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Food, Drink, Party 

Tucson's restaurants are going all-out with specials and celebrations this New Year's Eve

As we look forward to 2009 with hope for change in our hearts and investment portfolios, consider the celebratory possibilities for New Year's Eve, ranging from prime rib to pizza with pizzazz.

Please note that reservations at many of these restaurants are advised or required; some even require a credit card to hold your spot. In most cases, taxes and gratuity are not included in the price, unless otherwise stated. Restaurants at or near hotels may offer overnight package deals.

Oh ... and happy New Year!


DOWNTOWN/SOUTHSIDE

Barrio

Chef Jeff Glomski offers several specials in addition to the regular menu--including saffron bisque, black-and-white sesame-seed-dusted ahi tuna and roasted prime rib--from 5 p.m., with the last seating at 9 p.m. Reservations are suggested; 135 S. Sixth Ave.; 629-0191.

Casino del Sol

Bellisimo Ristorante will feature a special menu from 4 p.m. to midnight. The dinner includes a choice of an appetizer, an intermezzo, an entrée and a dessert. Prices range from $55 to $75 plus gratuity for parties of six or more. Entrée options include filet mignon of Kobe beef, Australian lobster, Angus beef short ribs and pan-seared Scottish salmon.

Enjoy an evening of Tejano music in the bingo hall from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. as Jimmy Gonzalez and Los TexManiacs perform. A buffet dinner with a carving station is included in the price of $75 for general admission, and $125 for guaranteed seating. Menudo is served at midnight. Tickets may be purchased at the Casino del Sol gift shop at 5655 W. Valencia Road; (800) 344-9435.

Clarion Hotel Tucson Airport

For $169.09 per couple, you can get a room, dinner and a show, a party packet of favors, champagne and snacks. If you cannot spend the night, the dinner, show and party are offered for $45.09 per person. Dinner at Morgan's Food and Spirits includes a choice of "hot steak," chicken, salmon or pasta. Dinner begins at 6 p.m., and you can order until 8:45 p.m. If you just want the show and party, the cost is $25.09 per person. These prices include tax and gratuity. The show begins at 8 p.m. in the banquet room and features comedians and an interactive magician. The show continues with a DJ at 9:30. Tickets may be purchased at the front desk or can be reserved with a credit card; 6801 S. Tucson Blvd.; 746-3932.

Cup Café at Hotel Congress

You have a choice of three seatings for the prix-fixe dinner, at 5, 7:15 and 9:30 p.m., for $50 per person. Reservations with a credit card are required; 311 E. Congress St.; 622-8848.

Enoteca

Enoteca offers a four-course prix-fixe menu with an appetizer to share, and each person can enjoy soup or salad, a choice of four entrées and dessert for $75 per couple from 5 to 10 p.m.; 58 W. Congress St.; 623-0744.


MIDTOWN

Arizona Inn/Tucson Symphony Orchestra Moveable Musical Feast

End 2008 memorably with a romantic evening filled with classical music and jazz; a multi-course signature creation by chef Odell Baskerville; an open bar; champagne toasts; and plenty of fun in an exquisite setting for $195 per person, all-inclusive. Dinner will be served in five intimate and elegant dining rooms throughout the inn. This showcases the versatility of Tucson Symphony Orchestra players as the group celebrates its 80th anniversary. Reservations are available online at tucsonsymphony.org; at the TSO box office at 2175 N. Sixth Ave.; or by phone, 882-8585.

CataVinos

Taste sparkling wines from around the world from 4 to 8 p.m. The tasting costs $10 and includes a sampling of cheese and crackers. Start the party early, or pick up a bottle on your way at 3063 N. Alvernon Way; 323-3063.

Chad's Steakhouse

Chad's will be open serving its regular menu from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 3001 N. Swan Road; 881-1802.

Cuvée World Bistro

Cuvée will offer a four-course prix-fixe menu with options for $65 per person, or $80 per person with wine pairings. The Tony Frank Trio plays live music starting at 7 p.m.; 3352 E. Speedway Blvd.; 881-7577.

The Dish

On New Year's Eve, The Dish offers seating from 4 to 11 p.m. The traditional seasonal menu is offered along with some festive dishes of the day. Magnums of Veuve Clicquot pop at midnight for a complimentary toast at 3131 E. First St.; make reservations at 326-1714.

