A tasty New Year's Eve at Vancouver restaurants

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With 2013 just around the corner, it’s time to plan for New Year’s Eve. If you’re the type of person who prefers to stay at home on December 31, remembering to pick up a bottle of bubbly is just about all the planning you’ll need to do. If you prefer to go out to celebrate, then read on. Here’s a list of Vancouver restaurants that are preparing to wine and dine their guests on New Year’s Eve.

The NYE event at Chambar (540 Beatty Street) is ideal for party-goers who enjoy dressing up, sipping on cocktails, and mingling with others. For $150, guests, who are asked to adhere to a “sexy formal” dress code, can guzzle unlimited cocktails and pints of Chambar Ale. Chef Nico Schuerman will be serving Belgian-inspired canapés, while Vancouver’s DJ Hebegebe will be providing the music. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. and doors close at 10 p.m.; however, the party is expected to continue past the stroke of midnight when guests are treated to champagne. Tickets to Chambar's NYE party can be purchased online.

If you’re hoping to dine out on NYE—but prefer to keep things low key—consider making a reservation at Hamilton Street Grill (1009 Hamilton Street). The Yaletown restaurant best known for its steak and seafood dishes will be ringing in 2013 with a casual dinner party starting at 8:30 p.m. For $75, diners will be treated to a multi-course dinner paired with wine. Non-drinkers can order the same dinner without wine for $50 (and each designated driver will receive a restaurant gift certificate for lunch). Reservations can be made by calling Hamilton Street Grill at 604-331-1511. If you’d rather just have dinner and skip the party, the restaurant will also be offering its regular dinner menu from 5 to 8 p.m.

After 26 years on the waterfront of False Creek, Monk McQueens (601 Stamps Landing) will close after December 31. The restaurant plans to go out with a bang by throwing a New Year’s Eve event for guest and a retirement party for staff on the same night from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. For $40, guests can enjoy West Coast-inspired canapés, DJ’d music, party favours, and a midnight champagne toast. Tickets to the party can be made online or by calling the restaurant at 604-877-1351.

Recently opened España (1118 Denman Street) will be open for regular dinner service from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve; however, Chef Neil Taylor will be adding a few special items onto the night’s menu. Diners at the restaurant at midnight will receive a complimentary glass of bubbly and 12 grapes—following a Spanish tradition where a single grape is eaten with each chime of the clock. Reservations at España are not taken and diners are seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Also in the West End, the Raincity Grill (1193 Denman Street) will be hosting a five-course New Year’s Eve dinner that highlights seasonal flavours and regional ingredients. For $85, diners can choose from items such as seared Qualicum Bay scallops, Pemberton Meadows beef carpaccio, Fraser Canyon white rabbit, and Yarrow Meadows duck breast. The NYE menu will be available from 8 p.m. onwards and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 604-685-7337.

If your NYE plans include children, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. (1876 1st Avenue; 4186 Main Street) will be hosting family-friendly events at both locations. Activities include a kids’ pizza making station, face painting, and live music by Ian Beaty at the Kitsilano restaurant. For $13 (Main Street) or $15 (Kitsilano) children will be served a kids-sized pizza and warm chocolate brownie, while adults ($15 at Main Street location; $18 at Kitsilano location) will be served a personal-sized artisan pizza and brownie. Two early seatings (4 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) means that parents can still enjoy adult-only celebrations afterwards. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the restaurants (604-566-9779 for Main Street; 604-730-0321 for Kitsilano).

Campagnolo Roma (2297 East Hastings Street) will be helping diners ring in the new year with a four-course Italian feast from 5 to 10 p.m. For $39 per person, diners will be served Roman-inspired dishes alla famiglia—or family style—that includes Chef Nathan Lowey’s choice of kabocha squash bruschetta, bucatini all’amatriciana cured pork, biancoverde pizza, and chocolate bourbon cake. To sip, the restaurant has mixed its own Quince Bellini ($9) made with housemade quince syrup and Prosecco. Reservations can be made by calling Campagnolo Roma at 604-569-0456.

In Kitsilano, Maenam (1938 West 4th Avenue) Chef Angus An has prepared a special four-course menu for NYE—also served family style. For $57.50 per person, diners can choose from 12 Thai dishes, including oysters with cucumber-galangal foam, hot and sour oxtail soup, green mango salad with crispy albacore tuna, and braised duck leg in red curry. A vegetarian menu will also be available, as well as Thai-inspired cocktails and wine pairings. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at 604-730-5579.

Several fine dining restaurants will be open for NYE, including Hawksworth Restaurant (801 West Georgia Street), which will be open from 5 p.m. onwards. Guests can choose from the restaurant’s a la carte and bar bites menu, or enjoy the seasonal Festive Tasting menu. For $89, yellowfin tuna tartar, butter-poached lobster, roasted Fraser Valley goose or bacon-wrapped venison loin, and dark chocolate veloute for dessert are included in the four-course meal. That night, several luxury items, including caviar and Kobe beef will also be available. Reservations can be made by calling Hawksworth Restaurant at 604-673-7000. 

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Ken Lawson
But who is serving Christmas Dinner is the question?
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