Small bites: New Year’s Eve dinner happenings

SAVOR THE NEW YEAR: Restaurants all over Western North Carolina will say goodbye to 2016 with New Year's Eve dinners. Pictured is the Sunburst trout with fingerling potato salad and Belgian endive that will be among the items featured on the evening's prix fixe menu at Buffalo Nickel. Photo by East Branch Photography

There will be buffets. There will be multicourse meals. There will be dancing and drinks. When it comes to ringing in the new year with good food and fine tipples, Asheville always has plenty of options. This week’s “Small Bites” rounds up just a few of the area’s tasty New Year’s Eve events for those looking to dine their way into 2017.

A number of restaurants will offer prix fixe meals. In West Asheville, Buffalo Nickel’s four-course experience runs $60 with options including duck liver parfait, Sunburst trout, roasted beets, fennel-crusted wild boar tenderloin and ricotta cheesecake (

Downtown at Posana, guests will find foie gras ravioli, kale caesar, lamb and mimosa creamsicles among its four-course offerings — and, as always, all dishes are completely gluten-free. The event is $75 per person, with a wine-pairing option available for an additional $35 (

Over at Nightbell, chef Katie Button is preparing a five-course meal. For $75, guests will be offered such dishes as scallop and pine-needle ceviche, butter-poached flounder, smoked lamb belly roulade and caramelized white chocolate (

Sovereign Remedies owner Charlie Hodge says his downtown restaurant and bar will “say goodbye and good riddance to 2016” with New Year’s Eve punch and drink specials as well as oysters, caviar and late-night ramen. The festivities will also feature a musical homage to Prince, David Bowie and other great musicians who died in 2016. No cover charge is required (

On the east side in Biltmore Village, Red Stag Grill‘s chef Scott Ostrander is putting together a five-course dinner that will include wild boar belly, lobster bisque, pan-roasted duck breast, grilled jumbo sea scallops and a raspberry merengue. Tickets are $115 (

In the River Arts District, the Smoky Park Supper Club will offer a New Year’s Eve menu featuring steak tartare, chargrilled North Carolina oysters and a burger topped with smoked marrow aiolo, wood-roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions and Asher blue cheese. Prices range from $9-$32 per plate. Reservations are available between 5-9:30 p.m. (

Avenue M will welcome 2017 in North Asheville with dinner specials and a dance party. Early seatings start at 5 p.m., but reservations made for 8:30 p.m. and later can keep their table for the whole evening. (

For those looking for a buffet, Blue Ridge at the Omni Grove Park Inn will offer a varied and festive smorgasbord. Leg of lamb and grilled salmon will be at the carving station, and entrées will include braised beef short ribs and honey-glazed airline chicken. The dessert table will boast red velvet cupcakes, Key lime pie and crunchy chocolate truffle tarts among other treats. Adults pay $70, children ages 6-12 eat for $25, while ages 5 and younger are free (

At some Asheville restaurants, dancing and cocktails are the main event. On the South Slope, Buxton Hall Barbecue will host the MODern Midnight Masquerade starting at 10:15 p.m. The 1960s mod-themed gathering will include free photo booth prints, a Champagne toast, a VIP lounge and more. The musical lineup includes Devyn Marzuola followed by Mary Kelly and Alex Cartwright with go-go and disco grooves, while chef Sarah Cousler will close the party in the DJ booth making “‘booty music dreams’ come true,” says the event’s Facebook page. Admission is $5 at the door (

In a similar vein, Lexington Avenue’s recently opened Calypso will host two dinner parties and an after-party, all of which are ticketed events. The $20 admission fee includes a choice of one Caribbean cocktail. According to the event’s Facebook page, music spun by DJ Disc-oh! “will bring the taste, sound and movement of Carnivale in the islands to Asheville” (

There will be plenty of ways to bid farewell to 2016 with a fine meal in other parts of Western North Carolina as well. For those celebrating the new year in Saluda, The Orchard Inn will host a New Year’s Eve gala. The seven-course meal begins at 8 p.m. and includes poached lobster, braised rabbit, grilled New York strip, chocolate truffle sponge and more. It concludes with a complimentary glass of Champagne at midnight. Tickets are $110 per person (

In Marshall, the Sweet Monkey Bakery will ring in the New Year with its four-course All-Asian Reservation Dinner. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, the $60 meal includes fresh Thai spring rolls, miso soup, Shanghai pork, haupia (Hawaiian coconut pudding) and more, all made from scratch by award-winning chef Hollie West. There will be seatings at 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m., and each dinner seats 20 (

The New Year’s Eve bash at Postero in Hendersonville will feature a five-course meal of caviar and oysters, low country lobster and grits, chopped salad and chicken confit followed by coffee and doughnuts (



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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

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