Elle

Elle will be open until 10 p.m. or later with a handful of à la carte specials, plus a wine-pairing menu for $49 per person, featuring escargot with mushrooms, spinach and herb butter sauce in an open-faced ravioli with Roederer Brut Premier Champagne; and a roasted New York strip (sliced to order) with roasted shallot mashed potatoes, seasoned vegetables and a red wine sauce served with Archipel Bordeaux blend from California; 3048 E. Broadway Blvd.; 327-0500.

Feast

Feast breaks tradition and takes reservations for a four-course prix-fixe dinner, costing $65 per person; add on $35 for wine pairings. Seatings are at 5, 7 and 9 p.m.; 4122 E. Speedway Blvd.; 326-9363.

58 Degrees and Holding Co.

The wine store/storage facility/restaurant serves a three-course prix-fixe dinner at 6 p.m. for $35 per person, and at 8:30 p.m. for $50 per person. The second seating includes a complimentary champagne toast. Wine pairings with each course are an additional $20; 5340 E. Broadway Blvd.; 747-5858.

Kingfisher Bar and Grill

Kingfisher will offer open seating and an à la carte menu, with special offerings and select favorites, from 5 to 11 p.m. Begin with yellowfin sashimi or a wild-mushroom bisque with a goat-cheese crouton. The mixed grill boasts half of a Maine lobster, a giant sea scallop, Guaymas shrimp, roasted garlic cream, polenta cake and sautéed asparagus. Susan Artemis plays piano from 7:30 until 11 p.m.; 2564 E. Grant Road; 323-7739.

Mama Louisa's

Open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mama Louisa's will be serving the regular menu. They'll do the same on New Year's Day from 4 to 9 p.m.; 2041 S. Craycroft Road; 790-4702.

Pastiche Modern Eatery

Pastiche will be open until midnight serving a special menu of cioppino and lamb-loin chops (among other dishes) from 4:30 p.m.; 3025 N. Campbell Ave.; 325-3333.


EAST/NORTHEAST

Eclectic Café

The normal good food will be on the menu from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 7053 E. Tanque Verde Road; 885-2842.

Eclectic Pizza

It's business as usual at Eclectic Pizza as well, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; 886-0484; 7065 E. Tanque Verde Road.

Jonathan's Tucson Cork

Enjoy classic dinner specials beginning at 5 p.m., including sea bass Oscar-style stuffed with crab, topped with fresh asparagus and an 8-ounce grilled filet of beef wrapped with jalapeño bacon. The regular dinner menu is also available at 6320 E. Tanque Verde Road; 296-1631.

Loews Ventana Canyon Resort

The hotel has three different ways to celebrate the New Year: Reservations are not required at the Cascade Lounge for the sounds of George Howard from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., with complimentary party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. The Flying V Bar and Grill will serve its regular menu plus special holiday selections; call 615-5495 for reservations. And Tucson's only Five Diamond restaurant, the Ventana Room, presents a five-course holiday menu for $135 per person; call 615-5494 for reservations; 7000 N. Resort Drive.

Montana Avenue

The three-course prix-fixe menu begins at $25 per person between 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.; after 5:30, the price bumps to $40 per person. Entrée selections include crispy half-chicken, butternut-squash ravioli, braised lamb shank and more at 6390 E. Grant Road; 298-2020.

Zona 78

Life is good, and the menu is the status quo at both Zona 78 locations, although dinner patrons of drinking age will receive a complimentary glass of champagne when seated after 8 p.m., at 7301 E. Tanque Verde Road; 296-7878.


FOOTHILLS AND NEARBY

Armitage Wine Lounge and Café

For early birds, sip half-priced bottles of sparkling wines all day from 11 a.m. For dinner, savor the regular menu plus a special New Year's Eve à la carte pairing menu, complimentary party favors and a champagne toast at midnight; 2905 E. Skyline Drive, No. 168; 682-9740.

Acacia at St. Philip's

Take pleasure in an outstanding prix-fixe menu priced at $75 per person. Seating begins at 5 p.m. Live music is provided by Ed DeLucia on the guitar from 6 to 9 p.m.; the Amor/Grubic Quartet will play dance music from 9 p.m. until the midnight champagne toast at 4340 N. Campbell Ave.; 232-0101.

