All-you-can-eat caviar, an early bird cocktail party and 10 other ways to spend New Year’s Eve at Toronto restaurants
For those who prefer to do the countdown outside the comfort of their home
There are two kinds of New Year’s Eve people. The first would prefer to either ignore it completely or spend the night in, probably watching movies, possibly getting takeout, definitely wearing sweatpants (and maybe not even making it to midnight). The second needs to see that countdown happen while dressed in their finest, surrounded by strangers, popping bottles and spending a wad of cash on a prix fixe dinner. This list is for the second kind.
For those dreaming of a peaceful party on the Greek island of Milos, what this Ace Hotel restaurant has planned may be just the ticket. Chef Patrick Kriss is cooking up a three-course tasting menu with a focus on Mediterranean dishes grilled over the kitchen’s open flames. With food this good, fireworks aren’t necessary. $110 per person.
Party like it’s 1995 (that was a stock market reference) at Alobar’s new Financial District location. The fancy fête begins at 10 p.m. with live DJ sets, passed canapés and a midnight toast. $75 per person.
Yorkville’s swanky spot for high-end Lebanese cuisine is hosting Midnight in Beirut, an enchanting NYE celebration featuring live DJ sets and belly dancers. To eat: a feast of à la carte specialities like braised lamb shank and lobster sayadieh. À la carte pricing with a minimum spend of $125 per person.
Go wild this NYE with a seating at chef Michael Hunter’s game- and fish-focused restaurant. Feast on a four-course tasting menu that includes freshly baked focaccia, pheasant yakitori and mushroom tart starters; a raw or salad course; a choice of entrée (yes, there’s bison); and a dessert that’s probably meat-free—but no promises. $145 per person.
For those who like to watch the ball drop from home, this College Street cocktail bar is getting the party started with early bird supper seatings. From 5 to 9 p.m., guests will enjoy jazzy sets from Nat Beja and his quartet, an à la carte menu of small bites by Restaurant Pompette’s Martine Bauer (shucked oysters, black truffle croque monsieur, foie gras terrine, lobster rolls with caviar) and festive drinks. Room will be saved for walk-ins, but it’s probably safer to make a reso.
For a night to remember, swing over to chef Craig Harding’s latest project, Bar Prima, for an evening of modernly executed old-school Italian food and fun. Reservations are booked up, but the restaurant is saving space for some walk-ins.
For a delightfully low-key evening of family style hospitality and Mediterranean plates, head to Casa Paco for their Grand Dinner. The five-course menu inspired by classic holiday feasts of yore, will include some of chef Rob Bragagnolo’s hits from 2023, as well as a few surprises. $165 per person.
Everyone’s favourite classy-kitschy Junction Triangle café and bistro is offering a variety of champagnes by the glass and an à la carte menu made up of Donna’s signature plates plus a few new additions. À la carte pricing, but a $20 deposit is required for a reservation.
Enjoy a red-carpet night of hedonism at Matty Matheson’s highfalutin house of steak. Tickets to the formal event include all-you-can-eat caviar (which won’t look exactly like the photo above, but you get the idea), a raw bar, prime rib, passed canapés, three “bespoke” cocktails and a cameo from a shirtless Jeremy Allen White—just kidding, he won’t be there, but Matty will be. $195 per person.
Ring in 2024 through a haze of rum punch and a prix fixe menu of pickled and fried comfort food at Jen Agg’s most excellent Haitian haunt. $75 per person. Send the bar a DM for tickets.
Enjoy a relaxed evening of meticulously executed classic French dishes at Ben Gundy’s one-year-old spot on the Danforth. No razzle, no dazzle, all delicious.
East enders can snag a table at Jeff Bovis’s Michelin-recognized restaurant and wine bar on Gerrard. On offer: a five-course tasting menu with choices that include spruce-cured venison carpaccio, smoked whitefish rillettes, beef striploin, smoked oxtail and crispy lobster. Wine pairings are optional, but it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re at a wine bar, so… $120 per person (plus extra for wine pairings).