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New Years Eve Recs for Pasadena

v
vonger44 Dec 27, 2006 06:13 AM

Since we will be spending our New Years Eve in the Pasadena area,
any recs for a nice restaurant ? We are not looking for a special New Years Eve type of meal with the usual festivities but a great meal, top service, and classy decor.... a nice wine list is a plus. We are pretty much open to any type of food. Thanks in advance.

  1. d
    diningdivala Dec 28, 2006 07:48 PM

    I can think of a few others, though I'm not sure about availability:

    The Dining Room at the Ritz, gorgeous food, lovely location, very sophisticated but approachable. Surely festive... it's the Ritz!

    Tre Venezie on Green St., Old Town, upscale Italian, small intimate room, high prices, but worht it.

    Smitty's on Lake Ave., two blocks S of Colorado Blvd., maybe not so upscale, but people will be dressed up. It's always festive (and packed) here, Frank and Dino on the stereo, nice steaks, decent food, just OK wines, though. Owned by same guys who own Parkway and Arroyo

    Verticle Wine Bistro, still Old Town; haven't been yet, but you can search and find more.

    Slightly more casual, but in South Pasadena:
    Briganti, Italian
    Shiro, French-Asian
    Mike & Anne's, modern American food, casual setting but lovely.

    1. amandine Dec 28, 2006 06:27 AM

      I've gone to Cafe Bizou (Raymond at Holly) twice for New Years... the staff makes things very festive, $5 corkage (check if this is still true), and it's a la carte. I had a great time. Parkway Grill is much more formal and reserved on New Years but a good option as well.

      1. v
        vonger44 Dec 27, 2006 11:30 PM

        Parkway Grill was full with a 100+ wait list. However, Derek's had a few tables available and I was able to get a reservation. I will be sure to try Parkway at another time.
        Derek's New Years Eve menu with wine pairing sounds perfect not to mention we enjoy finding somewhat unknown gems to try.
        Thanks again !

        1. v
          vonger44 Dec 27, 2006 10:03 PM

          Thanks all for the great recs !
          They all sound wondeful esp Parkway Grill and Derek's.
          La Maschera sounds like a place I will definitely have to check out the next time I'm up the area.

          Between Parkway Grill and Derek's, which would you say is more of a place where I could take my somewhat refined inlaws who are also wine lovers and will be dressed up.
          Any others suggestions our there ?
          Thanks again.

          2 Replies
          1. re: vonger44
            The Oracle Dec 27, 2006 10:22 PM

            Is it likely your inlaws frequent Pasadena for dinner? If so, they've likely been to Parkway Grill. Derek's is a bit of an unknown gem. Both are very comparable for what you are looking for - both places will have people dressed up - Derek's will likely have a more interesting wine list than Parkway -- I think you can see both online. Parkway Grill is a bit more updated decor wise and well known around (been in pasadena for 20-ish years)... take a look at the menus and go what sounds best to you... you really can't go wrong with either. Derek's is located in a mini/strip mall and doesn't have a fancy exterior (if you think that will turn your inlaw's off) -- but they do have valet parking. Once inside you wouldn't even know you were in a strip mall.

            I'd suggest to call and see if you can get a reservation at either place... that might help you make your decision as well!

            Another option is the Ritz Carlon -- however, not sure what The Dining Room is doing for NYE (make sure you don't get The Terrace restaurant).

            1. re: vonger44
              Clare K Dec 27, 2006 10:35 PM

              Absolutely Parkway Grill. Their service is old-fashioned, and they are good with all the little details (if you are wearing dark clothing, you get black napkins, for example, as not to get white lint on your clothes). Their wine list is impressive and the atmosphere is relaxed and beautiful. But I would book ASAP...it will fill up fast.

            2. chica Dec 27, 2006 09:40 PM

              La Maschera recently emailed me a version of their new year's eve menu:

              Chef Adnen will be serving a five-course dinner menu featuring NEW dishes including seared duck, fresh hand-made pastas and pan seared quail. Chef's five course dinner also includes complementary champagne to toast in the new year. (See menu attached)

              www.LaMascheraRistorante.com

              1. The Oracle Dec 27, 2006 04:33 PM

                The trick on New Years Eve is navigating around the Rose Parade Route. Don't make the fatal mistake of taking the Del Mar/California exit off the 210/134 offramp at any time - say, past 5/6pm or be prepared to get stuck in a very long wait. (Just travel down one of the major streets and they typically have decent traffic control to get you across Colorado Blvd.)

                That said, my rec's are all south of Colorado Blvd. (and far enough off the route it shouldn't be too bad):
                *Parkway Grill (some of my favorite fish dishes have been enjoyed here, but the rest of the menu is good too, excellent service, pleasant surroundings, can sometimes be noisier than I'd like, but not deteringly so) www.theparkwaygrill.com
                *Arroyo Chop House... if you are in the mood for a chophouse. www.arroyochophouse.com
                *Derek's (great food, a little outdated decor IMO, but will be quiet and intimate, along with great service) www.dereks.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Oracle
                  ipsedixit Dec 27, 2006 05:33 PM

                  Second the rec for DEREK'S and also make sure to reserve your seating ASAP as they book up quite quickly for NYE.

                2. Clare K Dec 27, 2006 04:13 PM

                  Parkway Grill

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Clare K
                    c
                    carter Dec 27, 2006 04:19 PM

                    Agree with Clare. Went to Parkway(626.795.1001) last Saturday night, and it was as good as always, with a very good, basically California wine list. Also, its kid brother next door, the Arroyo Chop House(626.577.7463), would also be a great choice.
                    Both provide excellent service. Both on Arroyo Pkwy, just north of California and share the same valet service.

                  2. m
                    mc michael Dec 27, 2006 01:56 PM

                    Maybe Bistro 45?

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