Orange County has options galore for celebrating New Year’s Eve. Party goers can choose from dining at award-winning restaurants to champagne toasts to live entertainment. In Laguna Beach, Selanne Steak Tavern is offering two delicious seatings accompanied by a guitarist/vocalist while Montage Laguna Beach is pulling out all the stops at The Loft with two elegant seating options, Studio’s five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu and continued festivities in Lobby Lounge. In Newport Beach, Oak Grill is serving a Five-Course Prix Fixe Menu while Aqua Lounge will be hosting a rocking Masquerade Party. And in Irvine, the fun will begin at EATS Kitchen & Bar for dinner and live music and then continue on the dance floor at Red Bar and Lounge. And for those still ringing in the new year, it’s back to EATS for Morning-After Brunch.
Selanne Steak Tavern
New Year’s Eve 2017 at Selanne Steak Tavern
Sunday, December 31, First Seating 4 to 6 p.m.; Second Seating 8 to 9:30 p.m.
At Selanne Steak Tavern, this year’s elegant New Year’s Eve five-course Chef’s Tasting Menu with amuse bouche is offered at two seatings and comes with live entertainment provided by local guitarist and vocalist James Clay Garrison, party favors and a champagne toast. Also, to celebrate with extra extravagance, revelers may opt to begin the evening with Black River Caviar for a supplemental cost. The amuse is a Goat Cheese Panna Cotta and guests choose from either Maine Lobster “Pot Pie” or White Port Poached Pear Salad for a first course. Second course options are Guinea Hen with boudin blanc and foie gras pain perdu or Mano De Leon Scallops with cauliflower espuma. There will be a surprise intermezzo. Next, guests select either Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with sweetbreads and Madeira jus or Black Bass with pork belly and cabernet beurre rouge. The dessert choice is White Chocolate Strawberry “Bomb” or Chocolate Decadence. Wine pairings from the restaurant’s award-winning list are available – from 2015 DeMorgenzon Chenin Blanc, South Africa to 2012 Joseph Phelps ‘Insignia’, Napa Valley to 2012 Schaefer Riesling, Germany. A Vegetarian Tasting Menu is also available upon request.
The five-course New Year’s Eve menu is $225 per person and includes live entertainment, party favors and a champagne toast. Wine pairing available for an additional $125 per person. Pricing excludes tax and gratuity. Reservations required by calling 949-715-9881.
Selanne Steak Tavern
1464 South Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Montage Laguna Beach
New Year's Eve at The Loft
Sunday, December 31, First Seating with Four-Course Tasting Menu from 5 to 7 p.m.; Second Seating with Five-Course Tasting Menu from 8 to 10 p.m.
The Loft’s first seating on New Year’s Eve will feature a festive Four-Course Holiday Tasting Menu served by Chef Michael Campbell and his team. It will begin with a choice of Porcini and Black Trumpet Bisque, Brussels Sprouts Salad with crispy oysters or Dungeness Crab Cakes. Entrée selections include Seared Black Cod, Colorado Lamb Loin, Mary’s Farm Chicken Breast or Seared Sea Scallops – all with elegant sides and sauces. Next follows Artisanal Cheese Bite with accompaniments, and the dessert is a memorable Opalys White Chocolate Napoleon of mango, mandarin oranges and apple.
The second seating celebration in The Loft on New Year’s Eve will include a sumptuous Five-Course Holiday Tasting Menu, complimentary midnight toast, party favors and live music from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Offering the same items as the Four-Course Tasting Menu, the additional course is either Pork Cheek Terrine with apple salad or Ahi Tuna Tartare.
First seating is $125 for adults; $40 for children (ages four to 12 years; children under four will have á la carte menu options), plus tax and gratuity. Second seating is $200 for adults; $60 for children (ages four to 12 years; children under four will have á la carte menu options), plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call 949-715-6420.
New Year's Eve Five-Course Dinner at Studio
Sunday, December 31, reception at 8 p.m. and dinner at 9 p.m.
An extravagantly delicious way to start off 2018 will be to savor and enjoy a gala New Year's Evening at Studio. The experience will be highlighted by a magnificent Five-Course Chef's Tasting Menu and will feature live music, dancing and party favors, as well as a midnight champagne toast. Chef Craig Strong has created an evening that begins with a Grand Seafood and Caviar Reception complete with a Selection of Passed Hors d’Oeuvres. Next there is California Garden Salad with bruléed Hawaiian blue prawns, followed by Seared Scallop with celery root, asparagus and a champagne caviar sauce. Then Brown Butter Salsify Raviolis with Perigord black truffles are served. Next is the Japanese Wagyu Strip Loin with potato mousseline and red wine shallot sauce. An elegant “A Modern Opera” made with St. George NOLA coffee liqueur, chicory sponge cake and Pedro Ximénex ends the meal.
