2017 is the start to a hopefully amazing year, and we can’t wait to ring it in. Do you know where you’re going for your new beginning? Don’t forget to make reservations, because many places fill up for the evening, and some events require an advance purchase. Here are a few of our favorite places:
Bub City Chicago
The Chicago location of this Lettuce Entertain You property will offer a Southern-inspired meal with barbecue favorites and great drinks, plus a live performance by Nashville’s Shawn Lacy starting at 9 p.m. General admission starts at $90; tickets include the performance, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a premium bar package from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. VIP seating is available.
Bub City Rosemont and Joe’s Live
Bub City Rosemont will be hosting a southern barbecue dinner buffet, offering premium drinks, and providing a late-night breakfast. A Joe’s Live performance of Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press at 9 p.m. is included, along with a confetti blast at midnight. General admission starts at $99.
The city’s NYE celebration, from 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m., features two viewing areas – one north of the Chicago River between Michigan Ave. and Columbus Dr., and another on Upper Wacker Dr. between Michigan Ave. and Columbus Dr; the second one is where musical guests will perform, and is closest to the Rising Chicago Star. Arrive by 9 p.m. for entry; free tickets are available online. The day begins with the Chi-Town Rise & Shine 5K at 9 a.m., and also includes a family-oriented celebration along the Chicago Cultural Mile, including activity stations in Millennium Park from 3-6 p.m. – the kid-friendly countdown takes place at 6 p.m. in Wrigley Square.
Chuck’s Southern Comfort Cafe
The Darien location, with its blend of Mexican, Cajun-Creole, and American Southern cooking, is known for its barbecue – and for NYE, it’s hosting a party with a live DJ, party favors, and a champagne toast at midnight. On the menu for this $80 per person meal: seafood bisque, Super Caesar Salad, root vegetable salad, smoked salmon with mango salsa, beef brisket, ribs, filet Mignon with Bordelaise sauce, smoked peppercorn pork loin, baked mac and cheese, smashed red potatoes, and roasted veggies. A dessert table will feature Chuck’s Mini Cookies, brownies, and more.
Dolce Italian Chicago
The NYE 2017 Chef’s Menu costs $60 per person at this restaurant inside the Godfrey Hotel. Begin with an amuse course of lobster esplosione and bollicine, plus wild mushroom and gorgonzola flatbread. The antipasti course features seafood cioppino, lamb chops, or a caprese salad. This is followed by the Godfrey salad with candied pecans, pear, gorgonzola, watercress and a champagne maple vinaigrette. For your paste course, choose spaghetti al pomodoro, lobster mezzalune, or pappardelle alla bolognese. And for the secondi course, you can have truffle risotto, roasted branzino, filet mignon, or lobster tail. Dessert is vanilla gelato with an espresso shot and frangelico liqueur or a hazelnut creme brulee.
e+o Food and Drink
This upscale Mt. Prospect eatery in the Randhurst Village shopping center will offer a New Year’s Eve buffet, live DJ, premium bar package, and champagne toast at midnight. Event goes from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Cost is currently $90 if you purchase now; $100 if you buy after Christmas.
Mezzanotte at Eataly: A New Year’s Eve Celebration features four restaurants offering Italian fare, multiple wine bars, house-made beer, a 12-liter bottle of Amarone wine, live entertainment, a dessert bar with panettone and tiramisu, and sparkling wine at midnight, with a toast poured from magnum bottles sabered by the Eataly beverage team. The $100 cost is all-inclusive for food and drink – the second floor is for ticketholders only. 21+ only.
Chef CJ Jacobson is creating a four-course, prix-fixe Mediterranean-inspired meal with house favorites and seasonal dishes: stracciatella with charred Spanish chorizo, veal short rib with chickpea and pumpkin tagine, and diver scallops. Cost is $79.95 per person, and a champagne toast and party favors are offered for the midnight event.
Both locations, in Hillside and downtown on Ohio St., will be open past midnight. Simply make your reservations for the evening. At Hillside, you can ring in the new year with a Spanish tradition – eating 12 grapes at midnight for luck.
