In terms of restaurant rip-off nights, New Year's Eve is only outpaced by the next dining holiday down the pike, Valentine's Day. Given that it's a holiday typified by luxury and copious amounts of bubbly, it can be hard to find a place to dine out without signing up for a pricey prix-fixe. So we've compiled a list of 12 spots where it's possible to enjoy great food on New Year's Eve for under $100 per head with at least one drink (typically a midnight flute of bubbly). From raucous parties with passed bites and open bars to set menus offering delights like aged ribeye steaks and whole roasted Dungeness crab, there's something for everyone. For those playing with a bigger budget, nearly all of the Michelin-starred spots in town will be serving special (and pricey) set menus.Read More
The Under-$100 New Year's Eve 2013 Guide
1. Park Tavern
Park Tavern is doing a three-course NYE prix fixe for $75, which includes a glass of bubbly at midnight. Options include parsnip soup with caviar, aged ribeye with scalloped potatoes, and a trio of Jasper Hill cheeses. Sister spot Marlowe is also doing a $75 menu.
2. Comstock Saloon
Comstock is going Southern for its New Year's bash, with three kinds of oysters, a bread salad with hoppin' john, and the centerpiece, a 45-day-aged ribeye with potato gratin. The $65 prix-fixe doesn't include drinks, but still leaves an extra $35 in the budget for a couple of cocktails and a glass of champagne.
NYE dinner at Cotogna runs $85, and includes a four-course menu, a DJ, dancing, complimentary bubbles at midnight, and late-night snacks.
4. Slanted Door
Slanted Door has a $100 food and beverage minimum per person on NYE, but if you order right, that would leave $124 for a more-than-sizable dinner for two, after $44 for two cocktails each and a $32 bottle of sparkling wine. Splurge on the shaking beef and crab cellophane noodles? No problem.
5. Bar Agricole
Bar Ag is keeping things affordable with an $85 prix fixe that includes a glass of Champagne for the midnight toast. A couple of cocktails will break the $100 mark by a little bit, but theirs are always worth the expense.
It's the final night in business for this long-running Mission tapas spot, which is becoming Chino (from Brandon Jew and the Tacolicious folks) this summer. The $59 four-course prix fixe will be good ballast for lots of drinks and some misty rounds of "Auld Lang Syne."
7. The Abbot's Cellar
Toast the holiday with beer at The Abbot's Cellar, which is offering a three-course menu for $55 ($75 with pairings) or a five-course menu for $75 ($95 with pairings). They aren't doing set seating times, either, which is a nice bonus.
8. Hi Lo BBQ
Hi-Lo is roasting a whole hog for New Year's Eve, complete with an open bar until 2 am and sides like smoked potato salad, mac and cheese, and beans and burnt ends. They'll have sweets, a DJ, and a dance floor, too. Tickets are $90.
Pizzaiolo is throwing a crab feast for New Year's Eve, with Dungeness roasted in the wood oven with chili butter, housemade boudin blanc, and plenty of winter treats. At $85, dinner alone falls within the budget, but for a slight splurge, drop an extra $30 to get into an after-party at brand-new sister spot Penrose. More info.
Comal is throwing a party with plenty of tequila punch, Mexican snacks like quesadillas and flautas, and Latin-funk DJ Jose Ruiz. Tickets are $40.
11. Plum Bar
The prix fixe at sister restaurant Plum will run $90 before wine pairings, but Plum Bar is keeping things affordable with a Gatsby-themed bash. The $15 cover includes a glass of champagne and passed appetizers like deviled eggs and smoked trout crostini. They'll also be running specials on pre-Prohibition cocktails.
12. Ramen Shop
Ramen Shop is offering a duo of affordable alternatives: a $75 five-course prix fixe (with seatings at 7-7:30 and 9-9:30) that includes champagne, beer, and wine, or a $40 drinks-only option from 10 pm "until late." Tickets here.