The countdown has officially begun—not the seconds before the ball drops, but the other one leading up to the big moment. As conversations of Christmas feasts and holiday treats wind down, the trending topic has naturally turned to New Year's Eve plans. We can't help with choosing someone to kiss at midnight, but if you're deciding where to eat and how to party, look no further. As a bonus, we're even throwing in where to score eats on the first day of 2016.
Anejo welcomes guests to kick off NYE with serious spice. The upscale Uptown Park eatery is offering a three-course Tex-mex meal with tequila flights for two. Priced at $100, the menu includes queso fondue to share, Anejo's famous fajitas (steak, chicken or shrimp) and the Impossible Cake for dessert. The paired Tequila Flight 101 will no doubt have you ready to party the rest of 2015 away.
1180-1 Uptown Park Blvd., 713-963-9032, anejotexmex.com
JW Marriott Hotel
Downtown Houston's newest addition, the JW Marriott Hotel, is hosting a New Year’s Eve soirée on December 31st filled with glamorous fashion, tempting libations, magnificent décor and interesting people. The red carpet event will feature live music and some of Houston's hottest DJs; a "Casino Royale" area with blackjack, roulette and craps; and of course, a champagne toast at midnight.
806 Main St., 713-237-1111, www.marriott.com/houston
Hotel Zaza at Hermann Park is known for its distinct design, which serves as a backdrop to some of Houston's best parties. At the hotel's NYE party $75 allows guests to enjoy cocktails, light bites, live DJs and late night revelry as they countdown the final seconds of 2015. Room packages start at $495 and include two tickets to the event. The hotel's in-house restaurant, Monarch Bistro, will also be offering a special New Year's Eve menu of à la carte selections—in addition to its regular menu—as an appetizer to the night of celebration.
5701 Main St., 713-526-1991, hotelzaza.com
Back in Midtown, guests can ring in 2016 with local blues band, Luther and the Healers, as they set the mood for the countdown at a five-course, black-and-white-themed dinner at chef Mark Holley’s namesake restaurant, Holley's Seafood and Oyster Bar. Along with party favors, a Champagne toast and dancing, menu highlights include roasted bone marrow, house-made burrata, seared Akaushi tartare, peppercorn-crusted veal rib eye, an artisan cheese plate and coconut cake. The first seating on NYE is at 9:00 pm, priced at $125 per person.
3201 Louisiana St., 713-491-2222, holleyshouston.com
Hotel Sorella at City Centre
Hotel Sorella, a Condé Nast Traveler Gold List property located in the heart of City Centre, is offering guests "The Quite the Night in Monnalisa" package starting at $379 for two. The package includes chic overnight accommodations, Champagne on arrival and a pair of tickets to Monnalisa Bar's New Year’s Eve party, which offers unrivaled views of City Centre's midnight fireworks show from the striking rooftop pool terrace. Package add-on options include New Year’s Day brunch at Radio Milano (also located within the hotel), as well as pre- and post-night stays for $119 per room.
800 Sorella Ct., 713-973-1600, hotelsorella-citycentre.com
The Tasting Room
Just a stroll down the plaza, the Tasting Room at City Centre is hosting a 1920s-style party to ring in the New Year. The event will feature food and drink specials all night, along with the live music for which restaurant is known. The sprawling patio is sure to be a hit if Houston's weather continues to cooperate!
818 Town & Country Blvd. #100, 281-822-1500, tastingroomwines.com
One of Midtown's latest and greatest, Tarakaan celebrates its first New Year’s Eve with a four-course, prix-fixe menu priced at $80 per person. The evening will kick off with a complimentary Champagne Firecracker cocktail. Guests take their pick from the menu of starters, entrees and desserts. The Asian-fusion restaurant is popular for its high energy vibe, where restaurant meets nightclub, will kick into high gear with a DJ at 10 p.m. and the party won't stop until 2 a.m.
2301 Main St., 832-487-9096, tarakaan.com
PESKA Seafood Culture
Chef Omar Pereney of PESKA Seafood Culture at BLVD Place will be offering two seatings and menus on New Year's Eve—a three-course prix-fixe at 5:30 p.m., priced at $75 and a four-course, $95 meal at 8 p.m. Notable menu items include crispy pork belly with steamed rice buns, crispy leeks, cucumber and hoisin sauce; an egg nest with porcini mushroom sauce, celery root, malanga, yucca, a sous-vide egg and roasted wild mushrooms; and rib eye with morel sauce, pan-seared foie gras and grilled asparagus. Complimentary party favors and a Champagne toast will be offered at both seatings.
1700 Post Oak Blvd., 713-961-9229, peska.us
The Durham House
Chef Don Schoenberg of the Durham House will showcase a special, five-course, prix-fixe menu priced at $90 per person on the restaurant's first NYE dinner. The first seating is at 6 p.m., followed by another at 9 pm, with a champagne toast. Expect menu items like smoked kampachi, avocado sorbet and mignonette; butter-poached lobster with sweetbreads, artichokes, mache and shellfish emulsion; cinnamon-rubbed pork with ancient grains, charred scallions and red mole; and apple tarte tatin. The restaurant will offer an optional wine and cocktail pairing at an additional cost.
1200 Durham House, 713-864-5600, thedurhamhouse.com
Beaver's welcomes guests to stroll in anytime after 10 a.m. on New Year's Day, hangover and all. Brunch highlights will include black-eyed-pea jambalaya cabbage rolls, fried pickles, Beaver wings and a variety of traditional cocktails, from Champagne punch to Bloody Marys.
2310 Decatur St., 713-864-2328, beavershouston.com