If you don't have dinner plans for New Year's Eve yet, you better make reservations soon or risk cuddling a pizza box on the couch come Friday. Some restaurants are completely booked, but we've compiled a list of places with interesting menu options that are still taking reservations. We also have more picks in our food newsletter Hot Off the Grill, which hits inboxes tomorrow morning, so click here to subscribe and receive more suggestions for Friday night. Of course, we can't guarantee that these restaurants will still have reservations later this week, so make sure you secure your reservation and avoid the couch on Friday night.
5. For those who are looking for a unique menu that won't break the bank, check out the $45 five-course dinner at Asian Mint (11617 N. Central Expressway). You'll start with Thai chicken puffs, followed by an appetizer, soup and entrée of your choice. It's going to be hard to choose from Thai tea beef tenderloin, roasted duck and crispy sea bass, so take a few friends and sample every entrée. For dessert, there's a trio of interesting desserts including black sesame panna cotta and mango sake gelee. Finally, toast 2011 with a complimentary glass of Champagne.
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4. Your typical Italian dinner probably consists of spaghetti or lasagna, but this Friday enjoy a refined Italian meal at Mi Piaci (14854 Montfort Road). The tree-course dinner features braised veal shank served with sweet pea and saffron risotto and lemon-glazed sea bass with risotto croquettes. The special menu is available from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and at 9 p.m. DJ Andre7 will spin music for guests who want to stay for dancing and more drinks.
3. If you're planning on dropping some serious cash on New Year's Eve, check out the pricey three-course dinner at Cadot (18111 Preston Road). The meal begins with hors d'oeuvres including lobster soufflé and wild mushrooms brie soup, followed by dinner featuring filet mignon topped with truffles and foie gras, or grilled sea bass covered with crab and caviar Champagne sauce. Still have room for dessert? Try the crepe Suzette or warm chocolate fondant cake. At $89 a person, you better get that dessert in a doggie bag if you're full.
2. Avner Samuel's Nosh Euro Bistro (4216 Oak Lawn Ave.) is known for its reasonably priced fare. Well, reasonable compared to the blow-your-paycheck meals at his previous restaurant, Aurora. This New Year's Eve, however, Nosh is featuring a $99 four-course dinner with a complimentary glass of Champagne. Appetizers include grilled quail and braised pork belly, and there are dishes like braised rabbit and flounder available as main courses. This is one meal that will secure you a midnight kiss.
1. Don't want to put on a tux Friday? Head to Meddlesome Moth (1621 Oak Lawn Ave.) for a $65 four-course dinner that includes beer or wine pairings. Start with venison tartare paired with Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Ale, then sample the Maredsous Blonde served with scallops and parsnip puree. Desserts include cranberry pudding with eggnog ice cream and chocolate hazelnut terrine. Sometimes it's better to toast with beer rather than Champagne.