New Year’s Eve will be a big night for Baltimore restaurants.
New Year’s Eve will be a big night for Baltimore restaurants.

This week, unsurprisingly, starts off with a bang, then gets a little quieter. Even if you haven’t made New Year’s Eve plans just yet, there’s still time–and local restaurants have you covered.

Here’s a look at what’s happening for New Year’s and for the rest the week here in Baltimore:

New Year’s Eve plans
The big news this week is, of course, that we bid adieu to 2018 and welcome 2019. As always, local restaurants are in on the action, with a bevy of fun dinner and drinks options.

New Year’s Eve will be a special–and bittersweet–one at Wit & Wisdom, which closes the following day. The Four Seasons restaurant’s party will include an all-inclusive buffet, live entertainment and a midnight champagne toast.

When the clock strikes 7 p.m. here in Baltimore, it will be midnight in Dublin. To celebrate the new year, Irish-style, Guinness Open Gate Brewery will launch a new beer, right at the stroke of 7. No tickets are necessary to have a front-row seat for the mystery beer release and everyone present will receive a sample.

Dylan’s Oyster Cellar’s kitchen will be closed on New Year’s Eve, but both the raw bar and the regular bar will be open for business.

Sotto Sopra is serving their regular a la carte menu, a great option for people who prefer that over prix fixe menus.

The Milton Inn will offer a four-course prix fixe menu with dishes like oysters imperial and peppercorn-dusted venison loin.

Chez Hugo will serve a seven-course meal including dishes like sunchoke hummus and duck breast with persimmon jam, potato and sorrel.

Cosima’s four-course meal includes options like roasted butternut squash bisque with duck confit and duck crackling, and roasted quail with parsnip crema and pomegranate agro dolce.

New Year’s Eve at Gunther & Co. will feature a four-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings, oyster course and shellfish course, with dishes like juniper lamb tartare and Wagyu short rib.

Vida Taco Bar in Harbor Point will offer a great vantage point for the fireworks, plus a special cocktail menu and tons of tacos and other treats (including a raw bar). The restaurant has recently expanded its menu, adding new salads and tortas, so there are lots of reasons to visit right now.

Charleston will offer two seatings, each with the choice of one of two custom menus designed for the evening.

Cinghiale’s four-course menu includes choices like grilled swordfish spiedini and Hudson Valley Farm duck francobolli.

Lupa’s menu includes dishes like smoked potato gnocchi with lamb ragu and braised veal shoulder in marsala sauce.

Bar Vasquez will offer a multi-course menu with dishes like filet mignon tartare and octopus a la plancha.

La Cuchara will offer a seasonal menu featuring four courses of Basque-inspired dishes like Zarzuela de Mariscos.

There are two options for New Year’s Eve at Minnow. Earlier in the evening, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the restaurant will offer a four-course Mediterranean meal. Starting at 10 p.m., Minnow will host a party, starting in the bar, with hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, then heading up to the rooftop to view the fireworks.

At The Elephant, the four-course New Year’s Eve menu includes dishes like butter-poached lobster risotto; a complimentary glass of bubbles will be served with all desserts.

Cunningham’s will have a three-course dinner with dishes like lobster with red curry risotto, and an optional wine pairing addition.

La Food Marketa will host New Year’s Sparkling Slay; the meal will include over half the items on the regular Marketa menu, plus some surprises, served family style at community tables.

At Magdalena, the prix fixe menu will include chilled West Coast oysters, seared Hudson Valley foie gras and warm Maine lobster tail.

If you’re heading to Loch Bar on New Year’s Eve, you’ll need a ticket, which will get you in the door (and it’s a great spot for fireworks), plus access to an open bar, standing buffet and live music.

The Bygone might have the best vantage point in the city for the fireworks. Tickets for their black-tie party include a premium open bar and standing buffet, featuring a carving station, raw bar and caviar.

On Fleet Street, Tagliata, The Elk Room and Italian Disco are joining forces to host one party with three different “experiences.” There will be music and food in all three locations, but the vibe will change from one to another.

Patterson Public House will offer the regular menu, plus a special three-course option, as well as limitless bubbly all night long.

La Calle will have a prix fixe dinner, an open bar after 10 p.m. and a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight.

At Rye Street Tavern, New Year’s Eve will include passed canapés, food stations (including a raw bar), a dessert room and beer, wine and signature cocktails, among other treats.

Encantada is going edgy for New Year’s Eve, with a Divine Pretty in Pink party including an open bar, John Waters-themed buffet, DJ, photo booth and a Divine impersonator.

There will be two New Year’s Eve seatings at Gertrude’s; the early seating will offer a three-course menu and the second seating–at 9 or 9:30 p.m.–will include a four-course menu and midnight champagne toast.

On New Year’s Eve, the Lord Baltimore Hotel will also celebrate its 90th birthday! The hotel will mark the occasion with a party featuring tons of food, an oyster bar, a live swing band and discounts on holiday cocktails. A portion of the proceeds from the party will be donated to Baltimore National Heritage Area.

Just for kids
Maybe some children can make it until midnight, but for most, that’s asking too much. But there’s no reason they can’t celebrate.

The Charmery’s annual Kiddie Scoop Ball Drop will take place this year at the Ice Cream Factory at Union Collective. The party, now in its fifth year, starts at 6:30 p.m. and the ball drops at 8 p.m.

At Johnny’s there will be a kids’ celebration at 6 p.m.– complete with a kid-friendly bubbly toast–in the Christmas Bar.

In Hunt Valley, Iron Rooster will host a fun kids’ party, complete with dinner and dancing to a DJ, starting at 6 p.m.

Cheers to 2019
Some restaurants will take a well-deserved rest on New Year’s Day. Others will keep the party going.

Myth and Moonshine will open at 10 a.m. for brunch with food specials and bottomless mimosas and bloodies. Patterson Public House will do the same.

Bottomless bellinis and a Bloody Mary bar will be featured at Lupa’s New Year’s Day brunch.

Chez Hugo will also keep the party going on New Year’s Day, with a special brunch menu.

Brunch will be available all day on New Year’s Day at Johnny’s.

On New Year’s Day, La Cuchara will host a special reception featuring vintage Cava–Spanish bubbly–from Ramon Canals.

WhistlePig Whiskey dinner
Talk about starting the new year off right: On Thursday, Jan. 3, the Maple Lawn location of Lib’s Grill will host a five-course dinner, with each course paired with WhistlePig whiskey (sometimes in a cocktail).

The meal includes courses like coconut and maple butternut squash bisque with pumpkin seeds and duck confit paired with Farmstock Rye Crop #002.

Planning Ahead
Here are a few events to look forward to over the next few weeks:
January 11-12: Krautfest at Gertrude’s 
January 12: Oyster, Wine & Beer Festival 
January 25: Baltimore Free Farm Fancy Dinner 

Kit Waskom Pollard is a Baltimore Fishbowl contributing writer. She writes Hot Plate every Friday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.