Food

DC-Area Restaurants Celebrating New Year’s Eve With Festive Feasts and Drink Specials

Whether you're in the mood for a fancy prix-fixe or casual drinks and games.

Photo courtesy of dLeña.

Restaurants across the DC-area are hailing the new year with special menus and gatherings, so we’ve put together a list of restaurants where you can celebrate the occasion with fine dining and fun. More in the mood to party at home? Here’s a guide to fun and festive takeout options for New Year’s Eve. 

PLEASE NOTE: The DC area is currently experiencing record-high numbers of new Covid cases due to the Omicron variant. Attending in-person events could now be significantly riskier, even for vaccinated people. You can find more info here, and stay on top of Covid-related changes and cancellations going into the holiday. 

Fancy festivities 

Ilili DC
100 District Square SW
A Thousand and One Midnights event is coming to Ilili DC on Washington’s waterfront. Sit for a five-course culinary experience with options like kibbeh nayeh, crab falafel, hamachi crudo, and lamb shanks. After dinner, dance to live DJ music, enjoy belly dancing performances, and captures memories in a mobile photo booth.
Bar package is $125, dinner is $275 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, dinner starts 9 PM, bar celebration starts 10 PM

Moon Rabbit
801 Wharf St. SW
[Note: this is no longer a ticketed event with music, and has been updated] Chef Kevin Tien is kicking off the new year with a special holiday Vietnamese menu. Options look fun and creative—think filet mignon beef-and-broccoli, garlic rice-stuffed quail, and Szechuan chocolate tarts.

Barca Pier & Wine Bar
2 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria
The floating Spanish spot is throwing a riverside New Year’s Eve celebration with a view of fireworks [update: this event has been modified due to Covid]. Guests can take in the display alongside a curated menu of chef Bryant Haren’s most popular dishes. Dinner is $158 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 7 PM to 1 AM

dLeña
476 K St. NW, Suite D
Richard Sandoval’s new wood-fired Mexican spot is featuring a prix-fixe menu with items like grilled wagyu guacamole, crab cake tostadas, carnitas duck confit, and Mezcal tres leches. An optional beverage pairing is available for an additional $75. In the downstairs mezcal lounge, guests will find live music and a complimentary midnight Champagne toast.
Dinner is $140 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 9 PM to 2 AM

La Bise
800 Connecticut Ave. NW
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj is offering NYE specials at most of his restaurants (Rasika, Bombay Club, Sababa, Modena) etc. At the newest near the White House, a four-course menu explores seasonal takes on classic French fare. Meals open with starters such as scallop crudo or Parisian gnocchi, and continue with courses of Dover sole, steak frites, and dessert Paris-brest.  
Dinner is $90 per person; make reservations hereHours: Dec. 31, 5 PM to 10 PM

Oyamel
401 7th St. NW
Most of Jose Andres’s ThinkFoodGroup restaurants (Jaleo, Zaytina) are celebrating NYE with special menus. We like the sound of the festive lineup at his Mexican spot, where head chef Omar Rodriguez is putting together five courses of tapas and Mexican street food. Upscale ingredients including truffles, caviar, and wagyu beef are melded with dishes like golden arroz (rice) and masa boats. Beverage packages are available for an additional cost.
Dinner starts at $95 per person; make reservations here. 
Hours: Dec. 31, 5 PM to 11 PM

Cranes
724 9th Street NW
Spanish and Japanese cuisines meet at Michelin-starred Cranes, which is offering a six-course omakase feast for New Year’s Eve. Chef Pepe Moncayo is sourcing fish and all other ingredients in the marketplace that week, and guests can also choose to pair their meal with sake and wine. 
Dinner is $150 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, seatings at 5 PM and 10:30 PM

Beuchert’s Saloon
623 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Chef Andrew Markert is previewing his forthcoming Capitol Hill restaurant, Newland, at his current operation Beuchert’s Saloon for New Year’s Eve. This multi-course menu pairs distinct flavors in entrees like nori gnocchi and wagyu steak as well as dishes including cheese stick churros and foie gras crepes.
Dinner starts at $175 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 4 PM to 11 PM

Xiquet
2404 Wisconsin Ave. NW
The Michelin-starred Valencian restaurant is taking guests on a 14-course culinary adventure with luxe and/or unusual ingredients like imported red prawns, grilled octopus, phytoplankton, caviar, sea urchin, truffles, and wagyu beef. The experience features wine pairings for each dish and a Champagne toast to enter the new year.
Dinner starts at $600 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, seatings at 6 PM and 9:30 PM 

Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th St. NW
New chef Drew Allen is serving a four-course dinner at the elegant Foggy Bottom hotel that doesn’t skimp on seasonal luxury—think steak tartare, poached lobster, and roasted pheasant. Sweets from the tavern’s pastry shop including vanilla brulee and orange blossom meringue close the meal, but those left wanting more can stop by for next-day, a la carte brunch. 
Dinner is $195 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 5:30 PM to 10 PM; Jan. 1, 11:30 AM to 2 PM

