Stuff to Do

AllNY.com's look at things to do in NYC written by New Yorkers for New Yorkers and serious New York tourists.


Valentine’s Day Ideas for New York Procrastinators – It’s Not Too Late

Bad weather, busy schedules, forgetfulness…. All can put you in a position to need a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or reservation.  Not to worry – we’ve got you covered with these incredibly interesting and available fun things to do for Valentine’s Day (or later) in New York City.

Bluebird London

Dining out is a no-brainer, unless you can’t get a reservation. Since this special lasts for three days, you might have a chance.  At the glamorous, truly gorgeous import from London, Bluebird London, Valentine’s Day will be a special evening. Offered from February 13-15, the special prix fixe menu features four courses of decadent offerings, like Oscietra caviar served on warm buckwheat blini with sour cream; duck foie gras and chicken terrine with Sauternes jelly and toasted brioche; beef Wellington for two with mushrooms, truffle and red wine jus; and dark chocolate and passionfruit mousse with Champagne. Pair the indulgent menu with a selection of shareable cocktails like the Thyme for Tea with Johnnie Walker Black Scotch, Drambuie, Rishi Tea Earl Grey, honey and thyme and you’ll have a memorable evening. The Columbus Circle restaurant’s been packed since it opened – it’s on everyone’s “hot” list. Now’s your chance to score some points! https://www.bluebirdlondon.nyc/restaurant/

Ben & Jack's Steakhouse

As they say, here’s one that you’ll see “only in New York, kids, only in New York.” Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse in the Theater District, in partnership with Judges For Love, Inc., will be performing private vow renewal ceremonies in a private dining area at the restaurant. Of course, a special prix fixe menu and Champagne options accompany these celebrations. Ribeye and romance, anyone?  http://benandjackssteakhouse.com/

Since pizza is a New York favorite, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day with a heart-shaped one at Sorbillo on the Bowery. On February 14, the Naples-inspired restaurant will be serving a four-course prix fixe menu  including the pizza, a  Prosecco toast, antipasti like fried calamari and Fiori di Zucca Ripieni (ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers), a main dish such as Fettuccine alla Bolognese or Saltimbocca alla Romana, and the pièce de résistance,  Sorbillo’s angelini (crispy pizza dough with Nutella) for dessert. www.sorbillonyc.com

Sorbillo

If you’d like a more relaxed and perhaps more private celebration, consider Sir Henri Penthouse for a boozy special. On the penthouse floor of Hotel Henri in the Flatiron district, you’ll soak up the speakeasy vibe in this dimly lit space filled with cozy nooks perfect for snuggling up with your sweetie.  Sir Henri’s Valentine’s Week cocktail specials include fun drinks like Tickle Me Pink, Glow of Love, and Lovely Lilac. If you decide to spend the night in the hotel, you’ll get two free cocktails. www.sirhenriny.com

Sir Henri Penthouse

For a seductive overnight gift, book the “Fifty Shades of Pink” package at the Moxy NYC Downtown in FiDi. You can start your evening at the retro-inspired bar Recreation where you’ll enjoy a specialty Valentine’s cocktail, bar bites and even a movie. Recreation’s half-court sized basketball court will be transformed into a cozy movie theater showing a special Valentine’s Day movie. After, your hotel room awaits along with the evening’s special toys: romance play cards, handcuffs, a blindfold and sexy chocolates. https://www.moxynycdowntown.com

Moxy NYC Downtown

The Pierre Hotel is giving you lots of choices to book your last-minute celebration.  You could surprise your sweetie with a stay at the hotel for a truly romantic evening, and, if you do, you’ll be treated with a decadent bottle of Taittinger Champagne and a pair of crystal flutes from Tiffany’s, yours to take home as a souvenir of your romantic evening. The following morning, you’ll breakfast at charming Perrine, the hotel’s swanky restaurant. And what’s better, you can book this romantic getaway any time through February 28 so you don’t have to stay in the middle of the week.

