New Year's 2004 Guide

Once again it's time to ask: Where did the last twelve months go? It's the kind of question that takes some serious thought to answer. You probably slept one-third of the last year away, and although you should have been working for another third, you didn't. Too bad most of the fun is hard to remember, and all the prior resolutions you made fell through in a matter of days. But there's no time for reflecting -- you have to begin planning your New Year's Eve.

All you need is our very own New Year's Guide. In order to save you some trouble, we here at New Times have devised a list of worthwhile New Year's celebrations, because we believe nothing wipes the slate clean for a brand-new start like loads of champagne and noisemakers. What did we come up with? More parties at more places for more money than last year. Hey, what do you want? The economy's improving, and if each passing year has anything to teach, it's that you can never win.

And since ringing in the New Year often results in a blackout, we included accounts of unforgettable New Year's nights from several local personalities who know a thing or two about partying. Take it from them, New Year's Eve is always the most unpredictable night of the year (don't even pretend many of you haven't woken up in high heels after leaving your house in wing-tip shoes). So without further ado, here's all the guidance you'll need to welcome 2004. -- Humberto Guida

RUDOLF PIPER

Rudolf Piper is a nightclub impresario, the director of Nerve, and a contributing columnist to New Times.

Remember that famous Y2K year, when most parties bombed? Well, this one did not ... sort of!

I was living in Paris at the time, and became part of a team of twelve major Frenchie promoters (I'll spare you the names) and we rented a huge grand ol' theater (Le Theatre de L'Empire) to host a party for 6000 people. It was supposed to last for three days straight, with major DJs, etc. (I'll spare you the names here too). Well, the party started and those 6000 of our closest friends showed up. And then some more, and more, as time went on.

Now, let me explain to you something about Frenchie workers: They are all socialists, they drink, they really hate to make an effort, they say "Fuck it" very easily ... and they tend to join the party they are working at! So several hours into the event, our entire staff got drunk, said "Fuck it," and joined the party. All bars and doors were left unattended and guests started to help themselves with drinks behind the counter. Then they invaded the liquor storage. The security team made another toast and said "Bravo!" The party became riotously euphoric (that is how a good party should be, mind you).

The cleaning crew was only drinking the best champagne. Mountains of garbage everywhere. Furniture breaking under the weight of fifteen people dancing on top. Décor being ripped off the walls. Couples having sex in all corners (another sign of a really good party). Vomits. Blow! Fights! I was expecting the police to arrive at any moment, but hey, they were Frenchies too, and they were probably having their own party somewhere else. I feared I'd have a huge financial loss here, so I slowly went to the abandoned cash registers and filled several garbage bags with money. Nobody cared. My partners were laughing out of control when they saw me. Vive la Fete! Near the exit, I saw a disheveled drag queen, in ripped fishnets, half buried under a mountain of cigarette butts. Then, leaving the building with the loot, I said to myself: "Man, what a great fuckin' party!"

TARA SOLOMON

Tara Solomon is a Miami Herald columnist, currently the Advice Diva, formerly Queen of the Night, and founder of Tara Ink public relations firm.

My most memorable New Year's Eve could be the time I partied at the Delano with my friend Tony Miros (a.k.a. "Mr. Nightlife") -- in our pajamas. I wore a leopard negligee, stilettos, and a boa; Tony wore a red-and-black smoking jacket, à la Hugh Hefner. Or the time I crashed the party of the former owners of the penthouse in the Helen Mar -- there were about eight of us, including friends from London and Zurich. David Shannon, who lived in the building at the time and now is a makeup artist in L.A., insisted we crash. So we brought plenty of bubbly and stayed until the wee hours, blowing off P. Diddy's party.

Of course an almost unforgettable New Year's unfolded while taking a much-needed nap (née disco coma) on a couch in the penthouse of the Delano on Millennium Eve. I was reporting on the festivities for the Herald and had to file during dinner (I was writing in between courses), leaving Nick (boyfriend) and friend Anthony at the table at Blue Door. I was so tired after the fireworks that I curled up and slept while everyone else went downstairs to Suzanne Bartsch's party. How very unglamorous of me, but a girl needs her beauty rest!

 

But the New Year's that sticks out the most was the year I was enjoying a Machiavellian dinner at the Forge with Shareef Malnik and my pals Cliffie and Robert (this was before I met my fiancé, Nick D'Annunzio). At the stroke of midnight, actor John Enos pulled me in by my choker for an impromptu kiss on the lips. I never saw it coming!

DJ LE SPAM

Andrew "Le Spam" Yeomanson plays everywhere, every night, with his band the Spam Allstars.

Okay, so we've all had a few rough New Year's experiences, usually due to overconsumption, coupled with existentialist contemplation of topics such as "What am I doing?" and "Where am I going?" These are not thoughts that go well with headache and nausea. My most memorable New Year's Eve experience took place in 2000, the mega-millennium bash that never happened. I had a weekly gig at this little bar that was located in mid-Beach right on the sand. For months leading up to the big Y2K, the owners were talking about this "party to end all parties" and wanted my participation. I told them that for starters if they wanted lights and sound they would have to get their place proper electricity because they were running their whole bar off one orange extension cord. They assured me it would be taken care of. I showed up on the big night and one of the owners pointed to a 5000 watt generator off in a corner. It would need to be fueled every five hours. And that would be my responsibility through the course of the evening. I reluctantly agreed.

As the last minutes of the millennium ticked away, the owners of the bar seemed to be growing more and more anxious. There was no sign of all the party people that were due to show up and consume the semitrailer full of alcohol they had standing by. By this time I was working on my millennium buzz with the help of some chemical compounds. Then the time came for the first refueling of the dreaded generator. It was located off by itself in a dark corner; it was loud and very hot. There were stickers everywhere warning it must be turned off before fueling, which of course we couldn't do without killing the sound. Try to imagine an exhaust pipe glowing orange and sitting only six inches away from a two-inch hole where you must guide a sloshing five-gallon gas tank in total darkness.

I kept telling myself how the gig wasn't worth risking catching fire and thinking of all the "stop, drop, and roll" films I'd ever seen in school. The second time I refueled the thing I was pretty wasted and the top of the gas tank actually caught fire for a few seconds and I started to freak out. By 5:00 a.m. the cops showed up to shut the party down, with the coked-out owners still walking around in denial talking about how everyone was going to show up any minute and we should not leave. I went home to nurse the toothache I had developed from clenching my jaw all night. Two weeks later I was still chasing my money down, and in the end I got less than a third of what I was owed. That was the last time I've used any chemical party enhancement aids, as the mere thought now produces a Pavlovian reaction in me. Also I learned that if it seems like it's not worth it, it probably isn't.

