How do you pick a restaurant for New Year’s Eve when the majority are open and doing something special? Starting with the best of the best is always a good idea. Though one can never predict how a busy holiday service will go, at least you’re in expert hands at these places, the top 20 in our 2015 list of Washington’s 100 Best Restaurants.
1509 17th St., NW
Let’s just say it’s tough to get a table on a normal Tuesday. Try calling close to NYE and the day of for last-minute cancellations.
855 E St., NW
See above. The adjoining cocktail spot, Barmini, is worth a try, though.
3. Rose’s Luxury
717 Eighth St., SE
NYE reservations went online earlier this month, and disappeared like a platter of Rose’s fried chicken—quickly, and a little stickily. The second-floor bar area is reserved for walk-ins, so brave duos could take that angle; don’t even try to snag more seats than that.
4. Fiola Mare
3050 K St., NW
The elegant Georgetown seafood spot offers à-la-carte dining from 5 to 6, and then a five-course tasting for $175.
5. Rasika/Rasika West End
633 D St., NW/1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW
Chef Vikram Sunderam serves three- and four-course menus at both upscale Indian locations ($55 and $85, respectively, with optional wine pairings).
6. Little Serow
1511 17th St., NW
It’s crazy-busy business as usual on New Year’s Eve at Johnny Monis‘s Thai joint. Doors open at 5:30 for first come, first served seating, so plan to line up even earlier than usual.
7. The Red Hen
1822 First St., NW
Closed for New Year’s Eve and Day, like any sensible restaurant run by industry vets.
601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Like its ritzy sister, this spot offers a five-course tasting menu for $175, here with plenty of caviar and Wagyu beef.
9. The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
42461 Lovettsville Rd., Lovettsville
While Lovettsville, Virginia, may not be a typical NYE stop, chef Tarver King‘s destination-worthy cooking makes its case. A tasting menu is served for $110 per person.
10. Vin 909 Winecafe
909 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis
Anyone in the Annapolis environs can head to this stellar pizza spot for the regular menu and hours, 5:30 to 10. Prepare to wait during primetime—and even before—as there’re no reservations.
11. Seasonal Pantry
1314 Ninth St., NW
Supper club tickets for NYE are sold out, but there are still a few remaining for Wednesday, January 28, at the time of this posting if you can celebrate early.
12. Del Campo
777 I St., NW
Chef Victor Albisu serves up NYE South American-style with a five-course menu and optional smoked white sturgeon caviar service ($120; $200 with caviar). Those looking to go more casual can go à-la-carte in the bar.
13. Casa Luca
1099 New York Ave., NW
The most casual of chef Fabio and Mari Trabocchi’s restaurants offers a four-course tasting for $95, or an à-la-carte menu from 5 to 6.
14. Le Diplomate
1601 14th St., NW
The buzzy French brasserie serves a regular menu with some dressed-up specials, plus a complimentary glass of (real) Champagne for anyone dining at midnight.
15. Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Early birds can dine on a three-course pre-theater menu from 5 to 6:30 ($55), while the second seating from 7 to 11 includes a five-course lineup with caviar, foie gras, and lobster ($105 per person).
7421 Maple Lawn Blvd., Fulton
A slightly smaller version of the regular menu is offered at this handsome Indian spot, with standouts like lamb saag and jingha karari shrimp curry.
17. Mintwood Place
1813 Columbia Rd., NW
Chef Cedric Maupillier, the mastermind behind the gorgeous pasta on the cover of the January issue, creates a tasting menu for seatings at 6 and 9 ($95 per person; $65 wine pairing). The mix is homey and luxurious, with oysters and caviar alongside cotechino sausage.
1200 16th St., NW
Expect all the usual luxurious suspects—foie, truffles, lobster—at this luxe dining room at the Jefferson, seating guests between 5 and 6 ($165 per person) and 9 and 9:45 ($225, including a glass of Champagne).
19. Izakaya Seki
1117 V St., NW
The regular of delicious Japanese small plates and sashimi is offered, alongside traditional New Year’s osechi boxes (bento-like assortments of 20 items).
2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Chef Robert Wiedmaier‘s Belgian fine-dining spot may be well-established in Washington, but it recently underwent a design facelift. Enjoy the new space during two seatings: 5 to 6:30 for $150, or at 8 with live music ($250).