Blanco Tacos and Tequila

Blanco will feature a $35 dinner for two which includes one appetizer, two entrées, two house margaritas and one dessert. The special will begin at 5 p.m. at 2905 E. Skyline Drive, No. 246; 232-1007.

The Grill

The Grill at Hacienda del Sol Resort offers delicious cuisine, a wine list of more than 2,500 labels and live entertainment. Entrée highlights include petite tenderloin and lobster tail, and seared ocean trout with lemon and basil-scented rock shrimp. The first seating is from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. for $95 per person. The second seating begins at 7 p.m. and costs $125 per person. Live music from the Killer Bees begins around 8 p.m. The second seating will be highlighted by live jazz and a champagne toast at midnight; 5601 N. Hacienda del Sol Road; 529-3500.

Janos

The festivities start at 5:30 p.m. with a four-course prix-fixe menu for $75 per person. A special five-course menu is also served all evening for $110 per person (wine pairings not included), along with handmade cascarones from Anjelita Montoya and party favors at midnight; 3770 E. Skyline Drive; 615-6100.

J Bar

J Bar offers an early-bird three-course prime-rib dinner from 5 to 6:15 p.m. for $50 per person. The four-course prime-rib dinner costs $75 per person and is served all evening long (wine pairings not included). Beginning at 9:30 p.m., the J Bar dining room will turn into a disco with a dance floor, flashing lights, a balloon drop, party favors and music by Terry Thomas. No cover charge for Janos and J Bar dinner guests; $20 per person for others; 3770 E. Sunrise Drive; 615-6100.

Neo of Melaka

The Malaysian restaurant is serving its regular menu from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bar/lounge stays open until 2 a.m., with a champagne toast at midnight. Sushi is served in the bar until 1 a.m. at 1765 E. River Road; 299-7815.

NoRTH Modern Italian Cuisine

NoRTH's three-course prix-fixe menu begins at $35 per person for those dining between 4 to 6 p.m.; after 6 p.m., it's $55 per person. NoRTH's entrée selections include rosemary chicken, New York steak, and shrimp and crab fettuccini Alfredo; 2995 E. Skyline Drive; 299-1600.

Papagayo

The regular dinner menu will be served, in addition to a prix-fixe menu with options including two entrées and two drinks for $50 including tax and gratuity; 4717 E. Sunrise Drive; 577-6055.

RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

RA accepts dinner reservations, and offers the regular menu, and closes at midnight. Make a toast with the new Kizakura Pure STARS sparkling sake or a seasonal Nog-asaki Martini at 2905 E. Skyline Drive; 615-3970.

Sullivan's Steakhouse

What happens here, stays here, just like in Las Vegas, complete with casino tables, lounge acts and an Elvis impersonator from 9 p.m. to midnight. There is no admission charge at the bar. To please your palate, try the four-course dinner for $59; 1785 E. River Road; 299-4275. Blue suede shoes are optional.

Terra Cotta

Terra Cotta will be offering an à la carte menu of favorites, and a prix-fixe menu with options for $45 per person. The prix-fixe menu includes roasted lobster tail and grilled bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin entrées at 3500 E. Sunrise Drive; 577-8100.

VinTabla

VinTabla will serve the regular menu for the first seating, and a special multi-course menu for the second. The special menu will be available à la carte in the bar and lounge. There will be an optional wine pairing for each course selected by master sommelier Laura Williamson at 2980 E. Skyline Drive; 577-6210.

Westward Look Resort

The resort has many options: Elegance pervades in the Gold Room, where a 5:30 p.m. seating offers a three-course dinner for $55; the 7:30 p.m. seating with four courses is $79. Dinner and dancing (music by Mood Swing) in the Gold Room continues past midnight. Get ready to Mardi Gras in the Lookout Bar and Grille, which includes dinner, dancing, champagne and fireworks. The $40 person, three-course party begins at 6 p.m. The Canal Street Band starts at 9 p.m. for entertainment and dancing. Revisit the groovin' '60s in the Sonoran Ballroom. Enjoy a spectacular dinner buffet while dancing to the Smokin' Section. When the ball drops, sip champagne under fireworks. The cost is $85 per person, and doors open at 7 p.m. Enjoy a black-tie gala in the Catalina Ballroom; a four-course dinner will be offered for $85 per person. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; dinner begins at 7 p.m. Music will be provided by Joe Bourne and friends.

