With barely two weeks remaining in 2015, should you want to mark the end of the year in style, now is the time to choose how and where. It goes without saying reservations are a must for the big night; here’s a selection of some of the better ways to celebrate with food and drink and welcome in 2016.
Salt Lake City
BTG Wine Bar * – One of my favorite haunts in SLC will be ringing in the New Year in the most appropriate way. BTG Wine Bar will be offering a festive bubbly flight; the blushing bubbles duo is perfect to toast in the New Year and includes Simonnet-Febvre Brut Rose and Gloria Ferrer, Blanc de Noirs priced at just $8.50.
The chic bar will also be offering cocktail specials, food specials and according to sommelier Louis Koppel, “a few special wines that might fill in that ‘best wine of the year’ category for our guests.” A DJ will also play from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Caffe Niche * – A special five-course New Year’s Eve celebration will be served courtesy of new executive chef Andy Morrison. Dinner is served from 5 – 10 p.m. with highlights including crab stuffed salmon, pork tenderloin medallions and coffee rubbed filet mignon. Cost per person is $55 and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. Wine pairings will be offered tableside. Menu is as follows:
* Ginger-pea tart with goat cheese cracker crust and honey glazed carrot puree
* Whole leaf caesar salad with garlic croutons, white anchovies, pecorino Romano cheese
* Wild mushroom bisque with truffle crème fraiche and herbs
* Cucumber granita
* Crab stuffed salmon with lemon beurre blanc, haricots verts, baked mousseline potatoes
* Coffee rubbed filet mignon with Beehive Barely Buzzed cheddar crust, tobacco onions, bourbon-herb demi-glace, sour cream whipped potatoes and asparagus
* Pork tenderloin medallions with raspberry-sage sauce, red quinoa, wilted spinach, and orange salad, and balsamic vinegar reduction
* Chocolate verrine: chocolate mousse, salted caramel, white chocolate pearls, whipped crème fraîche
* Strawberry Pound Cake: orange scented pound cake, strawberries, whipped cream, pistachios
779 Broadway, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Culinary Crafts – Join Culinary Crafts and Ballet West for a very special NYE pop-up experience on December 31st. Held on the the 6th floor of the Rice-Eccles Tower, Culinary Crafts promises “over the top” dining with “breathtaking view of Salt Lake City — and at midnight, when fireworks light up the skyline, you will have the best vantage point in town”.
The event starts at 7 p.m. with a multi 10 course meal dubbed “Mary’s Outrageous Culinary 10-Course Adventure!” Wrapping up at 10 p.m. dancing follows until midnight with a toast and fireworks overlooking the city. Tickets are priced $200 per person or $250 per person (includes 2 signature cocktails and wine pairings). Tax and gratuity are included in the price. Attire is ‘creative black tie’.
The Tower Above the City at Rice-Eccles, 6th Floor, University of Utah
Current Fish And Oyster – Chef Logen Crew and his team are gearing up for their first New Year’s Eve celebration. The four-course menu is available starting at 4 p.m. and offers a variety of selections for each course. Cost per person for the four-course dinner is $70 and does not include beverages, tax or gratuity. For an additional $15, guests can select an entrée of Maine lobster spaghetti with champagne butter and chervil in lieu of the regular entrée offering.
