By Chris Lane
By Olivia Flores Alvarez
By Angelica Leicht
By Jef Rouner
By Jef With One F
By Jef With One F
By Marco Torres
We have some hefty issues to face in the next year, like, oh, who our next president's going to be. So tonight let it all hang out. You know half the city will be hurting tomorrow, and with so many venues vying for your attention, it's easy to see why. Here's our guide to the city's best New Year's Eve parties. Happy 2008!
The acclaimed restaurant is offering an indulgent, five-course dinner for two. After your belly is full, party on the veranda, then slumber in style. Special packages available.
5015 Kirby, 713-526-9700
This just might be the best deal in town. Only $5 for live music by Scooter Brown.
1103 S. Shepherd, 713-521-2239
If you're feeling more adult then kid tonight, then you'll enjoy the fireplace seating, live jazz and four-course feast at this cozy and low-key celebration. $69 per person, including a midnight champagne toast. Seating starts at 5:30 p.m.
Baker St. Pub & Grill
5510 Morningside, Suite 100
For an easy night of celebrating, hop over to the Village and enjoy no cover, live music, free party favors, a midnight balloon drop and a champagne toast.
The Balinese Room
2107 Seawall Blvd., Galveston
Take a step back to the 1940s with all this historic building has to offer in glam and kitsch. Piano-pounding boogaloo queen Eden Brent headlines this New Year's party. Entry is $35 and includes buffet, party favors and a midnight toast. Doors open at 7 p.m.
2424 Dunstan Rd., 713-522-7602
This hip restaurant in the Village will offer a hearty three-course menu. Be prepared for a tough choice between tasty entrées like corn-crusted sea bass, crunchy nut-laced chicken or wild mushroom crepes. A champagne toast rounds off the night at midnight. $69 per person.
Big Easy Social & Pleasure Club
5731 Kirby, 713-523-9999
Bourbon Street Sports Bar
803 S. Mason, Suite 400, 281-398-2424
Soul Junkies will entertain you for the last few hours of 2007. At midnight, there will be a champagne toast and party favors.
2670 Sage, 713-304-3265
Tonight enjoy a four-hour premium open bar, four-course Mi Luna Tapas selection and Godiva-covered strawberries. Hang around until midnight for the Veuve Clicquot champagne toast and video countdown with confetti storm.
403 W. Gray, 713-520-6896
$20 cover includes champagne toast, party favors and DJ. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Café Le Jadeite
1952 W. Gray, 713-528-4288
A Special Four-Course Menu prepared in a setting that CitySearch calls "astonishing...more like a museum, than eatery." Two seatings: $65, and $85 for later seating, featuring live music and a midnight champagne toast.
1609 Westheimer, 713-523-1201
Tonight take your choice of venison à la parisienne or waterzooi of lobster with potato croquettes. There will be a raffle for a three-liter bottle of Chimay Grande Reserve for $5.
The Children's Museum Houston
1500 Binz St., 713-522-1138
Let the kids celebrate the New Year, but still go to bed on time. Design your own float and take part in the parade, then count down the New Year at noon. Live music by the New Birth Brass Band. $5.
Crú A Wine Bar
9595 Six Pines Dr., Suite 650
The Woodlands, 281-465-9463
Crú will ring in the New Year with food and wine, noisemakers, dancing and music. Choose a 5 p.m. seating for $50 per person, or dine at 8 p.m. and stay till late for $75 per person, including champagne during the first seconds of 2008.
The Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel
909 Texas, 713-227-7423
This Crystal Ball is sure to tinkle. Lavish, dramatic and rich in history, this 11,000-square-foot ballroom will have five premium bars, one DJ in the Empire Room and live music from the Shapeshifters in the ballroom.
12710 Telge Rd., Cypress, 281-304-7766
The McClanahans will help Cypress Saloon ring in the New Year. $12 cover includes snacks, party favors and complimentary champagne toast.
510 Gray, 713-659-4900
This hip, unpretentious Midtown lounge is making it easy tonight with an all-inclusive party. Pay one fee that includes entry, food, open bar, music, dancing, champagne toast, strawberries and party favors. And don't forget entertainment with live magicians and go-go dancers. There's a reason this party sells out. $115.
400 Dallas, 713-759-0202
If drinking and eating aren't enough entertainment for you, then check out Keith & Margo's Murder Mystery Midnight Madness. Dress up for the occasion and enjoy dancing between mysteries. 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
410 Bagby, 713-223-3474
Take the kids here tonight to get them all tuckered out for the babysitter. Watch Sharkey's New Year's Eve ball drop while you eat and dance. $15.99 per adult; $9.99 per kid. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Firkin & Phoenix
1915 Westheimer, 713-526-3100
For its Phantom of the Phoenix party, this pub is boasting three countdowns tonight at 11 p.m., midnight and 1 a.m. That's three tries to hook up with that hottie. Prizes will be given throughout the night, but you must have a mask to win.
