Off the Menu Special: New Year’s Eve Dining in Newport Beach

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By Christopher Trela and Catherine Del Casale | NB Indy

What are you doing New Year’s Eve? We have a few suggestions courtesy of some of our favorite Newport Beach restaurants.

 BALBOA BAY RESORT

The Balboa Bay Resort has several ways to ring in the New Year in style. The First Cabin restaurant is serving a five-course dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. ($97.50), while a New Year’s Eve celebration of music, dancing, great food, drinks and fun happens in Duke’s Place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. (reservations not required, no cover). Or, opt for an elegant New Year’s Eve celebration in the Grand Ballroom. Begin the evening with a reception featuring a martini bar, sparkling Champagne and a variety of butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, followed by a decadent five-course dinner perfectly paired with exquisite wines. Dance the night away to the lively sounds of “Rembrandt.” Don party hats and noisemakers at midnight to ring in the New Year of 2014 with a celebratory champagne toast. Cost is $205 per person. Special room rates and packages are available. The First Cabin Restaurant also offers a New Year’s Day brunch for $45. Call (949) 630-4145, or visit BalboaBayResort.com.

21 OCEANFRONT

This ocean-view restaurant near the Newport pier has two seatings for New Year’s Eve: a three-course menu is served between 5 and 7 p.m. for $75, while a five-course menu is served between 7:30 and 11 p.m. for $145. The menu is long and lavish, and includes options such as lobster bisque, lobster tail, filet mignon, rack of lamb, and Skuna Bay salmon. Live entertainment, dancing, hats, and horns are included. Visit 21Oceanfront.com or call (949) 673-2100.

 BACK BAY BISTRO

Back Bay Bistro offers a three-course New Year’s Eve dinner with two seatings: 5 to 7 p.m. ($75), and 8 p.m. to midnight ($95). Choose from filet mignon and crab stuffed jumbo shrimp, sea bass on grilled herb polenta, or lamb chops with a balsamic reduction for entrees. The later seating includes dancing to a DJ, party favors, and champagne toast. For reservations, call (949) 729-1144 or visit BackBayBistroNewportBeach.com.

THE CANNERY

This New Year’s Eve from 5 to 10:30 p.m., the Cannery Restaurant offers a three-course menu for $75 that includes options such as lobster soup, crab salad, filet mignon, rack of lamb, and more. Includes live music and champagne toast. Call (949) 566-0060 or visit CanneryNewport.com.

LANDMARK

Corona del Mar’s Landmark restaurant has a six-course menu for $125 that includes spiny tail lobster, arctic cod, tenderloin, and more. First seating is at 6:30 p.m. Last seating at 8:30 p.m. Call (949) 675-5556 or visit LandmarkNewport.com.   

 LARK CREEK NEWPORT BEACH

Lark Creek has its full a la carte menu available on New Year’s Eve, as well as a special three-course menu for $59 with appetizers such as champagne and oysters, American caviar, chateaubriand, and other delicious dishes. Call (949) 640-6700 or visit larkcreeknb.com.

MELTING POT

We went to The Melting Pot for the first time last week, and had a thoroughly enjoyable, three-hour experience. From the cheese fondue to the various meats and seafood cooked coq au vin style to the fondue desserts, it was decadent dining at its best. Located on Jamboree near John Wayne Airport on the border of Irvine and Newport, The Melting Pot is holding a Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve party. Come dressed in your flapper best and enjoy a set dinner menu and roaring cocktails created just for the occasion. All guests receive a champagne or cider toast with a logo flute and other party favors. Be the best dressed couple/family and receive a $100 Melting Pot gift certificate. Other raffle prizes include Melting Pot goodie baskets. Cost is $65 to $70 per person. The restaurant is also for brunch and dinner on January 1. For more information, call (949) 955-3242 or visit MeltingPot.com/Irvine. 

PELICAN HILL RESORT

New Year’s Eve choices abound at Pelican Hill. Andrea Restaurant has a four-course menu with seating from 5 to 7 p.m. ($140) and 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. ($190). Pelican Grill has a four-course menu for $135 with dancing and entertainment plus a balloon drop at midnight. Coliseum Pool & Grill has a three-course menu featuring classic American cuisine served from 5 to 10 p.m. for $100. An a la carte menu is available from 10 p.m. to midnight. Live entertainment from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. You can also ring in the New Year with a private cabana party from 6 p.m. to midnight for $175 per cabana. An a la carte menu is available. The resort’s Great Room has an a la carte menu from 6 p.m. to midnight plus live music and a balloon drop (free for resort guests, $35 cover for general public). All three restaurants also have New Year’s Day menus. Call (888) 507-6427 or visit pelicanhill.com. 

RITZ RESTAURANT

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in style for $99 per person beginning at 5 p.m. with a four course prix-fixe menu that includes a Ritz Egg with caviar and vodka, and such choices as lobster bisque laced with Armagnac, the signature roast goose with lingonberry sauce, main lobster tails, rack of lamb, and other classics. Finish your memorable meal with a dessert medley and champagne toast. Call (949) 720-1800 or visit RitzRestaurant.com.  

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