CLUBS

Automatic Slim: Automatic Slim's is the place where the beautiful people get ugly. They'll get real ugly on New Year's Eve, when the joint offers a $50 all-you-can-drink special. Automatic Slim's, 1216 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-695-0795.

Bermuda Bar & Grill: One of the longest-running dance parties is getting ready for another New Year's bash. This party features complimentary drinks till 2 a.m. Also included is a champagne toast at midnight for the big balloon drop. Then show off your moves until 6 a.m., when it's time to go home. Arrive before midnight and pay a $25 cover charge. 3509 NE 163rd St, North Miami Beach, 305-945-0196.

Big Fish: Party the year away on the banks of a cleaner Miami River (supposedly) at Big Fish. Live music and DJs will keep the rumps bouncing and an open bar will leave the patrons swimming, but not in the river, we hope. 55 SW Miami Ave Rd, 305-373-1770.

 

Bongos: There's nothing like a Cuban bash to ring in the New Year. The stylish Tropicana-style supper club will have the congas rocking. Bongos is offering dinner and dancing for $95 per person. Bongos Cuban Cafe, 601 Biscayne Blvd, 786-777-2100.

Chamber Lounge: There is no cover at Chamber Lounge, so a memorable, as well as inexpensive, New Year's awaits those intelligent enough to swing by Chamber Lounge. Who said South Beach isn't generous? Enjoy music by Sobe Soul's David Solero, party favors, and a champagne toast, so tip well. 2940 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-673-0388.

crobar: Crobar at the Cameo Theatre presents the Premier 2004 New Year's bash. Red carpet rolls out at 9 p.m. General admission seats are $50, which includes a champagne reception at midnight and New Year's party favors. Tickets are on sale at groovetickets.com. DJs include Cedric Gervais and Pedro in the main room, Stephan Luke and Juan Mejia in the VIP room, and Matt Martinez and Nelson Diaz in the ultra-VIP room (de pinga!). Tables are available starting at $150 a person and will need to be paid in advance. For table reservations call 305-672-8084. 1445 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-531-5027.

Hooligan's Pub & Oyster Bar: Looking for a fun party without spending wads of cash just to get through the door? Then drive on over to this pub. Not only is there no cover but you can help yourself to their buffet between 8 and 11 p.m. Party favors and a glass of bubbly are also included. Dance to the beats of Miami's top DJs until 5 a.m. If by that time you've had one too many, don't risk getting behind the wheel. Hooligan's will give you a free ride home and a free tow for your car! 9555 S Dixie Hwy, 305-667-9673.

Hoy Como Ayer: This place is one of the best-kept secrets in Little Havana. Mark your calendars for an intimate evening of Latin fun. 2212 SW 8th St, 305-541-2631.

I/O: Party the night away with the grand kings of the hipster community -- the Spam Allstars and Poplife. Presale tickets go for $40 per couple, or $25 per person. Admission on New Year's will be $30 per person. It includes a midnight champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres. Poplife rules! 30 NE 14th St, 305-358-8007.

Jimmy'z: This party is bound to attract its share of glitterati. Admission costs $50 per person and includes party favors and a breakfast buffet. 432 41st St, Miami Beach, 305-538-8533.

La Covacha: If you are looking for Miami's hottest Latin and international party on New Year's Eve this newly renovated club is the place for you. Join the festivities in the chickee hut with its sizzling dance floor and complimentary champagne, or spend a few extra dollars to gain access to the air-conditioned VIP room with adjoining terraces. 10730 NW 25th St, 305-594-3717.

Main Street Cafe: Start off the New Year by listening to some great folk music. Main Street Cafe is having the outrageous Eric Schwartz returning for his second year. There will be party favors, midnight champagne, and dinner specials as well as the house band, the Pathfinders, opening the night. Call for reservations. 128 N Krome Ave, Homestead, 305-245-7575.

Mango's Tropical Cafe: Make your New Year's Eve stop here for a Latin-themed party complete with the live band Grupo Exito performing throughout the night. Enjoy a five-course dinner with a bottle of Moët Chandon champagne per couple before jumping onto the dance floor. Call for information. 900 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, 305-673-4422.

Margarita Mama's and Banana Joe's: Coconut Grove's fun-loving hangouts are ringing in the New Year with a buffet, DJ, champagne toast, and balloon drop. Call for details. 3015 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove, 305-461-1118.

Marlin Bar: Avoid the overpriced cover charges and all the hype. Spend the night at the Marlin, where they're throwing a New York-style block party. Free party favors and champagne toast at midnight. 1200 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-604-5000.

Miami Velvet: For an erotic good time, take a swing (in more ways than one) to Miami Velvet. Dine on an extravagant dinner of filet mignon, lobster paella, shrimp cocktail, and many more dishes to choose from including fine desserts. The night will be hot with an erotically charged atmosphere as a live DJ spins the best tunes from 9 p.m. until dawn. The splendors of this risqué event are not for the faint of heart! 3901 NW 77th Ave, 305-406-1604.

Mr. Moe's: Mr. Moe's doesn't charge a cover, not even on New Year's Eve. Just get by the big bouncer with the horrible mullet out front and you can enjoy live music and dancing in this Coconut Grove watering hole. Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove, 305-442-1114.

 

Mynt Ultralounge: Party the night away at the most exclusive club on South Beach. Tickets will be $150 per person from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. This will include sushi hors d'oeuvres and premium open bar. Live ball drop via satellite from Times Square. And of course, there will be party favors and giveaways. Limited general admission tickets at $100 per from 1 a.m.- 7 a.m. The first seating will be from 9-1:30 a.m. The second seating is from 2 a.m.- 7 a.m. One table for 6 is $1000 and includes a bottle of champagne and a bottle of liquor with mixers. Each extra person added to the table is $100. In the main room, resident DJ K-2, Julian Ingrosso, and Chicco Secci spinning deep house and European house music. In the ultra lounge, DJ A.M. spinning hip-hop, R&B, and funk. Limited table reservations are available. 1921 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 786-276-6132.

Nerve: If you needed an all-star team of party people to put a fantastic New Year's party together, well here you go: Gerry Kelly, Maxwell Blandford, and the one and only Rudolf Piper. Their New Year's gig at Nerve, called Carnivale, features music by Pierre Zon Zon and Jon Cowan and a whole lot of outrageous shows, costumes, and party favors for only $30 (advance tickets). 247 23rd St, Miami Beach, 305-695-8697.

