Food & Drink

New Year’s Eve Dining Guide

If you’re hoping to book last-minute reservations, a handful of spots are offering specials and prix-fixe menus that will help you ring in 2023 right.

You might have resolved to stay in this year, or do something budget-friendly, butwe gotta say itsome of the New Year’s Eve dining options around town are pretty tough to pass up. As tempting as pajamas and a pizza might be, there’s also the option to treat yourself to an enchanted evening at one of the following local spotswhich are all planning prix-fixe menus and special dishes to help diners start 2023 off on a full stomach. 

Allora: Settle in at this cozy Mt. Vernon bistro to enjoy a fixed menu carefully crafted for the occasion, which includes dishes such as carbonara deviled eggs, an endive and radicchio chopped salad with chickpeas and salami, lobster linguini, and dry-aged filet mignon. The $100 prix-fixe deal also includes espresso, dessert, and half of a bottle of bubbly per guest. An a la carte menu offers charred broccolini with lemon ricotta, a classic Bolognese, and tagliatelle with seared hanger steak, among other dishes. 

AJ’s on Hanover: At this corner spot in Federal Hill, feast on a la carte specials including barbecue pork shanks with mashed potatoes, Beef Wellington with broccolini and Brussels, Steak Rockefeller topped with lump crab meat, and a lobster alfredo in a garlic cream sauce. If you happen to save room for dessert, go for the special chocolate cake or strawberry cheesecake.

BLK Swan: Grab a group and dress to the nines for this—fittingly—black-tie affair at BLK Swan in Harbor East. Tiered ticket options ($100-275) offer a seated dinner curated by executive chef Saon Brice, plus bottle service, and live music spun by the famed DJ Young Guru. 

Charleston: Just around the corner, this Harbor East gem will serve four courses followed by a complimentary dessert for $199. Settle in to enjoy chef Cindy Wolf’s traditional Lyonnaise foie gras and black winter truffle soup (an homage to the late, great Paul Bocuse), crispy coconut shrimp, escargot in garlic and shallot butter, grilled pheasant breast, and pan-roasted grey sole in a passionfruit beurre blanc, among other offerings.

Cosima: A complimentary glass of Prosecco will accompany the $100, three-course prix-fixe at this rustic Hampden restaurant, where the culinary team will be plating up dishes such as prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin, lobster cannelloni in tomato bisque, and fried snapper with blistered tomatoes and shishito peppers. Celebratory desserts, like Italian chocolate hazelnut liqueur pudding or rum-soaked sponge cake, are also on offer

Duck Duck Goose: Aside from its French-inspired fare and killer cocktail lineup, one of the best things about this Fells Point brasserie is its location, which offers a prime view of the Inner Harbor fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Head up to the roof of DDG’s neighbor, The Admiral Fell Inn, to enjoy an endless spread of finger foods, open bar access, and a live DJ for the $80 price of admission.

Maggie’s Farm: At this Harford Road haunt, diners will enjoy three courses for $80, with the option to add wine pairings for $100. Dishes on deck include crispy Brussels sprouts, a fig salad with candied pecans, lamb meatballs in a signature arrabbiata sauce, walnut-crusted grouper, grilled lamb chops, lump crab cakes, and a vegan fettuccine alfredo. End on a sweet note with crème brûlée or vanilla pear bread pudding with caramel cashew ice cream. 

Marta: Husband-and-wife owners Matthew and Martha Oetting are ringing in their first New Year’s Eve at their new Butcher’s Hill restaurant with an exciting menu. If you haven’t yet gotten a chance to check out the new spot, snag a reservation to get a sense of chef Matthew’s style. The $115, five-course prix-fixe ($175 with wine pairings) offers dishes such as oysters with caviar and grapefruit granita, beet carpaccio with 20-month aged prosciutto, a blue crab-topped spaghetti carbonara, and braised lamb with creamy polenta.

Of Love and Regret: Looking for dinner paired with some evening entertainment? This Canton gem is offering a three-course meal (think: lamb lollipops, Oysters Rockefeller, surf and turf, lobster pierogis, and vegan Bolognese) followed by burlesque performances by Bebe Bordeaux, Fox E. Martin, and Eva Mystique for $150. (Those who want to skip the show but still enjoy the menu can do so for $85.) Plus, festive cocktails featuring smoke and ice will be on special all night long. 

Ovenbird Bakery: Calling all sweet tooth loversthis one’s for you. Little Italy’s beloved bakery is whipping up a whole chocolate espresso mousse cake ($35) that can be paired with a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle brut from Washington’s Columbia Valley wine region for $50. Pre-orders can be made online

Owl Bar: Perhaps the best thing about making a reservation at this storied bar inside Mt. Vernon’s Belvedere Hotel—aside from the food, of course—is that, after dinner, guests are invited to watch fireworks blast over the city from the 13th floor. Featuring a fitting roaring twenties theme, the bar’s $78, three-course menu lists classics such as chicken a l’orange, crab cakes with Old Bay aioli, potatoes au gratin, and a poached pear dessert. Before heading upstairs, be sure to order a traditional French 75, Old Fashioned, or the cranberry-infused “Prohibited Cosmo.”

Perennial: The menu for the inaugural New Year’s Eve bash at this Towson restaurant includes passed appetizers and food stations to fill up bottomless on prime rib, crab cakes, oysters, shrimp, and pasta dishes. The $150 price of admission also includes open bar access and a live DJ, making it a fun option for groups. 

Sally O’s: Chef Jesse Sandlin and her staff are going all out with a $65 prix-fixe highlighting filling comfort foods. Start off with a fried oyster Caesar salad or bowl of curry lobster bisque before moving on to main courses like vegan truffle risotto or a “steak and cake” platter with seared ribeye and crab cake imperial. And be sure to save room for the Nutella cheesecake or a salted caramel tart for dessert.

Victoria Gastro Pub: Howard County locals will be happy to hear that this area stalwart is offering an array of chef-driven specials from 4-11 p.m. Among them are lobster tail ravioli in a lemon-garlic cream sauce and an 8-oz. filet served alongside crab-stuffed shrimp. There will also be free bubbly when the clock strikes twelve.

The Walrus Oyster & Ale House: Nothing says lavish like oysters and Champagne, and at this Columbia spot, you can pair the two for $59. The holiday package includes a chef’s dozen oysters and a special bottle of bubbly.

Woodberry Kitchen: This Gatsby-inspired extravaganza at Hampden’s Woodberry Kitchen will offer a live band, midnight balloon drop, Prohibition-era cocktails (Sidecars and Rum Runners, anyone?), and, of course, a speakeasy-style menu for the $150 all-inclusive price. Come hungry to fill up on buffet fare including Oysters Rockefeller, Steak Delmonico, deviled eggs, and a full raw bar.