2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838
Remember years past with the Pink Floyd tribute show Us and Them. $10 general admission; $15 balcony with champagne toast and party favors at midnight. 8 p.m.
705 Main (at Capitol), 713-228-PINT
This downtown bar hosts live music from Roblicious and the Grau so Loud Band. Free champagne toast at midnight, fun pictures, party favors and raffle prizes. Cover is $10 at the door; reservations are $15 per seat.
1300 Lamar, 713-650-1300
The always swanky hotel will be offering an early four-course seating at 5 p.m., with a second seven-course meal at 8:30 p.m. to ring in the new year. Along with the tasty food will be live music, dancing and champagne toast at midnight.
506 Main, 713-222-1442
Celebrate the new year in Vegas style. There will be two dance floors along with blackjack and roulette tables.
807 Taft, 713-522-0995
The speakeasy-themed party will feature live music and a delectable three-course menu featuring your choice of prime rib, lemon sole or crispy braised pork. Tickets are $85 each.
502 Texas, 713-227-1392
Living up to its name, these guys will rock in the New Year with a live performance by Vital. Packages include everything you could imagine — open bar, food and party favors. 9 p.m.
2525 W. Loop S., 713-961-3000
Extravagant is the only way to describe a New Year's celebration that includes a helicopter ride for two at midnight. They even include the dinner and overnight accommodations in this package. More conservative packages are also available and include champagne, strawberries and next-day brunch.
220 Main, 713-224-4266
Tonight this hotel has many packages to choose from. Spoil yourself rotten in the last moments of 2007 with the Iconic package, which includes a five-course dinner, live entertainment, drinks and a night spent in luxury.
Houston Marriott Westchase
2900 Briarpark Dr., 713-978-7400
5701 Main, 713-526-1991
Experience one of Houston's newest and hottest hotels for New Year's Eve. DJ Hardware will be keeping the beat; party favors and a champagne toast will round out the night. You can fly up to heaven at the Monarch Terrace or go straight to hell in the Monarch Lounge.
1600 Westheimer, 713-524-7744
You know one of the best restaurants in town is going to have a killer menu tonight. Highlights include an avocado and mango salad, lobster tacos, scallops, beef tenderloin, rack of lamb and a coconut tart. There will be live music by Viento and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. $69 per person.
1200 Louisiana, 713-654-1234
This four-floor party is one of the oldest, because they know how to do things right. A balloon drop and prime rib buffet are only two of the highlights. Fried Ice Cream will entertain with pop and rock music; Mary's Band will steam up the evening with Latin music; and DJ 33 1/3 will be in the lobby. Tickets available (without a room) for $79 per person.
Improv Comedy Showcase and Restaurant
7620 Katy Fwy., 713-333-8800
If you feel like laughing at someone and not getting beaten up for it, then check out Alonzo Bodden. He's a veteran comedian who's most recently been seen on NBC's Last Comic Standing. He performs tonight at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets to the late show will include admission, appetizer and champagne toast.
516 Westheimer, 713-524-2170
This modern Indian food restaurant wows food critics from coast to coast, including our own Robb Walsh. Tonight Anita Jaisinghani creates a six-course dinner with champagne and live music. 6:30 p.m. seating, $60; 9 p.m seating, $95.
Kubo's Sushi Bar & Grill
2414 University, 713-528-7878
If you need all the luck you can get this year, then head over for free toshikoshi-soba. Customarily toshikoshi-soba (buckwheat noodles) is served in homes and restaurants across Japan on December 31. It is thought that if you eat these noodles, you will have a long and prosperous life.
17776 Tomball Pkwy., 281-955-9200
Let yourself be entertained with food, music and laughter. After eating, jazz will be played by The Stellar Unit. Then laugh with ventriloquist team Willie Tyler & Lester, Ronnie Kenny and Andy Huggins. 7:30 p.m.
1511 Shepherd, 713-861-9888
Wear your best Chinese costumes at this Shanghai 1930s-themed party. A four-course menu will be offered with drink specials, DJ and live music.
Max's Wine Dive
4720 Washington #B, 713-880-8737
People don't come here just for the wine; they come for the active singles scene. And tonight will be no different. For Max's rockin' New Year's Eve dinner, choose from three seatings. Reservations required. 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
McGonigel's Mucky Duck
2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999
Come early and enjoy the four-course dinner, or come later to listen to the sounds of Austin's Jimmy LaFave. His unique instrument and startling range are sure to get you emotional. Limited seating. Dinner at 7 p.m.