Nikki Beach Club: Enjoy the night on the sandy white beach under the glistening moonlight and shining stars. Located steps from the water, this open-air complex is perfect for those who want to spend an evening in the great outdoors, with the great indoors right behind you. Help yourself to a buffet-style dinner by an internationally known chef and then relax and kick back on one of the hammocks. Once you've regained your energy, hop on out to the dance floor. Don't forget to grab your party favors and bubbly at midnight for the balloon drop and fireworks display. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $50. 1 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, 305-538-1111.

Opium Garden: Ring in the New Year while schmoozing with celebrities at Opium and Prive's bash. This indoor/outdoor spacious complex features five DJs and four rooms to choose from, including DJ Mark Ronson in the garden, and Ivano Bellini will spin the best house, so every musical taste will be satisfied. Arrive early for the open bar between 9 and 11 p.m. Cost for general admission for Opium is $100, $200 for all-access VIP to Prive, $1150 for Opium VIP tables, and $1500 for Prive's platinum VIP tables. All tables come with one bottle of premium liquor and one bottle of champagne. 136 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-531-5535.

Oxygen Lounge: The Grove's hottest lounge celebrates with fun and entertainment sure to leave you gasping for oxygen, and so will the packed house. The event includes open premium bar and sushi, Pan-Asian buffet until midnight, party favors (plastic ones), and a champagne toast. Call for information. 2911 Grand Ave, Streets Of Mayfair, Coconut Grove, 305-476-0202.

O'Zone: Make it a Gothic, industrial, electroclash New Year at The Nightmare Before 2004, featuring alternative music and DJs including Dracula's Daughter & Danny Bled. A $10 minimum includes your first drink and a Blood Red Champagne Toast at the Witching Hour. 6620 Red Rd, South Miami, 305-667-2888.

Rumi: Celebrate at this upscale restaurant/lounge. For $200 per person, patrons will dine on a five-course gourmet meal with complimentary champagne, or you can just party the night away for a $50 cover. 330 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, 305-672-4353.

Sandbar Grill: Once again it's the Pimp and Ho Ball at Sandbar, not to be confused with the Pimp and Ho party at another Coconut Grove bar. The Grill will be open for the long run, 11 a.m. December 31 to 3 a.m. January 1, with a free champagne toast at midnight. Featured are the Grill's famous lobster tacos and what it calls "the best food in town," which includes the whole Greater Miami area. 3064 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove, 305-444-5270.

Score: The balls will drop at Score's, and not just the ones on the TV screens broadcasting Times Square's traditional balloon drop throughout the club. Lincoln Road's two-story gay bastion will offer a rocking New Year's Eve. Guys in tight pants and muscle Ts get extra attention. 737 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, 305-535-1111.

Space 34: Party until way past the break of dawn at the hottest venue in Miami to the sounds of world-class DJ Oscar G. Call for information. 34 NE 11th St, 305-372-9378.

 

Studio: What better way to ring in the New Year than to sing along. If you're tired of the same old, same old bash, try a jamming karaoke bar on South Beach. Ronnie will do the honors, and a champagne toast at midnight will set the festive mood. 1801 Collins Ave (Shelborne Hotel), Miami Beach, 305-695-1770.

Tantra: This restaurant/nightclub has lots to offer: Excellent cuisine to satisfy your appetite for food, and a live DJ will be present to satisfy your craving for good music. 1445 Pennsylvania Ave, Miami Beach, 305-672-4765.

Titanic Brewery and Restaurant: Come aboard the ship for the finest hand-crafted beer around. Avoid reservations, waiting lines, and cover charges at this joint. Listen to the rock musicians belt out good ol' rock and roll tunes. 5813 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, 305-667-2537.

HOTELS, RESORTS & CRUISES

Biscayne Bay Marriott: Start the New Year's Eve in style at the Marriott's Bay View Grille for dinner and champagne. They don't call it the Bay View Grille for nothing -- a view of the bay in all its glory is exactly what you'll get. Afterward head to the Venetia Lounge for the DJ and dancing, but don't trip, because everybody's watching. Call for information. 1633 N Bayshore Dr, 305-536-6315.

Casino Princesa: Casino Princesa will feature a New Year's Cruise that sails at 8 p.m. and returns at 1:30 a.m. Onboard, enjoy a real Las Vegas casino with over 200 slot machines along with favorite casino games blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, and more. The cruise is only $25 per person and includes a dinner buffet and champagne so you have plenty of cash left to blow. As always, drinks are free as long as you're playing, and that's a good thing. For info call 305-379-5825.

The Clevelander: New Year's Eve at this Ocean Drive hot spot always rocks. 1020 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, 305-531-3485.

Delano Hotel: Rub elbows with celebs at this ultraclassy evening at the Delano. VIP Package is available for $1000 per person and includes specialty wines to complement a four-course menu created by Claude Troisgros and executive chef Damon Gordon, exclusive VIP seating in the Orchard, private concert by Rufus Wainwright & a special guest artist, admission to Delano party with Mark Ronson. Party admission $300, includes open bar at Pool Bar. Only 450 tickets for the party and 300 for dinner will be sold for this exclusive event. 1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-672-2000.

Discovery Cruise Line: Cruise on the high seas. Take a voyage to nowhere aboard this ship, where there will be plenty to keep you busy, including dancing and live shows. Bring some extra cash and try your luck in the Las Vegas-style casino. Passengers are also treated to a superb seven-course dinner. Prices start at $149 per person for first seating, $169 for the second. Ship departs Port Everglades at 7 p.m. and returns at 3 a.m. For more information visit www.discoverycruiseline.com or call 800-93-SHIPS.

Doral Golf Resort & Spa: The world-famous Doral Resort offers a fine celebration this New Year's way out west, far from the riffraff. A four-course meal including champagne in the Grand Ballroom where you and a lovely someone can dance all night, or at least part of it anyway. The shindig ends at 1 a.m. Call for information. 4400 NW 87th Ave, 888-993-0725.

Fontainebleau Hilton: Step into the gigantic Fontaine and Fleur de Lis Ballroom for a huge extravaganza. Arrive in time for the 8:30 p.m. dinner featuring a duet of filet mignon and South African lobster. Grab your party favors and complimentary champagne toast and listen to live bands perform today's hits and yesterday's classics until 2 a.m. For reservations call 305-538-2000, ext. 3555. 4441 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-672-7469.

The Four Seasons: Celebrate at Four Seasons Hotel Miami Acqua. The signature restaurant at the new Four Seasons Hotel Miami will offer fixed-menu dinners to fit different schedules and party modes. Those looking for an early night will choose the three-course menu with seatings at 5:30 and 6 p.m. for $65 per person. A five-course menu, which includes a bottle of Louis Roederer NV champagne, will be served starting at 8:30 p.m. A live trio will perform during the evening and party favors will be available. The meal is priced at $175 and prepaid reservations are required. 1001 Brickell Bay Dr, 305-358-3535.

