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The New Year’s meal kit from Curio

How to Celebrate New Year’s 2020 in San Francisco

The best ways to kick this cursed year to the curb and welcome in 2021

Don’t know if you heard, but 2020 was a real piece of work. Even though many delightful things happened this year, from to-go cocktails to multitudes of fantastic restaurant openings to a new wave of tremendous pop-ups, I think I speak for everyone when I say farewell, 2020, we will not miss you.

So, how to celebrate the end of a dreadful year when one cannot responsibly (or legally) gather with anyone outside your household, and when a state-mandated curfew means we should all be in our own homes when the ball drops? This is the one year that no one will blame you for going to bed before midnight, so while this guide includes some New Year’s Eve options that seem to good not to mention, what we’re really excited about is New Year’s Day, 2021 — a day of fresh starts, new beginnings, and a special takeout meal you and your household can enjoy together.

New Year’s Eve

Maison Danel just opened in February, closed at the beginning of shelter in place, and reopened in July, so one can only imagine that their feelings on 2020 are decidedly mixed. They’re making the best of things with a New Year’s Eve dinner that serves four starting at $200, with pickup and delivery available on NYE, itself. The menu includes caviar, truffle chicken supreme, and a bottle of French wine. Online orders are available here.

Russian Hill’s fresh pasta destination Seven Hills, which just moved into a new location at the end of 2019, has had a heck of a year, including a recent break-in. They’ll be sending 2020 off with a New Year’s Eve dinner that at publication time isn’t on their website, but here’s a peek. To order for pickup, email or call them at 415-775-1550.

Harborview is serving up an $118 “family feast tray” for New Year’s Eve pickup packed with egg rolls, fried chicken patties, marinated duck, and dim sum must haves like custard tarts and mantou buns. Preorder here.

The December bundle from Verjus makes for a great evening happy hour, with a bottle of Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot, smoked salmon, caviar, and blini. Just ignore their advice to “invite a friend or two” to join you, unless those friends are already members of your household. Order here.

New Year’s Day

For many folks, the year hasn’t started until they have a big Southern feast. Brenda’s French Soul Food is open to fill that need from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Before 3 p.m. you can score their enviable brunch, and the rest of the day there’s a gumbo, jambalaya, or grit dish for every member of your household. You can order pickup here, delivery is via Caviar.

Gozu, that SoMa steakhouse known for its spendy wagyu dishes, will go into hibernation in January, with a reopening date that’s still TBD. As a last act before the temporary closure, they’re offering a lavish, $100 Kaluga caviar kit with all the fixings. Delivery and pick-up are both available via Tock.

Lord Stanley’s five-course seafood feast is available on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, but I don’t think 2020 has done enough to deserve a $150 per-person meal in its final day. Better to start 2021 with a menu of dishes like shrimp cocktail, cured salmon, and lobster claw salad. Head to Tock to arrange delivery or pickup.

Che Fico’s kicking this year to the curb with a New Year’s lineup that’s set for pickup on December 30 — so this works as a NYE or NYD option, since you’ll be reheating, either way. There’s a four-person dinner for $285 that includes rib roast and gratin; a truffle tagliatelle for two ($150) that includes a truffle slicer; and a two-person setup of Passmore Ranch caviar, house-made crème fraîche, and chestnut crespelle for $185. Order here.

One Market is offering an $85-per-person year’s end dinner of caviar and blinis, steak or snapper, and an add on of local Dungeness crab cakes for an additional $18. Preorders must be made on Tock.

For those who partied too hard the night before, Hog Island Oyster Co is serving up a New Year’s Day “Recovery Brunch Kit” that includes a canned version of their bloody marys for two, two grilled cheese sandwiches set for heating, and a jar of thier house-made pickles, all for $62. Order here.

Time is running out for Curio’s New Year’s Day kit, which includes items like lobster tail summer rolls and Dungeness crab Napoleon with avocado and sweet potato chips. The menu runs $50 per person, and orders must be placed by 12/29 for pickup on 12/30 or 12/31.

United Dumplings has a crab-centric special menu for 12/31 and 1/1 that serves 4-6 people for $148. In addition to pot stickers and (of course) dumplings, expect spring rolls, chicken wings, and champagne. Call 415-658-7363 to order.