1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717
Celebrate New Year's Eve with Evan's Blue, hosted by Zakk United & A.D. from 94.5 The Buzz. Champagne toast at midnight. Admission $25, 18 and older only. Doors open at 8 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at www.ticketmaster.com or call 713-629-3700.
1985 Welch, 713-533-0215
End your year on a high note dining in what we consider Houston's "Best Bistro." Tonight Chef John Sheely has prepared a six-course tasting paired with incredible wines.
Moody Gardens Hotel
7 Hope Blvd., Galveston, 409-741-8484
This black-tie celebration includes a concert by Eddie Money and show band Eclipse, plus a lavish food station, open bar, champagne toast and deluxe party favors. 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
5406 Hwy. 6 N., 281-550-8755
Victim will keep this party going with great music. At midnight, indulge in champagne toast and party favors.
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551
A classic H-town experience with DJ Wes Wallace spinning the best music since 1978. $2008 cash balloon drop and drink specials all night. Reduced early cover. Doors open at 9 p.m.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
5061 Westheimer, Suite 8050
As their name suggests, tonight you'll have lots of seafood to choose from, such as stuffed Texas Gulf flounder, Hawaiian yellow fin tuna and 24-ounce Australian lobster tail.
2011 Ella Blvd., 713-861-8666
Celebrate the end of 2007 at this picturesque spot. Seatings are at 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., with free champagne and a midnight celebration in the Tied Fly Bar.
7611 Katy Fwy., 713-688-2222
Only $99 per person will get you an all-inclusive party without ever stepping foot in your car. There will be an open bar, lavish dinner buffet and a choice of party rooms.
2401 San Jacinto,713-759-9606
This hot spot has been blowing minds for more than two decades, and tonight will be no different. The Glitterball 2008 is guaranteed to be a big party with a styling crowd. For pre-sale tickets and bottle service/table packages, look online.
530 Texas, 713-236-1100
If you can't stand to stop the party at 2 a.m., then keep it rocking at the 6th Annual New Year's Eve After Party, ROC-HARD, brought to you by BEYOND Entertainment. Miami's Angelo Kortez will take you on a musical journey that does not end until 10 a.m. Live Performance by G'licious G. Doors open 3 a.m. For ticket info, visit www.spoiledboyz.net
812 Westheimer, 713-520-7955
If you feel like getting dressed up tonight, then head over to this black-tie dinner. After eating, enjoy music by the Reflex in the Grand Ballroom upstairs. $100 per person.
Rudyard's British Pub
2010 Waugh, 713-521-0521
If you want to chill and drink a beer head here tonight. Live music by Catch Golden Axe, The Squishees and Kvallas.
909 Texas, 713-224-5299
Tonight enjoy live music by Mark Dini while indulging in a three- or four-course dinner. 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. seatings.
7575 N. Sam Houston Pkwy.
This racetrack is joining in the celebration with its inaugural Zoom and Boom Celebration. Enjoy a night of thoroughbred racing, live music and one of the largest firework displays in all of Houston. Ticket packages include reserved seating for racing, a racing program, buffet dinner, party favors and more.
For a stylish New Year's Eve, reserve a table at this downtown see-and-be-seen nightclub with a pearl mosaic bar, massive top-shelf liquor menu and VIP bottle service.
Sherlock's Baker St. Pub
1997-A W. Gray, 713-521-1881
$5 advance purchase tickets get you live music plus free party favors and a midnight champagne toast and balloon drop. Tickets available at the door for $8.
Sonoma Retail Wine Bar & Boutique
2720 Richmond, 713-526-WINE
Even though these guys will be celebrating with party favors, a complimentary champagne toast, and special appetizers prepared by Chef Brian, they will still be open for regular business. No set menu prices, reservations or surprises.
Spencer's for Steaks and Chops
1600 Lamar, 713-577-8325
Aside from their normal menu, there will be special offerings including a ten-ounce USDA prime bone-in filet mignon with Peruvian new potatoes and an ancho chile glaze.
1919 Briar Oaks Ln., 713-840-7600
Big band music and a champagne toast help set the mood for 2008. Party-only tickets are $45 per person, though a five-course dinner is also available for $175 each.
10505 Cash Rd., Stafford, 281-208-6900
The city of Stafford rings in the New Year with its third annual celebration. This year's party features local band The Fab 5. As always, there will be party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Catering this year will be provided by Churrasco's Restaurant. $75 per person.
Star Fleet Entertainment Yachts
280 Grove Rd., Kemah, 281-334-4692
On a yacht, you'll have another excuse for throwing up besides alcohol. $99 per person gets you an open bar, front-row seat for the fireworks, plus buffet, DJ dancing and party favors. Board at 9 p.m. and return to dock at 12:30 a.m.
