Smile Politely

New Year’s Eve 2013 Guide to Dining Out

There may be no better way to say goodbye to 2013 and welcome 2014 than with good company and a bubbly drink. There are plenty of places around town that will help you celebrate the end of the year and ring in the new one—some will even provide a free champagne toast at midnight. Grab your person(s), and head out to one of the places in our list for a fabulous time out on the town. Keep in mind, though, that New Year’s Eve is one of the worst nights for drunk driving offenses, and it might be best to call for a cab or designate a driver. If you live close to Downtown Champaign or Downtown Urbana, think about walking (on the sidewalk, not in the middle of the road, please). Happy New Year!

We’ve compiled this list of local spots. Reservations are required at several places, and recommended at the others.


Black Dog: Dinner by reservation only. Seatings at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; $55 per person.

Southern New Year’s Soup with Pulled Pork, Kale, Tomato & Black eye peas.

Smoked Prime Rib & Lobster Tail.

Garlic Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.
Smoked Sweet Potato.
Sweet Potato Fries.
Southwestern Potato Salad.
Creamed Corn.
French Fries.

Fried Apple Pie.

$55.00 per person, does not include tax, beverages or gratuity.

Call 344-9334, or email Mike, 

Crane AlleyNormal hours (11 a.m.-2 a.m.); Regular menu, with dinner specials; Complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

Milo’s: Normal hours (11 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. dinner); Regular menu.

SilvercreekOpen 5 p.m.–midnight; Special a la carte menu available 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Music by Bob Watson and Matt Stewart, 6:30 p.m.-midnight; Reservations recommended. 

Timpone’sNormal hours (5 p.m.-10 p.m.); Regular menu; Reservations recommended.



bacaro: Open 5 p.m.-2 a.m., kitchen closes at 11 p.m.; Reservations strongly encouraged; Taster $65 per person, or special a la carte menu available. 


  • Cold Roasted Cauliflower
osetria caviar, cauliflower fritters, spicy whipped cream
  • Grilled Octopus
german potato salad, mustard vinaigrette
  • Crab Ravioli
bay scallops, caramelized fennel, saffron, parsley
  • Seared Duck Breast
brussel sprouts, squash + duck confit hash, pomegranate reduction
  • Tartufo
smoked Bacaro honey
  • Semifreddo Neapolitan
blood orange, vanilla + chocolate mousses, citrus gelée, chocolate ganache, caramel


  • Crispy Sweetbreads
pickled beets, celery root puree, arugula micro greens, $15
  • Seared Lobster Tail
crispy potato, spinach puree, uni emulsion, osetria caviar, $25
  • Dry Aged Strip Steak
beet greens, duchess potatoes, aged balsamic, $30

Big Grove TavernOpen 11 a.m.-midnight; Regular menu and special prix fixe option, $50 per person; Reservations recommended; Live music from Elsinore and Faux Paw—tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. 


  • This will be an ALL-AGES show.
  • Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the night of the show.
  • Call 217-239-3505 or stop by to reserve tickets.
  • Ticket price includes a coatcheck, free gourmet Big Grove popcorn, a champagne toast at midnight, and the rock ‘n roll show.
  • Doors at 9:30 p.m.; Faux Paw at 10 p.m.; Elsinore at 11 p.m.

Destihl: Normal hours (11 a.m.-10 p.m.); Regular dinner menu, some dinner specials.

Dublin O’Neil’s: Normal hours (11 a.m.-2 a.m.); Regular menu. 

Escobar’s: Normal hours (5 p.m.-10 p.m.); Special a la carte menu. 

Radio MariaNormal hours (4 p.m.-2 a.m.); Regular dinner menu, selected tapas menu, or 4-course tasting menu; Tasting menu $55 per person, $75 per person with wine pairings; Complimentary champagne toast at midnight, musical entertainment provided by a DJ. 

All event information is accurate to the best of our abilities, but sometimes we make mistakes and sometimes event information, times, prices, etc., change after we look them up. Whenever possible, we’ve provided a link to the original event page; you should always double-check the source before you make any firm plans. Thanks for your understanding.

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