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How Restaurants Are Ringing in the New Year
Comments () | Published December 28, 2009

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Count the seconds, not the calories, with an indulgent New Year’s Eve dinner. Make your reservations soon, especially for the later seatings—or snag an earlier, less crowded 5 PM spot and head somewhere else to dance it off.

Againn
This new Brit-inspired gastropub is adding two holiday specials to its usual bangers-and-mash lineup: a country-style pork terrine with spiced-pear chutney and toast, and a sous vide lamb loin with globe artichoke, stinging nettles, and preserved lemon. Seatings begin at 5:30, and the restaurant closes at 1. Call 202-639-9830 for reservations.

Ardeo
Two seatings are planned at this Cleveland Park restaurant. The first, from 5 to 7:30, will offer an à la carte menu with entrées ranging from $24 to $32. The second, from 8 to 11:30, is a $65 three-course set menu (midnight Champagne toast included). The menu includes appetizers such as roast foie gras with rose honey; roasted beets with blue cheese and cara-cara marshmallows; and tea-crusted beef carpaccio with three-bean salad. Among the main courses are venison with rosemary bread pudding; duck two ways (roasted breast and leg confit) with quince purée and farro; roasted lobster with chive gnocchi; and braised short ribs with red-wine sauce. Desserts are Meyer-lemon crème brûlée; chocolate-date cake; white-chocolate-and-pecan bread pudding; and pear tarte Tatin.
Call 202-244-6750 or click here to make reservations.

Asia Nine
New Year’s wishes are a part of the menu here, with à la carte items such as shrimp-filled Happiness Dumpling ($7) and Asian-grilled Lucky Lamb ($20) with cumin-herb sauce. The desserts are just as colorful: There’s a red-bean-and-ice-cream Red Lantern ($8) and a crisp-fruit Firecracker Wonton ($8). The New Year’s specials will be offered alongside Asia Nine’s regular menu from 7:30 until 2. There’ll be a DJ and free midnight Champagne toast. Call 202-629-4355 for reservations.

Bastille
This Old Town Alexandria French bistro has two seating options. The first, from 5:30 to 7:30, is a $55 four-course prix fixe menu. The other, from 8:30 to 10:45, features a $79 six-course tasting menu. On the earlier menu, you’ll find foie gras with pineapple Tatin; lobster ravioli; venison tournedos with sauce financière; pan-roasted John Dory with celeriac cream; and Manjari-chocolate cake.

The later menu includes oysters and caviar; a trio of foie gras, lobster, and bacon; venison tournedos; and Valrhona-chocolate-and-espresso terrine. Call 703-519-3776 for reservations.

Belga Café
Each dish on the $79 five-course menu at this Belgian restaurant—such as smoked-salmon brochette or venison with oyster mushrooms—has a vegetarian counterpart. Meat-free dishes include tomato consommé with cheese crisps; green-lentil salad; and veggie pizza with arugula and Parmesan. Desserts are chocolate gelée with currants and sponge cake, and raspberry lollipops with white-chocolate sorbet. Call 202-544-0100 for reservations.

Bibiana
Ashok Bajaj’s new downtown Italian restaurant will celebrate with L’Ultima Cena—“the last supper.” If you opt for the early seating—5:30 to 7:30—you’ll have a choice of a three- ($48) or four-course ($65) menu. The later seating, 8 to 11, offers a four- ($75) or five-course ($96) dinner. There are several choices for each course, including roasted beet salad; grilled baby octopus with green olives and grapefruit; black spaghetti with sea urchin; and olive-oil-poached rockfish. Two dishes carry surcharges: Risotto with winter black truffle and Parmesan is an extra $10, and plancha-seared Maine lobster with rapini is $5 more. Call 202-216-9550 or click here for reservations.

Bistrot Lepic
This Georgetown bistro’s French-accented five-course menu ($69.50) includes foie-gras-and-truffle boudin with parsley mousse; steamed lobster with spinach and mango; and roasted guinea hen with Jerusalem artichokes au gratin. The menu is available from 5:30 to 10:30. Call 202-333-0111 for reservations.

Blue Duck Tavern
Two New Year’s Eve seatings are scheduled at this farmhouse-inspired American restaurant in the swank Park Hyatt hotel. The first seating, from 5:30 to 6:30, features a $75 four-course menu. Expect canapés and charcuterie, prosciutto-wrapped rockfish, Châteaubriand with béarnaise, and baby winter greens. The second seating ($280), which begins at 9, includes menu upgrades such as glazed sweetbreads and Wagyu strip loin as well as all beverages. It also gives you access to the Park Hyatt’s lounge celebration, running from 9 to 2, which will have an open bar, tapas, chocolates, cigars, and Scotch on the hotel’s heated terrace. There’ll be a Champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Call 202-419-6755 for reservations.

Bourbon Steak
San Francisco celebrity chef Michael Mina’s steakhouse in the Four Seasons Hotel has two dinner seatings. At the first, from 5:30 to 6:30, you’ll find an $80 four-course menu, which includes caviar parfait with smoked salmon, crème fraîche, and Iranian osetra; and Maine lobster basted in brown butter. The second seating, 8:30 to 10, offers a $175 six-course menu with live music. Menu additions include duck with sweet-and-sour red cabbage and gingerbread as well as apple sorbet with mulled cider and streusel. Call 202-944-2026 for reservations.

Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier
There are two special menus at this Old Town restaurant in the Lorien Hotel & Spa. A $65 four-course menu will be served from 5:30 to 7 (wine pairings are $35). From 7:30 to 11, there’ll be a $95 six-course tasting menu (wine pairings are $55). Menu items include pan-seared scallops in sherry-shallot butter and duck-confit ravioli. The meals end with either lemon-chiffon tart with glazed cranberries or molten cake with hazelnut and chocolate. There’s a free Champagne toast if you make it to midnight. Call 703-894-3440 for reservations.

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