If the holidays teach us anything each year, it’s that being treated to good food, great wine and even better company are some of the best gifts we could ask for.
To round out the holiday season and kick-off the new decade right, reserve your spot at the table to enjoy a New Year’s Eve dinner at one of these local restaurants bound to take you into 2020 on the right foot.
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A local go-to for prix fixe menus on holidays is 2941, which never fails to impress with its lineup, year after year. If you are planning to finish 2019 with flavor, here’s what to expect from one of the 50 best restaurants in Northern Virginia. The evening starts with a canapé of beet marshmallow and a white truffle goat cheese cream. Appetizers include lemon-carrot tortellini with citrus cauliflower, Brussels chips and truffle vinaigrette, as well as a Japanese hamachi carpaccio, a tuna crudo and cured Miyazaki wagyu, a crab salad with raspberry aioli and a lobster velouté. Choose from four options for your final entree of 2019 with the wild mushroom tartlet, the black truffle dover sole, yuzu sea scallops or Creekstone Farms prime beef duo. And to finish by satisfying your sweet tooth, enjoy four one-of-a-kind desserts featuring flavors of hazelnut, dark chocolate, pink Champagne, basil, pumpkin and more. // 2941 Restaurant: 2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church, 5-10 p.m.; $125 per person
Bastille Brasserie & Bar
You might have caught Bastille Brasserie & Bar in our other holiday dining guides this year, and New Year’s Eve is no exception for the local restaurant. Let your final meal of 2019 (and the decade!) be a four-course one. Start the evening with a serving of oysters and caviar (paired with preserved lemon crème fraiche and chervil, or the Jerusalem artichoke velouté (paired with black truffle, crème fraiche, chips and chives). For your second, enjoy a plate of grilled octopus and chorizo or pan-seared sea scallops with forest mushrooms and spinach risotto. Entrees include filet mignon in a périgord sauce with potato gratin, duck breast au poivre with long pepper sauce and braised endives, as well as a roasted Atlantic cod filet with olive-oil poached potatoes. To top off a great end to the 20-teens, desserts range from a Pithivier aux Amandes et au Chocolat (a crispy puff pastry filled with almond cream, bittersweet chocolate, chocolate orange crème anglaise and toasted almonds, to Vacherin aux fruits des Tropiques with coconut crèmeux, spiced pineapple compote and passion fruit sorbet. One final toast with French-inspired cuisine is a great way to round out the year. // Bastille Brasserie & Bar: 606 N. Fayette St., Alexandria; 5-10 p.m.; $95 per person
Field and Main
No. 6 on our 50 Best Restaurants list this year is a local farm-to-table standout that is typically not open on Tuesdays, but for New Year’s Eve 2019, it’s making an exception. No special tasting or prix fixe menu at this location, but you can indulge in whatever fits your fancy for the new year: Brussels sprouts roasted in bacon fat and white wine, pork pot pie with seasonal vegetables and housemade puff pastry, creamed corn bread puddin’ or turkey and andouille sausage gumbo. That’s right, comfort food right before those New Year’s resolutions kick in (or, maybe to remind you why they are so hard to keep). As final indulgences, grab a snickerdoodle with pumpkin spice ice cream and miso caramel (because who says the holiday cookie season has to end?!) or a smoked butter brownie with cinnamon ice cream, cinnamon toast crunch and cereal milk, in typical Milk Bar fashion. No matter what you choose, you’re bound to be a part of the clean plate club before the clock strikes midnight. // Field and Main: 8369 W. Main St., Marshall; 5-10 p.m.; prices vary
La Côte d’Or Café
Looking for something different than your kitchen for New Year’s Eve dinner? You’ve found it in Arlington. La Cote D’Or Cafe will be serving a three-course dinner on Tuesday to round out 2019. On the menu, you’ll find starters such as the lobster bisque (served with oysters Rockefeller croutons, cognac, carrots and zucchini), a mushroom spring roll (with baby watercress, walnuts, mozzarella, white truffle oil and sun dried cranberries) and a gravlax and smoked salmon mousse (served with sweet honey crème fraiche mustard sauce, beet salad, deviled egg and salmon caviar). For the main course, there are five options with something sure to please everyone at the table. Get a plate topped with Maryland crab and sea scallops over linguine pasta in a Champagne cream sauce, or an order of beef wellington with veal stuffing, mushroom and foie gras and a Perigueux truffle sauce. Venison, sea bass and an asparagus risotto cake round out the large plates of the night. Finally, enjoy a sweet finale of dark and white chocolate mousse, a Grand Marnier sabayon or an anjou pear feuilletée (puff pastry). You’ll be remembering your last meal of 2019 for years to come. // La Côte d’Or Café: 6876 Lee Highway, Arlington; 5-9 p.m.; $80 per person
