No matter where you plan to be at 11:59 on New Year's Eve, you know you're going to have to eat first. Why not make your last meal of 2015 one to remember? Whether you're trying to avoid the usual bar crowds, attempting to ring in the New Year in a more casual ambiance, putting down a layer of good food so you can pile on the booze later, or looking for an elegant spot where you can dine until the clock strikes twelve, Denver has plenty of options for New Year's Eve. Here are ten of our top picks, ranging from fine to fancy to fun, and presented in no particular order.
1400 Wewatta Street
Instead of jumping right into 2016, take some time to savor the past at Coohills, which will be serving the Last (First-Class) Meal on the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. All ten courses that were served on April 14, 1912, in the first-class dining salon will be recreated as you dine and dance the night away to the Titanic String Quartet, which will be playing from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The classic menu will feature oysters, poached salmon with Mousseline sauce, saute of chicken Lyonnaise, roast squab and cress, pate de foie gras, Waldorf pudding and more. Come dressed in your best, period attire and you could win a bottle of champagne and a Coohills gift card. The dinner is priced at $135 per person, and includes a glass of Heidsieck & Co Monopole Champagne, the same champagne that was served for toasting on the Titanic. For reservations—which are required—and more information, call Coohills at 303-623-5700.
9) Frasca Food and Wine
1738 Pearl Street
Forego the bar scene on New Year's Eve and spend the evening celebrating like the responsible adult you're trying to be next year, with good food, wine and jazz music. For a more upscale evening, Frasca will be serving a four-course menu for $110 per person. Seatings will be available between 5 and 10:45 p.m., but guests are welcome to stay through midnight to ring in the New Year. Jazz pianist Paul Shinn will be setting the mood, and playing from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Call Frasca at 303-442-6966 to make your reservations.
8) The Kitchen Denver
1530 16th Street
If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the 16th Street Mall on New Year's Eve, and want to catch a glimpse of the city's fireworks display, there are few better places to enjoy your last meal of the year than The Kitchen Denver. The Kitchen will be serving up a four-course, prix-fixe menu with optional wine pairings as well as an optional raw bar supplemental. Diners can choose form several options for each course, including dishes like chestnut soup, duck ravioli, braised short rib, chocolate terrine and more. The dinner is priced at $75 per person with wine pairings costing an additional $65. The raw bar supplemental, which includes caviar with potato blini, oysters and smoked mackerel rillettes, is $24 for two. For reservations and more information, call the restaurant at 303-623-3127.
7) Avanti Food & Beverage
3200 Pecos Street
Avanti Food & Beverage has the perfect location for catching the fireworks display over downtown Denver. The collective eatery also has seven restaurants, with food ranging from arepas to pizzas, and a rooftop bar; for New Year's Eve all seven restaurants at Avanti will be serving their standard menus in addition to special small plate dishes. And while many bars in downtown Denver will be charging a hefty cover just to get in the doors, Avanti's NYE celebration has no charge at the door, and includes a complimentary champagne toast. For those who have more of a thirst to quench, there is a VIP unlimited drink package for $70, which includes all-you-can-drink wells, house wines and house drafts. The party runs from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.; get your unlimited drink package at imbibe-events.com.
6) Jax Fish House Glendale
650 South Colorado Boulevard
It's hard to go wrong with seafood, and Jax Fish House has been a longtime seafood staple in Denver. The Glendale outpost is a bit newer, but it lives up to its heritage — and has a stunning setting that's perfect for New Year's Eve, complete with a special five-course, prix fixe seafood menu created by chef de cuisine Matt Lewis and sous chefs Patrick Miranda and Jenna McNeil. The menu is priced at $70 per person; reservations are required and space is limited, so call the restaurant at 303-756-6449 to make yours now.
5) 1515 Restaurant
1515 Market Street
Shoot for the stars on New Year's Eve: 1515 Restaurant will be cooking up a stellar cosmos-themed, seven-course meal. Diners can explore dishes like "A Space Odyssey" (multi-spectral cotton candy), "Comet" (champagne with strawberry caviar), and more. The dinner is $90 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Call 1515 at 303-571-0011 to make your reservations, and check out the entire intergalactic menu at 1515restaurant.com.
Many of us will be making New Year's resolutions to be a better version of ourselves next year, so why get an early start on that goal and kick off the New Year with a charitable soiree? Supporting Opportunities for Ugandans to Learn (S.O.U.L.) will be throwing its sixth annual New Year's Eve event at the private venue of 2127 Larimer St. And because even the charitable like to indulge, the party will feature plenty of gourmet food—provided by chef Matt Selby— as well as cocktails, live music, dancing, a silent auction and more. Tickets to the event, which runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., are $145, and can be purchased at universe.com. All proceeds will benefit S.O.U.L.'s programs in education, women's empowerment, food security and maternal health in Uganda.
3) Baur's Restaurant and Listening Lounge
1512 Curtis Street
Dining and music create an amazing symphony for the senses, and Baur's has the two down to a science. The multi-concept restaurant and music venue will be open for regular dinner service from 5 to 7:30 p.m., when diners can order off the restaurant's standard menu or indulge in a special, five-course tasting menu prepared just for New Year's Eve. After the regular dinner service, things get a little more interesting. At 8 p.m. Baur's will be holding a NYE masquerade ball, complete with live music from the Terri Jo Jenkins Quartet, and a complimentary champagne toast. Your $75 ticket includes the special five-course tasting menu, live music, toast, a mask and all the dancing you can handle. For those who want to skip dinner and just enjoy the music, there is a $20 cover. For reservations, call Baur's at 303-615-4000, and check out the menu for the evening at baursrestaurant.com.
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2) Rebel Restaurant
3763 Wynkoop Street
Rebel Restaurant, which received a killer review from Gretchen Kurtz last month, will showcase some of the skills the restaurant has in the kitchen with a special four-course dinner for New Year's Eve. The adventurous menu will feature dishes like grilled hamachi collar, pan-fried Rocky Mountain oysters, French onion and bone marrow soup, foie-stuffed quail and much more. The New Year's Eve menu is $85 per person and includes dinner, drinks and a New Year's toast; make your reservations by calling the restaurant at 303-297-3902. Check out the whole menu on Rebel's Facebook page.
1) Adelitas Cocina y Cantina
1294 South Broadway
Put a little spice in your New Year's Eve celebration by ringing in 2016 at Adelitas, a comfortable neighborhood cantina that's become a destination for Denverites. The restaurant will be serving a steak and lobster dinner, including a salad and house margarita, for $34.95 per person. After that, guests can hang out and celebrate the ball drop with a Cimmaron Tequila and champagne toast at midnight. If you plan on attending, you must RSVP by calling the restaurant at 303-778-1294.
What are you doing on New Year's Eve? Tell us in the comments below. And for more Food & Drink events, go to our online calendar. If you know of an event that should be included in that calendar, send information to email@example.com.