Festive Options for New Year’s Eve

Readying to say good-bye to 2017.

Every place that serves food and/or drink in the Garden State is a potential party hub on New Year’s Eve. If you have a favorite local spot, go there. It’s a no-brainer: James Beard, the father of American gastronomy, liked to say that his favorite restaurant was the one at which he was “known.”

Meaning, if you’re a regular at a place, go there when you wish to celebrate something special, be it a birthday, anniversary or…New Year’s Eve. In my book, local is always better and local on New Year’s Eve is just plain smart as well.

So as you plan festivities for this Sunday, December 31, look around your own neighborhood for a place to plant yourself and your fellow revelers as the countdown to 2018 begins and the ball drops. Familiar surroundings and faces will be there to serve you well.

That said, we’ve heard of a handful of interesting festivities, and thought we’d share them with you this last week of 2017.

For instance:

The Rusty Nail in Cape May, often tagged as one of the country’s “best beach bars,” will be open for the first time ever on New Year’s Eve.

To mark the Eve and this occasion, the Rusty Nail is receiving 17 tons of sand to set its stage that is being described as “flip-flop chic.” The band DogHouse will play all the way up to midnight, when 100 beach balls will drop on the crowd.

There’s a buffet dinner including open bar, priced at $75 per person, or a package that includes open bar and appetizers, set at $50.

Rusty Nail is located at 205 Beach Avenue. Details on its New Year’s Eve party can be found, and reservations can be made, by visiting caperesorts.com.


One of the top new restaurants in New Jersey is hosting its first New Year’s Eve.

Juniper Hill, the destination shepherded by chef Josh DeChellis located at 73 Beaver Avenue in the Annandale section of Clinton Township, is offering caviar service to kick off the night, a prelude to a multi-course menu priced at $85 per person. Caviar must be pre-ordered when making the required New Year’s Eve dinner reservation by calling 908-335-8905.


Piccola Italia has a multitude of menu options for the Eve at each of its seatings—early (5 to 6:45 pm, at $75 a person) and second (7:15 pm till close, at $110 a person). Whereas many restaurants offer a truncated selection, Piccola Italia, located at 837 West Park Avenue in Ocean Township, has options aplenty. To reserve, call 732-493-3090.

Meanwhile, be safe, be sensible and be ready to enjoy a happy, healthy 2018.

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