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Denver's Ultimate New Year’s Guide: Dinners, Parties, Day-After Brunches

Ring in 2015 with champagne toasts, epic feasts, blackout bingo and more
December 22, 2014
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by Lori Midson

There’s no limit to the ways to ring in 2015 in Denver, a city that takes its New Year’s Eve festivities seriously. Whether you’ve set your sights on a luxurious dinner with your date or a girl’s night out with live music and firework displays, you can rest assured that bottles of bubbly will be uncorking all over the city. Find the ideal way to celebrate the end of 2014 in our indispensable guide below. We've also included a day-after guide to brunching and hangover relief.

New Year's Eve Dinners and Parties

Trillium: The food of Scandinavia intersects with modern American cuisine at Trillium (pictured below), where guests can look forward to a seasonal, three-course spread from chef-owner Ryan Leinonen. The New Year's Eve bash trumpets a complimentary champagne toast, an amuse-bouche and intermezzo. Cost is $75 per person (optional alcohol pairings are $25), and reservations, including a credit card number, are required. Note that there's a 72-hour cancellation policy. Call 303-379-9759 to book seats.

Zengo: At Richard Sandoval's lively Latin restaurant in Riverfront Park, usher in the New Year with a $69 feast that includes an appetizer (spicy crab guacamole or salted edamame beans) a three-course dinner, dessert and a champagne toast. Reservations are recommended; call 720-904-0964.

The Populist: For $55 per person, this RiNo hotspot is ringing in the New Year with a shared seven-course tasting menu (wine pairings are an addition $25 each). Reservations are available on OpenTable or by calling the restaurant at 720-432-3163. A credit card number is required to hold your spot. 

Mizuna: Frank Bonanno's top-rated, French-inspired flagship is featuring a multicourse menu for $130 per person, with the option to add wines for an additional $85 and/or a cheese course for a $20 supplement. Call 303-832-4778 for reservations.

Central Bistro & Wine Bar: Billed as a tribute to the “iconic” first-class dishes served on the RMS Titanic, chef Matt Selby is celebrating the closeout of 2014 with a five-course Continental feast for $75 per person (wines are $25 extra). Stick around for the midnight soiree, which features live music from Charlie Horse, unlimited flutes of sparkling wine, draft beers and well drinks for $45, all-inclusive. Reservations: 303-477-4582.

The Corner Office: If you're looking for a prime spot to view the celebratory bright lights of the 16th Street Mall fireworks display, head to The Corner Office. Located just two blocks from the Mall, the restaurant and bar, housed in the Curtis Hotel, is offering its regular board, in addition to a Prohibition-themed New Year’s Eve menu, holiday-inspired cocktails and housemade cotton candy. Call 303-825-6500 to get a piece of the action.

Duo: A three-course dinner is the recipe for New Year's Eve at Duo, a beloved Highland fave, where you can count on beautifully composed dishes that utilize seasonal and local ingredients. The first seating, beginning at 5 PM, is $55 per person, while the second and third seatings, which kick off at 7 PM, are $65 each, and include four courses. To book reservations, call 303-477-4141. 

Punch Bowl Social: Pull out the leg warmers, acid-washed jeans and popped-collar Polo shirts for New Year's Eve at Punch Bowl Social, which ushers in 2015 with an '80s cover band, $2.50 PBRs and $6 PBRs with a shot. A midnight balloon drop, champagne toast, hats and noisemakers, and throwback arcade games like Pac-Man, Joust and Galaga are all part of the fun, and you can also strike up a party at the bowling lanes, play Ping-Pong or Skee-Ball well into the wee hours.

Stout Street Social: Hit up this Downtown newcomer (pictured below) before or after you take in the celebratory fireworks on the 16th Street Mall. The festive spot is serving its regular menu (think everything from oysters to burgers), along with a list of more than 40 beers, numerous classic cocktails and nearly four dozen wines by the glass. Bonus: take advantage of the validated (and discounted) valet parking at the next-door Embassy Suites hotel. Reservations accepted by calling 720-214-9100.

Session Kitchen: This party-centric player in Platt Park marks the end of 2014 with a three-course tasting menu, including choices of West Coast oysters or Parmesan flatbread, spaghetti and Royal Red shrimp or roast beef shoulder tender, from exec chef Scott Parker, whose sweet finales parade chocolate-and-peanut butter beignets or a selection of housemade jams with fried sourdough pastries. The prix fixe dinner is $50 per guest, and a $25 add-on wine pairing option is also available. For reservations, call 720-763-3387.

Lola: Celebrate the arrival of 2015 at Lola, where revelers can order several New Year’s Eve à la carte specials from 5-11 PM. Indulge in champagne-cured black bass ceviche with grape, tarragon and picked mustard seeds; quail asada with mole verde and yucca dumplings; or the lamb sirloin paired with mint chimichurri. Hang around for the complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Secure reservations at 720-570-8686.

Lou's Food Bar: At Frank Bonanno’s casual neighborhood spot in Sunnyside, $50 buys you a bucket of fried chicken, plus all the requisite sides (mashed potatoes and creamed corn), a feast that feeds two to four people. Even better: a bottle of bubbles is included in the price. Call 303-458-0336 for reservations.

