Posting our first batch of New Year's Eve events brought our inbox a digital ton of them. So here's round two, beginning with... let's pick one from a hat... Bread & Wine. Hey, who needs to go downtown for New Year's when you have a neighborhood farm to table restaurant bringing in a side of veal from Catalpa Grove Farm to create specials like veal strip loin with green olive, tangerine, new potato and arugula, or veal shank ragu, watercress cavatelli and pickled mushrooms. They'll serve up till 9:30, champagne toast at midnight; regular menu will be available but reservations are recommended.
• Niche in Geneva has two seatings, at 6 and 8:30, for $90 + $30/wine pairings. The menu includes a caviar tasting, rabbit and veal. What's with all the veal? Anyway, make reservations at 630-262-1000.
• Baume & Brix has a 6 p.m. seating at $75/$125 with pairings, or an 8:30 p.m. seating for $20 more each, which is pretty much a laundry list of decadence including caviar, lobster roll, oyster, foie gras, black truffle, filet mignon and chocolate. But look more closely and no, you're not eating at Le Stuffé in 1947— everything has a twist. Call 312-321-0351.
• Big Jones will have a crazy big feast of Southern treats for $69, with things like turtle soup, Carolina gold rice risotto and Lowcountry bouillabaise. Oh, and did we mention Bourbon Chocolate Beignets? We did now; see the whole thing here.
• For just $60, Avec offers antipasto, fisherman's stew, Moroccan wood oven roasted pork shoulder, and cassata... but even better, Avec offers reservations for a change, at 312-377-2002.
• Blackbird will offer a $120 Chef's Tasting Menu with a $65 wine pairing; call 312-715-0708.
• At the Palmer House Hilton, Lockwood's new chef, Joe Rose, will be doing it up with an early seating from 5 to 7 p.m. ($65) and two tasting menus from 8 to 11 p.m. ($110 and $150). Check it out here.
• Mercadito honors a Mexican tradition we never heard of, but are instantly charmed by, one where you eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, with a cocktail called Los 12 Uvas, containing blanco tequila, white verjus, seasonal elderflower cinnamon syrup, lime juice, sparkling cava and twelve frozen seedless red grapes. It's... do we have to even say? $12. They have various dining choices, too, plus Open Bar for two hours for $100; check it out here.
• Not to be confused with the above, but Mercat a la Planxa is also referencing the 12 grapes thing, which it calls a Spanish tradition, in regards to its four-course, 12 tapas menu. It's $85 or $125 with pairings; call 312-765-0524 for reservations.
More to come!