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Where to New Year’s Eve in Sonoma Valley

Restaurants and wineries where you can ring in 2022

As we all reevaluate parties and getting together, we do have a few things to celebrate.

We can toast being alive, living in Sonoma Valley, being blessed with some rain again, and having relatively clean air and water.

However you celebrate this weekend and Christmas, there is always next weekend, which happens to bring New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

We used to joke about New Year’s Eve as “amateurs’ night” out in our family. That was, of course, speaking from our advantaged viewpoint of having good food, good friends, and wine and booze available all the time.

But this year we do all have the aforementioned life factors to celebrate New Year’s Eve however we do that, or don’t.

Most Sonoma Valley bars and restaurants will be open to help you along, and some restaurants that served Christmas Eve or day will close for a week or two. So be sure to check with your favorite spot to be sure they are open.

For those of us not planning to go out New Year’s Eve, join me in vicariously enjoying the following special menus, in no particular order this time.

Sonoma Grille & Bar: Nima Sherpa and Executive Chef Saul Razo present a three-course New Year’s Eve special menu.

Among the first course choices are a trio of raw Royal Miyagi oysters with sriracha Champagne mignonette; chilled baby scallops with sweet and spicy sauce; or lobster bisque drizzled with basil oil; or blood orange salad with feta, pistachios, frisée, radicchio and Champagne vinaigrette.

Entrées offer three cheese ravioli filled with ricotta, Asiago and Parmesan with tomato sauce; spinach fettucine with sea scallops, lemon cream, and orange caviar; Blue Nose seabass with Tuscan lentils, and tenderloin filet with grilled asparagus and crispy shoestring potatoes.

Desserts to choose from include a chocolate torte with gelato and chocolate sauce; cranberry pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce, or strawberry cheesecake with strawberry Champagne sauce. $80 per person. 5 to 10 p.m. They are also open New Year’s Day. 165 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Reserve at 938-7542

Kivelstadt Cellars Eatery: As of this writing, Kivelstadt offers truffle fries and a glass of 2020 Carignane Pet-Nat Wondering for $15 on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Josh Yenne will play live from 1 to 3 p.m. on New Year’s Day. Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. New Year’s Day. Reserve at kivelstadtcellars.com or through Tock. 22900 Broadway, Sonoma. 938-7001.

Wit & Wisdom at The Lodge at Sonoma: Six courses to finish off 2021 should do it at Michael Mina’s Wit & Wisdom at the Lodge at Sonoma, kicking off with a caviar amuse of Yukon gold roti, with crème fraiche and Mina Reserve Osetra caviar and dill.

The first course, which is $15 extra, offers a choice of smoked burrata with Burgundy truffle and shaved Alba white truffles ($35) or Ahi tuna tartare with quail egg.

The second course will be seared Dayboat scallops, followed by wild mushroom tagliatelle; lobster pot pie, eye of ribeye steak with potato puree and creamed spinach. You can add a black truffle to any course for an additional $65. Since they have a reputation for not answering the phone, reserve at opentable.com/r/wit-and-wisdom-sonoma.

The final course is their “Farewell to 2021 chocolate extravaganza,” which consists of Valrhona milk chocolate cream, a brownie bar, gold leaf, and Champagne Gelée. $145 plus add-on options. 5 to 9 p.m. The bar will be open late for a complimentary Champagne toast at midnight. 1325 Broadway, Sonoma.

Picazo Kitchen & Bar: Check out this New Year’s Eve menu for something a bit new to many of us.

Start with a choice of small starter salads of a Caesar with hearts of Romaine lettuce, croutons, shaved Parmesan and Kina’s Caesar dressing or arugula salad with orange segments, pomegranate, avocado, caramelized pecans, feta cheese and Balsamic reduction.

For the main course guests choose between Chile en Nogada with poblano chili stuffed with veggie peccadillo, vegan walnut sauce, pomegranate, and parsley, all served with cilantro rice and corn flour tortillas; lobster tail pasta with fettucine, Alfredo creamy sauce parsley and chili flakes; or six-ounce steak frites with chimichurri.

For dessert select from a rainbow layer cake with cream cheese frosting, a blackberry empanada with vanilla ice cream, or two scoops of organic Açai sorbet with toasted almonds. $45 for one, $85 for two. Reserve ahead both for dine-in and take out. 19101 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma. 935-3287.

Glen Ellen Star: Ari Weisswasser’s New Year’s Eve menu starts by greeting guests with a sparkling wine toast and housemade Parker House rolls with brown butter. Next, everyone gets a chicory salad with candied walnuts, pink flesh apple, and Roquefort dressing.

Guests can choose between wood-baked halibut with slow-cooked fennel and saffron, sultanas, toasted pine nuts and sauce Maltaise or New York strip steak with Romanesco sauce, caramelized shallots, and pomegranate bordelaise. These entrées are accompanied by rigatoni cacao e pepe, 24North Parmesan Reggiano, and grated Perigord truffles, served family-style.

For dessert, chocolate tart with hazelnut milk chocolate ganache and dark chocolate Armagnac glaze

Glen Ellen Star offers seats outside, in the dining room, and at the chef’s counter, where you can watch all the culinary creativity in action and even learn some secrets. $100 per person. 13648 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen. Reserve via Resy or at glenellenstar.com. 343-1384.

Layla at MacArthur Place: New Year’s Eve dinner at Layla consists of Dungeness crab cakes, warm Berkshire pork belly, stuffed Sonoma quail, and a choice of “two seasonal desserts.” $110 with wine pairings available for $45 extra. 6 to 10 p.m. 29 E. MacArthur, Sonoma. Reservations at macarthurplace.com.

Happy Christmas and New Year, and we can all hope that each year gets better. Let’s make it so.

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