The Pierreny

If you’d rather do something on Valentine’s Day itself, however, the Pierre’s Two E! Lounge will host a special afternoon tea menu featuring heart-shaped sweets, extending the hours until 8pm. Or choose dinner, instead, at Perrine with a romantic three-course menu of seasonal favorites and the aptly named Temptations Four Ways dessert: orange dark chocolate mille-feuille, warm single origin chocolate hazelnut cake, milk chocolate crème and white chocolate lavender ice cream. It’s as pretty as it’s decadent. https://www.thepierreny.com

What would Valentine’s Day in New York City be without a party with an international twist? At Fonda in Park Slope (Brooklyn), the East Village and Chelsea, you can indulge in a traditional Mexican celebration of El Día del Amor y la Amistad (the Day of Love and Friendship). Each dish of the meal takes on a cheeky, romantic significance starting with the Sopa Marte y Venus which pays homage to Mars and Venus (a twist on the traditional soup with a Venus love overlay), Lovers’ Guacamole mixed with mango and red grapes, and Shrimp Apasionados adorned with passionfruit. The dessert is Chef Roberto Santibañez’s Valentine’s Day version of a lava cake with bright red raspberry sauce and whipped cream.

Fonda

Also embracing the Mexican spirit, at the Dream Downtown, Bodega Negra’s Executive Chef Brad Warner has created a romance-inducing menu of guacamole made with white chocolate, hibiscus, pomegranate and almond tostadas; lobster ceviche; and sarape, a seductive combination of delicata squash, hen of the woods mushrooms, mole and queso Chihuahua. For a sweet finish, Chef has some fun with a selection of limited-edition conversation desserts, reminiscent of the candy hearts traditional for Valentine’s Day. Diners will pre-select a personalized saying such as “Mi Amor” (my love), “Te Amo” (I love you), or “Besame” (kiss me) to be embossed on their celebratory Tres Leches dessert. Book your dinner and pre-select your dessert message by February 13.

Bodega Negra

Since Valentine’s Day and chocolates go hand-in-hand, you could buy your SO a gift from the luxurious bean-to-bar chocolate company, MarieBelle in SoHo – they’ll even deliver to you if you live in Manhattan — but you might actually want to go to the shop together; MarieBelle is a feast for the eyes as well as the appetite with its gorgeous room and tantalizing choices. Pick out some artisanal ganache, lavish truffles or chocolate bars, or indulge at the Cacao Bar in the back where you can also select from a menu of desserts, pastries and hot chocolate drinks. This is one of Manhattan’s hidden gems. https://mariebelle.com/

Mariebelle

Another way to satisfy a chocolate lover is to reserve a table at the luxe Alsatian-inspired Gabriel Kreuther restaurant near across from Bryant Park where you can try Chef Kreuther’s new Chocolate & Liquor Pairing.  www.gknyc.com Guaranteed to wow any foodie, dinner and dessert here will be evening to remember. And you can take the experience home, too, from the next-door Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate emporium where pastry chef Marc Aumont has created some of the most beautiful chocolates and pastries you’ll find anywhere. For Valentine’s Day, there will be many special chocolates including Chocolate Heart Locks inspired by the love locks lining Paris’s iconic Ponts des Arts bridge; Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Pops, a molded dark chocolate heart lollipop decorated as a chocolate-covered strawberry; Pink & Red Confetti Heart yogurt chocolate bars; Cherry Cola Dollhouse Donuts coated in pink and red; and a Chocolate “Hug” Sculpture inspired by the copper statues in NYC subway stations. www.kreutherchocolate.com

Gabriel Kreuther

If all this isn’t enough to win a New Yorker’s heart, the Seaport District’s iPic movie theater and Tuck Room restaurant are offering two over-the-top packages for Valentine’s Day. If you’re sure that you’ve picked your mate for life, you can pop the question here. You can choose the Big Screen Proposal Package, where you create your own proposal to be shown on the big screen with a surprise “movie trailer,” an extravaganza that will make any romantic filmie swoon. This celebration can be as large as you’d like, too, by including friends and family (unknown to your sweetie, of course) and arranging a catered meal with cocktails.