Enjoy skyline views from the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, along with French cuisine from Chef J. Joho. A prix-fixe meal for $120 per person is available, as is a tasting menu for $185 per person. Wine pairings cost $98 per person.
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, Holy Mackerel!, and Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier
Ring in the new year at one of these iconic locations in Chicago’s River North, Lombard, or Rosemont. The menu at River North will be Italian mobster-inspired at $80 per person, with Italian wine pairings for an additional fee, and a tour of Nitti’s Vault. The regular menu is also available. Harry’s suggests booking a Chicago Crime Tour before dinner to get the full experience (use the code HARRY to get 20 percent off at checkout), and getting a room at The Hotel Chicago after with a special $179 rate.
At Harry’s suburban locations, the Italian-inspired $80 prix-fixe menu is complemented by a curated selection of wines for $30, and the regular menu is also available. At the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, a special rate of $109 is offered to guests of Harry Caray’s with code HCYNE, and the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Rosemont offers a 20 percent discount for Harry’s guests with code HCR.
The menu at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse includes an amuse of cotechino and lentils followed by a starter of Fritto Misto – calamari, shrimp, scallops, clams, branzino, zucchini, peppadew peppers, and a roasted garlic aioli. The intermezzo is a cantaloupe sorbetto, and the entree is your choice of an 18 oz. dry-aged rib-eye tagliata or lobster risotto. Dessert is Zeppole (ricotta fritters with a Nutella fondue).
At Holy Mackerel! in Lombard, NYE specials are a 6 oz. filet and lobster tail Surf and Turf dinner with au gratin potatoes for $64.95, paired with a Justin Cabernet from 2014, and almond-crusted whitefish with a pesto risotto for $31.95, paired with a William Hill Chardonnay from 2014.
For a more family-friendly NYE, visit Harry Caray’s more casual location on Navy Pier for burgers, pizzas, and cocktails, and get a great view of the Lake Michigan fireworks from the South Dock. A champagne toast will take place at midnight.
The New Years Eve Gala 2017 at the Hilton offers a package with passed hors d’oeuvres, four-course dinner with wine service, 5-hour open bar, champagne toast and midnight, and dancing with a DJ. If you do the overnight version, you get a late checkout of 2 p.m. Packages start at $275 per couple.
The annual New Years Eve gala, “Light up the Night,” offers an all-inclusive package that includes an opening reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, a 5-hour open bar, a custom five-course dinner with wine, a champagne toast at midnight, the Michael Heaton band providing live entertainment, and a DJ and dance floor in two ballrooms. You can enjoy the package with or without an overnight hotel stay – cost ranges from $275 per couple to $475 per couple (for a Club Level room with breakfast).
This beautiful and historic hotel in St. Charles (pictured above) features NYE dining with a three-course prix-fixe meal at $59 per person. The meal starts with sherry-laced lobster bisque, or a salad of arcadian mixed greens with shropshire blue cheddar, figs, apples, praline pecans and a maple vinaigrette. For your entree, choose roasted tenderloin of beef and crab cake or pan-roasted crab-crusted halibut. Dessert is an NY cheesecake with mixed berry compote with fresh chantilly cream and mint, or warm banana bread pudding with a dark chocolate ganache and peanut butter gelato. The NYE celebration takes place in the Waterfront Room with DJ entertainment; a $25 cover charge applies for non-dining guests, and a cash bar is available.
Chef Hisanobu Osaka offers an a la carte menu and special luxury menu items and a champagne toast at midnight. The menu includes arancini made with sushi rice, served with Japanese pickle and tobanjyan aioli, or edamame olives with cumin, shiso and wasabi pickle. Uni Carbonara and a braised lamb shank with creamy polenta and sansho hot sauce are main dishes. Italian desserts with an Italian spin include Matcha Panna Cotta and Zuzu Doughnuts.
