Around and around we go; today is the start to yet another lovely workweek -- and the end to 2014. This week, you're sure to have a bit of a spring in your step in anticipation of New Year's Eve. If you don't have any plans, we've got a few suggestions for the big night and for the rest of the week.
Whether you're looking to sample some IPA at a pairing dinner, enjoy a special New Year's Eve menu, or want to party the night away at a masquerade ball, there's something to do in Broward and Palm Beach counties this week.
Healthy Cooking Class at Whole Foods Coral Springs
On Monday at 7 p.m., Whole Foods team members show you how to make healthier, alcohol-free cocktails to ring in the New Year. The mocktail cocktail class will include instruction on a Pomtini (a ginger and cucumber spritzer), and a Cranberry Fizz Cooler. Space is limited to the first 40 customers. Sign up at customer service, or call the store at 954-753-8000.
New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball
This time around, send off New Year's Eve 2014 with a party to remember. This year, that would be the Gerber Group's fifth-annual NYE Masquerade Ball at the W Fort Lauderdale. The event features an open bar from 8 p.m. to midnight, with a champagne toast, music by DJ Kevin Graham and DJ Richie Rich, and a party on the beach. For tickets, group rates, and VIP package information, visit fllnightlife.com/wfll, or call 954-414-8300.
New Year's Eve at Kapow! Noodle Bar
Come New Year's Eve, there aren't many places offering a good time for no cover. Pay no cover at Kapow! Noodle Bar in Boca Raton. The hassle-free NYE celebration is all about having a good time. Join it for a special New Year's Eve dinner, then hang out and drink to your heart's content with its special $40 open bar ticket that includes well drinks and house wine (and select draft beer). A premium package is also available for $60 per person. Open bar begins at 9 p.m. To purchase drink passes, visit the Eventbrite page here. Kapow! is located at 431 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561-347-7322.
New Year's Eve at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse
The new year will be celebrated with Brazilian flair at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse with an upscale twist and the restaurant's authentic Brazilian rodizio cuisine. New Year's Eve features two seatings: the first from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and the second at 10 p.m. The first seating includes a glass of champagne, rodizio, and the gourmet salad bar for $69.50 per person; or the unlimited gourmet salad bar with two grilled fish options plus a glass of champagne for $49.50. Children 6 and under are free. Just in time for the stroke of midnight, the 10 p.m. seating (the entertainment package) includes rodizio, the gourmet salad bar, a dessert bar, and entertainment in the courtyard for $180 per person 21 and up and $140 for guests aged 12 to 20. The entertainment package includes seating under the lights in the beautiful courtyard, a champagne toast at midnight; an open bar including mojitos, caipirinhas, and select wine; and unlimited nonalcoholic beverages, desserts, and party favors. Then watch the ball drop from the big screens broadcasting the midnight countdown from Times Square in New York City. Reservations required; call 954-712-0580, or visit chimasteakhouse.com.
New Year's Eve at Dada
A Delray Beach favorite, Dada will be offering a special three-course meal on New Year's Eve beginning at 5 p.m. Dinner is $75 per person. The restaurant will also be serving its regular menu all night. Starting at 11 p.m. relax to the sounds of Public Sounds Collective. Reservations are required. Dada is located at 52 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561-330-3232.
Jazz Night New Year's Eve at QBar Blues & Burgers
Fort Lauderdale's new QBar Blues & Burgers will be hosting a special evening of jazz music on New Year's Eve. Starting at 9 p.m., enjoy the music of David Shelley and Bluestone, a South Florida band with an eclectic fusion of blues, rock, and world rhythms. Shelley comes from a long line of performers, as the son of a jazz singer and actress Martha Stewart and the grandson of Buddy De Sylva. Entry is $10 at the door. QBar is located at 2367 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 954-565-2299.