The Tuck Room

Or go completely crazy with the “I Do” package in the secret Green Room at the Tuck Room at iPic, where a four-course aphrodisiac  dinner includes a diamond ring tucked inside a golden apple cloche with the words “Will You Marry Me” written in chocolate and gold dust on the outside. That’s truly “A Night to Remember.” https://www.ipictheaters.com/#/home/ http://www.thetuckroom.com/

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Now’s Your Chance to Get Off-Broadway Tickets at Half-Price – It’s NYC Off-Broadway Week

If you missed your chance to score half-price tickets to some of the Broadway shows in the NYC Broadway Week special that just ended, you can expand your horizons now with 2-for-1 tickets to more than 30 of New York City’s best off-Broadway productions. In fact, it’s a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day too. It’s NYC Off-Broadway Week.

Avenue Q Photo Courtesy of Carol Rosegg

NYC Off-Broadway Week, now in its 10th year, starts on Monday February 11 and runs through February 24. Of the 33 shows offering specials, twelve are new participants this year. (It really should be called Off-Broadway Two Weeks, but that doesn’t really have a good ring to it.)

Blue Man Group photo Courtesy of Blue Man Group

It’s also a last chance to see one of Off-Broadway’s regulars Avenue Q which closes April 28.  Along with Off-Broadway standbys like Blue Man Group and STOMP, you can get these well-priced tickets to newish shows like the recently extended hit “Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State” and the “Harry Potter” parody “Puffs, Or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School, of Magic and Magic.” Also participating are two of my favorites, “The Play That Goes Wrong” and “Jersey Boys” which both moved from Broadway to Off-Broadway, making them even more of a bargain at these prices.

Puffs photo Courtesy of Hunter Canning

Here’s a full list of shows participating in NYC Off-Broadway Week:

  • Alice By Heart
  • Avenue Q
  • Beauty and The Beast
  • Blue Man Group
  • Boesman and Lena
  • By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
  • The Cake
  • Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State
  • The Dance of Death
  • Drunk Shakespeare
  • Gazillion Bubble Show
  • Gloria: A Life
  • God Said This
  • Hurricane Diane
  • If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhf***a
  • The Imbible: A Spirited Jersey Boys
  • La Celestina
  • Mies Julie
  • Monday Night Magic
  • Musicals in Mufti: Alan Jay Lerner Celebration
  • Naked Boys Singing
  • NEWSical The Musical
  • The Other Josh Cohen
  • Perfect Crime
  • The Play That Goes Wrong
  • Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
  • The Shadow of a Gunman
  • Sistas The Musical
  • STOMP
  • Superhero
  • History of Drinking
  • This One’s for the Girls
  • We are the Tigers

Sistas photo Courtesy of Sistas

For ticket information, https://www.nycgo.com/off-broadway-week.

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It’s Winter Restaurant Week in NYC — Through February 8

It’s that chilly, wintery time of the year when every part of your body is calling out for comforting, delicious food as well as some wonderful drinks and camaraderie. Fortunately, for us, it’s also the time of New York City’s Winter Restaurant Week celebration. Now, continuing through February 8, you can sample some of the city’s most exciting restaurants at very affordable prices. Specifically, a two-course prix fixe lunch costs only $26 and a three-course prix fixe dinner is priced at $42, kind of the bargain of the year.

Reservations for the hottest restaurants go quickly, so have a few choices in mind when you go to book online or by phone. With 368 restaurants to choose from, in locations throughout the five boroughs, you shouldn’t have a problem. The only problem will be deciding where to go among the 33 individual cuisines represented – and you definitely should go to more than one.

