New Year’s Eve 2018

by Fiona Clarke and Robin Collins

There’s more to New Year’s Eve than noise makers, party favors and champagne toasts. There’s dinner. Many Valley restaurants are at the ready to make your final night of 2018 one filled with fun and delicious food. Here are a dozen of our favorites playing host this New Year’s Eve.

Above: At Quiessence, The Farm at South Mountain, dine outside on the charming terrace or inside the original farmhouse.


Chef Dustin Christofolo of Quiessence, The Farm at South Mountain, has prepared a special four-course tasting menu for New Year’s Eve. Begin with foie gras torchon or roasted squash soup. The second course of potato gnocchi with crab chanterelles will be followed by two entrée choices: beef filet or pan-seared salmon. A citrus-caramel opera cake with prickly pear ice cream will complete the meal. Dine outside on the beautiful terrace or inside the original farmhouse. For a truly romantic evening reserve the Private Brick Oven Table. www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com


It’s all about sharing at Pomelo at the Orchard. The starter, salad and dessert portions are for two people. However, the entrée specialties are based on serving one person and include a choice of a mesquite-grilled, 12-ounce New York strip steak served with shrimp in a parmesan sauce, short ribs braised with a peppercorn demi-glaze sauce or pan-roasted wild salmon. Two glasses of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne are included. https://www.pomelophx.com/

Above: Roka Akor’s delicious assortment of desserts is artistically presented. 


The early seating at Roka Akor will offer four-courses including several Roka Akor house signature items: rock shrimp, Chef’s sashimi platter and yuzu miso black cod. The later seating, a six-course tasting menu includes dishes like kusshi oysters with calvisius pure salt caviar, Chilean sea bass with yuzu truffle butter, bone marrow gnocchi with parsnip purée and truffles. Each menu may be paired with an optional selection of festive wines. Diners may add a caviar and champagne course, hand-shaved truffle service as well as the addition of Miyazaki Wagyu, a cut of beef widely regarded as the most exclusive in the world. https://www.pomelophx.com/


All three locations will be serving a special four-course prix-fixe menu. The meal begins with butternut squash soup with duck confit, wild mushrooms and spiced cream, plus an herb-grilled shrimp and Fuji apple salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette. For the main course, choose from three different dishes: tenderloin of beef, roasted chicken or pan-seared sea bass. The dessert, Chocolate Resolution, features dark chocolate, raspberries and cinnamon crisp. The regular dinner menu is also available. www.theherbbox.com/

Above: The extensive raw seafood selection at Buck & Rider is flown in daily.


This is not going to be your typical New Year’s Eve restaurant experience. At Buck & Rider there’s no prix-fixe menu, no set seating times and no deposit is required. You can come in anytime and enjoy your favorite dishes and cocktails or order the food and drink that is being specially prepared for New Year’s Eve. The party will include a photo booth, a DJ beginning at 10 p.m., party favors at 11 p.m., and a balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight. www.buckandrider.com


Celebrate the New Year with a delicious four-course dinner at ZuZu, the signature restaurant at the hip Hotel Valley Ho. Each savory course will be perfectly paired with an elegant Champagne. Begin with oysters and caviar followed by foie gras mousse. The main course includes a pairing of short ribs and king crab. Rosé sponge cake topped with white chocolate sauce and strawberry meringues complete the meal. Choose from two seatings, either 5:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. Those dining at either seating are also invited to a complimentary rooftop Champagne toast at midnight. https://www.hotelvalleyho.com/zuzu

Above: Celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Spanish tradition with tapas delicacies at Prado.


Toast to the new year at Prado at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa, Montelucia. On New Year’s Eve, partake in the Spanish tradition of tapas tasting. Prepare yourself for a steady stream of small plates filled with Andalusian delicacies accompanied with a complimentary glass of Dom Pérignon. Or, if you prefer, celebrate with live entertainment and a four-course, prix-fixe menu and champagne toast at midnight. If brunch is more your style, head to Prado on New Year’s Day for a buffet complete with breakfast favorites with music and patio seating. https://www.omnihotels.com 


Toast to another year with a delicious meal at Roaring Fork this New Year’s Eve. Executive chef Scott Mortenson will be cooking up a specialty Lobster and Steak offering in addition to seasonal menu items available that evening only. Guests are welcomed by the warm, rotisserie fire and outdoor fireplace, where they can end the night toasting with the crowd favorite huckleberry margarita. www.roaringfork.com

Above: The bruschettas at Olive & Ivy are a great way to begin your dinner.


For New Year’s Eve, a prix-fixe menu has been created which includes a glass of champagne, artichoke hearts with parmesan cream, filet of beef with grilled prawns and olive oil cake in a cranberry and orange compote topped with whipped crème fraîche. Or, select dishes from the regular à la carte menu such as bacon wrapped dates, classic caesar salad, a variety of flatbreads and pastas and entrées such as Atlantic Salmon, bone-in ribeye and chicken scallopini. The peanut butter mousse in a chocolate shell drizzled with smoked sea salt is a standout. www.oliveandivyrestaurant.com


Located in the shadow of Camelback Mountain, Hearth ’61 is serving up a memorable New Year’s Eve dinner. The special menu features lobster tortellini with ginger coconut velouté, burrata and Brussel sprout salad, beef tenderloin with parsnip and manchego gratin and a warm chocolate torte served with salted caramel ice cream. The first seating is at 6:30 p.m. The second, at 9:30 p.m., includes party favors and a special Champagne toast at midnight. Mr. P-Body will be spinning in the Hearth Bar to keep the evening lively. https://www.mountainshadows.com/dining/hearth/about-hearth-61


Above: Steak 44 will offer its regular à la carte menu this New Year’s Eve.


Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Steak 44. The regular à la carte menu will be available with the requirement that a $75 food and beverage minimum to be spent per person. Choose from favorite starters like the Chef’s PB&J (pate, Woodford reserve bourbon and fig jam), King crab and avocado stack or the prime Steakhouse meatballs. Featuring prime steaks and chops, selections include filet mignon, New York strip, ribeye, Colorado rack of lamb and bone-in veal chop. There are a host of sides to compliment your entrée such as double-baked truffle potato, sautéed wild mushrooms and roasted Brussel sprouts. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the crispy banana split or an adult size chocolate peanut butter milkshake. https://www.steak44.com/


Ring in 2019 with a five-course dinner at Tanzy Restaurant. Located at Scottsdale Quarter, next to the iPic Theatre, dinner service begins at 5 p.m.  The courses include Ossetra caviar with creme fraiche, roasted beet and burrata salad, seared scallops or foie gras torchon and grilled lamb chops or buttered poached lobster. If you prefer a vegetarian meal, opt for the tempura wild mushroom with black truffle risotto. As your fifth course, a raspberry and vanilla Baked Alaska ends the meal on a sweet note. A complimentary glass of champagne is included, while optional wine pairings are available for purchase.  www.tanzyrestaurant.com/scottsdale/