You know the New Year’s Eve dining drill: a three-course prix-fixe menu for $65 that includes a glass of
cheap sparkling wine bubbly! Obviously there are exceptions, especially at top-tier restaurants, but often NYE diners are paying more to eat the same food simply because it’s a major holiday. Thankfully, some eateries just say no to the hype, offering their regular, delicious à-la-carte menus. Here are some good options.
Black Restaurant Group restaurants (except Black Market Bistro)
DC and Maryland locations
BlackSalt and Black’s Bar & Kitchen serve their regular menus, as well as some festive specials. A few differences to note with the others, also serving à-la-carte fare (except the Bistro, which goes set price): Pearl Dive accepts dinner reservations and offering deals on Champagne; Republic hosts a ’90s-themed dance party later on (dinner reservations are available from 5 to 9); and there’s a no-cover Mardi Gras party at Black Jack for post-po’ boy revelry.
931 H St., NW
Head to Daniel Boulud‘s new hotspot between 5:30 and 7 for dinner as usual: French and American brasserie fare and retro desserts. A prix-fixe menu starts later on.
777 I St., NW
While the main dining room is going prix-fixe, the spacious bar area serves the à-la-carte menu. This is a good option for diners who want to go fancy-ish, as many of the dishes will be served with a touch of smoked sturgeon caviar.
1520 14th St., NW; 1800 14th St., NW
Chef Haidar Karoum serves dinner as usual at both his 14th Street spots, so pick between croquetas and porrons of sparkling wine, or lemongrass chicken wings and zombie cocktails.
1238 H St., NE
Drop by for mussels and beer pre-H Street bar hop, and look for a few NYE specials in addition to the regular fare (no reservations needed).
8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax
A large à-la-carte menu at chef RJ Cooper‘s Mosaic District eatery offers a little something for everyone, from the adventurous (crispy smoked pig’s head) to comfort-food fans (three types of mac and cheese). Note there’s also a cheffy kids’ menu for families.
Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, and Alexandria locations
Say farewell to 2014 with an unfussy lineup of fresh-shucked oysters, a great lobster roll, and a glass of bubbly.
1117 V St., NW
It’s hard to go wrong at this neighborhood Japanese, so order up a bounty of sashimi, skewers, fritters, and other small plates. Traditional osechi (bento-style boxes) are also available with 20 items packed inside.
2201 14th St., NW
Get your last taste of wood-roasted lamb and dreamy taramasalata in 2014 off Mike Isabella‘s normal menu. There’s also a tasting option for diners who want to do it up, and special Champagnes for all.
4220-A Annandale Rd., Annandale
This Korean barbecue joint is already like a party on a typical night, so grab some friends and order up a heap of meats to cook on the tabletop grills.
301 Water St., SE
A charcuterie plate, hearty bowl of pasta, or maybe some wood-roasted meats sounds like a pretty good way to ring in 2015.
1926 14th St., NW
Drop by on the early side for tasty tacos, ceviches, and a range of small plates. The à-la-carte menu goes prix-fixe starting at 8:30.
The Thai triangle in Wheaton