Low Key NYE in East Bay?
Any recommendations for a reasonably priced dinner out for two on NYE in Oakland, Berkeley, or the surrounding area? Preferably $100 or less per person for a tasting menu (without wine), or we're open to a place just doing their regular menus as well. Our favorite places in the area are generally Dopo, Pizzaiolo, Camino, Sidebar, Chop Bar, and Wood Tavern. One hitch is that I'm pregnant, so tasting menus featuring things like raw oysters, etc. are a no go.
We went to Hopscotch last night - 5 of us. we went on First Friday - the big art/music "happening" in uptown Oakland every 1st friday of the month. So it was packed, as was the restaurant. we had reservations at 7:30, arrived at 7:10, and didn't get seated until about 8:10. it was fine, tho; they gave us our cocktails at the outdoor tables, comped us each a hot toddy, and then when we got to the table inside, comped us several servings of deliciously crispy duck-fat fried potato chips with yuzu aioli - all very unnecessary but very much appreciated.
it's a very small space, very cozy. we loved our meal. we had: the pork & chicken liver mousse, the dungeness crab and soba noodles, the buttermilk fried chicken, the First Base burger, the sweet potato gnocchi, and the bacon seafood gumbo, and split everything. for me the crab and noodles were a surprisingly weak dish - there was something off in the taste, and we couldn't figure out what it was, but we didn't love it. i personally didn't like the gumbo, tho others did. the chicken may be the best fried chicken i've had - even better than Ad Hoc's. The burger was fantastic,perfectly cooked, flavorful, as were the gnocchi. we had several of the cocktails, too - all very well executed. The staff was incredibly nice, attentive, and apologetic for making us wait, but they more than made up for it. I'd go back.
so as to the original question, it could be a very nice low-key dinner spot for NYE, but you'd definitely need to get there early, i would say. or maybe they'll have a pre-fixe...
We spent $400+ for the five of us, and that included two bottles of wine (plus our cocktails) and 3 desserts (which were unmemorable to me, but i'm not a sweets person). we all vowed to go back for brunch some day.