NYE in Chicago: Nellcôte, bellyQ, Tavernita, Takashi & L2O


nellcote_logoNellcôte – One of the best meals of 2012 was had at Nellcôte.  Executive Chef Jared Van Camp does it up right and you’re certain to have a good time there on NYE.  Tickets for Nellcôte‘s NYE festivities are $90 and up (VIP sections are available upon request) and the party goes from 9:30 PM until 2 AM.  In addition to the premium open bar, the restaurant’s handcrafted pizzas, house made pastas and shared plates created for the evening will be on hand.  For more information, send an e-mail to info@nellcoterestaurant.com or call 312-432-0500.



bellyQ – Bill Kim’s latest venture is ready to welcome the New Year with you.  Kim’s Asian barbeque restaurant will be serving items from all three of his restaurants (the other two being Urban Belly and belly shack).  Included in the offerings are the following:

  • Dumpling Domain: An imaginative take on dumplings
  • belly shack: Korean/Puerto Rican fusion fare
  • Urban Belly: Bites from the mouthwatering noodle & dumpling restaurant   
  • Asian Pizzeria: Pizza with Chef Kim’s signature Asian flare
  • Dessert Coma: A sampling of decadent desserts from all three restaurants
  • Sake Station: Sip sakes from around the world

Doors open at 8 PM, with the DJ kicking things off at 9 PM.  For $125 you’ll be able to eat and drink all night at the unique food and sake stations (there will also be specialty cocktails, draft beers and well drinks).  Reserve your spot now by calling 312-563-1010 (a credit card is required to hold NYE reservations and prices are exclusive of tax and tip).

354Tavernita – This was another one of my favorite meals of 2012 – Ryan Poli is another Chef in Chicago doing it absolutely right.  Join the River North hotspot for NYE and enjoy some amazing food and an excellent kegged cocktail program by The Tippling Bros.  From 5 PM until 6:45 PM, you’ll be able to order off of the regular menu; for the second seating, from 7:30 PM until 8:15 PM, guests will enjoy a sharing menu consisting of the following: 1 Crudo; 3 En Pan; 2 Small Platos; 2 Large Platos and a dessert tasting / per table.  For $125 there’s an all-inclusive package (a 5-course sharing menu, two hours of open bar, champagne toast at midnight and party favors).  Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 312-274-1111.  For a full menu, visit the following link.

586Takashi – We’ve already written about the NYE plans at Takashi Yagihashi‘s Slurping Turtle, now here’s some information on the Top Chef Masters‘ namesake restaurant.  Takashi will be serving 7 and 9 course tasting menus for NYE, five years after their first day of service (so it’s a double celebration).

The 7-course tasting dinner ($88 with an optional wine pairing for $40) is available from 5 PM until 6:30 PM and includes:

Amuse Bouche

Homemade Sesame Tofu, Wasabi, Tororo Kombu

Crudo of “Buri”

Japanese Yellowtail and Tartare of White Shrimp

Sautéed Nantucket Bay Scallops

with Risotto of Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Prosciutto, Parmesan Foam

Roasted and Lightly Smoked California Sturgeon

with Fennel-Apple Salad

Roulade of Pennsylvania Squab with Savoy Cabbage

Chanterelle Mushrooms, Natural Jus and Grainy Mustard

Roasted Cervena Farm Venison

Celery Root Puree, Glacee of Chestnuts, Butternut Squash Flan,

Red Currant-Black Pepper Sauce

The Egg and Apple Galette

Caramel Ice Cream

The 9-course tasting menu ($105 with optional wine pairing for $50) is available from 7 PM until 10 PM and includes the above along with the following:

Sautéed Foie Gras with Barbecued Fresh Water Eel

Braised Hijiki Seaweed, Arimasansho Sauce

Grand Marnier Soufflé

The prices for each tasting menu do not include tax and tip and a credit card is required to hold New Year’s Eve reservations with a 24-hour cancellation policy.  Reservations are strongly encourage by calling 773-772-6170.

 45097156685_20120530373413L2O – Sadly, I have not been able to get into L2O yet.  I’m dying to do so, however.  The 2 Michelin-star rated restaurant, led by Chef Matthew Kirkley is definitely laying it down (for proof check out the slideshow on  Grubstreet Chicago for proof).  L2O will offer two menus for NYE, one, the NYE 2013 Tasting is $165 and the menu can be viewed here; the second, the NYE 2013 Chef’s Tasting is $195 and can be viewed here.  The menus will include pristine seafood from the restaurant’s tanks, including abalone, geoduck clams and European blue lobsters.  Just check out the photos on that Grubstreet post and on the restaurant’s website to see that this is exceptionally beautiful food.  It’s food that would seem a shame to even eat it’s so damn beautiful.  Both menus are priced before tax and tip and wine pairings are available (for an additional charge), as well as the full wine, Champagne and cocktail list.  Reservations are again strongly encouraged.  Call Meredith Merens at 773-868-0002 or email L2Oparties@leye.com.


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