Duck Encino

Four Destination New Year’s Eve Dining Options in the Valley

New Year’s Eve is a great time to get together with friends and party deep into the night. Here are four great spots to kick off 2019 in the Valley.

New Year’s Eve is a great time to get together with friends and party deep into the night. Toast to triumphs from the past year and gather hope for the next 12 months. Here are four Valley restaurants that warrant the time, expense … and indulgence.

The owners of Encino’s new Mora Italiano describe their restaurant as “opulent Italian” and were “inspired by the bustling streets, striking fashion and societal liberation that was emerging in Italy during the ’60s and ’70s.” They kick off their first New Year’s Eve celebration with a modern à la carte menu that’s available starting at 5 p.m. Executive Chef Mindy Oh has created special dishes for the evening, including squid ink polenta ($22) with Santa Barbara sea urchin, lemon crème fraîche, meadow sorrel and borage blossoms. Roasted Maple Leaf duck ($35) is another highlight, plated with red wine onions, Beluga lentils, carrot puree and ginger butter. For guests still left standing at midnight, Mora Italiano offers a Prosecco toast. Other special NYE dishes cost $15 to $26. 17499 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-386-0278

Saddle Peak Lodge, the iconic Santa Monica Mountains culinary retreat (that luckily avoided the recent Woolsey Fire), is celebrating the launch of 2019 with two different tiers of experiences. Seatings from 5 to 8 p.m. involve a four-course prix fixe tasting menu for $95, including options like onion-glazed prime beef short ribs and hand-rolled agnolotti with truffle butter. Arrive between 9 to 10:30 p.m. and expect even more luxury with a $150-per-person menu. Think black truffle soup and grilled elk tenderloin with bacon-wrapped salsify and mushroom foie gras sauce. Later seatings also include live music and Champagne toasts. See the full menu. 419 Cold Canyon Rd., Calabasas, 818-222-3888

Scratch|Bar & Kitchen, the Encino chef’s counter from Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and pastry chef/wife Margarita Kallas-Lee, is serving a 12-course tasting menu on New Year’s Eve for $250 per person. Seatings begin at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with room for only 12 people per seating. With high-end fare de rigueur on regular days, the couple is really pulling out all the stops for New Year’s Eve. Dishes showcase caviar with pumpkin, corn and fennel; foie gras with cashew, cranberry and brioche; and A5 Wagyu ribeye with black truffle and demi-glace. 16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-646-6085

Neighboring Sushi|Bar is serving a similarly sumptuous feast for $250 per person, with seatings available at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. 16101 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 818-789-3992

Wood & Water, the eclectic, globally-inspired Sherman Oaks restaurant is preparing a five-course dinner. Menu highlights include escargot en croute with mushrooms and puff pastry; and wonton halibut with blue crab, shiitake mushrooms and roasted red pepper coulis. The first seating takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and costs $110 per person. The second seating occurs between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. and costs $140 per person, including a DJ set, dancing, balloons, midnight Champagne toast and access to the special after party. 13359 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-855-1661

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