A special night

Published 11:30 am Monday, December 24, 2012

Suffolk offers a few places to celebrate the New Year.

Ring in the new year with a great dinner

Now that all the gifts are unwrapped and the Christmas leftovers are sealed up in 37 different plastic containers in the refrigerator, it’s time to look ahead to the next big date on the foodie’s calendar: New Year’s.

There are all sorts of New Year’s food traditions around the word — boiled cod, anyone? — but one thing people around the globe have in common is that they love to mark the changing of the calendar from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.

Monday’s celebrations in Suffolk and around the nation will include champagne-infused parties, televisions tuned to the festivities in Times Square and terrible renditions of a song that nobody really understands, anyway.

Email newsletter signup

For restaurateurs in Suffolk, Monday’s dinner service will be about setting a festive tone for people who are eager to put a tough year behind them.

Many New Year’s Eve diners “want to have dinner, celebrate and go to a party,” said Harper Bradshaw, owner of Harper’s Table restaurant on North Main Street in Suffolk.

He and his staff plan to open the restaurant at 5 p.m. to accommodate those with after-dinner plans for the evening, and they’ll offer an updated menu that includes Indian Rock oysters from Suffolk, a Harris Ranch ribeye and a 30-day dried New York strip.

“And we’ve got a bunch of bubbles,” Bradshaw said, noting there will be six different labels of sparkling wine and champagne available, along with specialty cocktails and craft-brewed beers.

Reservations are available at HarpersTable.com.

Two of downtown Suffolk’s other favorite foodie hangouts plan to collaborate for a special event to mark the holiday.

Mosaic Café and C3 Vino are working together to present a special New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner at the restaurant in the first floor of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

The five-course meal will give diners a chance to sample culinary delights and fine wines from around the world while they listen to a guest speaker discuss the wines and wineries that are featured. Rick Elliot will provide a bit of saxophone accompaniment to the experience.

The menu starts with a creamy collard bisque topped with house-made chicharron, continues with corn-dusted flounder served with sweet potato chips, moves on to pomegranate-braised pork belly and herb-grilled lamb chop and finishes with a bleu cheese tart.

Specially selected wines will be paired with each of the courses, and C3 Vino will offer bottles of each for sale at the event and then in the store.

“Mosaic did most of that,” said Randy Withers, co-owner of C3 Vino, a wine and specialty cheese shop on West Washington Street, referring to the menu. “We’re excited to introduce our customers to a new food culture in Suffolk.”

“We just wanted to do something with a different twist — bring a little class to the new year.”

The cost of the event is $50 per person, or $90 per couple. Reservations are required and may be made by calling 538-5090. For more information, find C3 Vino on Facebook.

At The Baron’s Pub, located at the corner of North Main and Market streets, New Year’s Eve could get a bit more raucous, as staff and friends will be celebrating the restaurant and bar’s 10th anniversary in Suffolk.

“We’re pretty excited about that,” Manager Jessica Purser said.

Those joining in the celebration on Monday can expect the typical variety of “hats and little horns and all that stuff,” along with the chance to join in a champagne toast at midnight, Purser said.

New Year’s Eve is usually pretty quiet at Baron’s, she added, with mostly staff and regulars on hand for the countdown.

“But we’ll just ring it in together,” she said.

Elsewhere in Suffolk, some restaurants that are usually closed on Mondays, like Vintage Tavern on Bridge Road, will be open, and others are that are normally open are just preparing for what is one of their biggest nights of the year.

The award-winning Vintage Tavern and its sister restaurant, River Stone Chophouse, will both be open and serving their regular menus, along with a few nightly specials, employees said.

For Vintage Tavern reservations, visit 238-8808. For reservations at River Stone Chophouse, call 638-7990.

At George’s Steakhouse on Holland Road, diners will be able to enjoy the regular menu, along with the typical types of specials that are usually offered, and the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The Plaid Turnip on North Main Street also will be open on its normal schedule and offering its regular menu.