I know you’ll be drinking Champagne on New Year’s Eve, but what will you be eating? Besides trying to decide where to spend my last meal of the year, I can tell you that I have my own traditions. At the strike of midnight, I’ll have soba noodles to ensure longevity, and I’ll also eat something round, preferably mochi for prosperity (although caviar would work too). And for every year-end tradition, there are tenfold more celebratory dinner options in our amazing town, all of which will leave you feeling full, festive and ready to rock the 2017.
To close out 2016, New Year’s Eve dinner at Standard & Pour (11261 S. Eastern Ave., standardandpourlv.com) is just right for those looking to enjoy a spectacular view of the Strip without having to actually be there. From 9 p.m.-1 a.m., guests can enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, petit fours with an open bar and sounds from a live DJ. Tickets can be purchased online for $125 at bit.ly/2ghsv9w or at the door for $150. Lago by Julian Serrano(in Bellagio, Bellagio.com) has a five-course tasting feast on for $220, highlights of which include torcione di foie gras, fettucini with pheasant ragu, John Dory fillet and grilled Colorado lamb chops, all served tapas style, so sharing is highly encouraged. Lago also offers a vegetarian truffle menu that can be prepared vegan and gluten free, too. Gordon Ramsay Steak (in Paris Las Vegas, Parislsvegas.com) pulls out all the stops with a five-course prix fixe menu for $199 featuring Scotch egg with golden osetra caviar, tuna tartare, lobster bisque, short rib ravioli, filet Rossini, American Kobe rib cap surf and turf, Arctic char meuniere, chocolate hazelnut bar and sticky toffee pudding.
Of course, you may prefer to create an in-home feast. Fulfilling the need for an authentic Italian deli and market in the Valley is the recently opened Plantone’s Italian Market (8680 W. Warm Springs Rd., plantonesitalian.com). Offering everything from pizza and pasta to subs and salads, the market boasts Italian kitchen staples, most notably its cookies, coffee and pasta flour. Owner and UNLV hospitality school alumni Glenn Plantone uses high-quality ingredients to create signature items such as the Angry Sicilian, a classic Italian sub that includes prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, mortadella, house-made mozzarella, house-roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato, onion, olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano. Pizza Bianca is another specialty, made with grilled chicken, white sauce, caramelized onions, grated Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. The Antipasti Board is served with fresh mozzarella, Italian ham, salami, oil-cured black olives, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and Italian bread. And don’t forget to try the classic desserts including house-made tiramisu and an old-world ricotta cheesecake.
Shifting to Indian and Southeast Asian fare, Spring Valley residents can stay in their neighborhood now that Mint Indian Bistro (4246 S. Durango Dr., mintbistro.com) has opened a second location, right in that area. The fresh, flavorful and diverse menu includes tandoor delicacies, curry, naan, momo, tangy chaat, crispy dosa and more. Covering the entire Indian subcontinent (as well as cuisines from Southeast Asia, northern and southern India and Indo-Chinese fusion), there’s true authenticity here packed with lots of regional flavor. The lunch buffet showcases 18 delectable dishes and fresh, hot naan bread from the tandoor oven.
Regardless of how you celebrate—whether it be gulping down grapes at midnight or eating the pig that brings good luck—with bubbles in my glass, I wish you all a safe and happy New Year! Cheers!