie gras, flounder and quail. Eliminate the foie gras and pay $99.
Russian House. 307 E. Fifth St. 512-428-5442, russianhouseofaustin.com. Austin’s colorful tribute to Russian culture hosts a party that starts at 9:30 p.m. and runs until 5 a.m. A dinner that includes duck with apples, stuffed mushrooms, mussels and a variety of alcohol will be served for $140. For $65, you can hang at the bar with drinks and appetizers. A VIP package, which includes two dinners plus caviar and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, costs $500.
Sala & Betty. 5201 Airport Blvd. 512-645-0214, salaandbettyatx.com. The Airport Boulevard restaurant will serve a three-course meal starting at 5 p.m. The $35 dinner (additional $15 for pairings) features house-smoked salmon, prawn bisque, short rib, quail and more.
Searsucker. 415 Colorado St. 512-394-8000, searsucker.com/austin. The Warehouse District restaurant will feature a four-course dinner of American classics from chefs Brian Malarkey and Kenzie Allen. The menu includes beet salad, fried oysters, grilled octopus and bone marrow-roasted veal cheeks. Cost is $80.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse. 300 Colorado St. 512-495-6504, sullivanssteakhouse.com/austin. The downtown steakhouse serves a four-course dinner that includes crispy calamari, garlic horseradish mashed potatoes and 16-ounce ribeye. The early seatings (4 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.) cost $69, and the late seatings (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.) cost $79.
*Swift’s Attic. 315 Congress Ave. 512-482-8842, swiftsattic.com. The thumping restaurant upstairs from the Elephant Room will serve a four-course dinner for $75. The menu includes beef tartare, butter-poached lobster tail, seared scallops and more.
Trace. 200 Lavaca St. 512-542-3660, traceaustin.com. The restaurant at the W Hotel Austin will serve a four-course menu for $115 that includes cotechino and escargot, beef tartare, lobster spaghetti alla chittara, and more.
*Trio. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685-8300, triorestaurantaustin.com. The restaurant at the Four Seasons will serve a five-course dinner for $125, with a menu that includes white asparagus risotto, seared diver scallop, porcini-rubbed striploin and more. Diners also have access to the party in the lobby to ring in the new year and are being offered a $250 special room rate (regularly $259).
*Uchi and Uchiko. 801 S. Lamar Blvd. 4200 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4808, uchiaustin.com. The two sushi-centric restaurants will both offer a special omakase menu ($150 for two people).
Vox Table. 1100 S. Lamar Blvd #2140. 512-375-4869, voxtableaustin.com. The restaurant across from the Alamo Drafthouse in the Lamar Union complex will serve a five-course meal for $100 a person that includes kohlrabi chowder, seared foie gras, roasted squab and more.
Wu Chow. 500 W. Fifth St. 512-476-2469, wuchowaustin.com. The upmarket Chinese restaurant downtown will serve an eight-course dinner for $50 (additional $35 for wine pairings).