Beverage director James Santangelo is also offering Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne by the glass for $18. There is an also an option to add additional raw bar selections of fresh oysters; king crab cocktail; pickled prawns; New Zealand green lipped mussels; and caviar service replete with blinis, crème fraîche and fresh chives. Featured oysters for New Year’s Eve are Myagii oysters from British Columbia, Beasoullie Oysters from Prince Edward Island and Shigoku oysters from Washington State. Menu is as follows, one selection from each course:
* Burrata with late harvest tomato puree, dried olive, grilled bread
* Caramelized salsify soup with poached oyster, celery, caviar
* Crab cakes with arborio rice, lemon aioli, celery root salad
* Grilled calamari* with jalapeno, scallion, lemon aioli, espelette
* Clam chowder with clams, bacon, potato
* Ahi tuna tartare* with avocado mousse, ginger root vegetable chicharrones
* House salad with arugula, Parmesan, sunflower seed, lemon & olive oil dressing
* Kale and compressed pear salad with shaved fennel, almond, truffle vinaigrette
* Caesar with crisp romaine hearts, shaved Parmesan, croutons, creamy garlic dressing
* Branzino whole fish – Mediterranean sea bass, sautéed greens, Marcona almond, lemon, sea salt, olive oil
* King crab risotto with wild mushrooms, sherry, fines herbes
* Herb basted New York strip with aligot potatoes, broccolini, bordelaise
* Pan roasted sea scallops with fried caper, cauliflower puree, broccoli romanesco, caper raisin pesto
* Roasted mushroom raviolo pecorino broth, roasted garlic
* Caramelized organic salmon soy-sake marinade, green beans, boniato, orange-tamarind sauce
* Lobster and champagne – Maine lobster spaghetti with champagne butter, chervil ($15 supplement)
* Yuzu posset with rosemary fluid gel, olive oil powder, citrus tuile
* Caramel chocolate bomb chocolate mousse, salted caramel, shortbread, toasted cinnamon meringue
* Gelato/sorbet bay leaf, chai, pear sorbet
Raw Bar Selections
* Oysters – Myagii/Beasoullie/Shigoku Oyster ($3 each/$17 half dozen/$35 dozen)
* King crab cocktail with citrus chili aioli ($22)
* Current pickled prawns and cocktail sauce ($14)
* New Zealand green lipped mussels with caper salsa verde ($10)
* Caviar service blini, crème fraîche, chive ($MP)
279 E 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Oasis Cafe * – Oasis Cafe will greet revelers this New Year’s Eve with a special four-course prix fixe menu from 5 p.m. Chef de Cuisine Efren Benitez’s creative menu is priced $40 per person, not including suggested wine pairings, tax or gratuity. Menu is as follows, one choice per course:
* Sautéed tiger prawns with grilled zucchini, coconut mint sauce
* Tower of grilled veggies with rutabaga, parsnips, root celery and carrots over a red bell pepper puree
* Baby heirloom and avocado salad with arugula, water cress, and a lemon thyme vinaigrette dressing
* Shrimp bisque with chives, grilled baguette
* Halibut wrapped with applewood smoked bacon bleu cheese whipped potatoes, mango and fig puree with micro greens
* Pan seared filet mignon with fettuccini pasta, a béchamel sauce and port wine reduction
* Pan roasted chicken breast with mascarpone infused soft polenta, grilled asparagus and a chanterelle mushroom sauce
* Margarita cheesecake
* Mixed berries and sabayon
* Dark chocolate panna cotta
151 S 500 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Kyoto * – Acclaimed chef Peggi Ince-Whiting is excited to welcome diners to Kyoto over the holidays. The regular lunch and dinner menus will be served on the day itself at Kyoto’s normal pricing.
Hours for New Years eve are 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 – 8 p.m. for dinner.
1080 1300 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Francks – Chef Robert Perkins has created a culinary send off for 2015 for guests to enjoy. Cost is $99.00 per person – tax and gratuity not included – menu is as follows:
Grilled calamari noodles, avocado, chartreuse, rye crumbs, herbs, almonds
“Creamsicle” swede, champagne cured hamachi, chanterelle mushroom, sweet & sour cara-cara orange, crisp garlic, radish, coriander, porcini infused champagne bubbles
Kurobuta pork shank chowder, ras el hanout compressed pork belly, pickled golden raisin, crunchy chickpeas, yogurt, mint, preserved lemon
Snake River Farms gold label wagyu culottes, oxtail jam, miso pomme puree, peppadew emulsion, fermented yellow carrot, foie gras “Trail Mix”, red watercress, foie gras powder
Passion fruit cheesecake, dark chocolate sponge, vanilla bean curd, grey goose vodka-earl grey gelato, earl grey scented caramel corn
6263 S Holladay Blvd, Holladay, UT 84121
East Liberty Tap House – 9th and 9th’s latest addition is offering a casual New Year’s Eve with a full regular menu and specials. Of note will be a “Tap Take Over” by Shades of Pale on all 6 taps for the evening. Prices for the takeover are just $3 for 16oz pours and $4 for 20 oz.
