We got a rush of New Year's Eve events recently, from cool places like Acadia, Vera and many others, and we don't want to hold off just because we're still full from Thanksgiving (well, St. Nicholas Day, anyway)— because some of them will sell out and you, dear reader, will miss out. So here's the first batch of what will be many, we suspect. Up first and quite possibly coolest: Acadia plans a seven-course meal on the theme of "A Midwinter's Night's Dream." There will be courses with names relating to Shakespeare, but there will be much more than that— like a dining room transformed to reflect the theme, and performers from Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in residence, mingling with the crowd and breaking into performance... and other surprises they don't want to reveal now (though one thing we can promise: they won't be opening a dingy club). There are two seatings, one at 6 p.m. ($150 including wine pairings) and one at 9 p.m. which will include a little more in the way of stroke-of-midnight celebration, and is thus $175 with wine pairings; there is also a vegetarian menu which is $25 less at both seatings. (The lounge will also be open all evening, serving food until midnight.) See the menu here; to make reservations or get more info, call 312-360-9500.
• Vera plans a family-style four course prix fixe menu for $65 a guest, with wine pairings for $30. (Family style four course means there will be about a dozen different items, arranged in courses.) There will be two seatings, plus a midnight toast. The last course is churros in chocolate sauce. We thought you might need to know that. Here's the menu.
• Slurping Turtle will celebrate New Year's Eve in Japanese fashion this year with Godzilla and Ultraman playing on the concrete wall, a Japanese big drum sounding off throughout the night, tasting menus by Chef Takashi and a sake toast for all at midnight. Seatings are at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and the tasting menus range from $45 to $80; call 312-464-0466 to make a reservation.
• Browntrout has three different menu options available— a regular ($90) and a vegetarian ($69) tasting menu will be served at seatings from 2 to 9:30 p.m., and there will also be a special menu for families with kids from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., which is $50 for adults, kids under 16 pay their age. Call 773-472-4111.
• Sepia will have a four-course early seating ($85) or a five-course later seating ($110) featuring dishes like lobster and shiitake raviolo, rack of lamb, and bitter chocolate-mascarpone-banana-fritters. Check the menu out here.
More to come!