Maple Ave. Restaurant
Another steadfast for making local appearances on holiday dining guides is Maple Ave. Restaurant, which will be serving up a three-course meal on New Year’s Eve 2019. The sample menu (which is subject to change by the chef) includes three options for each course. To start, consider the fried oysters with tempura lemon and nori aioli, or the winter squash salad with truffle ricotta, shaved fennel and honey gastrique, or an order of grilled pork belly with fish sauce caramel and spicy heirloom carrot. For your main course, enjoy seafood risotto (with sustainable octopus, shrimp and mussels, citrus fennel and crème fraiche; a lamb shank with locally sourced lamb, red beet gnocchi and pickled golden beets, or beef en croute with wild mushrooms and sweet potato. And because we all need to finish 2019 on a sweeter note, dessert includes a coconut mousse, salted caramel cremeux or chocolate cake. Time to end your year with divine dining in Vienna. // Maple Ave. Restaurant: 147 Maple Ave. W., Vienna; 5-10 p.m.; $65 per person
The Ashby Inn and Restaurant
Seasonal dining in the winter may sound bleak, but it’s nothing short of colorful and impressive at the Ashby Inn and Restaurant. The New Year’s Eve menu for 2019 starts with a white bean ham and kale soup or a potato and leek bisque with caviar and chives. Enjoy a salad of spicy and bitter greens with red grapes, spiced walnuts, Roquefort and pomegranate vinaigrette, followed by a choice of a trio of oysters (fried, raw and Rockefeller) or Seafood Newburg (with lobster, octopus, scallops and puff pastry). As a main course, choose from the rosemary-basted venison loin, the seared branzino or the stuffed quail. And just like the new year is bound to bring some sweet unknowns, enjoy the chef’s selection of seasonal desserts to finish up the meal. // The Ashby Inn and Restaurant: 692 Federal St., Paris; $125 per person
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Having landed in this year’s top 10 of Northern Virginia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, spending the evening at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm could be one of your best decisions of the year (or, just the end that is). The restaurant has previously been named the best in Northern Virginia and for good reason, it knows how to set the atmosphere with relaxing gardens and mountain views, according to former dining editor Stefanie Gans and Rina Rapuano (the culinary tasting aficionados who tackled—and ate at—this year’s best restaurants). The restaurant does not release the menu in advance since it follows farm-to-table inspiration and offers day-of theatrics through each course, but it may just be the one you’re willing to treat yourself with. // The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm: 42461 Lovettsville Road, Lovettsville; 5:30-8 p.m.; $150 per person
The Wine Kitchen
You thought dinner on New Year’s Eve was nice enough, but how about one with a wine pairing? Of course, this isn’t uncommon, but The Wine Kitchen won’t be outdone by anyone when it comes to its forte. For rounding out the year, enjoy a tasting menu of the following. The amuse bouche is a purple potato soup with bacon and leeks, followed by a first course of veal tartare with smoked tonnato sauce and radish salad. The second course is a housemade tagliatelle with mushrooms, crispy burrata and black truffles, followed by a third of chamomile-poached halibut with tempura lobster, forbidden rice, baby carrots, lobster sauce and caviar. For the final two, the slow-roasted pork belly and pork loin will be paired with poached pears, sweet potatoes and spiced apple butter, followed by a sweet finish of white chocolate mousse topped with cherry gel, pinot noir poached apples and granola tuile. And about the wine, you ask? Well, it’s pinot noir, but you’ll just have to find out how the pairings taste when you dine for the final night of the year. // The Wine Kitchen Leesburg: 7 S. King St., Leesburg; 5-9 p.m.; $135 per person