The Hilton Miami: Open bars, deluxe party favors, champagne toast, chef-attended Mexican and Italian food stations, and DJs playing an international mix of today's best dance music. Enough said! Cost is $85 per person. 5101 Blue Lagoon Dr.

Hotel Inter-Continental: Watch the Big Orange drop from the top of downtown Miami's signature hotel at this year's blast. Indulge in great food and dance to the sizzling sounds of Junior's Miami Band, a 13-piece orchestra. Cost is $150 for adults and includes an open bar. Or dine on a luscious buffet of sensational dishes at Indigo. Listen to the latest hits played by the DJ. At the end of the night take home Indigo's famous cookies. 100 Chopin Plaza, 305-577-1000.

 

Majesty Casino Cruises: Take a chance at craps, or maybe poker's your game. In any case, if you're feeling lucky then Majesty Casino Cruises will help you ring in the New Year Las Vegas style. Call 305-532-2111 for reservations.

National Hotel: Enjoy an enchanting New Year's Eve dinner inside this gorgeous hotel at Café Mosaic. The first seating starts at 7 p.m. and offers a five-course dinner of seductive aphrodisiac delights overlooking the sparkling pool. Step out to the beach at midnight for the spectacular fireworks display. Australian sensation Jeremy will also be providing musical entertainment for the evening. Party continues until 1 a.m. For information call 305-423-7211. 1667 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-532-2311.

The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove: Miami's newest Five Diamond luxury hotel presents a festive five-course New Year's dinner by renowned chef Willis Loughhead. First seating is $175 per person, second seating is $225. 3300 SW 27th Ave, Coconut Grove.

Sheraton Biscayne Bay Hotel: This hotel along the bay makes an ideal location to party. In addition to pasta, champagne, and an open bar with premium liquor, the real treat is having a clear view of the bayside fireworks display. To top off the evening, dance to salsa, merengue, disco, house, and all your favorite hits spun by renowned DJs. Party starts at 9 p.m. For reservations call Fiesta Productions at 305-661-8581. 495 Brickell Ave.

The Shore Club: The Shore Club Hotel's New Year's bash at its ultra chic poolside club, Skybar, begins at 10 p.m. and offers dancing and open bar (to include Turi vodka, Bacardi, Perrier Jouët champagne) and will feature DJs Jus Ske, Ruckus, Tom Laroc, and Brooke Grabow. Hosted by Danny A and Elon. Admission is $250. 1901 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-358-1999.

Sonesta Beach Resort: Multiple parties are available at this beachside resort. At the Purple Dolphin Restaurant enjoy an early seating between 6 and 8 p.m. for a sumptuous seafood buffet. Cost is $45 for adults and $22 for children. The second seating is from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. and features a seafood extravaganza with free-flowing Perrier Jouët champagne. Cost is $98 for adults and $40 for children. A three-piece jazz band will also be performing throughout the night. Or step into the plush ballroom for a gala celebration. Dine on a four-course gourmet dinner while enjoying a premium open bar and unlimited Perrier Jouët champagne. The sounds of a five-piece band will provide listening pleasure during your meal. Cost is $185 for adults and $75 for children. For the over-21 crowd another party is available. A $20 cover charge will get you into the Desires Lounge for a night of dancing to a five-piece band and DJ. 350 Ocean Dr, Key Biscayne, 305-361-2021.

RESTAURANTS

7 Seas Bar and Lounge: If only every place had this kind of open-armed ambiance. Its New Year's special involves $75 bottles of Bacardi, Ketel One, and Johnnie Walker Black. Join them for a complimentary dinner and champagne toast. 2200 SW 57th Ave, 305-266-6071.

B.E.D.: The hippest restaurant in South Beach offers up a Black and White Lavish Soirée. There's only one seating at 9 p.m. so be there on time. A champagne reception starts things off followed by a lavish five-course meal. Afterward enjoy a bottomless glass of champagne and party to the best in house music. The entire night costs $299 per person. 929 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-532-9070.

Baleen: Come to Baleen in the Grove for a five-course meal including herb-roasted shrimp, goat cheese crostini, or butter poached spiny lobster among your choices for the evening. A champagne toast at midnight kicks off the New Year. 4 Grove Isle Dr, Coconut Grove, 305-858-8300.

Bruschetta & Co.: Bring your appetite to this restaurant for New Year's Eve. It will be offering a special gala dinner menu, which consists of seven courses plus champagne. Also enjoy contemporary Latin and American tunes played by a DJ. 10650 NW 41st St, 305-470-8003.

Cafe Ibiza: Enjoy live jazz in a festive Spanish atmosphere at the Village of Merrick Park's most fashionable restaurant. Village of Merrick Park, Main Level, Coral Gables, 305-793-8808.

The Capital Grille: This classy restaurant features top-quality steak on its special New Year's Eve menu. Choose from various appetizers, salads, side dishes, and desserts. In addition there is live music in the lounge, and party favors will be handed out before midnight. Call for prices. 444 Brickell Ave, 305-374-4500.

 

Chef Allen's: This is the one New Year's event that could make you a millionaire. That's right, they'll have a drawing at each of their two seatings for a million bucks. But if you don't win, at least you'll have a ball. DJ Ran Henry will be spinning the high notes and there will be party favors galore. First seating begins at 6 p.m. and costs $90 per person; second seating begins at 9 p.m. for $150 per person (but that includes a slamming cocktail party). 19088 NE 29th Ave, 305-935-2900.

China Grill: This upscale restaurant features a four-course dinner and a bottle of Laurent Perrier Brut L.P. champagne per couple. A full variety band and DJ will be on hand to provide entertainment. There will also be party favors and raffles for gift giveaways. The first dinner seating starts at 9 p.m. Call for reservations. 404 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-534-2211.

Crystal Café: Come enjoy this restaurant's romantic ambiance this New Year's. There will be three seatings at 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m. Dinner will be five courses including a bottle of champagne or bottle of wine, and party favors. 726 41st St, Miami Beach, 305-673-8266.

D'vine Lounge: Enjoy party favors and champagne toast in this upscale South Beach lounge. 910 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-389-8316.

Doraku: Enjoy fine dining this New Year's at Doraku. The sushi dinner includes a tasting of four premium sakes. 1104 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, 305-695-8383.

Escopazzo: For New Year's Eve Escopazzo is offering a five-course degustation menu, with a complimentary glass of Prosecco, for $125 per person. 1311 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-674-9450.