Zinburger

Zinburger features a $35 dinner for two which includes one appetizer, two entrées, two glasses of wine and one dessert. The regular menu will also be offered. The special will begin at 5 p.m. at 1865 E. River Road; 299-7799.


NORTHWEST/WEST

Angelina's Ristorante

Angelina's hosts a masquerade ball with a four-course prix-fixe menu with two seatings. From 4 to 8 p.m., it's $50 per person. From 8 p.m. to close, it's $65 per person. The second seating includes a champagne toast, party favors, entertainment and contests; costumes not required. For people who only want pizza or want to skip dinner, a $20 cover charge applies at 12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., No. 170; 742-9595.

Bluefin Seafood Bistro

Bluefin will feature an à la carte menu with special offerings and select favorites like grilled Loch Duart Scottish salmon and bouillabaisse from 5 to 10 p.m. A special dessert menu will feature past favorites at 7053 N. Oracle Road; 531-8500.

Harvest

Harvest blooms with a three-course dinner with options and champagne for $55 per person. Seating begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 11 p.m. with a champagne toast at midnight; 10355 N. La Cañada Drive; 731-1100.

HiFalutin

For a rootin' tootin' good time, go to HiFalutin, which serves its regular menu with some holiday specials beginning at 5 p.m. at 6780 N. Oracle Road; 297-0518.

Hilton El Conquistador Country Club

Dress to the nines in semi-formal to formal attire for a black-and-white ball with a four-course dinner served in an elegant atmosphere with live piano music, dancing, prizes, party favors, a champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight for $80 per person. Call Bernard Garnier to make a required reservation; 10000 N. Oracle Road; 544-1905.

jaxKitchen

Jax holds a hosted sparkling cocktail hour beginning at 6:30 p.m., and offers one seating for dinner at 7:30 p.m. for $85 per person, or $125 per person with wine pairings. Tax and tip are included; reservations are required; 7286 N. Oracle Road; 219-1235.

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa

All that jazz and more: Start with a jazz hospitality-hour reception from 6 to 7:15 p.m., where gala ticketholders enjoy drink specials, socialize and enter the super raffle for prizes. At 7:30 pm, the five-course dinner celebration begins at the restaurant of your choice: Primo, the Signature Grill or the Catalina Steakhouse. At 8 p.m., the jazz event of the year kicks off with JazzWerx students, followed by a star-studded lineup of jazz greats. That's dinner, dancing, cool jazz and a champagne toast for $175 per person. Check out tucsonjazz.org for the lineup and ticket info; 3800 W. Starr Pass Blvd.; 792-3500.

Michelangelo Ristorante Italiano

Enjoy a four-course dinner priced from $29 to $55, served from 4 to 10 p.m. at 420 W. Magee Road; 297-5775.

Miguel's

Miguel's serves a three-course prix-fixe dinner at two seatings. The early seating costs $30 per person from 5 to 6 p.m. The later seating costs $45 per person from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and includes a midnight champagne toast, party favors and live entertainment; 5900 N. Oracle Road; 887-3777.

Roma Caffe

The regular menu is served along with a special of double chops or stuffed pork chop with Italian herbs and porcini mushrooms, served with a vegetable and choice of garlic mashed potatoes or wild mushroom risotto, plus soup or salad, for $19.95. Roma is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. at 4140 W. Ina Road; 744-2929.

Thunder Canyon Brewery

Located in the Foothills Mall, the brewery serves its regular menu plus two specials: mesquite prime rib and chicken Cordon Bleu, from 4 to 10 p.m.; the bar remains open until 11 p.m.; 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.; 797-2652.

Wildflower Grill

Wildflower's prix-fixe menu begins at $35 per person for diners between 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., the price jumps to $55 per person. Start with a salad or appetizer; entrées include diver scallops, grilled big-eye tuna and herb-crusted lamb chops. For dessert, choose between Karen "Spike" Ames' bars of zin and key lime tart at 7037 N. Oracle Road; 219-4230.

Zona 78

78 W. River Rd; 888-7878; see the entry under East/Northeast for a description.

More by Karyn Zoldan

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