If you're looking to ring in the New Year in a big way, consider the following lower-Fairfield County New Year's Eve bashes:
Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar
230 Mill Street, Greenwich
This past summer cb5 Restaurant Group opened their version of a down-and-dirty Mexican restaurant and tequila bar. Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar offers upscale food that includes brisket tacos with gravy, seafood guacamole drizzled with hot garlic butter, garlic lime grilled skirt steak quesadillas, and shrimp ajillo, not to mention over 140 types of tequila and fresh lime juice margaritas prepared tableside by beautiful women. Known as a high energy place to gather with friends, Lolita's is a natural choice for New Year's Eve. For $180 a head, wave goodbye to 2009 and hello to 2010 in grand style. The celebration includes:
- Mexican Feast
- Open Bar
- Champagne All Night Long
- DJ Spun Music
- Decorations/Party Favors
- Breakfast in the Morning
- Outdoor Movies and NYE Broadcasts
Dragonfly Restaurant & Lounge
488 Summer Street, Stamford
Downtown Stamford is home to a hip, jazzy bar and lounge that just happens to serve amazing food. Dragonfly Restaurant & Lounge has a dark and cozy feel to it with fabulous dark wood furnishings and plush red velvet drapes and banquettes. The global menu features everything from lobster nachos, General Tso's calamari, eggplant frittes, charcuterie favorites, and entrees that include gin-marinated boar chop, cabernet-braised lamb shanks, and blue cheese and squash ravioli. With dinner seatings starting at 7 p.m., Dragonfly is a great choice for those looking to do something special but not necessarily looking to party through the wee hours. For $65 per person, the evening looks like this:
- 7, 9 and 11 p.m. seatings
- Four-Course Prix Fixe Menu
- Champagne at Midnight
- Live Jazz
Roger Sherman Inn
195 Oenoke Ridge, New Canaan
In the past year, restaurateurs Joseph and Nes Jafree have breathed new life into Roger Shermann Inn, an historic restaurant, with roots that date back to the 1700s. The pair managed to refresh the decor and menu while still maintaining the inn's New England charm and classic elegance. There's live jazz music, the nouveau menu combines French techniques with modern interpretations, and a younger generation has now found this New Canaan gem. This New Year's Eve bash is sure to span the ages, as guests are invited to enjoy a celebration that includes music, wine, gala menu, and an overnight stay in one of the Inn's quaint guest rooms (standard rooms are a mere $135-$175 per night).
O'Neill's Pub & Restaurant
93 North Main Street, Norwalk
On the other end of spectrum, if you feel like rockin' out for the night, O'Neill's Pub is offering a $35 three-course dinner menu with complimentary champagne toast at 7 p.m. to ring in the Irish New Year, and then another toast at midnight for us North American East Coast revelers.
"This way I feel as if I am celebrating with my friends and family back home in Ireland," said owner Ollie O'Neill, "It's a great way for people to celebrate earlier in the night without missing the fanfare of New Year's Eve."
Mina's Fantasy will be playing rock favorites and dance tunes starting at 10 p.m. The $10 charge covers the tunes, and pints of Guinness cover the rest! Irish specialties include: Irish smoked salmon, shepherd's pie, beef and Guinness stew, traditional lamb stew, fish 'n chips, and bangers and mash.
Prix fixe specials for the evening run the gamut from surf and turf or rack of lamb to portobello ravioli in a sherry cream sauce.
22 Center Street, Darien
Wake up Jan. 1 in need of a recovery? It's Backstreet Restaurant to the rescue with a New Year's Day cure-all menu.
The brunch menu features Eggs Benedict, cheesy omelets and French toast to soak up the all that NYE "cheer," and the lunch menu is also available.
"For New Year's Eve we prepare lots of special dishes," says Chef David Johnson.
Those specials will include twin lobster tails, short ribs of beef, 20-ounce t-bone steak, lobster bisque, colossal lump crab cocktail, and lobster ravioli.
"But for the day after, we find that people are looking for some good ol' comfort food. Our brunch and lunch menu items hit the spot," Johnson added.
That—and a spicy Bloody Mary—and you'll feel ready to take on 2010 in no time.