The end of the year is finally in sight, and never before has auspicious eating been more important than the shut down of 2020. Instead of looking back, let’s look forward, with fingers all buttery and a heads lightened by tiny bubbles. From fully indulgent feasts to simple take out, these are the best dinners to ring in 2021, the year that can only be better than the last, because that bar is on the ground floor.
The height of luxury for a four party crew
The Travail crew does not mess around when it comes to a good time and this New Year’s Eve is no exception. The full package includes an opulent dinner and full brunch set up for the following day. Each order includes king grab, waygu tataki, a huge charcuterie spread, cacio e peppe with black truffles, white asparagus with truffle hollendaise, chocolate truffles, profiteroles, and giant chocolate chip cookie dough balls. For brunch the following morning, there are four croque madam sandwiches, with mornay sauce, a salad (because balance), and a quart of bloody virgin Mary mix. And, if you really want to invest in a bright 2021, there are still Travail memberships available for purchase with all kinds of goodies including that infamous Sexy Chef calendar.
Ultimate romance for a couple
Cost: $37 an up
Order from an a la carte menu from one of St. Paul’s most romantic and intimate restaurants, to recreate just a little of that magic at home. Start with steak tartare or lobster toast with sauce gribiche and move into entrees like day boat scallops or New York prime steak. Don’t miss dessert or adding on a bottle of wine.
Feeds: As Many As You Want
Cost: $32 and up
Karyn Tomlinson’s Highland Park restaurant is serving classics for New Year’s Eve, including a box packed full of fresh oysters and other seafood from $75. Evening dining for one is an occasion worth ringing in, with Parisienne gnocchi for $32 and an optional, shockingly affordable bottle of bubbly picked out by wine expert Erin Ungerman for just $22.
Celebrity chef dining for you and a friend
Gavin Kaysen’s refined restaurant is arguably the finest in luxury dining in the Twin Cities. Since ringing in the year in the dining room isn’t an option this year, taking home the experience will suffice quite nicely. On the menu are caviar with blinis, cauliflower custard with lobster, foie gras en jar, carrot hummus with socca, smoked salmon crepes, duck pithivier with black truffle sauce, and monkey bread that could be eaten at midnight or in the morning, depending on how the night goes. There are also some optional add on wines that range from luxurious to more affordable, but are equally special.
Make a solo NYE an occasion to remember
Have yourself a very chef Steven Brown New Year with seared scallop, braised salsify, chestnut gnocchi, pork secreto with romanesco, and banana cake, from both of his restaurants. There are fun add ons, too with extra appetizers and gorgeous bottles of wine.
When all you want is comfort.
Feeds: two to four
Cost: $50 and up
This year has had enough unexpected turns - I mean, murder hornets. For the love of all things good, let’s just stick with what’s simple and undoubtedly good. Meals at Mucci’s are winners 100% of the time. Dive into the cuisine equivalent of your favorite sweats for pasta, an auld lang sign pizza with truffle cream, Tallegio, leeks, fresh truffles, and then maybe some more pasta. Choose your own adventure and maybe add on a charcuterie spread or grasshopper whoopie pie for dessert.
Invest in pizza brunch now as insurance against a NYE regrets.
Cost: $14 and up
A proper decadent brunch that doesn’t even begin until 1pm January 1. Let the PAMP crew delivery some seriously hearty brunch goods to kick off 2021 on the right foot. There’s a massive breakfast burrito, par-baked pizzas, kouign amann, and more.
Parlour Burgers for Brunch
Cost: $14 and up
Borough is serving brunch for New Year’s Day and takeaway options include the famous Parlour burger from the restaurant’s downstairs sister. Grab a burger, plus an Old Fashioned kit (no one judges on NYD.) Or grab a decadent Monte Cristo and some funky brussels sprouts to chase away any lingering demons from the night before.
Smorg and board NYE and day.
Cost: $75 dinner and $50 brunch
This little Italian gem in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood has a spread of potted goodies and an optional smorgasbord to order for ringing in the New Year. Order all kinds of crackers and dippy things for the evening and add on a bake-at-home brunch for the following day. The brunch menu boasts eggs-in-purgatory, wild rice Italian sausage, salad, bread, and more. Plus, there are optional add-ons like their killer deviled eggs and a french toast kit. Don’t forget to add on a bottle of bubbly as well.
Tongue in Cheek
A little barbecue and a vegan’s best bet
Feeds: One or more
Head to the eastside for NYE takeout ribs, the restaurant is serving all kinds of lip-smacking take-and-bake comfort special for the holiday Korean barbecue pork ribs, potato pave, or a sumptuous cheesy cauliflower take and bake. Plus, the restaurant will continue to serve its entire menu available for takeout on the 31st. That means one of the finest rotating vegan special’s is also up for grabs. Don’t sleep on the cocktail kits, either, plenty of fresh beverage selections just needing a little dose of something strong from your home bar.