Blackbelly Market: Chef-owner Hosea Rosenberg and his crew are marking Blackbelly's (pictured below) first New Year’s Eve with a five-course tasting menu (and an amuse) for $75 per person. And since the end of the year always brings bittersweet feelings, Blackbelly is serving a bittersweet chocolate torte for its final course. A curated wine-pairing option is an additional $45, while craft cocktails, wines and local craft drafts will also be available. For reservations, call 303-247-1000.

Coohills: Two seatings are available at Coohills: an early seating that includes a five-course menu (think lobster ravioli and hot passion fruit souffle) and a complimentary glass of Roederer Estate Brut sparking wine ($75), and a late seating, beginning at 8:30 PM, that rewards guests with a seven-course dinner, a glass of Taittinger "La Francaise" NV Brut champagne and live music from Forever in Blue Jeans, a Neil Diamond Tribute Band ($135 per person). Reservations are required; call 303-623-5700.

The Squeaky Bean: In addition to its regular menu, chef Theo Adley is offering several specials, including oysters, caviar and zampone for two, while owner Johnny Ballen plans to toast the end of 2014 with a series of late-night bingo games and prizes for the winners. Two 40-oz. Miller High Life beers (the champagne of beers!) go to the winner of the first bingo game, the second winner gets a free bottle of bubbles, and the winner of the final blackout bingo game waltzes away with a $150 Squeaky Bean gift certificate. Following bingo mania, there's a midnight champagne clink, and a DJ, disco ball and dancing until 2 AM. Call 303-623-2665 to partake in the party.

Ace, Eat Serve: At this Uptown restaurant, bar and Ping-Pong palace, ring in the New Year with a whole Peking duck paired with sides and salads to feed four, a complimentary midnight toast and drink specials. Just be forewarned that if you're set on the duck, it's priced at $100 and must be preordered in advance by calling 303-800-7705.

Elway's Downtown: A flute of bubbles greets guests at this ritzy Downtown steakhouse, which, along with its normal menu, is unleashing a chef’s surf & turf dinner for $150 per person. Each table is graced with an amuse-bouche, followed by oysters Rockefeller with sautéed spinach and smoked bacon, a Prime-grade filet and a half Maine lobster, plus the signature Ritz-Carlton cake for dessert. Reservations: 303-312-3107.

New Year's Day Brunches

Wazee Supper Club: Opening at 11 AM, Lodo’s iconic Wazee Supper Club cures a lingering hangover with its breakfast pizzas topped with scrambled eggs, sausage, tomatoes, potatoes and green chile. Not done celebrating? Knock back $3 Bloody Marys and $3 mimosas all day long. Reservations: 303-623-9518.

Lola: From 10 AM-2 PM, Lola rolls out a brunch menu that features a full spectrum of stick-to-your-ribs pick-me-ups: the chicharrón Benedict with pork-belly biscuits, apple tomatillo and chipotle hollandaise; a butter-poached lobster, goat cheese and green chile omelet; and chicken and waffles with chorizo gravy and cherry-Fresno syrup. Indulge in a Mexican mimosa (beer, tequila, orange juice and fresh lime juice), or a Bloody Mary with chile-poached shrimp, housemade pickles, spicy asparagus, bacon and cheese, which may just qualify as breakfast in a glass. Call 720-570-8686 for reservations.

Centro Latin Kitchen: Recover from your New Year's Eve shenanigans with a resolution brunch at Boulder's Centro, where specials include chef Dakota Coburn’s traditionally lucky poached lobster huevos rancheros; steak and eggs with roasted chile tamales; or, if you have a sweet tooth, the caramelized rum and apple-stuffed French toast. Make your brunch boozy with a visit to the hangover-curing Bloody Mary bar, making its debut in 2015. Call 303-442-7771 to secure your seat.

The Post Brewing Company: Stop in between 11 AM-4 PM to chase away last night's lingering haze with the Post's "Good Luck Platter," chef Brett Smith’s guarantee of favorable fortune in the upcoming year. Four dishes, each meant to ensure a year of good luck, include grilled ham, collard greens, marinated black-eyed peas and two eggs over easy. If you're still too hungover for a full sit-down affair, grab a bucket to go of the Post’s fried chicken, plus a growler filled with your choice of the house-brewed Meathooks, Howdy or Zippy beers. Reservations: 303-593-2066.

Argyll Whisky Beer: Suffering from a champagne headache? Roll out of bed and get thee to Argyll Whisky Beer for its New Year’s Day brunch featuring corned beef hash; crayfish and artichoke stew crowned with a fried egg; a proper English breakfast of housemade sausage, fried eggs, grilled tomato, mushrooms and beans; or the crisp-shelled Scotch egg. For those requiring a bit more sleep, Argyll’s regular dinner service starts at 5 PM. Make reservation at 303-847-0850.

Zengo & La Biblioteca: Kick off the New Year with bottomless brunch at Zengo and La Biblioteca, both of which are offering free-flowing small plates, endless cocktails and a build-your-own Bloody Mary or Maria bar with more than 30 fixings, all for $35. Reservations are recommended; call 720-904-0965.

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