Believe it or not, there’s a happy medium between being nose to armpit at some cacophonous club with hundreds of novelty eyeglass-wearing, noisemaker-tooting, Bacardi-soused revelers, and duking it out with other inveterate New Year’s Eve shut-ins, over the last box of frozen poppers at the grocery store. Going the restaurant route is still legitimately social (with the benefit of at least a half-foot buffer between you and other tables), you’ll actually be able to carry on some semblance of a conversation (save a break to watch the ball drop on TV), and best of all, you’ll have quick and easy access to alcohol, as well as pretty terrific—read: not flash frozen—food.
Brooklyn Winery: Keep it classy this New Year’s Eve by getting sloshed on vino rather than plowed on well drinks, during Brooklyn Winery’s New Orleans-themed celebration. As opposed to throbbing house music, expect funky, boisterous beats from the Underground Horns brass band, and instead of pigs in blankets, anticipate Big Easy-styled hors d’oeuvres, including jambalaya croquettes, mini muffalettas, blackened catfish, fried okra and pralines.
213 N 8th Street, Williamsburg
Brucie: You only have one Valentine’s Day and one New Year’s Eve left to spend at beloved Cobble Hill trattoria, Brucie, before it closes for good on February 15th. So party like it’s 1949 during a throwback bash complete with rose radishes, shrimp a la russe, filet of sole, parisienne potatoes, butter crisp rolls, strawberries romanoff, passed canapés, a glass of bubbly and two cocktails, all for only $50pp.
234 Court Street, Cobble Hill
French Louie: Balloons and streamers will vivify the brass and glass at snazzy French Louie on New Year’s Eve. Commanding $95 for early seatings and $115 after 9pm, a three-course menu features multiple options like crispy veal sweetbreads or sturgeon tartare for starters, followed by bouillabaisse, cassoulet or duck au poivre, and chocolate almond gateau or baba au rhum for dessert.
320 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill
Cozinha Latina: At $50 for an unprecedented 13 courses (including pao de queijo, queso fundido, beef carpaccio, piri piri chicken wings, pork riblets, banana leaf-steamed rice cakes and oyster pastels), it’s impossible to eat this cheap anywhere in NYC anymore, let alone on New Year’s Eve. So go ahead and fork over the extra $10 for the later seating, and its champagne toast, party favors, and live viewing of the ball drop.
37 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint
Atrium DUMBO: Established in 1977, only 150 people throughout the US have earned a Master Sommelier certification, and one of them—Alexander LaPratt—just happens to work at Brooklyn’s own Atrium. So when asked if you’d like the optional wine pairings, to accompany a NYE prix fixe of black truffle-dusted lobster cappuccino, Hudson Valley foie gras torchon and New Zealand venison loin, your answer should be an unqualified yes.
15 Main Street, DUMBO
Insa: Having literally just opened, there are no specific holiday plans at the modern Korean Insa per se. But in addition to its interactive, party-ready menu of ssam, sizzling barbecue, pitchers of beer and magnums of champagne, it boasts multiple karaoke rooms, so you can make good on your standing resolution to dance like nobody’s watching and sing like no one’s listening—except 100 or so of your newest, soju-drunk friends.
328 Douglass Street, Gowanus