1. Thou shalt break bread.
Whether you plan on going on a wild champagne bender or you just want a nice New Year's Eve dinner, be sure to get in a good meal. Here are some restaurants that know how to throw a dinner party:
Beauty Shop has Beauty shop has a prix fixe menu - $60 for 4 courses - and Gary Johns & His Mini Rat Pack Orchestra. 5:30 p.m. - until. For reservations (recommended), call 272-7111.
Currents at River Inn of Harbor Town is offering a four-course meal with a special New Year's Eve menu. $85 per person. For reservations (recommended) or more information, call 260-3333.
Death du Jour Mystery Dinner presents Magnum Farce, an interactive mystery dinner. 7-10 p.m. at Spaghetti Warehouse. $35 per person includes dinner and entertainment. For reservations (required), call Phyllis at 210-0545 or e-mail Paappleby@aol.com.
Interim offers a four-course meal with a special New Year's Eve menu. 5:30-10 p.m. $65 per person. For reservations (recommended) or more information, call 818-0821.
King's Palace serves Cajun cuisine with entertainment by the Eric Hughes Band. 6 p.m.-1 a.m. $20 cover includes entry and a table. For more information, visit kingspalacecafe.com or call 525-3891, ext. 301.
Majestic Grille has dinner and live jazz by the Paul McKinney Band. Watch the ball drop on the big screen. 5 p.m.-until. For reservations (required with credit card guarantee) or more information, call 522-8555.
Mesquite Chop House offers a four-course meal and special New Year's Eve menu at Union location. $65 per person. For more information, call 527-5337 or visit mesquitechophouse.com.
Paulette's has a four-course meal with a special New Year's Eve menu. 5:30-9 p.m. There is also a three-course meal for early diners from 4 to 4:45 p.m. For reservations or more information, call 726-5128.
Restaurant Iris serves a five-course meal with a special New Year's Eve menu. $85 per person. For reservations or more information, call 590-2828 or visit restaurantiris.com.
Rum Boogie Café offers down-home cookin' and live music from James Govan and the Boogie Blues Band. 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m. $20 per person for entry and a guaranteed table. For more information, visit rumboogie.com.
2. Thou shalt not hog all the fun (remember the children).
There are a lot of ways kids can enjoy ringing in the New Year that don't involve tending bar at your party or watching over the coat closet. Check out these two kid-friendly activities:
New Year's Eve Zoo Snooze: Overnight event for kids ages 6-12. Take a moonlight "safari" through the zoo, enjoy crafts and games, and count down to the new year with snacks and party favors. Register by Monday, December 28th. 6:30 p.m.-10 a.m. $85 per child ($75 for members). For more information, visit memphiszoo.org.
New Year's at Noon: For an early New Year's Eve celebration, take your tots to the Children's Museum of Memphis from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Special music and games are included with regular museum admission. For more information, visit cmom.com.
3. Thou shalt not let it all hang out.
This means a couple of things: First, bundle up. New Year's Eve might get chilly, and you never know when the short jaunt from the cab will turn into 10-minute trudge from one bar to the next.
Second, pace yourself and know your limits. Always remember who you'll be "letting it all hang out" around. As a friend once said, "The last time I let it all hang out, I wound up wearing a kilt and sleeping in a broom closet." True story. Don't be another casualty of the open bar or open tab.