Need a little help? The booking site is smartly organized with headings like NYC Classics, Fireside Feasts, Raise the Steaks, Best-Kept Secrets, Squad Goals, Dinner Is the Show, Expense It, and Sunday Brunch.  Book online at nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

Here are ten of my favorites:

Augustine – The pretty Parisian bistro from Keith McNally sits in the Beekman Hotel, serving right-from-the Right Bank steak tartare and chicken paillard, along with steaks, burgers and a selection of rotisserie-cooked meats.  Seafood includes lobster ravioli and daily specials. You might remember the old Pastis or the current Balthazar; this is an almost identical sibling. https://augustineny.com/

Augustine

CUT by Wolfgang Puck – A steakhouse that offers much more than steakhouse, CUT is tucked behind a curtain in a corner of the Four Season Hotel downtown. Tastings of wagyu, veal chop, tuna tartare and steak tartare are all highlights, along with an extensive wine list. https://wolfgangpuck.com/dining/cut-new-york/

Le Coq Rico – If you’re mad about chicken, this Flatiron restaurant is for you. A mix of Alsatian artistry and top poultry, Le Coq Rico is all about warmth and satisfaction. You’ll enjoy the menu of chicken, squab, duck and guinea fowl sourced from the finest farms in the country. Add a glass of wine and the decadent île flottante for dessert to create the perfect meal. https://www.lecoqriconyc.com/

– It seems that just about all of my favorite restaurants are located in hotels. And here’s another. Legasea from the TAO group makes its home in the Moxy Hotel. A seafood shack done upscale, the restaurant is somewhat of a scene, a prelude to a night at the upstairs rooftop bar. Anything from Chef Jason Hall’s seafood menu is outstanding but you might have more fun with the box of fried chicken, spiced up with Mike’s hot honey, or the World’s Fair create-your-own sundae. http://moxy-hotels.marriott.com/nyc/timessquare/dining/legasea-seafood-brasserie/

Legasea

Obao Hell’s Kitchen – This is the perfect after-work, happy hour, pre-theater go-to.  Located among the many Thai and other ethnic restaurants on foodie Ninth Avenue, Obao is fun, with a varied cocktail menu and an extensive selection of Thai and Vietnamese street food. Try to book early for the best seats in the multi-level restaurant. https://www.obaony.com/

Ortzi – Another interesting restaurant set in a hotel (LUMA Hotel), Ortzi serves up Basque dishes as only Chef Jose Garces can.  Ortzi offers a menu of warm Spanish tapas including cazuelas cooked in terra cotta pots, and cold preparations like crudos and conservas, dishes using canned and preserved ingredients. http://ortzirestaurant.com/

Suzuki – Near the Theater District, Suzuki is a kaiseki temple helmed by Sushi Zen alum Takashi Yamamoto. The quiet, lavishly appointed room is perfect for enjoying this masterful meal, a mix of hot and cold dishes with interesting cocktail possibilities. https://www.suzukinyc.com/

Temple Court – Tom Colicchio pays homage to the Victorian era and classic American dishes in this beautiful restaurant in the Bleecker Hotel. Dishes have classic names but have been updated. You’ll see the likes of steak Diane, pork Wellington, and Baked Alaska here. https://www.templecourtnyc.com/

The Writing Room — Fans of the beloved Elaine’s will feel right at home in the Writing Room in the former Elaine’s space. The menu is American comfort all the way, now including many selections of the shuttered Parlor Steakhouse. You can also sit at the adjacent bar, an equally popular Upper East Side gathering place. http://www.thewritingroomnyc.com/

Vinateria – Wine lovers should book a table at Harlem’s intimate Vinateria. Set in an area area of emerging restaurants and shops, Vinateria invites you to put together a tasting menu with small plates of American specialties, paired with individual pours designed for experimentation. https://www.vinaterianyc.com/

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January and February Are Great Times to Visit NYC if You Love Theater, Restaurants and Things to Do

There’s no such thing as the January or February Blues in New York City. This year New York City has three exciting programs, all happening at once and offering substantial discounts for dining, theater, and iconic NYC activities. Called “New York City Winter Outing,” all three programs last through February 10, giving you at least a week to figure out everything you want to do and connect with your friends.

NYC&Co. has created the overall umbrella to help you overcome your FOGO (Fear of Going out when it’s cold) But this is something that will actually give you a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing out), so don’t wait. Do it all. Get your calendar ready.  Pretend you’re a tourist here. Or, if you are a tourist here, revel in the fact that these wonderful programs exist.

