It’s had to think of a year more universally reviled than 2016, at least in recent history. Humanitarian crises, the seemingly endless string of beloved icons dying, and some of the ugliest, most divisive politics in memory have defined 2016 as “The Worst.” New Year’s Eve is likely to be a blowout, more so for people to say “bye” to this year than to greet the new one with much optimism. Whether you’re looking for a nice dinner with some bubbly to end the year on a high note, or a wild dance party to help forget about the tribulations of 2016, we’ve got you covered. Let us know where you plan to finish out this year on our Facebook or Twitter.
Restaurants across Portland are setting up special menus for the end of the year. Here are some of the best spots to have a nice meal meal and some champagne. Reservations are almost certainly required, and the sooner made, the better.
Coquine might be the most popular Portland restaurant of 2016, with Chef Katy Millard earning considerable and well-deserved accolades from numerous sources. To wrap up the year, Coquine is hosting two nights of prix fixe dining. On December 30st, try a $90 meal with an optional $75 wine pairing. On the night of December 31, the dinner is $115 with a $75 wine pairing option. Either way, it’s sure to be one of the best meals you have the whole year, and Millard’s husband Ksandek Podbielski is sure to pair some amazing wines with it. (6839 SE Belmont St.; 503-384-2483, call for reservations)
Aviary’s specialty menu on New Year’s Eve highlights the Asian-fusion style cuisine that the ambitious restaurant is known for. The $70 prix fixe menu includes items such as chicken & foie gras roulade, silken tofu, artichoke & quince tart, roast leg of lamb, and yogurt parfait. Diners will also have the option of a $30 wine pairing or $40 reserve wine pairing. (1733 NE Alberta St.; 503-287-2400)
The stylish and elegant bistro Lincoln, helmed by chef/owner Jenn Louis, will be serving a $65 three-course dinner for New Year’s Eve, with plenty of options at each course. Choose from items such as an endive and dungeness crab salad, gnocchi lamb ragu, veal scallopine, king salmon, chocolate fudge cake, and biscotti. A wine pairing menu will likely be offered, though it is not finished at the time publication. Reservations available via phone or website
. (3808 N Williams Ave.; 503-288-6200)
Farm Spirit, Portland’s vegan chef’s table, is planning a rousing New Year’s Eve service, with three seatings of multiple course meals. 5:15 PM is a ten-course dinner for $80, with $55 non-alcoholic pairings or $70 wine pairings; at 7:30 PM, enjoy a fifteen-course meal for $90, again with a choice between non-alcoholic drinks or wine pairings; finally, at 10 PM is the big one, a full twenty-course meal for $120, with a $65 non-alcoholic pairing or an $80 wine pairing. Bubbly will be poured before the stroke of midnight. Farm Spirit is a gratuity free restaurant. (1414 SE Morrison St.; Book here)
Portland’s best new Southern restaurant, The Waiting Room, is offering its normal menu as well as a fun set dinner for two at a great deal: For $65 a person, enjoy a caviar amuse bouche, a half dozen speciality oysters, a full bird worth of the fabulous fried chicken, and a bottle of sparkling wine. Call for reservations. (2327 NW Kearney St.; 503-477–4380)
Rue, the fabulous bistro and cocktail bar, will be serving its regular menu as well as its new happy hour menu all evening at the bar. In addition, a number of specials will be offered, including foie gras torchon and scallops almondine, and bar manager Jon Lewis will be preparing an array of sparkling cocktails for the occasion. (1005 SE Ankeny St.; 503-231-3748, Reservations available here)
Quaintrelle might be Portland’s newest best kept secret. Vegetable focused but meat friendly Northwest cuisine, a fantastic wine list, and an inventive and compelling cocktail program from bar veteran Camille Cavan make this an immediate destination. For New’s Years Eve, the restaurant is offering a special a la carte menu, including classic New Year’s Eve items such as oysters, foie gras, and Oregon black truffles, as well as Quaintrelle specials like Black Futsu squash soup, and the signature goat cheese dumplings. Cavan will also be preparing speciality cocktails, including One way to Bali, with Dystopia vodka, Cocchi Americano, quince syrup and pink peppercorns, topped with Blanquette de Limoux Brut. Call or email to make reservations. (3936 N Mississippi Ave.; 503-200-5787, firstname.lastname@example.org)