4. Remember the champagne and keep it chilly.
What's a New Year's celebration without the familiar pop of a bottle of bubbly? Since we doubt you can turn water into wine, here are two lists, by two guys who know, of top champagnes and sparkling wines to spice up your festivities:
Gary Burhop, Great Wines & Spirits of Memphis
For Feeding the Masses:
Segura Viudas Brut Rose Cava, a Spanish sparkler, $8.99
Louis Pedreier Brut Sparkling, French but not champagne, $8.99
Classy but Affordable:
Saint Meyland Brut Sparkling, French from just outside Burgundy, $15.99
Case Bianche Prosecco, Italian bubbles, $18.99
Dinner Party Bubbles:
Roederer Estate NV Brut Sparkling, American from a champagne company, $19.99-$22.99
Schramsberg Vintage Brut Rose, from California's foremost bubbly producer, $39.99
A Special Celebration:
A Margaine NV Brut Champagne, a small family operation, $49.99
Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame Vintage Champagne, about $190
Krug NV Brut, the real thing, $200
John Vego, Buster's Liquors & Wines
Top 10 for 2010
1. Segura Viudas Brut Cava, $8.99
2. Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, $11.99
3. Riondo Spago Nero Prosecco, $12.99
4. Saint-Hilaire Brut, $16.99
5. Simonnet-Febvre Cremant de Bourgogne Brut, $17.99
6. Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut, $21.99
7. Chandon Rose California, $19.99
8. Zardetto Zeta 2007 Prosecco, $23.99
9. Taittinger La Française Brut Champagne, $39.99
10. Nicolas Feuillatte Rose Champagne, $49.99
5. Honor thy wild side and make the scene.
New Year's Eve at the Peabody is two parties under one roof. The "WildSide Party" includes entertainment by Saving Abel with Al Kapone and DJ Mark Anderson, Grand Ballroom, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $45 per person, advance online purchase, $50 at the door. The "Scene Party" has Andy Childs with DJ Cody Rogers and John Felix Trio, Grand Lobby, Continental Ballroom, and Corner Bar, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $35 per person, advance online purchase, $40 at the door. For more information, call 529-4000 or visit the website peabodymemphis.com.
6. Thou shalt get down.
Arguably one of the most important commandments and fortunately one of the easiest to follow — just check out the many dance parties and live music events lined up around town:
Clark Tower: Dancing and four-course gourmet dinner. Jazz by the Kelley Hurt Trio. Cash bar. Two seatings: 5:30-7:30 p.m, $50 per person; 8 p.m.-1 a.m., $65 per person. For reservations (required) or more information, call 767-8776.
The Cove: New Year's Eve bash features DJ Raga and drink specials. No cover charge. 5 p.m.-until. For more information, call 730-0719 or visit thecovememphis.com.
Coyote Ugly Saloon: Offers $2 Budweiser long necks all night long. $10 cover includes one Bud or Bud Lite for the first 100 people in the door, party favors, appetizer buffet, and special toast at midnight. Party starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call 888-UGLY or visit coyoteuglysaloon.com.
Flying Saucer downtown location: Features live music from Deep Shag, 9:30 p.m. $10 for U.F.O. Club members and $15 for nonmembers. Cordova location features DJ Twinkie. 9:30 p.m, $10. Both events offer party favors and a champagne toast at midnight. Both locations also offer reservations for $60, plus the cover charge for each customer. For more information, call 523-8536 for downtown and 755-5530 for Cordova.
Hi-Tone Café: Davila 666, Magic Kids, and River City Tanlines play plus a champagne toast at midnight. Cover is $10, and doors open at 9 pm. For more information, call 278-8663 or visit hitonememphis.com.
Huey's downtown location features live music from the Billy Gibson Band, 9 p.m., 77 S. Second. Midtown location will feature the band Beat Generation, 9 p.m., 1927 Madison. Cordova location hosts Corn Fed Mafia, 9 p.m., 1771 N. Germantown Pkwy. All three events are free. For more information, call 527-2700 for downtown, 726-4372 for Midtown, and 754-3885 for Cordova.
Quetzal: First Kiss: 2010! DJs spin everything from hip-hop, to mashups, to rock. $20 ticket includes a bottle of champagne. A variety of group packages are also available. The best part for locals: If you live within three miles of Quetzal and need a ride home, rides are free of charge. For more information, call 521-8388 or visit quetzal.org.
Side Car Café: New Year's Eve party with Patty Harper & Faultline Band, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $25 a couple, $15 single. For more information, call 388-0285 or visit sidecarcafememphis.com.