The Forge: Enjoy a glamorous New Year's Eve at one of South Beach's most exclusive spots. First seating includes a three-course gourmet menu for $85 per person. The second seating features a four-course gourmet menu at $275 per person which includes a bottle of Moët & Chandon per couple. 432 41st St, Miami Beach, 305-604-9798.

Fritz and Franz Bierhaus: The wonderful people at Fritz and Franz want everybody to have an affordable New Year's Eve and not have to go home with a mortgage. So they're offering a no-cover night with a regular price menu, with the addition of a $17.99 prime rib special, a DJ spinning "everything," and of course, their usual wide-ranging imported beer selection. 60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables, 305-774-1883.

German American Social Club: German vocalist Anne Ledig sings in the New Year along with music provided by the club. For just $30 per person, admission includes a sumptuous buffet, champagne, and party favors. 11919 Miller Rd, 305-552-5123.

Hoeflinger & Chiarini Cafe: Celebrate Brazilian style, with live music, champagne toast, and party favors. Call for prices. 1777 SW 3rd Ave.

JohnMartin's: Let the piper pipe in the New Year's Eve at this Irish pub. There will be a buffet extravaganza from 7 until 11 p.m., featuring a staggering list of good things to eat and drink. There will be a pasta station with every conceivable sauce, from Alfredo to Bolognese; cold plates of smoked salmon and homemade paté, and gorgeous fruit platters; hot entrees will include beef Wellington, honey-glazed salmon fillet, duck a l'orange, corned beef and cabbage, lamb stew, and spinach and goat-cheese-stuffed chicken breast. Desserts will include homemade holiday pudding, Irish sherry trifle, tiramisu, carrot cake, chocolate cake, and various chiffon pies. There will also be live music and a bagpiper from midnight on. Admission for adults is $49.50. 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-445-3777.

Joia: Kick off your New Year's Eve celebration with a sumptuous dinner at this upscale and hip eatery. Early seatings are 7 p.m. Call for reservations. 150 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, 305-674-8871.

Les Deux Fontaines: Enjoy an à la carte menu and a live swing band at this wonderful oceanfront restaurant. No cover charge. 1230 Ocean Dr (Hotel Ocean), Miami Beach, 305-672-2579.

Macarena Restaurant: For New Year's Eve this Spanish restaurant offers a five-course meal and choice of wine or champagne per couple. Two seatings will be available. The first is at 7 p.m. and costs $70 per person. The second is at 9:30 p.m. and costs $130. Skip dinner and pay $30 at the door and enjoy the rhythms of a DJ and percussionist till 5 a.m. 1334 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, 305-531-3440.

Mark's South Beach: An elegant dinner is guaranteed at this upscale restaurant inside the Nash Hotel. Diners may choose from three dinner options. The first is an à la carte seating between 7 and 7:30 p.m. with a two-hour limit. Those wanting to stick around after their meal will be guided to the lounge, where they will be provided with a champagne toast and party favors. The second option is to dine at 9:30 p.m. A multicourse meal is served with a complimentary champagne toast. Call for prices and reservations. 1120 Collins Ave (Hotel Nash), Miami Beach, 305-604-9050.

 

Moroccan Nights: Enjoy the sensuous gyrations of professional belly dancers all night long this New Year's. Call for information. 9555 Harding Ave, Surfside.

Oasis Lounge: Enjoy live music and sultry belly dancing at this elegant restaurant/lounge. First seating is $75 per person, and second seating is $175 per person. The party goes on till dawn. 840 1st St, Miami Beach, 305-979-1421.

Pearl Champagne Lounge: An exquisite dinner prepared by Pearl's acclaimed chef Frank Jeanetti is guaranteed at this South Beach restaurant. A bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal champagne will accompany your meal. Throughout the night there will be live interactive entertainment and sensational music by a renowned DJ. Don't be late for the 9 p.m. seating. It's the only one there is. Tickets cost $350 per person. 1 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, 305-538-1111.

Peppy's In The Gables: Founding chef Domenic is best known for his sauces that tantalize the taste buds. For New Year's Eve dine at this restaurant, which offers a romantic garden setting for your northern Italian meal. Peppy's will offer a limited regular menu with special selections from the chef's spectacular repertoire. Live music and a midnight champagne toast are sure to bring more pleasure to your evening. 216 Palermo Ave, Coral Gables, 305-448-1240.

Renaissance At The Gables: The New Year's gala dinner party features a delicious French-style full-course dinner and an unlimited premium bar. Music by a superb international orchestra and professional DJ will keep everyone dancing till the next year. Cost is $90 per person. 2340 SW 32nd Ave, 305-445-1313.

Talula: Enjoy an elegant New Year's Eve at this South Beach favorite. Call for information. 210 23rd St, Miami Beach, 305-672-0778.

Tapas and Tintos: Grab the bull by the horns and head to Tapas and Tintos. The toro aspect will be kicking in high gear for a Spanish-style fiesta. Admission is $100 per person. 448 Española Way, Miami Beach, 305-535-8272.

Two Sisters: Ring in the New Year's at this Coral Gables favorite in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. For $99 per person, Two Sisters offers a full buffet, complimentary champagne, and party favors. For $125 per person, you can have the Two Sisters experience, then party the rest of the night away at Alcazaba. 50 Alhambra Plaza, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Coral Gables, 305-441-1234.

Wish: Close your eyes, make a wish, and maybe you'll end up at this Todd Oldham-designed restaurant housed within The Hotel for New Year's Eve. Two dinner seatings will be offered. The first is an à la carte seating at 7 p.m., and the second is a five-course price-fixed dinner at 9 p.m. Dishes on the later dinner include cachaca-spiked tuna, marinated rack of lamb, and timbale of house-smoked salmon. After 10 p.m. diners will be invited to adjourn to the hotel's rooftop pool area for a special party to usher in the New Year, featuring music, cocktails, and an outstanding view of the fireworks over the ocean. Cost of the price-fixed dinner is $175 per person. 801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, 305-674-9474.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Bayfront Park: It's time to ring in the New Year and the place to be is downtown Miami's Bayfront Park. With over 30 acres of fun, this is the largest free party in South Florida! Head south to Bayfront Park Amphitheater for a concert starting at 8 p.m. Downtown's Holiday Village is open from 5 p.m.-midnight and admission is free. Finally, count down to midnight with the Big Orange. This New Year's Eve icon will slowly ascend the side of The Hotel Inter-Continental, reaching the top at midnight in conjunction with a grand display of fireworks. Headlining the concert at Bayfront Park Amphitheater are Miami's hometown boys the Mavericks, plus Yerba Buena, Betty Padgett & Elements of Funk. 301 Biscayne Blvd, 305-358-7550.