In Schaumburg’s Woodfield Mall, the Namco Pac-Man-themed restaurant and entertainment venue is hosting an NYE event with packages starting at $25 per person. This daytime package includes two hours of bowling, a 2-hour game card, appetizers, and soft drink. The midnight package, for ages 21+, is $30 a person and includes all of the above plus a champagne toast. A live DJ starts playing at 8 p.m.
Mon Ami Gabi
In Lincoln Park and Oak Park, this French eatery offers a champagne toast at midnight and the full menu.
Morton’s The Steakhouse
While Morton’s isn’t offering a special for the holiday, it will be open both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The full menu, including steak, seafood, appetizers, wines, and desserts, will be available.
Old Crow Smokehouse
The party at this Wrigleyville country venue (there’s also a River North location) goes from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Your evening includes live country music, a live countdown, party favors, noise-makers, and a meal and premium liquor package. General admission starts at $75; there’s also a Buckeye package at $95 for Ohio State fans to come watch the game, then enjoy the party.
Sam & Harry’s
This Schaumburg spot is offering a prix-fixe meal with five courses between 5-10 p.m. Cost is $75 per person, and the menu starts with an amuse: oysters and pearls. The soup course features lobster bisque, and a winter salad with lemon apple vinaigrette follows. Your entree is a choice between a dry-aged NY strip, Berkshire pork chop, or fruits de mare (black cod, cherrystone clams, mussels). Dessert is a blood orange tart.
Shaw’s Crab House Chicago and Schaumburg
Brunch and dinner on 12/31 and brunch on 1/1 are being offered at the Chicago location. A champagne toast at midnight is included.
At the Schaumburg location, brunch and dinner will be served on 12/31. Brunch takes place from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and includes complimentary champagne or mimosas. Cost is $39 for adults, $10 for kids 7-12. The main dining room is open from 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. with a full dinner menu, and then the Oyster Bar is open until 12:30 a.m. with a midnight toast.
There will be two seatings here, at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The first includes a five-course menu for $165. The second seating includes a seven-course menu for $275. A midnight champagne toast is included with the second seating.
Weber Grill Restaurant
At the Weber Grill-inspired local chain in Wheeling, Schaumburg, and Chicago, the full dinner menu will be available along with special features for the evening, including grill-roasted bourbon oysters as a starter, and entrees like a 14 oz. NY strip with sauce choron, an 8 oz. Chilean sea bass with cherry and apricot compote, or a 9 oz lobster tail with champagne lemon butter. The dessert special is a cappuccino molten cake with Bailey’s Irish cream ganache, cappuccino whipped cream, and chocolate-covered coffee beans. From the bar, look for a Tiamo Prosecco and Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut. Dinner hours on 12/31 run from 4-11 p.m.; the bar is open until 12:30 a.m.
ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES
Holiday Magic at the Zoo ends 12/31 with a bang. Enjoy over 1 million LED lights, ice carvings, a 41-foot talking tree, costumed characters, a Polar Lights show, and a selection of open exhibits – including free admission to some that are usually paid. An early countdown takes place at 8 p.m.
DuPage Children’s Museum
The Bubble Bash 2016 is a fundraiser for the museum and a fun celebration for kids. It takes places from 9 a.m.- noon, and this year’s theme is “Under The SEA.” Kids get a mini-pail to collect stickers upon entrance, a DJ will play, a steel drum performance takes place, and many activities can be enjoyed. Naperville mayor Steve Chirico helps at the “Countdown to Noon.” Tickets cost $25 for non-members.
Kohl Children’s Museum
Have little ones? Ring in the new year at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on 12/31. The Museum is transforming one entire wing into a huge NYE celebration, complete with giant confetti drops at “midnight” and activities especially for young kids. Wendy Morgan and DB host KidzStation perform; the 12:30 session features a DJ and dance party. Activities include making party hats, noisemaker horns, free family photos, frame decorating, party hairstyling, and museum exploration. Tickets cost $32; buy before 12/24 for a discount.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGOLAND is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on 12/31, and offers kid-friendly balloon drops at noon, 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Your family will enjoy spending the day building and playing. Pirate Adventure Island, the Jungle Expedition, the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, and the LEGO 4D Cinema will all be open for business.