On New Year’s Eve, Portland’s favorite German restaurant, Stammtisch, will offer a special 3-course prix fixe menu alongside its normal offerings. The $40 New Year’s Eve menu begins with a foie gras torchon, followed by choucroute garnie (a traditional Alsatian dish of sauerkraut with sausages and other meats), and concluded by a pumpkin tartlet. Complimentary bubbles will be offered to all at midnight. (401 NE 28th Ave.; 503-206-7983)
Served gratuity free and family style, the New Year’s Eve menu at Park Kitchen is a warm way to ring in the new year. The menu includes Park Kitchen staples like the delicious chickpea fries, smoked Oregon black cod, and a double chocolate tart with salted caramel and hazelnut ice-cream, among others. The dinner is $90 per person. Make a reservation for any of the three seatings, at 5 PM, 6:30 PM, or 8 PM by phone. (422 NW 8th Ave.; 503-223-7275)
After you’ve had dinner, get ready to dance off all those calories at one of these parties. Just remember to get home safe after you’ve had your celebratory bubbles. Bus, streetcar, and MAX service is free after 8 PM, and it will all be running on weekday schedules, rather than weekend or holiday schedules, to ensure revelers get home safely.
The local brewery Migration will be hosting a Chinese New Year — Year of the Rooster party, even though Chinese New Year doesn’t happen until late in January. Food specials like BBQ bao and crispy Chinese carrot cake will be offered all evening starting at 4 PM. DJ Bad Wizard starts spinning tunes at 9 PM, and, of course, a traditional Champagne toast will be held at midnight. Cover is $0! (2828 NE Glisan St.; 503-206-5221)
No Cover/No Regrets is the name of the party at Bit House Saloon, but only one of those things is guaranteed. A special menu will be offered from 5 PM until close, and includes a special menu of deeply discounted sparkling wine. DJ Computer Fam will be spinning from 10 PM to close in the upstairs Boiler Lounge,where there will also be a photobooth and ice luge. Best of all, every guest will get a complimentary glass of bubbles to toast the end of a horrible year. (727 SE Grand Ave.; 503-954-3913)
Brix Tavern is also hosting a prix fixe dinner, but the real fun here starts at 10 PM. The party includes all the usual New Year’s Eve fixin’s, including a live DJ, party favorites, and, of course, a champagne toast. Get your tickets early for $15, or pay $20 at the door. The 9:30 PM reservations for dinner also include access to the party. (1338 NW Hoyt St.; 503-943-5995; Purchase tickets)
To celebrate the end of 2016, the mega-bar Punch Bowl Social will be throwing a 1980’s themed dance party, naturally. An in-house DJ will be playing the best 80s hits, menu specials will be offered all night, and there will be the obligatory champagne toast at midnight. Of course, ping pong, vintage arcade games, shuffleboard and darts are always a hit for year-end celebrating. There will be no cover. (340 SW Morrison St., 3rd Floor; 503-334-0360)
What’s more fun than ringing in the new year on a boat? The Portland Spirit is featuring a $100 cruise with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and live jazz music from The Michalangela String Quartet
. The boat boards at 9:30 and departs at 10 PM, so it’s one party you do not want to be fashionably late for. Get your tickets here
One of the many McMenimans located around Portland, the Kennedy School is hosting not one, but two dance parties for the new year. The Chris Baum Project
is a 12 person soul/R&B group, playing in the Theater. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door. There’s also a free concert in the Gym, featuring country band Freak Mountain Ramblers
. Music starts at 9:30 and goes until 12:30. To really make a night of it, go for the four course meal, cocktails, and overnight stay at the hotel. (5736 NE 33rd Ave.; 503-249-3983; Reservations here)
If you want to get out of Portland for the night (or if you already are out east of the city), then head to the Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. There you can listen to the Junebugs play in a heated tent ($10-$15), enjoy party favors, champagne toast, and a balloon drop. Free live music will be played throughout the night at the Garage Door and Yard House. If you plan on staying the night, you’ll get a lavish buffet dinner and surprise amenities. (3505 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove; 503-992-9533; Reservations here)
Photo via Flickr user ginnerobot
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