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
This year, the economy finally started turning around. Houston celebrated with more jobs and new people who came to experience the riches of the city's cultural, culinary, artistic and entertainment worlds. And as this year comes to a close, we arrive at last at New Year's Eve, the day when, cold though we may be, we can put our disappointments behind us, revel in our victories and look forward to even better times. Once again, here is our annual list of restaurants, clubs and bars that can help transport you into 2014 with a smile and in style.
1919 Wine and Mixology
2736 Virginia, 713-568-9197
Countdown to the New Year at 1919 with dinner specials and complimentary Champagne at midnight. Guests will have access to both the Oak Bar and the Corner Table establishments.
Angelucho's Copacabana at the Hilton Westchase
9999 Westheimer, 281-799-1922
Celebrate New Year's Eve in style at the Hilton Westchase with live music, a DJ and dancing from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., all for $50 per person. For $125 per person, the evening will include a gourmet buffet served from 8 to 10 p.m., four drinks, party favors and a Champagne toast. There will also be a cash bar open all night. Hotel rooms are available at $69 or $89, including a breakfast buffet.
908 Congress, 713-224-9500
Batanga is ringing in the New Year with a special tapas tasting menu as well as one-time specials surf and turf Grilldabeast, blue point oysters with lardo ibérico and malanga gnocchi with white truffle oil. There will be live Brazilian entertainment with Lois Albez, party favors for everyone and a bottle of Champagne on every table at midnight.
BlackFinn American Grille
1910 Bagby, 713-651-9550
BlackFinn will be celebrating the New Year with a Roaring Twenties-themed party that promises to rival those of the great Gatsby himself. Guests are encouraged (but not required) to dress accordingly. The night will include $5 Long Island Ice Teas and Manhattans, as well as the obligatory Champagne toast at midnight. A DJ will provide the music. It all begins at 8 p.m.
800 Town and Country Blvd., 713-629-5200
Starting at 7 p.m., a DJ will provide live entertainment as guests visit the many shops and restaurants in CityCentre, all of which will be offering specials and events to celebrate the occasion, followed by a fireworks display to cap off the evening at midnight. In addition, CityCentre invites guests to stay overnight at Hotel Sorella with a variety of special holiday packages from which to choose.
410 Bagby, 713-223-3474
Bring the kids in on the fun with Sharkey's New Year's Eve, staged in the Downtown Aquarium's Nautilus Ballroom. Included in this family-friendly event are a buffet, balloon drop, prizes, a bird show, and pictures with Sharkey and Nero. Guests have their choice of party and can attend from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. or from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The buffet is $14.99 for kids and $22.99 for adults, with all-day adventure passes included in event price. Reservations are required.
8 Kemah Boardwalk, 281-969-4774
Fantasea invites guests of all ages to its family-friendly New Year's celebration. The cruise takes place from 1 to 3:30 p.m., with boarding beginning at noon to allow the younger crowd to take part. After lunch, there are plenty of games for the kids to enjoy while guests take in the scenic views of Clear Lake and Galveston Bay. There'll be a live DJ on the ship to provide music for those who wish to try out the open-air dance floor. Ticket prices range from $40 to $60.
2502 Algerian Way, 713-581-6101
For New Year's Eve dinner, Haven will be serving guests à la carte from 4 to 7:15 p.m., and will also have a prix fixe menu during a second seating from 8 to 10 p.m. The prix fixe seating costs $85 per person and includes live entertainment by Luther and The Healers, party favors and a Champagne toast. Among the menu's selections are shrimp beignets, whole-grain risotto, honey-lacquered duck breast and ambrosia.
1112 Eldridge Parkway, 281-679-6900, ext. 163
A reservation for the Holiday Inn Energy Ball will include a full dinner, Champagne toast, live entertainment, party favors, DJ, photo booth, dancing, a breakfast buffet and, in a unique twist, a surprise marriage proposal from a U.S. military veteran. The event will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and costs $85 per person and $150 per couple.
The House of Blues
1204 Caroline, 832-667-7733
Four parties, sponsored by the Houston Press, fill the House of Blues on New Year's Eve. In the main hall, there's Hayes Carll's Holiday Hangover. Mike and the Moonpies and J.D. McPherson share the bill with Carll. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $30 to $45. In the Bronze Peacock room, it's the "Bombón y Top Notch New Year's Eve Bash" tropical dance party hosted by Fat Tony y La Comadre Mel. The show, for partygoers 21 and over, starts at 10 p.m. General admission is $10; VIP admission, which includes a Champagne toast, is $30. Thunderpants headlines the Totally 80s New Year's Eve Bash in the Crossroads (downstairs restaurant). This is also a 21-and-over-only show, starting at 10:30 p.m. General admission is $20 to $30. DJ Charlee Brown spins for the Ring in the New Year with Love and Passion party. Partygoers 21 and over enjoy a New Year's Eve buffet as well as priority entrance to the Hayes Carll show in the main hall. The buffet is served from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is $100.