7. Thou shalt not take Lord T's name in vain.
Last year they headlined at the Peabody New Year's Eve party. This year Lord T & Eloise get "aristocrunk" at the Handy Pavilion, 200 Beale Street. Powdered wigs and Baroque bling? Check. A decadent gentleman's take on Dirty South rap? Check. A penchant for bringing the party? Why, they wouldn't leave the estate without it. Ring in the new decade with a taste of centuries past.
8. Thou shalt secure a place to crash.
You could try to negotiate your way onto a sliver of couch in a friend's apartment, or you could ball up and sleep in a broom closet (see Commandment 3). But wouldn't you rather carouse and crash all under the same roof? Here's what area hotels and casinos are offering on New Year's Eve:
Harrah's Tunica: The "Ultra Lounge Party" features world-renowned DJ Jazzy Jeff, champagne, party favors, and more handed out for the countdown. The party starts at 10 p.m. in the Harrah's event center. Dress code strictly enforced. For hotel reservations, call 1-800-WIN-4-WIN or visit harrahstunica.com. For more information, call 1-800-745-3000.
Hollywood Casino: The casino's New Year's Eve party includes party favors and a midnight balloon drop on the casino floor plus special offers at Fairbanks Steakhouse (a four-course dinner for two with champagne, $125 per couple) and Epic Buffet (a steak and seafood meal, $26.95 per person). Hotel rooms are $299 per night, with a two-night minimum for December 30th, December 31st, and January 1st. Call 1-800-871-0711 for reservations.
Big Boys perform on the Safari Lounge stage on Thursday, December 31st, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. At midnight, they lead the New Year's Eve countdown accompanied by a balloon drop and party favors. For more information, visit hollywoodcasinotunica.com.
Grill 83: A New Year's Eve menu, served from 5:30 to 11 p.m, is $60 per person for three courses or $69 per person for four courses, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations (recommended), call 333-1224.
The Madison also offers a one-night stay in a deluxe king room with a New Year's Eve dinner for two and a gourmet buffet breakfast on New Year's Day for $435 or a two-night stay in a deluxe king room with the dinner and gourmet buffet breakfast on New Year's Day for $670. For more information, call 333-1200 or visit madisonhotelmemphis.com.
Memphis Marriott: Memphis Bop Club New Year's Eve Bash features dancing to the sounds of bop, swing, shag, and country. The party starts at 8 p.m. and includes party favors, a champagne toast at midnight, and breakfast at 1 a.m. $45 per person. Party-goers can reserve a room at the hotel for $79. For more information, visit memphisbopclub.com.
9. Thou shalt not drop the ball.
Drop a guitar instead at the Hard Rock Café's New Year's Eve party on Beale Street. New Year's Eve on Beale begins with a Tigers basketball pep rally in Handy Park at 1 p.m. (before the 3 p.m. tipoff against the University of Tennessee at FedExForum). Then start the evening celebration around 8 p.m. with free concerts in Handy Park, live bands in every Beale Street venue, fireworks, and the Gibson Guitar drop at midnight. For more information, call 525-0110.
10. Thou shalt not toil on New Year's Day.
Even if you're not too hung over to move, you can still use a day of rest. Start 2010 off right by treating yourself to some good food, good fun, and good football. But, please, for the love of Tebow, don't do any real work.
Capriccio Grill Peabody Hotel: Breakfast buffet 6:30-10:30 a.m. and brunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $21.95 per person. For reservations (recommended), call 529-4199.
Hollywood Casino: Champagne and mimosa brunch at Epic Buffet, 7 a.m.- 2 p.m., $13.50 per person.
Liberty Bowl Parade: Beale Street, 3 p.m. For more information, call 795-7700 or visit libertybowl.org.
College Football GamesOutback Bowl: Northwestern vs. Auburn, 10 a.m. on ESPN
Capital One Bowl: Penn State vs. LSU, noon on ABC
Gator Bowl: Florida State vs. West Virginia, noon on CBS
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon, 4 p.m. on ABC
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. on FOX