Specials include treats from Beltex Meats, cave aged Caputo’s cheddar, a creamsickle dessert and more.
850 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Finca – As part of the Spanish Nochevieja (Old Night) celebrations, it has long been Spanish custom to eat 12 grapes as the clock strikes the first 12 chimes of the New Year. To honor this tradition, Finca are offering a 6-course tasting menu incorporating grapes in each dish. Each course is paired with a grape based libation to simulate the 12 grapes. The cost is $55 for food and for $35 wine pairings, plus tax and gratuity. A full menu can be found here.
327 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Hub And Spoke – Kid (and grown up) friendly NYE specials are on offer at this East side eatery.
In addition to the full menu and breakfast all day, specials such as the $2 “Build a Cookie” will help keep the kids busy decorating their creation, while you enjoy a cocktail, boozy shake or boozy rootbeer special.
1291 S 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Pago – Celebrate with some of SLC’s finest food in a cozy and festive setting. Executive chef Phelix Gardner and chef de cuisine Dallas Olson have crafted a five-course tasting menu that’s sure to delight throughout the evening. Expertly picked wine pairings to complement your meal are also available. Cost is $70 for food, $35 for wine pairings, plus tax and gratuity. A full menu can be found here.
878 S 900 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Trio – Ring in the New Year at the Cottonwood location’s champagne wine celebration. Chef Mike Sparks has a special four course menu with pairings that begins with a champagne social at 6.30 p.m. Cost is $95 per person ($55 food and $40 beverages).
6405 South 3000 East
Under Current – A new menu of specialty cocktails has been rolled out just in time for the big night. Now boasting the largest cocktail menu in Utah – with 59 cocktails in print – Under Current offers a combination of classic cocktails, classic tiki-style cocktails, and house originals.
“Our bartenders have been trained in the classical methods of cocktail bartending and have worked very hard to bring this menu into fruition,” said Amy Eldredge, general manager. Some notable cocktails include naked lunch (zubrowka vodka, cognac, suze, lemon, honey), bird of paradise fizz (gin, raspberry, egg white, orange blossom water, lime), November fix (scotch, allspice, lemon, angostura bitters), and clinton’s coat (St. george terrior gin, carpano antica sweet vermouth, zucca, grapefruit).
Open from 4 p.m. for those wishing an early start on the evening, Under Current will offer special “bites” of menu options from Logen Crew’s kitchen. A menu of four to five sparkling wine cocktails will also be available. A D.J. will be spinning tunes from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. and people are urged to “Dress to Impress” to ring in the New Year in style. There will be $25 cover charge at the door beginning at 8 p.m.
Don’t forget you can gain free admission as part of The LaSalle and Trio Restaurant Groups’ Winter Sparking Wine Festival too.
270 S 300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Park City And Mountains
350 Main – One of Park City’s best is celebrating New Year’s with a three-course dinner. Start with your choice of one of six appetizers like tuna tower with avocado and wasabi cream, roasted Colorado elk sausage or chilled seafood ceviche with cream and crispy plantains. Then for the second course, enjoy one of another six selections like Utah trout with pumpkin seed crumble, grilled Shetland Islands salmon with lobster-drawn butter and bootleg togarashi dusted venison loin. There are plenty of gluten free options, such as crispy gluten free fried chicken with apple jam, and choose between tequila-infused key lime pie or chocolate-frosted chocolate cake with chocolate truffle for dessert.
