New Year's Eve: 30 Galas for Gastronomes

December 17, 2013
by Ruth Tobias

Corks will be popping across Denver and Boulder on New Year’s Eve, but not all party plans have been finalized. For instance, we know ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro, Mateo and The 9th Door will all be celebrating in a yet-to-be-determined fashion. So keep your eyes peeled - but don’t wait until the last minute, as tables are bound to get snapped up fast. 

Ace Eat Serve

At this Pan-Asian Uptown hang, they’ll be roasting whole pigs, grooving to DJs and offering all-night reservations for table tennis. Prepare to don your disco-era togs and down champagne at midnight.

501 E. 17th Ave.; 303-800-7705

Aji Latin American Restaurant

A glass of bubbly is on the house for guests partaking of the four-course menu at this South American-inflected Boulder fixture ($39 per person).

1601 Pearl St., Boulder 303-442-3464

Beast + Bottle

Paying tribute to 1990s hip-hop (which will play throughout the night), chef Paul C. Reilly is presenting a four-course meal of veal-tongue pot au feu, guanciale-wrapped monkfish with blue crab and pumpkin purée, and more for $75, which can be paired with either of two wine packages - the Notorious ($28) or the B.I.G. ($50).

719 E. 17th Ave.; 303-623-3223

Cafe Aion

At chef-owner Dakota Soifer’s Mediterranean hideaway on the Hill in Boulder, holiday cocktails and tapas will be on special all night. The signature paella will also get dressed up with lobster for the occasion.

1235 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder; 303-993-8131


Four courses (with two choices each) are yours for $60 at this progressive neighborhood place near Wash Park, from scallops with pork belly, roasted-carrot purée and dried pomegranate seeds to tagliatelle in wild mushroom-leek ragout.

295 S. Pennsylvania St.; 303-362-0227

Comida Cantina

Head to Longmont for a fiesta at the Comida mothership, where $65 guarantees your first three drinks along with its trademark Mexican street snacks. Bring your Lucha Libre mask and cut loose to the beats of a DJ to head into the New Year.

721 Confidence Dr., Longmont; 720-204-6455


From 5 PM to 6:30 PM, Tom Coohill’s upscale LoDo getaway will offer a five-course prix fixe featuring the likes of Mediterranean sea bass en croute and a duo of strip steak and lamb loin with celery-root purée ($75 per person). For the seating that begins at 8:30 PM, the kitchen will throw in two additional courses, set to the stylings of the Hazel Miller Band ($135 per person). With either option, expect party favors and a glass of bubbly.

1400 Wewatta St.; 303-623-5700

The Corner Office

The flashy Curtis Hotel hangout hosts a Mad Men-themed bash, complete with live music, a midnight champagne toast and valet parking, to boot ($50).

1401 Curtis St.; 303- 825-6500

D Bar Restaurant

At this snug, contemporary cafe and dessert haven in Uptown, a five-course meal will be served at 9 PM for $75; add wine pairings for an extra $25.

1475 E. 17th Ave.; 303-861-4710

EDGE Restaurant & Bar

Attend the first seating of the evening at the Four Seasons’ signature steakhouse to enjoy a three-course dinner that includes pecan-grilled tenderloin with beef marrow and honey cake accompanied by frozen-banana nougat and sesame brittle (5 PM-7 PM; $75 per adult, $25 per child 12 and under). Or come to the second seating, which guarantees you a fourth course, a champagne toast and front-row seats to the Futuristic Ball that follows: think DJs and confetti cannons (8 PM-10 PM; $140 per adult, $70 per child and under).

1111 14th St.; 303-389-3343

Elway’s Downtown

In addition its regular menu, the Ritz-Carlton branch of this chop-centric destination will serve a three-course prix fixe menu starting at 5 PM. Kicking off with an amuse bouche, it features oysters Rockefeller, braised osso buco with chestnut orzo and more, as well as a lavish dessert buffet ($75).

1881 Curtis St.; 303-312-3107

1515 Restaurant 

The kitchen at Gene Tang's modern LoDo longtimer has evolved into quite the lab of molecular-style experimentation in recent years, and you're invited to go down the rabbit hole with them for New Year's, when they'll turn out an Alice in Wonderland-themed repast - tea-cake-stuffed quail, turtle soup and all. The first seating, at 5 PM, includes three courses for $40; the second, at 6 PM, is four courses plus a champagne toast. And the DJ arrives at 10 PM. 

1515 Market St.; 303-571-0011

Frasca Food and Wine

This Friulian favorite is a sold-out show most nights, so if you’d like to join master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson for four special courses and a champagne toast in honor of the New Year, we suggest you pick up that phone right now ($110 per person).

1738 Pearl St., Boulder; 303-442-6966

Kachina Southwestern Grill

Pork-avocado tamales, smoked bison rib and candied-apple churros figure among several choices on the three-course prix fixe menu at the Westin Westminster’s signature dining room, where a DJ will bring the tunes from 9 PM to 1 AM ($40 per adult, $15 per child under 12).

10600 Westminster Blvd.; 303-410-5813

La Biblioteca

The party at Richard Sandoval’s Asian-Latin tequila lounge gets underway at 9 PM with a DJ, and continues until 1 AM; a $60 entrance fee is good for unlimited cocktails and passed appetizers.