Seven Reasons
2208 14th St. NW
Seven Reasons gives guests another reason to come by for New Year’s Eve, hosting two seatings for a multi-course meal. Enjoy Latin American fare from chef ​​Enrique Limardo, who will be previewing a number of dishes on the upcoming 2022 menu as part of the dining experience.
Dinner is $225 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, seatings at 5 PM and 8:30 PM

Casual fun

Hang out and play Jenga at Calico, the indoor/outdoor bar at Shaw’s Blagden Alley. Photograph by Scott Suchman

 

 

Duke’s Grocery
2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 1513 17th St., NW
The casual DC gastropubs are hosting celebrations with live music and gratis toasts. The Foggy Bottom branch is throwing a “Proper New Year’s Eve Party” featuring musical guest Rock Creek Kings. During live music, guests can enjoy a premium open bar, appetizer buffet, party favors, and a sparkling wine toast at midnight. In Dupont, gratis bubbles are given out at 7 PM for the early crowd and again at midnight.
Tickets start at $50 here for the Foggy Bottom party.
Hours: Dec. 31, 9 PM to 1 PM

Makan and Thirsty Crow
3400 11th St., NW
The duel Malaysian restaurant and downstairs bar are celebrating New Years with drink specials, DJ tunes, and bubbles. Chef James Wozniuk offers his a la carte menu—think tasty street noodles, curries, and veggie snacks—which can be enjoyed alongside drink specials like $10 cocktails, $8 wines, and $5 beers, and a gratis Champagne toast at midnight.
Hours: Dec. 31 until midnight at Makan and 2 AM at Thirsty Crow.

The Smith
901 F St. NW
The New American restaurant is serving a moderately priced prix-fixe—in the grand scheme of expensive NYE dining—with a three-course meal that includes party favors and a gratis glass of Champagne.  Shareable starters include spicy salmon tartare and ricotta gnocchi, followed by options like red wine braised short rib or shrimp and grits. 
Dinner is $68 per person; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 5 PM to 11 PM

Calico
50 Blagden Alley NW
Those looking for a more casual way to enter the new year, indoor/outdoor Shaw spot Calico is hosting a game night with classics including Clue, Scattegories, Scrabble, Chess, and much more. Hot cocktails and favorites from the restaurant’s a la carte menu will be available. Or stop by for next-day brunch with specials like breakfast sandwiches, egg-topped tater tots, and French toast designed to stave off any hangovers.
Game night is free to attend; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 4 PM to 1 AM; Jan. 1, noon to 8 PM

Bammy’s
301 Water St. SE 
Channel island vibes at Navy Yard’s Jamaican restaurant, which is serving Caribbean cuisine for two. Bring a friend or someone special to enjoy starters including pineapple chow and conch fritters, before diving into entrees like jerk chicken or escovitch snapper. Finish off the meal and share a glazed rum cake.
Dinner for two is $100; make reservations here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 5 PM to 9 PM

TTT Clarendon
2900 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
The Mexican diner is holding a lively celebration with a midnight Champagne toast and DJ music across its two floors and rooftop. The restaurant’s full a la carte menu of Mexican fare will be available through midnight. The following day, an unlimited brunch experience is available for the whole table, with choices like chorizo hash, mushroom scramble, smoked salmon benedict, and bacon and cheese omelet.
Admission starts at $25 here; make reservations for a table here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 9 PM to 2 AM and Jan. 1, 10 AM to 3 PM

Smokecraft
1051 North Highland St., Arlington
The barbecue spot in Clarendon is throwing a Fire & Ice party with an open bar, passed appetizers, a barbecue buffet, DJ tunes, party favors, and more.
Tickets are $125 to $150
Hours: Dec. 31, 8 PM – midnight 

The Eleanor
100 Florida Ave. NE and 931 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring
The casual grill and bowling/game spot is hosting New Year’s Eve fun. Guests will receive preloaded arcade game cards, complimentary midnight Champagne, a late-night breakfast buffet, and party favors. 
Tickets are $39, available for the DC location here and Silver Spring location here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 4 PM to 1 AM in DC and 3 PM to 1AM in Silver Spring

Ambar 
523 8th St. SE and 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Restaurateur Ivan Iricanin (a.k.a. DC’s all-you-can-eat king) is serving bottomless Balkan feasts at his Capitol Hill and Clarendon restaurants. Get an unlimited parade of lamb racks, ribeye bolognese, mushroom potage, and baked beet salad. Brunch on Saturday has highlights like strawberry waffles, steak and eggs, and prosciutto Benedict.New Year’s Eve lunch starts at $25, dinner starts at $89.99, and New Year’s brunch starts at $44.99 per person. 
Make reservations for the Capitol Hill location here and Clarendon location here.
Hours: Dec. 31, 11 AM to 10:30 PM (times vary) and Jan. 1, 9:30 AM to 3:30 AM in Clarendon; Dec. 31, noon to 10:30 PM (times vary) and Jan. 1, 10 AM to 3:30 PM in Capitol Hill

Zach Bright

Zach joined Washingtonian in October 2021. In the past, he’s written for The Colorado Sun, The Nevada Independent and SRQ Magazine.

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