Ice Palace Studios: An all-ages concert with performances by Particle and DJ Spooky might be the thing to send you into the New Year on a high, musical note. Tickets are $32. For more info call 305-358-5885. 59 NW 14th St.

Junior Orange Bowl Parade: Now that the Orange Bowl Parade no longer struts down Biscayne Boulevard on the New Year, the Junior Orange Bowl Parade is the biggest one in town this holiday season. It strolls down the streets of Coral Gables on New Year's Eve with major floats and marching bands from local high schools. The parade, now in its 55th year, celebrates youth and is a perfect family outing if you don't want to take your kids out to a bumping South Beach party. And there's no admission, so you can bring the little rascals and their friends. For information call the Junior Orange Bowl office at 305-662-1210.

 

The SKIN Masquerade Ball: New Year's Eve is an erotically charged night indeed, so why not go the sensual route this year at a very special SKIN party? Rather than fight the crowds in South Beach, they have secured a large and beautiful house right on the water for this all-night affair. This event will be fully catered, with an open bar all night long. But invitation only. For info call 888-908-skin or e-mail info@skinparty.com.

Vizcaya Museum And Gardens: Start your New Year at one of the most gorgeous landmarks in Miami. Feel the ambiance of the beautiful grounds while dancing under the stars to the sultry music. Included is an open bar and light hors d'oeuvres. To make this black-tie-optional gala even more memorable, there will be a spectacular fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Party starts at 9 p.m. and continues until 2 a.m. Tickets cost $150 per person. Call 305-856-4866 for ticket information. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 S Miami Ave, 305-250-9133.

BROWARD PALM BEACH EVENTS

Colony Hotel: In the Royal Room, celebrate with dinner and a cabaret show with Jim Caruso and Johnny Rodgers. Start with one hour of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in Polo at 8 p.m., then dinner at 9 p.m., the cabaret show at 10 p.m. The evening concludes with dancing to the music of Jill and Rich and a champagne toast at midnight. 155 Hammon Ave, Palm Beach, 561-655-5430.

Don Carter University Lanes: Bowl the Year Away and Roll Around the Clock, with Don Carter's two New Year's packages: The first starts at 6 p.m. and includes one lane for three hours of Lightning Strikes Bowling, use of house shoes, one large pizza or 20 chicken wings, and one pitcher of Pepsi; the second starts at 10 p.m. and costs $20 per person, including three hours of bowling, an Italian buffet, tunes spun by a professional DJ, party favors, and a toast at midnight. 5325 S University Dr, Davie, 954-434-9663.

Downtown Delray Beach: First Night, Celebrate New Year's through the arts at indoor and outdoor locations throughout downtown Delray Beach. A children's festival takes place at Veterans Park in the late afternoon. In the evening there is a procession and continuous performances of dance, music, storytelling, theater, and multicultural programs followed by a countdown to midnight and finale fireworks at the Tennis Center, $7. 50 NW 1st St, Delray Beach, 561-279-1380.

Esplanade Park: "Too Grand to Imagine," free outdoor New Year's Eve party with the Munchkin Ball, a celebration especially for children. Corner of SW 2nd Street and SW 2nd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 954-779-1913.

Hollywood Beach: Patch Beach Bash, a beach party that showcases the football teams participating in the 2004 FedEx Orange Bowl. There will be a performance by sunshiny pop chart-topping newlyweds Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. 20th Avenue between Hollywood Boulevard and Harrison Street, Hollywood, 954-921-3400.

La Marina at Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott: A Formal Evening, at the Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott offers two celebration packages. The first is a lavish dinner buffet served in three seatings followed by a reception in the Grand Ballroom with entertainment, a champagne toast, and party favors for $175 a person. The second option is to forego the buffet, and celebrate in the Grand Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. for $120 a person. 1881 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, 954-527-6731.

Lumonics Light and Sound Theatre: Luminous New Year's, did you have a Lite Brite when you were a kid? Well, that's nothing. Lumonics Light Museum is having an intergalactic light show this New Year's with DJs Jonathon Michaels, Psyense, Shadow Spirit, Matt Suarez, and Parish spinning trance, electro breaks, acid jazz, and more. There will be international snacks and a complimentary champagne toast. 3017 NW 60th St, Fort Lauderdale. Housed in a nondescript warehouse near the Executive Airport, Lumonics Light and Sound Theater began in 1988 as a neon/fluorescent sculpture gallery but slowly morphed into a spot for the young techno set to get their weekend groove on. Live DJs, open-mike opportunities, spoken-word happenings, and the mind-blowing light shows give Lumonics a decidedly noncommercial appeal, 954-979-3161.

Pier 66 Resort and Marina: New Year's Eve Pier Top Party Package, no, it's not you, the room is spinning actually. In its revolving night spot high atop the city, Pier 66 is offering an all-inclusive $175 party package that includes a live pop and jazz band, deluxe cocktails, a champagne toast at midnight, party favors, and breakfast at the resort's Mariner's Cafe from midnight to 2 a.m. 2301 SE 17th St Cswy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-6666.

 

Windridge Yacht Charters: Evening Cruise, celebrate New Year's cruising the Intracoastal on a stylish vessel and dance beneath the stars. The boat leaves at 9 p.m. Black tie is optional, but who cares what you're wearing when there's a four-hour open premium bar, sumptuous buffet, party favors, and the ever fabulous champagne toast at midnight, all for $150. Hello 2004. 2950 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-7724.

SHOWS

Hollywood Beach: OceanDance 2003, the Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico will perform "Latinissimo" at 9:30 p.m., followed by pyrotechnics at midnight. The Ballet will perform "Carmen" on January 1st at 8 p.m. Both shows are free to the public. VIP seats are $100 each, $175 for a couple, and $350 for a table of four. Hayes Street and the Broadwalk, Hollywood, 954-921-3400.

Mizner Park Amphitheatre: The Summer of 69, or is it the winter of 2004? Hmm, anyways, the illustrious Canadian Bryan Adams gives it up for you this New Year's Eve. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets range from $35 to $55. Federal Highway at NE Mizner Boulevard, Boca Raton, 561-447-8144.

Uncle Funny's Comedy Club: New Year's Celebration, get slap happy with a package that includes admission, reserved seating, two drinks, champagne at midnight, and party favors. Comedic performances by Jeff Garlin, Flip Schultz, and Carl Rimi, 10 p.m. 9160 State Rd 84, Davie, 954-474-5653.

