It's that time of year again, time to make plans for the night you can't forget to remember to forget. Here's a run-down of Healdsburg hot-spots and their New Year’s Eve plans.Not much in the way of "live music" but there will be a DJ at Frank and Ernie's and karaoke at Johnny's, plus an Eagles cover band at the Casino on the hill.
If you don’t see a venue here, chances are it’s either business as usual or closed for the evening.
The secret courtyard wine bar and restaurant at 235 Healdsburg Ave. is putting on a New Year’s Eve event worthy of the name. It's “Bubbles and Blues” night with food, wine and music from the Wilson-Hukill Blues Revue. Show starts at 8 p.m. if you’re having dinner and goes to 1 a.m., and includes a three-course prix fixe from 8 – 10 ($85, reservations recommended).
: Reserve your place for a six-course “New Year’s Eve Soirée” menu for $97, with wine pairing $50 extra. The menu includes classic favorites of the arty eatery such as cauliflower velouté, Dungeness crab, seared scallops, filet mignon and more. Seating starts at 8:30 for the 231 Center St., reservations required at 431-0100.
The family-style steakhouse at 9 Mitchell Lane plans a New Year's Eve special menu (reservations recommended, 433-2147). UPDATE: The menu includes calamari appetizers, seafood putanesca (spicey pasta), bacon-wrapped filet mignon and many other great steaks. And at 10:30 or so they'll roll up the carpet and introduce DJ Kevin for music and dancing - a Frank and Ernie's first!
– The one-year-old tradition continues on Saturday night with clam chowder and karaoke ‘till past midnight. The special “Seafood Saturday” dish will be linguini ai frutti di mare, which as you know includes salmon, cod, mussels, shrimp and scallops in an herb sauce over linguini, at a real-food price. Who will be singing as the countdown begins? It could be you. Join Johnny and the gang at 60-A Mill St., the corner of Healdsburg Ave at that five-way stop. 707-433-3377.
: Reserve your seating for eating from 6:30 till 9:30 for a festive and romantic dinner at the Manor, 1001 Westside Rd. The $130 per person menu includes a five-course meal with choices for each course; the meal is followed by toasting in the New Year by opening bottles of Champagne with a saber, “Kill Bill” style. This is a pre-paid event, please call (800) 258-4003 or (707) 433-4231 to reserve.
This new entry to NYE festivities is at 214 Healdsburg Ave., where chef Mateo Grandados will whip up a Yucatan-style New Year’s Eve Fiesta. The four course menu is a celebration of peak of the seasonal local ingredients; among the apertivos is “The Patch” Roasted Delicata Squash Soup. (Did they really name a soup after us?) Cost for first seating 5 - 9 is $55; for seatings 9 - 11 it's $65 and includes a celebratory glass of sparkling wine. They will be taking reservations at 433-1520.
: h2hotel's restaurant at 219 Healdsburg Ave. will be shaking and stirring on New Year's Eve as Chef Rudy Mihal puts together a special, craft-your-own 3-course menu for the celebration. The celebration dinner menu is $70 per person from 9-11. But wait, that’s not all: The action really heats up after 9:30, when the beat starts in the h2 lounge and the h2 bar team will be pouring bubbles and signature cocktails at the street side bar and h2 lounge. Call 433-7222 to reserve for dinner before it’s too late.
: As well as the regular “comfort food with soul” menu at 344 Center St., chef Jeff Mall has a special carte du jour for New Year's Eve, including oysters Rockefeller or oysters on the half-shell for appetizer, a grilled rib-eye steak with bacon-wraps, and a tuna and Dungeness crab dish. Call 473-0946 for reservations. But their regular hours means they'll probably have everyone out the door by 11 pm.; you might want to check out the wine bar at a few doors down to see how this year ends, and the next one begins.
River Rock Casino: Their New Year's Eve Gala starts at 4 p.m. and continues till 2 a.m. with a $19.99 prime rib buffet. In the casino they’ll be passing out party favors and spinning the big wheel for wins up to $10,000 – three times during the course of the night. Eagles tribute band Hotel California supplies the music. 3250 Highway 128 East in Geyserville on the Dry Creek Rancheria, phone is 877-883-7777.