1610 Little Raven St.; 720-904-0965

Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar

Three courses ($55) or four ($67.50): take your pick at this downtown French rendezvous, where chef John Broening is preparing shrimp bisque with tarragon and lemon, grilled swordfish in saffron broth with clams and red rice, and more. Throughout the evening, there will be live entertainment, as well as a midnight balloon drop and champagne toast.

1512 Curtis St.; 303-534-1155


This LoHi sensation was built on a globe-spanning approach to food, and the bill of fare on New Year’s Eve continues the theme with an emphasis on supposedly lucky ingredients from around the world. Five multiple-choice courses, including an amuse bouche, incorporate everything from Buddha’s-hand citron to black-eyed peas. Reserve your spot for $62 ($92 with selected drinks). 

2030 W. 30th Ave.; 303-993-3120

LoHi SteakBar

Live music, a balloon drop, a champagne toast and party favors: they’re all on tap at this neighborhood lair, whose American kitchen is whipping up à la carte specials like lobster egg rolls ($15) for the occasion.

3200 Tejon St.; 303-927-6334

Lou's Food Bar

Prolific chef-restaurateur Frank Bonanno makes a New Year's triple play (see also next two listings), starting with a casual affair at his Sunnyside comfort-food joint. Here, the regular menu will be supplemented by à la carte specials like prime rib and bouillabaisse.

1851 W. 38th Ave.; 303-458-0336

Luca d’Italia

Bonanno’s intimate modern Italian haunt at the bottom of Capitol Hill will offer a five-course tasting (from 5 PM to close) that includes an amuse bouche and optional cheese plate. The planned dishes range from lamb tartare accompanied by a porcini-rice crisp to pan-seared venison with parsnip fonduta and blackberry marmalade ($100 per person, $170 with wine pairings).

711 Grant St.; 303-832-6600


Around the corner from Luca d'Italia, Bonanno’s contemporary American offers a five-course prix fixe that's all about luxury, from lobster sashimi with caviar crème fraîche to roast duck over herbed farro and foie gras emulsion ($130 per person, $215 with wine pairings, $235 with supplemental cheese course).

225 E. 7th Ave.; 303-832-4778

The Populist

The free-wheeling RiNo hot spot is planning a seven-course tasting menu for the night, with vegetarian alternatives and optional wine pairings ($55 excluding beverages).

3163 Larimer St.; 720-432-3163

Punch Bowl Social

Dig out those parachute pants and jelly sandals: Robert Thompson’s combination diner, arcade and bowling alley in the Baker District (pictured) is throwing an ’80s-themed bash complete with costume prizes, a cover band and a midnight balloon drop.

65 Broadway; 303-765-2695

Root Down

True to its, well, roots in healthful balance, Justin Cucci’s eternally hip Highlands flagship is basing its four-course dinner, plus an amuse bouche, on the principle of the five elements. For instance, sunchoke soup with spicy ancho-chile prawns and pepitas falls under “Fire,” while carrot cake à la mode represents “Earth” ($75 per person, $105 with drinks).

1600 W. 33rd Ave.; 303-993-4200

Session Kitchen

Scott Parker, the chef at this instant hit on Old South Pearl, is spearheading a characteristically eclectic four-course repertoire. By way of example: a seafood platter composed of oysters with grilled mignonette, Gulf shrimp with blond cocktail sauce, and Alaskan king crab with buttered popcorn and hot sauce. (Whew.) Add $40 to the $80 price tag for wine or cocktail pairings.

1518 S. Pearl St.; 720-763-3387


At their beloved Mediterranean retreat in LoHi, John Broening and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom are holding three seatings: the first, at 5 PM, runs $50 per person for three courses, while those at 7 PM and 9:15 PM provide four courses for $60 apiece. To supplement dishes like beef carpaccio in fennel vinaigrette, duck confit with warm kale salad and mostarda di frutta, and caramelized millefoglie with pear sorbet, the couple will also send out an amuse bouche and a gift bag of mignardises.

2639 W. 32nd Ave.; 303-433-0949


Troy Guard's self-styled "Continental Social" locale in Larimer Square has a four-course dinner in store that features roast duck, butter-poached black cod and the justly ballyhooed kangaroo ($40).  

1441 Larimer St.; 303-996-9985


Richard Sandoval's unmistakable modern Mexican cuisine will be presented in three courses, accompanied by a glass of champagne for $69 a person. When dinner ends, merrymaking on the second-floor terrace begins with a DJ, party favors and unlimited cocktails from 10 PM through the witching hour ($25). 

1400 Larimer St.; 720-946-1433

Vesta Dipping Grill

Prior to a midnight champagne toast, Vesta chef Brandon Foster will serve up a quartet of à la carte specials, including grilled prawns over cheddar grits ($16) and grilled rib-eye with lobster risotto and a trio of dipping sauces.

1822 Blake St.; 303-296-1970


The kitchen at this splashy Riverfront fixture (also from Richard Sandoval) is dishing up a four-course feast that shows its foundation in Asian-Latin fusion. Try the Chinese-style short rib with Manchego-potato purée and huitlacoche jus, or the butterscotch-miso black cod with green beans and white asparagus ($65). 

1610 Little Raven St.; 720-904-0965