Bongo's Cuban Cafe
No matter how you plan to celebrate the final moments of 2014, the best way to get started is with a fabulous last meal (of sorts). At the Seminole Hard Rock's Bongo's Cuban Cafe, you can enjoy a special menu served from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Start out early and pay $125 per person for the first seating (or $175 for the second seating). Selections include starters like lobster bisque with a touch of Botran Añejo Rum or a fresh avocado salad with lump crab, fried cheese, and a touch of mango sauce. Entrées include a number of choices ranging from a 14-ounce rib eye fillet with Cuban-style chimichurri sauce paired with a sweet plantain mash, or a lamb fricassee with assorted vegetables served over white rice and caramelized maduros. Sea lovers can delight in a crispy Chilean sea bass in a pepper and fresh tomato sauce, accompanied with linguini -- or a whole fresh Caribbean lobster stuffed with scallops, shrimp, and lobster topped with a creamy mozzarella sauce. Bongo's Cuban Cafe is located at 5733 Seminole Way, Fort Lauderdale; 954-791-3040.
Hoppy New Year at Hot & Soul
To celebrate the end of a successful year at Hot & Soul, the restaurant will be offering a special IPA-themed beer and food pairing menu on New Year's Eve. The dinner will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. for $60 per person ($50 without beer). Pairings include the Ballast Point Sculpin (with a seafood ceviche); Victory Wild Devil (with a Malaysian-style red seafood curry); Dogfish 60-minute (with a chicken mole); and Avery Dugan (with a goat cheese mascaparone cheesecake). Not in the mood for a four-course meal? No worries -- the restaurant will also be offering its regular menu throughout the night. Hot & Soul is located at 3045 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale; 754-206-2155.
New Year's Eve at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Angle, the Eau Palm Beach hotel's premier restaurant, will be serving a special New Year's Eve Dinner, with several seating times. The first seating set begins at 6 p.m. (6:30, 7) and offers a four-course, prix-fixe menu for $90 per person. Second seatings begin at 8:30 p.m. (9, 9:30) for $175 per person and include a champagne toast, a four-course pairing dinner, party favors, and access to the hotel nightclub Stir's NYE celebration. Still hungry? The hotel is also offering a midnight buffet from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. for $20.15 per person. Last, dance the night away at Stir (open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.) with a balloon ball drop at midnight, live DJs, and bottle service. Eau Palm Beach is located at 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-533-6000.
New Year's Eve at Sonesta
Celebrate New Year's Eve at Sonesta Fort Lauderdale in style from the bottom to the top with an array of party options. The hotel will have three venues for you to choose from to ring in 2015, including: Sip 'n SAIA, a five-hour open bar with a live DJ, dancing, and streaming of the ball drop from Times Square. The party starts at 9 p.m. for $79 per person. All You Can Sonesta in Bistro, where you can indulge in a buffet-style dinner complete with all of the trimmings along with a complimentary glass of champagne. Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. for $99 per person. And Pop From the Top, a five-course dinner menu in the hotel penthouse event space featuring a five-hour premium open bar and live DJ with dancing. Cocktail hour begins at 8 p.m. and dinner starts at 9 for $209 per person. Reservations are required. Sonesta is located at 999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-315-1460.
New Year's Day Brunch
Like to brunch? Check out our list of the Ten Best New Year's Day Brunches in Broward and Palm Beach Counties taking place on Thursday, January 1, 2015.
Polar Bear Plunge at Beauty & the Feast
Join Beauty & the Feast, located in the Atlantic Hotel & Spa, for its inaugural New Year's Day Polar Bear Plunge. Wash away 2014, and refresh with a literal plunge into the Atlantic Ocean. Anyone brave enough is invited to meet at Lifeguard Tower 11 on Fort Lauderdale Beach in front of the Atlantic Hotel & Spa before taking a plunge into the ocean. Whether you're wearing a bathing suit, tuxedo, or taking the walk of shame from the night before, the horn will blow at 10:30 a.m. After you take the plunge, the Atlantic Hotel & Spa will provide a private area for guests to dry off and change before enjoying brunch. Beauty & the Feast is located 601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-567-8020.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.