To add to them, a CityPASS for NYC, might just be the admission ticket to help you wrap everything together. Several pricing options exist and it’s a lovely bargain as well.

Their program offers admission to:

CityPASS Admission Includes

  • The Empire State Building
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Top of the Rock Observation Deck  OR Guggenheim Museum
  • Ferry Access to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island  OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
  • 9/11 Memorial & Museum  OR Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Empire State Building

In separate posts, I’ll take you through the intricacies of each with my recommendations for how to navigate this wealth of activity and deals and decide what to do.  Restaurant Week (through February 9) with its 2-course $26 lunches and 3-course $42 dinners, New York City Broadway Week offering 2 tickets for the price of 1 (through February 10) and Must See New York Week with 2 for 1 tickets (through January 10) to quite a lot of New York’s most iconic sightseeing and experiential choices.

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Hangover Helpers on New Year’s Day

Did you overdo it on New Year’s Eve in NYC?  Did you know that January 1 is officially National Bloody Mary Day?

I have a few suggestions on how to ease your aching head.

Walk over the Williamsburg Bridge to get some fresh air and properly celebrate National Bloody Mary Day at Taqueria Diana. The laid-back, Californian style restaurant and mezcal bar serves a delicious Bloody Diana (Vida mezcal, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, escabeche, lime, horseradish), a slight twist on the classic Bloody. You’ll quickly be on your way to feeling revived again as Bloody Mary’s are the ultimate hangover cure  (and my go-to for any bad weather, or bad mood day), providing much-needed electrolytes, Vitamin C and Vitamin B. And, best of all, no one will judge if you spring for an order of sheet pan nachos or super-fries topped with cheese, guac, and sour cream. They go perfectly with a Bloody Mary. You’ll see. Taqueria Diana also has locations in Manhattan in the East Village, Lower East Side and Hell’s Kitchen if you can’t get it together to walk to Brooklyn.

Drag your aching self to Toby’s Estate for a fresh, roasted coffee for a caffeine fix, courtesy of Toby’s new seasonal offerings. Now that it’s really winter – and not just 50-degree sorta winter – try the Spicy Drinking Chocolate, a classic hot chocolate with a kick from chocolate sauce infused with their homemade honey-chili syrup. Aside from that one being my new favorite, winter is still all about gingerbread for me, so I will happily pour caffeine into my body by way of Toby’s gingerbread latte, a mix of espresso milk and gingerbread syrup with a hint of allspice cinnamon, clove and fresh ginger. And you have a choice of where to find them: Long Island City, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Sorry, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island – you’ll have to settle for ordinary Dunkin.

Who doesn’t love a bacon and egg sandwich? It’s the perfect cure for a hangover with its fat, grease, protein and carbs combination.  With locations in both Nolita and Williamsburg, Egg Shop will still be offering its menu of 10 egg-based sandwiches, cruisers, French toast, and more on New Year’s Day, but the deal you want to scarf up is their all-day, half-off Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas fix (you know, a bit of the hair of the dog as they say) along with a $12 Pepper Boy Sandwich and Bloody Mary combo all day long. It’s another great way to celebrate Bloody Mary Day and restore your sanity.

Ed’s Lobster Bar jumps on the Bloody Mary Day bandwagon, offering you a free Bloody Mary when you order either their lobster mac and cheese, or Ed’s near-to-perfection lobster roll.  You can sleep in, too. The deal is valid all day long.

If you were drinking beer all night instead of Champagne, maybe a couple of brews will bring you back to life. Clinton Hall beer hall is celebrating the New Year by offering their award-winning Double Smashed Burger paired with a Gigawatt beer for only $20.19 at all locations (Bronx, Financial District and Williamsburg) all day long. Cheers!

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Where to Book Your New Year’s Eve Celebration in New York City

Las Vegas claims to have the best fireworks display this year on New Year’s and some pretty solid parties as well, but New York City is the place to be to ring in 2019.  From restaurants to hotels, the parties in the Big Apple will rock until the wee hours of the New Year.

