The key to a successful New Year’s Eve: making a firm plan and sticking to it. Scoring a great reservation ensures that part of your night will be warm, celebratory and delicious—even if the other part involves shivering on street corners trying to flag down cabs. Here, eight completely different ways to eat your way into 2014.
The Classic Soirée
Where: Café Boulud
What: A demure, sit-down dinner at the Four Seasons’ café Français from superstar chef Daniel Boulud
How Much: $75 for the early, three-course seating; $175 for the five-course “gala” dinner
What You Get: White tablecloths, impeccable service and a classic French feast spiked with luxury ingredients like lobster, foie gras and black truffles.
60 Yorkville Ave., 416-964-0411, cafeboulud.com. Make a reservation at Café Boulud
The Low-Key Hangout
Where: The County General
What: A rowdy cocktail party at Splendido’s casual, gingham-clad sister restaurant at Queen and Shaw
How Much: $75
What You Get: Unlimited taster portions of the General’s famous Korean fried chicken, pork pot pie and other Southern-tinged plates, plus five cocktails.
936 Queen St. W., 416-531-4447, countygeneral.ca
The Anti-New Year New Year’s
Where: Farmhouse Tavern
What: The irreverent antithesis to a tacky, nightclub-style New Year’s party, hosted by the Junction Triangle’s most popular neighbourhood hang
How Much: Variable
What You Get: Buck-a-shuck oysters from 9 p.m. to midnight and half-priced comfort plates from 10 p.m. onwards.
1627 Dupont St., 416-561-9114, farmhousetavern.tumblr.com
The Cinq à Sept
Where: Drake One Fifty
What: A 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. post-office shindig at the Drake’s new downtown outpost
How Much: $25 for the bar; $40 for the dining room
What You Get: A welcome beverage and passed hors d’oeuvres, including things like charred radicchio salad and rosemary frites (the sit-down option brings more food, like charcuterie and veggie platters).
150 York St., 416-363-6150, guestlistapp.com. Make a reservation at Drake One Fifty
The Pre-Party Meal
Where: Church Aperitivo Bar
What: A convenient way to line your stomach before a Queen West bar-hop
How Much: $75
What You Get: Four courses of mod-ish Italian food, including tempura-fried cod, porcini ravioli and a Nutella dessert.
1090 Queen St. W., 416-537-1090, churchaperitivobar.com. Make a reservation at Church Aperitivo Bar
The Big Splurge
Where: Momofuku Daishō
What: An extravagant family-style meal in the glittering triplex on University Avenue
How Much: $120
What You Get: Eight courses of speckled trout, bone-in sirloin steak and noodles, plus a celebratory drink at midnight. Spendthrifts and procrastinators can head to Noodle Bar on the first floor, which offers a bun and noodle combo for just $17 and welcomes walk-ins.
190 University Ave., 647-253-8000, momofuku.tumblr.com
The Best Deal
What: A rustic Italian spread at one of Parkdale’s buzziest kitchens
How Much: $35
What You Get: A starter, a choice of pasta and a sweet treat. After 10 p.m., all dishes drop to $10 and beers to $5.
1314 Queen St. W., 647-342-5745, porzia.ca
The Carnivorous Gorge
What: A meat-centric meal at a low-key neighbourhood bistro
How Much: $55
What You Get: A four-course family-style dinner featuring surf (steelhead trout), turf (wild boar poutine), more turf (venison striploin) and sticky-toffee pudding.
96 Tecumseth St., 647-352-6000, thebeastrestaurant.com