"For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne."
In part two of our holiday entertainment series, we provide options for the New Year. Those planning to begin a diet Jan. 1 should pay particular attention to the Dec. 31 dining options, and while there are plenty of choices for those looking to hit the clubs, this year also boasts an attractive assortment of elegant celebrations. Here is a handful of options; for more, visit our event calendar online.
Shall we dance?
Waltz into 2011 with the "Salute to Vienna" concert at 8 p.m. Jan. 1 at the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. The famous touring concert is the only genuine recreation of the famous Viennese Neujahrskonzert (New Year's Concert). Enjoy musicians, dancers and more — like the Strauss Symphony of America, Mika Eichenholz, Patricia Nessy, Alexandru Badea and dancers from Vienna City Ballet — in Strauss waltzes, polkas and more. Tickets are $45 and up. Call (714) 556-2787 or ocpac.org.
A Flashback Friday
One of the biggest contenders in town will be the O.C. Fair New Year's Eve Block Party at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, featuring several stages of top tribute bands that honor the music of the decades. Enjoy tributes to the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Beach Boys, Heart, Journey, Led Zeppelin, Depeche Mode, Oingo Boingo, Morrissey and the Smiths, the Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam and U2 — as well as a countdown celebration to 2011, a selection of more than 50 food trucks, two demolition derbies (for an additional fee), a hypnotist, two deejays, a karaoke bar, pyrotechnics display and more. Tickets are $25 and up; for $45, get a block party ticket and a season pass for the 2011 O.C. Fair. Visit ocfair.com/blockparty.
The chemistry of cuisine
If you've been anxious to try out the molecular gastronomy dining experience, in which scientific techniques and tools are applied to the preparation of food, AnQi Gourmet Bistro, 3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa (tucked inside Bloomingdale's), is planning the county's only such experience on New Year's Eve. Chef Ryan Carson, who normally requires weeks of advance notice for such a dinner, will offer a 10-course prix fixe menu at $125 per person. The menu includes selections like Kumamoto oyster with soy mignonette, pop rocks and yuzu lemonade air — and Hiramasa crudo with a sweet-and-sour tangerine sheet, beet sorbet and avocado silk. Call (714) 557-5679 or visit anqibistro.com.
Let's get it started
Sutra has booked the entire Radisson Hotel Newport Beach, 4545 MacArthur Blvd., for a massive 21-and-older New Year's Eve Phazing Nights party featuring Serbian-born, Australian superstar producer and deejay Dirty South along with Mr. White, Dean Mason, Deone, Kedd Cook, Keith Iwanabe, dancers and more. Enjoy electronic, techno and house music, then crash in your hotel room. Available options include general admission, hosted bar lounge access, dinner and hotel rooms. Most general admission tickets are sold out, but $100 late general admission tickets are still available. Call (949) 833-0570 or visit wantickets.com for ticket purchases.
This year's New Year's Eve OC will be hosted by seven-time Emmy Award-winning host Chris Balish. One of the top parties based on the number of attendees, the event at the Hilton Costa Mesa, 3050 Bristol St., the 21-and-older night offers advance general admission tickets for $40 or VIP access for $150; prices may go up at the door, if they are still available. The main ballroom will feature video deejays and a countdown, beauty and fashion shows, top 40 and mash-ups. Room two will play house, electronica and trance music, followed by hard house and original house mixes at midnight. Room three will be a Latin lounge with Latin hits, reggaeton and salsa music. VIP rooms will be themed as a nightclub lounge, a retro room and casino lounge. Visit nyeoc.com.
Surf and turf
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 455 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, has created a trio of special menu offerings (and a champagne steal) Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. Enjoy glasses of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label NV for $25 each; a filet mignon and crab-stuffed shrimp entrée served with a butter-poached Portobello mushroom for $79.95; a New York strip and giant shrimp entrée for $69.95; or a 1-pound North Atlantic lobster tail served with lobster mac and cheese for $59.95. Call (949) 720-9633 or visit flemingssteakhouse.com.
Heralding the new year
Famed jazz trumpeter Chris Botti will perform one night only at the Orange County Performing Arts Center's Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, on Jan. 8. The Grammy Award-winning artist has recorded or performed with the music industry's top acts, from Frank Sinatra to Joni Mitchell to Steven Tyler. Tickets are $46 and up. Call (714) 556-2787 or visit ocpac.org.
Celebrating with a little SOL
Sol Cocina, 251 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, has created a special menu in addition to its regular dinner menu for New Year's Eve, with offerings including grilled Maine lobster with creamy green chile mac and cheese, and Angus short ribs braised with red wine, buttery puréed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and crispy onions. Champagne specials also will be available, including J Vineyards & Winery's Brut Rosé ($10 per glass or $48 per bottle) and Moet & Chandon's Imperial ($15 per glass or $72 per bottle). Dinner service begins at 4:30 p.m.; for more information or reservations, call (949) 675-9800 or visit solcocina.com.
If you're more inspired to head to the tropics than Vienna, consider Don the Beachcomber's Waitiki music, dance and cocktail party from Dec. 29 to 31 at 16278 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach. Enjoy live music by the likes of the Waitiki Quartet, Robert Drasnin and Combustible Edison, among others; call (562) 592-1321 or visit donthebeachcomberpresentswaitiki.com.