New Year's Day Brunch


Photo of Foreign Cinema’s croque-madame from Flickr.


Chicken porridge at Out the Door. Photo: ©

Since New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, many places are opening for brunch—a great way to help with a January 1st hangover. Will we ever learn? Let the healing begin!

~FOREIGN CINEMA~ is doing it classic-style for their first-ever New Year’s Day “Hangover Brunch” from 11am-3pm. They’re serving Foreign Cinema faves like hangover soup with a poached farm egg, croque-madame, Dungeness crab Monte Cristo, Llano Seco braised pork with fried eggs, and sausage and herb biscuits with gravy. They’ve got a roster of “restorative cocktails” too, so order up a Steel Magnolia, Persian Bloody Mary, or Pride to ease the pain.

Another first, ~ABSINTHE BRASSERIE & BAR~ will also open for New Year’s Day Brunch with a special menu, including “My Noni’s” pastina soup, brioche french toast, duck confit ragout, a crispy pork belly breakfast burrito, and lunch dishes like the Absinthe hamburger and coq au vin. 11am-3pm.

Always a great spot for brunch, ~OUT THE DOOR~ on Bush Street is open for brunch on Saturday December 31st (New Year’s Eve) from 9am-3pm but closed for dinner, then open again on Sunday January 1st (New Year’s Day) with normal business hours (9am-3pm brunch, 5:30pm-9:30pm dinner).

On New Year’s Day, ~LAFITTE~ will be featuring a hangover à la carte menu and a bloody Mary bar all day. Bolster your belly with choices like bacon, duck, or beef stew; pot au feu; Grande Aioli seafood platter of crab, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, potatoes, root vegetables, and poached eggs; Kobe butter burger on brioche roll with foie gras, duck egg, and bacon chile; or parsnip-celery root quiche.

~PIZZERIA DELFINA~ ‘s California Street location is staying open January 1st to serve hangover helpers like purgatorio pizza (that dream pizza comes with egg), a selection of fried food, the meatball hero, and Linden Street black lager gelato. Also expect a couple of new dishes, and Peroni Pomodoros (bloody beers) to drink.

How ‘bout a Mexican brunch at ~LA VICTORIA~ on New Year’s Day? Starting at 10am, indulge in starters like chips and dip (with choice of salsa), assorted pan dulce with seasonal jam, and mini beignets with cinnamon cajeta; entrées like pollo rojo flautas, tortilla soup, Tecate-braised goat, Fatted Calf Basque sausage, and squash and mushroom hash; and sides like hash browns with brown butter hollandaise, and vegetarian black beans. It’s quite the lineup. 2937 24th St. at Alabama, 415-642-7120.

~SEASONS~ will offer New Year’s Day buffet brunch with holiday dishes by executive chef Mark Richardson and a pastry display designed by pastry chef Jeffery Wurtz. 10am-2pm. $85/adult including bloody Mary and mimosa bars; $30/child. Reservations are required. 757 Market St. at 3rd St., 415-633-3838.

FYI, ~DYNAMO DONUT AND COFFEE~ is closed December 25th-31st, but they reopen on New Year’s Day 10am-4pm for donuts and coffee.

Down in Menlo Park, ~MADERA~ will offer a Bottomless Bloody Mary Brunch from 9am-3pm. Order from the à la carte menu, and add a bottomless, custom-crafted bloody Mary for $15. Children 12 and under eat for half price. Reserve online or call 650-561-1540. 2825 Sand Hill Rd. in the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel, Menlo Park.

Here’s a fun and amazing (but expensive) option from ~PEKO-PEKO~: the deluxe New Year’s Osechi Bento filled with auspicious foods to eat on New Year’s Day or Eve. The Osechi Bento comes in a hand-made, three-level cedar box and contains special New Year’s treats like kuromame (sweet black beans), ikura (sake-cured salmon roe) in a yuzu cup, Dungeness crab, miso-cured black cod, handmade kamaboko (steamed halibut cake), and house-cured kazunoko (herring roe) from Bay-caught herring. This year, it also includes special Year of the Dragon sweets from the 17th-generation Toraya Confectionery in Tokyo. Order by December 26th, pick up the afternoon of December 31st in San Francisco or Oakland. $250, serves 4-5. One of these days I’m gonna order this thing.

Attention industry folks in the 510: OaklanDrinks is presenting the first annual ~BARE BALL~ on January 2nd, 2012 (BARE = Bar and Restaurant Employee). It’s a chance to get a little New Year’s action going for those who have to work New Year’s. Enjoy complimentary cocktails and food, plus a cocktail showcase, music from DJ Lexx Jones, and a fashion show from Iditate Clothing and Goorin Bros. Hat Company. It’s industry-centric, but bringing friends and family is encouraged. Mad Men-era attire is also encouraged, with prizes for the best-dressed guy and doll. And finally, an iPad2 will be raffled off with proceeds going to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. $40, tickets online. 8pm-midnight. ERA Art Bar & Lounge, 19 Grand Ave. at Broadway, Oakland.

Event Info

Sunday Jan 1, 2012