What are you doing New Year's Eve? Some choices.
Honolulu restaurants are offering some glittering New Year's Eve possibilities. Party like it's 2011.
Party like an Iron Chef: Masuharu Morimoto may or may not be partying in his Waikiki restaurant New Year's Eve. You can anyway.
Courtesy Morimoto Restaurants
Party like an Iron Chef: The new Morimoto Restaurant in the Waikiki Edition is offering "an exclusive party hosted by Chef Morimoto." Does that mean that Masuharu Morimoto himself will be there? "Most likely," says the restaurant, which is not the same answer as "yes." Food all night, open sushi and raw bars, wines and champagne, and, says the restaurant, "fabulous door prizes." At $275 a head, they should be fabulous. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. (808) 943-5900 or Open Table.
The Wong Way: Alan Wong's has a special $105 New Year's Eve menu that brings you a sampling of appetizers (including the legendary avocado-ahi stack), two more courses (you'll be forced to choose between lobster and onaga, then between Maui Co. steak two ways or ahi two ways or lobster two ways including a lobster shepherd's pie). All topped off with pastry chef Michelle Karr's "Good Luck Rice," for dessert. Note: The King Street restaurant is closed New Year's Day. Wong's Pineapple Room is closed by 3 p.m. on the eve and open New Year's Day. (808) 949-2526 or here.
Champagne, Chops & Chocolate: 12th Avenue Grill has a special "Champagne, Chops & Chocolate" prix fixe menu for New Year's Eve. Only $48 for a complimentary glass of sparkling with the amuse bouche, crab stuffed giant shrimp with champagne & caviar buerre blanc, a juniper-marinated New Zealand venison chop and dark chocolate pot de creme with Kula strawberries. (808) 732-9469 or Open Table.
Choices: The "Original Roy's" as the Hawaii Kai Roy's Restaurant now bills itself, is offering a five-course prix fixe for New Year's Eve. Bluefin tuna crudo, traditional torchon (poached foie gras), braised Kona abalone poke and your choice of a dozen entrees. I'd choose the trio of rabbit confit, seared goose and grilled quail, but you may be hungry for butter poached lobster or rack of lamb provencal. Priced from $65 to $85 depending on entree choice. All topped off with Big Island chocolate decadence. (808) 396-ROYS.
In the Pink: The Royal Hawaiian's Azure Restaurant offers a $160 five-course menu: Kona Abalone “Cappuccino," Waialua Asparagus and Prosciutto de Parma, Kona Lobster with Anchovy & Marrow Butter and your choice of rib eye steak, Azure bouillabaisse or blackened ahi, plus a dessert. Dinner at Azure gets you in free to The Pink Party at the Mai Tai Bar next door, live band, DJs, dancing. Party admission alone is $50, $100 for VIP tables. Good view of the Waikiki midnight fireworks. (808) 921-4600.
Fireworks! The Hilton Hawaiian Village's famed fireworks will go off an hour later than usual New Year's Eve, 8:45 p.m., as a celebration that will do double duty as Hilton's 50th anniversary in Hawaii. Two parties at the Hilton: Impressionist Andre Gagnon and Cecilio & Kapono in the Coral Ballroom (tickets $100 and $75, includes half bottle of champagne and party favors). HHV is throwing a second party, with band and DJs, at the Paradise Lounge, renamed Twenty Eleven Lounge for the evening. The $25 cover will be waived for anyone dining that evening at Bali Steak & Seafood, Tropics Bar & Grill or Rainbow Lanai. (808) 949-4321 or here.
Surf & Turf: In addition to its full menu, Morton's in Ala Moana is offering a "Classic Combination Menu"--choice of steak, choice of lobster or crab, plus salad and asparagus—for $85 per person. Also open New Year's Day. (808) 949-1300 or here.
Body paint! The Sheraton Waikiki is throwing a party with a cumbersome nine-word name: Oceanfront Sin City meets New York City Times Square. But it is a large party, all oceanfront, wrapping around from the Edge of Waikiki bar to Rumfire. The Bacardi Cabaret Girls and Boys, Vegas Show Girls, celebrity impersonators, graffiti body paint artists and, what else, a replica of the Times Square ball dropping from the top of the resort. Not to mention a good view of the Waikiki fireworks. Tickets $40 by Dec. 30, $50 at the door. (808) 922-4422 or here.
Family Time: New Year's is a family holiday in Hawaii, and if you're taking the whole family out, maybe three or four generations, you might head to The Willows. The Willows offers a $39.95 lunch and dinner buffet both on the eve and New Year's Day. Chef Jay Matsukawa promises, among other things, crab legs, garlic and rosemary-crusted prime rib, peppered rack of lamb, misoyaki butterfish, blue crab-crusted salmon, roast turkey, garlic mashed potatoes and nearly endless array of Christmas desserts. (808) 952-9200 or here.