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New Year's Eats

By Alexa Beattie
washingtonpost .com Staff Writer
Monday, December 13, 2004; 12:32 PM

Get your skates on, folks, and make your reservations now. Many tables have been snapped up already, but there are still plenty of spots remaining. And don't forget: Reserve your space quickly and easily with Open Table.

Many restaurants are serving special menus for the evening. Others are adding festive dishes to their usual tariff. For example, Andale will offer flights of Pine Island oysters, and a Hawaiian sea bass with a sauce of hibiscus flowers (we like the sound of that). Most special entrees run around $25.

The Circle Bistro plans to usher in 2005 with a five-course meal that includes a course-by-course wine-pairing for $150. This price includes an open bar, live jazz, party favors and a Champagne toast. There are still seats left. Note that One Washington Circle Hotel above the restaurant offers a special room rate for the night of $119 per couple that includes room, dinner and open bar in the Circle Bistro Lounge. For room reservations, call 202-872-1680, Ext. 50.

Beginning at 5, Finn & Porter in Alexandria will be serving a special three-course dinner all evening. The price -- $45 per person -- includes a glass of Champagne.

Flamenco dancers will perform at both seatings at all three Jaleo locations. The first seating is from 5 to 7 with an a la carte menu of tapas, plus a special celebratory menu. The second seating is from 8 to 10 and offers unlimited tapas for a fixed price of $75 per person. A glass of cava, good luck grapes and party favors will be presented at midnight. Music and dancing will follow.

At both its locations, Maggiano's Little Italy will offer an a la carte menu of traditional Italian dishes over three seatings. There is a cover charge for the last seating that includes music and dancing and a Champagne toast. Credit card-guaranteed reservations are required for the evening and a 48-hour cancellation notice is necessary. Call for seating times and cover charge details.

A special $34.95 three-course dinner with a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight will be served at Georgetown's Old Glory BBQ. There will be a $10 cover charge at the door after 9:30.

Reservations are highly recommended for Paolo's special New Year's Eve menu, where there will be a Champagne toast and party favors at midnight.

Oyamel will offer two seatings. One is from 5 to 7 with an a la carte New Year's menu. The second takes place between 8 and 10 and features unlimited ordering from the New Year's Eve menu for $80 per person. Bubbly for a midnight toast, mini piņatas, music and dancing are included.

Two seatings at 7 and 9 (for $55 and $75, respectively) will be offered at the Peacock Cafe. The second seating includes a Champagne toast and party favors.

IndeBleu, another hot new spot, has an early seating from 6:30 to 9 for $75 and a second from 9:30 on for $125. Price includes Champagne upon arrival, party favors, music from the DJ ensemble Fort Knox Five, a balloon drop countdown and Champagne toast at midnight. On this menu, we fancy a rabbit confit samosa with apple chutney and toasted pistachios.

Imagine the glamour of cheese fondue with Champagne, lobster tails, filet mignon and bananas Foster. All those delights will be served as part of the Melting Pot's New Year's Eve feast, beginning at 5 for $70 per person or $140 per couple.

There's to be singing at Mimi's to accompany the $75, five-course meal; and Poste in the Hotel Monaco will have jazz at both seatings for $50 (three courses) and $80 (five), respectively.

Belly dancing will accompany two seatings at Zaytinya, where there will be unlimited mezze and a special New Year's menu. A sparkling wine toast and party favors at midnight -- followed by dancing to a DJ -- complete the evening. The price is $65 for the first seating; $100 for the second.

There'll be "bellies" as well at Casablanca in Old Town, where the cost for six courses is $60.

There will be two seatings at Seasons. The first, from 6 to 7:30, is a three-course menu for $90 (or $125 with wine pairing). The second seating, from 8 to 10, is a four-course menu for $135 (or $170 with the wine pairing). The Garden Terrace lounge will have a small band for the evening.


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