$475 per person includes cocktails at the reception and wine pairings with dinner or non-alcoholic beverages, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations, please call 949-715-6420.
New Year’s Eve at Montage’s Lobby Lounge
Sunday, December 31, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. with last call at 1:30 a.m. The Lobby Lounge is open to New Year’s Eve revelers, hotel and local guests alike. The festivities start the New Year off with resident pianist David Allen Baker providing entertainment throughout the evening, while guests dance the night away. Reserved private table patrons will enjoy a bubbly selection of Perrier-Jouet Champagne and a private server. Or, guests can be part of the party without a table charge for standing-room only.
Reserved tables will be priced from $400 to $600 for up to four guests plus tax and gratuity and at $1,000 for up to six guests plus tax and gratuity. For reservations and questions, please call 949-715-6420.
Montage Laguna Beach
30801 Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Fashion Island Hotel
New Year’s Eve at Oak Grill
Sunday, December 31, from 5 p.m. to midnight
2018 has a great ring to it! Guests will start it off with memories of an amazing New Year’s Eve dinner at Oak Grill. The Four-Course Prix Fixe Menu starts with an amuse bouche of Oyster with Caviar, and then the first course offers a choice of Creamy Lobster Bisque or Sweet Potato Gnocchi topped with truffle oil. Next comes a Crudité Salad with shaved beets, heirloom carrots, jicama and other local vegetables served with a citrus agave dressing. For the main course, there’s an option of Grilled Beef Filet, Roasted Scallops, Butternut Squash Barley Risotto or Crab Stuffed Sole – all with elegant accompaniments and sauces. Decadent dessert is a Chocolate Toffee Bar with candied peanuts, bourbon crémeux and salted caramel. Each guest receives a complimentary glass of champagne to toast all the New Year will bring.
$125 per person, excluding tax and gratuities. For reservations, book online or call 949-760-4920. Tickets to Aqua Lounge’s NYE Party available for $50 for guests who dine at Oak Grill.
Midnight Masquerade at Aqua Lounge
Sunday, December 31, starting at 9 p.m.
New Year’s Eve revelers will want to put on a mask and head to Aqua Lounge for a Midnight Masquerade Party where the most disguised partiers will light up the dancefloor into the wee hours of 2018 with popular SoCal DJ Tirade. The night will feature surprise party favors and premium drinks – including Perrier-Jouët and Grey Goose Vodka. This elegant soirée is sure to be unforgettable.
Entry fee of $100 includes one specialty cocktail and champagne toast at midnight. Advanced ticket purchase required online. Bottle service and reserved lounge seating available starting at $1,500 and can be reserved by calling 949-760-4920 or emailing email@example.com.
Oak Grill and Aqua Lounge
690 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
New Year’s Eve at EATS Kitchen & Bar
Sunday, December 31, from 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Folks should get ready for deliciously good fun at the New Year’s Eve dinner party that’s not to be missed. They can grab their friends or a New Year’s date and head to EATS Kitchen & Bar for live music and NYE specials like champagne and oysters, surf-and-turf, grilled whole branzino and suckling pig porchetta along with the regular dinner menu.
Reservations recommended online or by calling 949-225-6780.
New Year’s Uncorked at Red Bar and Lounge
Sunday, December 31, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The night will be young and the year even younger, and Red Bar and Lounge is ringing in 2018 with a lavish New Year’s Eve party complete with champagne, cocktails, party favors, a late-night menu and fresh beats by a local DJ. Revelers should call up their crew and reserve a booth with bottle service for up to 10 guests to raise toast after toast to those they love most.
$30 cover charge. Advanced ticket purchase required online at www.hotelirvine.com or by calling 949-225-6780. Reserved seating not permitted. Booth reservations start at $250. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for booth reservations and for additional pricing information.
The Morning-After Brunch at EATS Kitchen & Bar
Monday, January 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Whether brunchers are winding down from the last night’s festivities or just getting started, they’ll want to begin the year on a delicious note at EATS Kitchen & Bar for the restaurant’s classic weekend brunch. Favorites include Shrimp & Grits, Chilaquiles con Pollo, the Morning After Burger or Steak & Tots. Guests can keep the party going with bottomless mimosas for $8 and a visit to the build-your-own bloody marys bar for $14.
Reservations available online or by calling 949-225-6780.
For complete details on Hotel Irvine’s holiday happenings visit www.hotelirvine.com/holidays.
17900 Jamboree Road
Irvine, CA 92614
For hotel: 888-230-4452
For Eats Kitchen & Bar: 949-225-6780
For Red Bar & Lounge: 949-225-6757