2404 San Jacinto, 713-659-5400
Miami will be celebrated at this Midtown party with $1 you-call-its and $100 bottles all night. $50 general admission.
1200 McKinney, Suite 106, 713-659-6000
Ring in the New Year with mouthwatering specials such as Jonah Florida crab claws, a 14-ounce bone-in prime filet mignon, prime rib with horseradish popovers and broiled or steamed four-pound lobster with drawn butter. Finish off 2007 with bananas Foster with vanilla ice cream and rum.
The Tasting Room
1101-18 Uptown Park Blvd., 713-622-4477
You've been good all year long, and now it's time to be naughty. Get introduced to the naughty wine crew while listening to David Wrangler spinning. $88 per person. 7 p.m. to midnight.
8944 Clarkcrest, 713-661-9505
Enjoy a special performance of the mystery Veronica's Room, then stay until next year. This gala will have a full buffet, noisemakers and all the other requirements for a festive evening. $50 per person; $95 per couple.
Tila's Restaurante & Bar
1111 S. Shepherd, 713-522-7654
Eat some good grub and party hardy with a three-course meal, champagne, live music and party favors.
Tommy's Seafood Steakhouse
11660 Westheimer, 281-679-1112
3755 Richmond, 713-622-6778
Eat fabulous food, then dance to the Julie Johnson Band. Early seating, $95. Late seating $150. Call for reservations.
1510 Polk, 1-866-4HOUTIX
Under the Volcano
2349 Bissonnet, 713-526-5282
If you want the feeling of New Orleans, then head over to drink and listen to the Soul Rebels Brass Band. $20 cover includes party favors, champagne toast and breakfast buffet. 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
2401 Fondren, 713-782-3888
After enjoying this special four-course menu, head out to stroll in the nine wooded acres. Seatings from 5 p.m. $65 per person.
414 N. Sam Houston Pkwy., 212-843-2400
Start your night out with some serious comedy with the Gangsta of Comedy, Capone. The 97-cent drinks should help you laugh a little harder. Stay for the after-party with a 5K balloon drop, swag bags for ladies and super hot DJs to keep the night going. Strict dress code, dress to impress. 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
719 Main, 713-236-8150
With a light show, dancers and DJ Yaxkin, you're sure to be entertained.
Verizon Wireless Theater
520 Texas, 713-629-3700
D.L. Hughley, a member of The Original Kings of Comedy, will be busting guts all night. $65.50. 8 p.m.
Vine Wine Room
12420 Memorial, 713-463-8463
Start tonight here with a half bottle of premium champagne and appetizers.
11693 Westheimer, Suite 140
Get ready to bubble all night with wine specials, appetizers, party favors and a midnight toast. Guillermo Serpa will provide live music. $25 to $30 per person. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
13245 Jones Rd., 281-469-9555
This gold and glam theme is sure to sparkle with live music from the Jason Cassidy Band and raffle drawings every 30 minutes for cash and prizes.
10001 Westheimer, 713-532-9463
For only $15 per person or $20 per couple, enjoy free appetizers and munchies all night, a live DJ hosting a party on the heated patio, and a champagne toast at midnight. Special rates at the Westchase Marriott for Vintropolis guests.
2800 Sage, 713-530-6339
Tonight this downtown hot spot is pulling out all their bags of tricks. Along with aerial performances and dazzling fire displays, they'll have great drink specials, a large balloon drop, a champagne toast and $20,000 in prices. 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
813 St. Emanuel, 713-629-3700
801 St. Emanuel, 713-522-2010
Clubmonkey is notorious for their rowdy parties, and this celebration will be no exception. BLT (Black Tie, Lingerie & Toga) IV will have live bands on one end, and DJs, dancing and plenty of drinks in between. $69 to $259. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center
2301 N. Millbend Dr., The Woodlands
Hang out at this resort all night with dinner packages to the Glass Menagerie that include live music, dancing, party favors and a champagne toast.
11835 Jones Rd., 281-955-0200,
Breakfast buffet, champagne toast and live music by the VillainsX4. $45 for a table of four.
2611 San Jacinto, 713-651-9900
The Black & White New Year's Eve Gala features DJ X-Ray and guest DJ David Cruz spinning the best of everything. Complimentary champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. $20.
Hobby Center, 800 Bagby
If you're feeling like leaving 2007 in class, then join Ars Lyrica as they present the Clandestine Classics, little-known masterworks by Bach and Handel. Join the musicians for a gala champagne reception and silent auction in the Hobby Center Founders' Club after the performance. $15 to $50. 9 p.m.
705 Main, 713-227-7052
These are the kinds of decisions you want to make the last night of the year. Grilled shrimp, crab cakes, masa-crusted quail, blue crab salad, Liberty Farms duck breast or Southern fried oysters?