Photo by Rob Bartlett
Earl's Kitchen + Bar
You probably have a friend whose New Year's resolution is to start cooking at home more (to lose weight, save money, etc.) Our advice? Ignore that friend. Go out for New Year's Eve and stay out for brunch the next day. Here are 15 local restaurants where you'll eat well for the last meal of 2016 and the first of 2017.
BRIO Tuscan Grill
Choose a special entree (either broiled Maine lobster and shrimp pasta [$29.95] or Surf & Turf [$32.95]) and either a salad or dessert at either location, Winter Park Village or Millenia.
Multiple locations, brioitalian.com
Earl's Kitchen & Bar
The usual globally inspired cuisine will be available for order, but Earl's is open until 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve, and will have a DJ and gratis champagne toast for diners hanging out at midnight.
4200 Conroy Road, 407-345-8260, earls.ca
For $75, you'll get a loco
dinner buffet of 35 Cuban specialties including ropa vieja, cured meats and cheeses and grilled vegetable paella, party favors, dancing and a champagne toast at midnight.
9101 International Dr., 407-226-1600, cubalibrerestaurant.com
If you feel like going all fancy and French, Winter Park's bistro Francais
will be open on New Year's Eve. Choose from classics like carre d'agneau
(rack of lamb with bleu cheese sauce) or filet mignon au poivre
(peppercorn-crusted filet with cognac sauce).
533 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-599-2929, chezvincent.com
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
The I-Drive budget buster will be open until 1 a.m. on New Year's Eve, so stick around after you've finished your filet mignon and lobster tail special — get both for $79. Share a for-two version of Oysters and Pearls to start; the appetizer comes with two glasses of Veuve Cliquot to start the meal right.
9150 International Dr., 407-351-5074, delfriscos.com
TR Fire Grill
For $50, you'll be treated to your choice of appetizers, salad, entrees and desserts, plus a glass of wine from the entree pairings list, and
a glass of sparkling wine to ring in the new year. Feeling it the next morning? Come back for Fire Grill's brunch, starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
1035 N. Orlando Ave., #101, Winter Park, 407-708-3600, trfiregrill.com
Tony Roma's - International Drive
The newly renoed Tony Roma's in the middle of Tourist Town is worth the drive, and the $45 prix fixe New Year's Eve dinner includes some of our favorites from the new menu, like the apple-cranberry cobbler.
8560 International Dr., 407-248-0094, tonyromas.com
Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi
On December 30, Dragonfly will get a shipment of a whole, 100-pound bluefin tuna to be used all weekend to celebrate the new year. The breakdown of the fish will be live-streamed on their Facebook page if you want to see some fancy knifework. Guests of the restaurant will be treated to bar specials and a champagne toast at midnight.
7972 Via Dellagio Way., 407-370-3359, dragonflyrestaurants.com
Christner's Prime Steak & Lobster
As always, if you want to make it extra special, reserve a private dining room to go with your meat-and-three. On New Year's Eve, reservations are available until 10:45 p.m.
729 Lee Road., 407-645-4443, christnersprimesteakandlobster.com
Canvas Restaurant & Market
Watch the sun set over 2016 at Lake Nona's modern-Latin-Asian-fusion spot. The restaurant and market will be open on New Year's Eve from 5 p.m. until midnight, and will open for brunch service starting at 11 a.m. on New Year's Day. What hangover?
13615 Sachs Ave., 407-313-7800, canvaslakenona.com
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
The newest Tavistock property will also be open to ring in 2017 on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day for dinner, starting at 3 p.m. both days. We especially love their "garden to glass" cocktails like the Garden Rita with bell pepper, cucumber, cilantro, Cointreau and tequila.
6967 Lake Nona Blvd., 407-955-4340, chromalakenona.com
Antonio's La Fiamma Upstairs
The Maitland Italian fine dining mainstay is doing a little twist on the typical prix fixe. Whichever entree you choose from the list of 7 options has a price next to it, that's the price of your prix fixe, three-course menu, just add app and dessert. If it was us, we'd go for the olive-oil poached grouper with artichoke hearts and roasted red pepper vinaigrette ($58).
611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-645-1039, antoniosonline.com
If there's anything the Spanish know how to do really well, it's eat a lot for a long time. Starting at 10 p.m. and costing $110, enjoy a five-course meal, champagne toast, live flamenco, and open beer and wine bar at the I-Drive 360 paella place.
8441 International Dr., #260, 407-226-2929, tapatoro.restaurant
Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar
If you're heading to Thornton Park's New Year's Eve celebration after, pad your stomach with succulent seafood first. The three-course meal will be served with a comped bottle of champs or wine for $160 per couple. Reservations are required.
743 N. Magnolia Ave., 407-270-4740
The Ravenous Pig
New Year's Day brunch would be a great time to check out Rav Pig's new digs on Fairbanks Ave., in the former Cask & Larder space. Service starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. on Sunday. Nothing says "good riddance, 2016" like Nutella donuts and pimento cheese.
565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333