350 Main St, Park City, UT 84060
Hyatt Escala Lodge – The Hyatt Escala is pulling out all the stops for the New Year. The New Year’s Eve buffet costs $135 for adults, $45 for children ages 2 to 12. Dig into roast venison, sous-vide prime tenderloin of beef, salt-crusted sea bass, duck confit and black pepper fettuccini, Niman Ranch prime short-rib ravioli and spinach cannelloni and San Marzano tomato sauce; accompaniments like roasted asparagus and roasted vegetables, brown sugar butternut squash and parmesan-whipped potatoes; plus seafood like fresh-shucked oysters, stone crab claws, seafood ceviche tostadas, New England lobster rolls and beat-cured salmon. Lobster and roasted tomato bisque, roasted parsnip and leek veloute soup, plus salads, a decorate-your-own cupcake station, and “Young at Heart” station will also be on offer. The meal is being served from 6 to 10 p.m.
3551 N Escala Ct, Park City, UT 84098
The Mariposa – Utah’s number one-rated restaurant for food and service by Zagat is serving an intimate three-course dinner for New Year’s Eve. Cost is $125 for the four-course prix fixe. The first course comes with your choice of Maine lobster chowder; nori and sesame seared ahi tuna, wild mushroom beggar’s purse or aged Gruyere and chive soufflé. Then enjoy lemon thyme gnocchi, quail saltimbocca, or burrata with fresh basil and heirloom cherry tomatoes, before savoring your choice of entrée: harissa and fresh herb-crusted Niman Ranch lamb chops, pan-roasted scallops or seared bison fillet. For dessert, enjoy caramelized pear and chevre.
7600 Royal St, Park City, UT 84060
Stein Eriksen Lodge – Ring in the season at Deer Valley’s famed Stein Eriksen. The Christmas celebrations kick-off with the Lodge’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and the big reveal of its gingerbread masterpieces. This year, the dazzling display features Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang, made from 400 pounds of gingerbread, 300 pounds of sugar and 30 pounds of fondant. Santa Claus will also be paying a visit to the lodge, with complimentary photos available for all ages in front of the Christmas tree.
On New Year’s Eve the celebration will feature a harpist, a band, dancing and decorations, plus a prix fixe dinner menu served in two seating’s at Glitretind. The first seating — starting at 6 p.m., $185 a person — will feature a four-course menu and special kids menu ($50). The second seating — starting at 8 p.m., $235 a person — will feature a five-course menu. No kids’ menu will be available during the second seating.
7700 Stein Way, Park City, UT 84060
Snowbird – The Aerie will feature a gourmet prix fixe New Year’s Menu including lobster bisque, braised veal osso buco, port wine poached forelle Pear and much more. The Lodge Bistro is offering a special à la carte New Year’s menu with beef tenderloin satay, orange and beet salad, spinach and bacon stuffed rib-eye and more. Dine and stay deals are available too.
Tupelo – One of the newest Park City restaurants will be offering a five-course prix fixe for $125 with optional $75 wine pairing. Cost is $65 for children ages 5 to 12. A vegetarian menu is available too but must be reserved in advance.
Tupelo’s New Year’s Eve dinner starts with kampachi tartare with crispy potatoes, passion fruit puree, chives and Snake River caviar; followed by risotto with winter truffles; pan-roasted steelhead trout with gold rice, field peas and lobster butter; and sous vide wagyu strip with wild mushrooms and marrow. For dessert, enjoy chocolate chestnut cheesecake with XOXO sauce and pomegranate ice cream.
508 Main St, Park City, UT 84060
Waldorf Astoria – Powder’s special New Year’s Eve dinner starts with a champagne toast and chilled shigoku oyster, then enjoy squash bisque with an intermezzo of lemon sorbet. For an entrée, choose from pan-seared Utah trout, braised buffalo short rib or Mary’s Organic chicken. Dessert features a trio: dark chocolate mousse, burnt banana and peanuts. Dinner is from 4 to 10 p.m. cost is $105 for the five-course prix fixe, children’s menu available too.
100 Frostwood Dr, Park City, UT 84098
* Gastronomic SLC is a proud local partner of BTG, Caffe Niche, Oasis Cafe, Kyoto.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.