To view fireworks in all their glory, you have to be outside. And you know it’s going to be cold, so bundle up and find a nearby hill or head to a few spots in town for better views … and booze. Cabo Wabo Cantina (Planet Hollywood Resort, caesars.com/planet-hollywood) offers a Strip-side NYE patio bash with all-you-can-drink beverage packages while you ooh and ahh at the fireworks. General admission starts at $200 per person.
Want to dress up like Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan? Sparrow + Wolf (sparrowandwolflv.com) hosts a Gatsby-themed “Innocence Lost” New Year’s Eve soiree showcasing live music, a Champagne tower and caviar bumps. Set on Spring Mountain Road, while still vibing off the energy and excitement (and a view of the fireworks) from the Strip, this party offers the best of renowned chef Brian Howard’s new American cuisine. General Manager and snappy dresser John Anthony says “swanky attire will be rewarded … .” $125 per guest.
If you’re in the mood for a bit of fanciness, back on the Strip—and I mean overlooking the back of it—go for dinner amid the stylish environs of Country Club: A New American Steakhouse. Chef Rene Lenger adds his deft touch to steaks and seafood, creating a chophouse experience that is par excellence. With picture windows offering views of the fairway greens and waterfall, this is a chic retreat from the throngs of revelers on the Strip. Lenger’s five-course prix-fixe gala dinner shines with dishes such as seared hamachi with salsa verde and pickled vegetables; charred Spanish octopus with carrot puree and chili-lime foam; butter-poached John Dory with braised celery root, watercress and ice wine sauce; and Snake River Farms strip loin wrapped in foie gras and mushrooms, with white truffle potato mousseline, baby vegetables and Gaja Barolo sauce. The evening includes a Champagne toast and party favors, as well as a DJ and dancing. $275 per person. Beverages, tax and tip are additional; reservations, 9 p.m.
Finally, take it off the Strip to the home-to-table-inspired dining spot Honey Salt (honeysalt.com) with a four-course prix-fixe dinner, handcrafted cocktails and great company. Kicking off at 9 p.m. and continuing throughout the night to ring in 2018, highlights from the menu include lobster toast, beef tartare, roasted black cod, heirloom squash risotto and opera cake. Farther south is The Black Sheep (blacksheepvegas.com), with its reasonably priced three-course menu at $59 per person. Indulge in Chef Jamie Tran’s specialties, including a choice of mesclun greens salad with poached Braeburn apples or Vietnamese imperial rolls with Duroc pork and shrimp for the first course; for seconds, choose from seared U10 Diver scallops, grilled marinated quail, Creekstone CAB rib eye or vegan steamed rice rolls with butternut squash. Finish with a choice of persimmon baguette bread or rocky road with torched marshmallow. For an additional $30 to $45, team each course with either a traditional wine pairing, reserve wine pairing or cocktail and bring the festivities right into the stroke of midnight. Because who needs fireworks and a ball drop anyway?