A recent study by Lyft stated that on New Year’s Eve they have the most pickups and drop-offs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. And we can see why – Brooklyn is synonymous with celebrations.

Welcome 2019 at Westlight, located in The William Vale hotel in the heart of Williamsburg, for a true Brooklyn-style party. Revelers can enjoy festive party favors, premium open bar from 9pm-1am, specialty cocktails, passed canapés, live music and more. When midnight hits, toast with a glass of Champagne over sweeping views of the city skyline. If you don’t feel like calling a Lyft and waiting forever for your car, The William Vale has a ‘Celebrate and Sleep’ package that gives you overnight accommodations and 10% off two party tickets.

If you’re a real party animal, you could split your time between the William Vale and The Williamsburg Hotel where a Gatsby-themed party will be shaking things up. Ring in the New Year celebrating at The Williamsburg Hotel’s lavish Gatsby-themed soiree, taking place in the hotel’s elegant ballroom. Wear your Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan finest and imbibe in a one-hour vodka open bar from 9-10pm followed by live music performances throughout the evening and top-shelf bottle service. As with the Wiliam Vale, the Williamsburg Hotel has skyline-view rooms available so you can stumble up to your room at the end of the party at 4am.

A third option in Williamsburg is The Hoxton, Williamsburg, the new hotel from UK’s creative boutique hotel brand, The Hoxton. For New Year’s Eve, say hello to 2019 with dinner at Klein’s followed by a “No Sleep ’til 2019 Pajama Party” on the hotel’s Summerly rooftop, which has been enclosed for the winter. Guests are invited to don their chicest PJs, watch the sky light up at midnight, dance the night away, and drink some wonderful Champagne. Also included are an open bar, light bites, plus various surprises. Brooklyn’s all about encouraging you to stay over and stay safe, so the hotel is offering a one-night stay as well.

If you’re sticking to Manhattan, there’s no shortage of parties happening at some of the borough’s top hotels.

You’re guaranteed a swanky fireworks-filled evening at the JW Marriott Essex House New York on Central Park South. From 8pm until 1am at the hotel’s restaurant SOUTHGATE you’ll enjoy a buffet dinner, open bar with specialty cocktails and Champagne, and dancing to the tunes of a top DJ.  Plus you’ll have a view of the midnight fireworks in Central Park without dealing with the crowds and the newly installed cordoned off lanes (fun, but a bit trying at times, and claustrophobic).

Around the corner, and equally classy, The Two E Lounge At The Pierre offers an intimate and glamorous way to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  The iconic lounge turns into a speakeasy for the holiday with four hours of live music, dancing, Champagne and festive hors d’oeuvres and raw bar.

Closer to Times Square, Sofitel New York is hosting two separate New Year’s Eve parties, starting with an early event for kids 12 and under who dine free or at a reduced rate depending on which kid-friendly favorites they choose (adults get their own appropriate meal with Champagne, an antipasti buffet and a three-course meal, no worries), then gather in the private dining room for holiday movies, a candy and popcorn bar, and an early New Year’s countdown at 7:30pm. And everyone gets a goody bag. No kids? That’s even better although older kids are welcome at the hotel’s second soiree. For this round, Sofitel’s New Year’s Eve affair pairs the same elegant prix fixe menu as the early seating with a DJ starting at 10pm and screens the Times Square ball drop live starting just before midnight. After ringing in the New Year, dancing continues until 2am.

Further downtown, Arlo NoMad is holding an exclusive “Arlo Arctica” pop up party. On their 31st-story rooftop, in a heated ice hut, you’ll drink a magnum bottle of vintage Dom Perignon, enjoy caviar served in an ice sculpture from Okamoto Studios, and dine on mushroom and truffle pizza, truffle fondue while imbibing from a premium bar. Each hut can hold a maximum of eight people.

