While experience teaches us not to put too much pressure on New Year’s Eve, it’s often difficult to heed that advice lest we be cursed with a mediocre (and expensive) night out. So instead of stressing over finding the perfect place to ring in the new year, why not let these Toronto spots take the reigns. Here are five restaurants in the city, that will help you eat, drink and be merry as we say hello to 2020.
King West’s gorgeous new neo-bistro and wine bar is putting on a “rambunctious New Year’s Eve bash.” This celebratory party will showcase the best of head chef Jamie Ullrich’s inventive French cuisine and a selection of unique small-batch wines and champagnes hand-selected by sommelier Lauren Hall (Byblos, Patria). The gorgeous redesigned interior of Lapinou will be filled with the musical stylings of the Toronto brass ensemble. Little Rambunctious (8 p.m. onwards), and patrons will ring in 2020 with a champagne toast. Seatings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. come in at $95 per person, with the cost moving up to $125 per person for seatings between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The weather outside may be frightful, but the lush plant-filled Rosalinda is the perfect way to spend NYE in the warm embrace of denial. The vegan Mexican menu is on offer all night, and specialty cocktails like the ‘holiday in the tropics” (Cocchi Rosa, cranberry gin, guava, citrus; $14) will transport you from our winter wonderland to an island getaway. The team behind Grant van Gameren’s Rosalinda is star-studded, with help from Jamie Cook (Pizza Libretto) and Max Rimalidi (Tennessee Tavern), so you’ll be in good hands when midnight comes around to make 2019 a thing of the past.
You might remember Chotto Matte’s splashy summer opening where they introduced their Nikkei-inspired menu from Kurt Zdesar and chef Jordan Sclare. The sprawling two-storey space will be transformed into “Dystropolis” for NYE, a sci-fi inspired party that will include entertainment from “intergalactic acrobats and cyborg queens” to well into the wee hours of Jan. 1. If you prefer restaurants over clubs, but don’t necessarily want to ring in the new year in a seated position, Chotto Matte’s AkaCHAN bar will be bumping from 10 p.m. onwards. Toronto based DJ Bambii will spin and patrons will enjoy bottomless Prosecco and canapés throughout the night. Tickets for the AkaCHAN party are $75, but $95 if you’d also like to sit down for dinner.
You don’t need an occasion like New Year’s to make a visit to Byblos. Both locations (midtown and the entertainment district) of the Toronto favourite are running a “Midnight Marrakesh” party with complimentary bubbly all night. Prix fixe seatings until 7 p.m. will be $90, and 8 p.m. onwards will be $125. If you’re sated but still in the party mood, you can head over to Weslodge on King West for free admission to their afterparty with your dinner receipt.
Storm Crow Manor will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party on the entirety of their second floor. Tickets are still available at the door for around $30 and include a token redeemable for a shot and canapés from 10 p.m. until midnight. There will be live music from DJ Chiclet, a special NYE menu, a free glass of champagne for the countdown to midnight, and 3 a.m. last call. There will be prize draws for huge wins like free meals for a year. From previous experiences with the warm and adventurous locale, there are sure to be many more surprises for Storm Crow’s patrons throughout the night.