CLUBS

Alligator Alley: Downhome Celebration at Alligator Alley with the rock, cowpunk jam tunes of Two Story Double Wide. Champagne and party favors are available. 1321 E Commercial Blvd, Oakland Park. Trying to do New Orleans' vibe justice always starts and ends with food, which Alligator Alley has well-covered. Even the French bread for the poor boys is flown in from the Crescent City. Our local jazz/blues mainstays pop in often to jam, but so do national names. 954-771-2220.

Bamboo Room: New Year's Eve Party, shake the 2003 blues with funk, blues, jazz, rock band King Johnson at the Bamboo Room. Entrance includes a free classic cocktail, free midnight toast of Veuve Clicquot champagne, party favors, and the band will take care of the noise. 25 S "J" St, Lake Worth. The drawing power of the Bamboo Room hinges upon its gorgeous interior and spectacular array of island-themed cocktails. Walls made of the namesake ornamental plant are decorated with maritime memorabilia and antiques, lending the room an unmistakably salty yet refined air, the perfect accompaniment to the nightly parade of local and national blues performers, 561-585-2583.

Blue Martini: Happy Blue Year with Derek Mack performing live, a raffle, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, and a celebration champagne toast. Prices range from a $30 general admission to the $150 VIP tables. CityPlace, 550 S Rosemary Ave, West Palm Beach, 561-835-8601.

Café del Mar: A Beachfront Celebration with the music of Gypsy Flamenco and Blues and Jazz. A special package with champagne toast is $49.95 per person. 213 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. Leave the top button open on your linen short-sleeved button-down, 'cause the blues are hot at this sea-breezy café. With local acts playing on the indoor and outdoor stages seven days a week, this large, tasteful bar and restaurant spills its funky vibe onto the A1A strip. 954-767-8233.

Cathode Ray: Metrosexual Party, a gay place for a straight face. The event for sexy men and women. Free champagne toast, noisemakers, and tiaras for all. The boys at Cathode want to know: Who will you be kissing at midnight? 9 p.m., 1307 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. In the tradition of Lauderdale debutantes, the Cathode Ray can be found on Las Olas Boulevard monopolizing the attention of the city's most attractive men. Television screens display comedy sketches and the latest diva club mixes to a hip, schmoozing crowd that ebbs and flows through the locker room-themed sports bar and elegant cocktail lounge at Cathode, 954-462-8611.

City Limits: Nonstop Blues, featuring Symbolix, the Fabulous Fleetwoods, and the Blunts. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the party continues through the New Year with hats, noisemakers, and a midnight toast. 29 SE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach. Probably the best place in Delray Beach to catch live bands, this sprawling bar complex includes a large indoor area and a massive outdoor site, including a stage and several bars. Traffic through the area is guaranteed, as unknowing pedestrians can stumble into the place simply by walking down one of Delray's side streets. Parking can be a problem --get to shows early, 561-279-8222.

Culture Room: New Year's Eve Freakers Ball 2004, rock with Gods and Monsters and Human Factors Lab this New Year's at the Culture Room. Admission is $10 and doors open at 7:30 p.m. 3045 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale. Of all the clubs in Fort Lauderdale, this is the one where a concertgoer is most likely to see big-name bands in a local setting. The club is becoming infamous for packed houses, due to the side room that allows for larger head counts, while in reality everyone stuffs themselves in the main room to see whatever band happens to be performing. A sweaty, rollicking time is all but assured, 954-564-1074.

 

Dada Restaurant Lounge: New Year's Celebration, that lounge-like, cozy bar and restaurant in Delray Beach is throwing a party with DJ Kristian spinning lounge, retro '80s, and funky jazz. Admission is free as usual. Call for dinner reservations. 52 N Swinton Ave, Delray Beach. Swank and arty, with an eclectic neo-American menu and fancy wine list, Dada has cornered the market on quaint Victorian charm. Its adventurous streak isn't confined to the menu, as everything from experimental acts to spoken-word events take place on Sunday nights, 561-330-3232.

Delux Niteclub and Lounge: Lust Party. Dress sexy and lick your lips in anticipation of Delux's lusty New Year's Eve party. DJs Vaughn and Sheldon will spin until 4 a.m. A $20 cover includes complimentary champagne and party favors. Call for table reservations. 16 E Atlantic Ave, Delray Beach. Pretty types gab away while crowded around the lighted bar -- and look good doing it. Sheer drapes separate the cushy seating area from the dance floor, where clubgoers move like liquid to the flow of house music. In the covered outdoor area, taupe bed-like seating in the VIP area makes it easy to hobnob with the hotties. Aside from the fabulous be-seen digs, the club plays a diverse offering of music from reggae to '80s retro, 561-279-4792.

Fat Cat's: Love Zeta? Rock in the New Year with Skidmark playing alternative rock covers the likes of Staind, System of a Down, and Bush, no cover. 320 SW 2nd St, Fort Lauderdale. Burgers, brews, and cover bands cavort at Fat Cat's, a casual spot for Himmarshee nightcrawlers or folks seeing a show at the Broward Center. A young crowd keeps the barstools and booths warm and the beer taps flowing, 954-467-5867.

George & Dragon British Pub: New Year's shindig. George and the Dragon is serving up a five-course dinner between 8 and 10 p.m. for $55, which includes a glass of wine, fabulous party favors, and champagne toast at midnight. Hello Goodbye will play a Beatles Tribute Show at 10 p.m. Entrance is $15. 4140 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-3429.

Hugh Jorgan's Dueling Piano: Hugh Jorgan's pianos will be going head to head this New Year's, and you can be there to witness the spectacle, sing along, and gaze at the bras on the ceiling. $35 gets you in the door and $45 guarantees a chair. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. 96 NE 2nd Ave, Delray Beach, 561-272-7887.

The Lounge: A Groovy New Year's is what you'll have at Clematis Street's unique indie/dance bar. The party starts at 9 p.m. with DJs Jim Doctor, Justin Johnson, and Joshua playing sexy house. Complimentary champagne at midnight. 517 Clematis St, West Palm Beach. Hip as in hipster, the Lounge is a long, safari-beige bar with cubist-primitive art on the walls, where the bespectacled and bemused congregate and actually seem to want to hear each other over the eclectic, experimental music, 561-655-9747.

LuLu's Bait Shack: Lift your fishbowl to 2004, Lulu's is having dinner specials of prime rib, crab, and lobster. Grindstone will be cranking out new rock, classic rock, and dance music. Free champagne toast at midnight. BeachPlace, 17 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 954-463-7425.