Hotel 50 Bowery is the place to ring in 2019 with panache. At this rooftop bar locale on the 21st floor, with views of the Midtown as well as Downtown, the party swings with a four-hour premium open bar and dancing with multiple live DJs. Times Squares’ fireworks will be completely visible from the rooftop’s 360-degree panorama roof. You’ll also get party favors and be able to watch the ball drop up close on a huge screen.

Now to the bars and restaurants:

Toast to the New Year with your closest friends and family at the Seaport District’s only rooftop cocktail bar, R17. The evening will feature a selection of savory dishes and specialty drinks. Craft cocktails and lush fur throws will keep you toasty outdoors around the hearths. R17 will be open from 4pm-1am

The Polynesian, the city’s ultimate Tiki bar, is offering an escape to Paradise in Times Square, with a Luau-themed bash from 9pm-1am. If you have any Hawaiian shirts or skirts, this is the time to dig them out of your closet.  The Polynesian’s New Year’s Eve Luau will keep you satisfied with a buffet reminiscent of Trader Vic’s past which includes an actual pig roast and throwback dishes like coconut shrimp and crab Rangoon, passed hors d’oeuvres, hip-swinging hula dancing and festive Hawaiian leis. The four-hour premium open bar includes specially curated Tiki cocktails from mixologist Brian Miller. Music is both live and DJ. At midnight, there will be a celebratory Champagne toast.

Ring in the New Year with a night of Italian food, drinks, and sultry entertainment at new hot spot Dia in the East Village. A four-course prix fixe menu includes the likes of pasta, branzino, and butterscotch budino. But the highlight is the three burlesque performances by Rox Republic scheduled throughout the evening. That’s definitely something to toast to!

From funky luau and trashy burlesque to black tie, New York City has it all.  Tavern on the Green in the middle of Central Park gives you prime fireworks viewing rights at their black tie gala.  In addition to the evening light show, you’ll enjoy a three-course dinner, live music, a premium open bar, passed desserts, a midnight toast under the fireworks, late night snacks and all-night dancing. The restaurant’s glass-enclosed Central Park Room guarantees a great view even in the coldest conditions, and the park-facing courtyard gives a front row seat to the action.

Back in Brooklyn, the hidden restaurant Blanca behind Bushwick’s acclaimed pizzeria Roberta’s is throwing two New Year’s parties for just a chosen few. Chef Carlo Mirarchi will be serving a celebratory New Year’s Eve tasting menu, which will include a special wine pairing and culinary surprises throughout the evening. The tasting menu is served at 5pm and 8pm.

Still out of ideas? Here are five more restaurants with party favors, Champagne (or tequila), music and special menus

BUDDAKAN – 75 9th Avenue

Over-the-top DJ music, Asian food, and Champagne are guaranteed at this Meatpacking District hot spot.

MORIMOTO – 88 10th Avenue

Ring in the New Year with a special seven-course omakase menu with pairings or order a la carte from Iron Chef Morimoto’s contemporary Japanese menu in the Meatpacking District. Champagne toast at midnight.

EL VEZ – 259 Vesey Street

You can pretend you’re having a fiesta Mexicana at El Vez, celebrating with Mexican food, margaritas and mariachis. Party in Battery Park with a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty with a tequila toast at midnight.

UPLAND – 345 Park Avenue South

The ever-popular Upland near the Flatiron District will be offering a special California-inspired a la carte menu along with a live performance from Antibalas, the eclectic Afro-pop collective from Brooklyn. You’ll celebrate with a Champagne toast at midnight.

THE CLOCKTOWER – 5 Madison Avenue

At the Edition Hotel on lower Madison Avenue, treat yourself to a tasting menu, along with music by Brooklyn Caravan, t in the Edition hotel between 5:30-7pm for a $155 tasting menu or from 8-10pm for a $185 tasting menu, featuring performances by Brooklyn Caravan who will serenade you with their gypsy jazz tunes.

LE COUCOU – 138 Lafayette Street

Ring in the New Year with a cocktail reception and seated six-course dinner menu from Chef Daniel Rose. Le Coucou has acquired a very special 30L bottle of Drappier champagne just for the occasion – it’s yours to enjoy the entire night.

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