O'Hara's Jazz Cafe & Swing Street Bistro: Party the night away to the tunes of Breeze at O'Hara's in Hollywood. 1903 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood. O'Hara's stands like a bastion of high spirits, with a marquee announcing the night's performance and a covered outdoor bar speckled with sophisticates. In the spacious red-brick interior, a crowd dances and mingles between the main bar and a large stage, 954-925-2555.

O'Hara's Jazz Cafe & Swing Street Bistro: Jazz Celebration. Now you have jazz in 2004 too cause Funkabilly Playboys are gonna jam all night long at Las Olas's prime party location. 722 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. A well-established haunt that's packed most nights of the week, O'Hara's teems at its teeny brim with singles on the prowl, couples out to dance, and lovers of its nightly upbeat jazz, 954-524-1764.

Poor House: Party at the Poor House this New Year's Eve with Hashbrown playing funk rock. 110 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. An oasis of reality in a district of runaway trendiness, the Poor House is downtown Fort Lauderdale's most comfortable and reliable hip hangout featuring locally crafted microbrews. Live music leaks from the dark interior to the outdoor patio seven nights a week, though rarely before midnight, 954-522-5145.

 

Rosey Baby: 14th Anniversary New Year's Eve Extravaganza and Tent Party. Lauderhill's home of the blues puts on an elaborate indoor/outdoor celebration with live performances by the Bent Fender Band and Midnight Johnny & Smokestack Lightnin'. They will be servin' up prime rib, stuffed lobster tail, and live boiled Louisiana crawfish. Call for reservations. 4587 N University Dr, Lauderhill. By day, students and suits crowd Rosey Baby for crawfish pasta and other Louisiana favorites, but by night, the tiny club pushes tables and chairs aside. Patrons literally bump elbows with the regional crop of traditional blues purveyors regularly holding court, 954-749-5627.

Sally O'Brien's: Fire on the Beach. Start 2004 off with the luck of the Irish at Sally O' Brien's on the beach. A set five-course menu and a bottle of champagne cost $49.95 per couple. The package includes a midnight toast and party favors. Fire in the Kitchen will keep the partiers jumping. BeachPlace, 17 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. With its knickknack- and book-lined walls and large fireplace, Sally O'Brien's feels a little like the cozy kitchen and hearth of an old Irish home. This watering hole slakes the thirst of Fort Lauderdale's pickiest with an impressive array of imports, 954-522-4641.

Sloppy Joe's: Sloppy Joe's and Howl at the Moon are holding a joint New Year's Eve bash. $10 will get you in to both bars, but you're going to have to fork over another $15 for a stool or $25 for a chair. Take in a live band at Sloppy's and dueling pianos at Howl. Complimentary champagne toast at midnight. 17 S Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd, Ste 308, Fort Lauderdale. Sloppy Joe's in BeachPlace is a transplant of the good-eatin', hard-drinkin' Key West ethic. The large open-air bar and restaurant serves beachgoers all day. Partygoers can take in rock and reggae bands in the evenings, 954-522-7553.

Waxy O'Connor's: New Year's at the pub, with Irish eyes, a live DJ starting at 9:30 p.m., a champagne toast at midnight, and party favors. 1095 SE 17th St, Fort Lauderdale, 954-525-9299.

RESTAURANTS

Bar Amici: VJ Jimbo and high-energy dance videos, free valet and admission with a champagne toast. Live jazz brunch at noon on New Year's Day with Absolut Bloody Mary bar. 1301 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 954-677-9925.

Ben's Steakhouse: "Mardi Gras Theme" New Year's Eve Party. Ben's New Year's packages include reserved seating in the Waterfall Lounge, a special menu, open bar, live entertainment by Double-Time, a champagne toast, and continental breakfast. Dinner seating starts at 8:30 p.m. and the music starts at 9:30 p.m. 3400 S Congress Ave, Palm Springs, 561-967-3437.

Café Bella Sera: Celebrate, with hors d' oeuvres, a four-course meal, open beer and wine bar, party favors, and champagne at midnight. Reservations are suggested and the cost is $150 a head. 7351 N State Rd 7, Parkland, 954-346-7373.

Hard Rock Cafe: Rock 'n' Roll New Year's, Hard Rock Cafe wants to start your New Year off with roaring guitars. Its all-inclusive $40 fixed menu package offers dinner, live music, party favors, and a champagne toast. The Oasis at Sawgrass Mills, 2606 Sawgrass Mills Cir, Sunrise, 954-845-8863.

Mark's Las Olas: Celebrate in style at Mark's Las Olas. A five-course dinner is served at 9 p.m. with champagne. A live jazz band will play all night, and there will be a toast at midnight. The price is $140 per person. 1032 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 954-463-1000.

Martunies: New Year's celebration. Martunies offers a lavish buffet, champagne toast, and party favors at midnight for $75 per person. Entertainment will be provided by Powerhouse. For walk-ins after 11 p.m. there's a toast and party favors for $25. 10311 W Sample Rd, Coral Springs, 954-752-3227.

The Melting Pot: New Year's Dipping Eve 2004. the Melting Pot offers a special four-course menu served up in two-hour seatings starting at 4:30 p.m. The $139 per couple package includes souvenir champagne glasses and a keepsake camera. Book your reservation after 10 p.m. if you want to dip into 2004 with the folks at the Pot. 5455 N Federal Hwy, Ste A, Boca Raton, 561-997-7472.

Pal's Charley's Crab: New Year's party, with an open seating sunset dinner at 3:30 p.m., and live music and dancing starting at 8 p.m. There will be a champagne toast and party favors when the clock strikes. 1755 SE 3rd Ct, Deerfield Beach, 954-427-4000.

The River House: In a covered tent along the Riverwalk, the River House will offer an à la carte menu for three seatings on New Year's Eve: 5 p.m., 7:15 p.m., and the 9:30 p.m. seating which includes party favors and complimentary champagne at midnight. Mark & Blake will be performing light jazz. 301 SW 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. This 100-year-old house and historical site has, for the past few years, been home to the River House restaurant. A relaxed crowd, dressed in casual-elegant style, dines and sips on the outdoor patio, on the wraparound porch, and in the two-story dining room inside, 954-525-7661.

 

Roxy's: Celebrate with a special New Year's Eve menu served in two seatings, the first at 7 p.m. and the second at 9 p.m. The celebration includes fun party favors, a variety of champagnes, and a toast at midnight. 309 Clematis St, West Palm Beach, 561-272-8434.

Tavern On the Greenery: Extravaganza, celebrate in style with a special New Year's menu served with a side of live music by Leonardo, hats and noisemakers, and a champagne toast at midnight. The price is $100 per person. 301 Yamato Rd, Boca Raton, 954-370-7352.


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