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Where to Ring in 2023 in San Diego

These 10 restaurants throughout the county still have (a few!) reservations open

Image Credits Marisi, Herb & Sea, Vistal, Garibaldi: Photo by Kimberly Motos; Ranch 45: Photo by Chris Costa; Polo Steakhouse: Photo by Deanna Sandoval; Zama: Photo by Arlene Ibarra


Close out the year with a visit to La Jolla’s newest gem, brought to you by the people behind Puesto that Ranch & Coast Food & Beverage Editor Brandon Hernández likens to a “fresh-off-the-lot-Ferrari.” Begin your feast with Frutti de Mare made with your choice of oyster, tuna, or sea urchin, with the option to supplement with half a dozen oysters or caviar and blinis before moving on to the second course, with offerings including Fritto Misto, Burrata and Prosciutto, or Wagyu Beef Tartare with roasted garlic, pine nuts, salsa verde, and horseradish. Third and fourth course entrées highlight a range of house-made pastas and proteins, like the Lasagna Tessuto with short rib wagyu, crescenza, and parmigiano-reggiano; King Crab Tagliatelle with lemon, chili, and butter; or Dry Aged American Wagyu, tagliata style. For added extravagance, add on caviar and Alba white truffles to a selection of the entrées and starters. End the evening of indulgence with dessert options of Gianduja Chocolate with hazelnut, cocoa nib, and pomegranate or Panna Cotta with passionfruit, basil, and winter citrus. Limited early and late seatings are still available via OpenTable. 

Ranch 45

Open with their happy hour menu on New Year’s Eve until 7:30pm, Ranch 45 is the perfect destination to pregame your New Year’s Eve festivities. Enjoy wine, beer, and light bites like Chef’s Daily Brandt Beef Tasting with chimichurri and French fries, a Wagyu Sando served on toasted milk bread with truffle aioli, a Charcuterie Plate with an assortment of cheese and meats and grilled bread, and more. 

Herb & Sea

Want to avoid another ho-hum New Year’s Eve? Herb & Sea has a celebratoin for you! Dine & Dip starts with dinner at Herb & Sea, followed by a skinny dip at Encinitas’ Moonlight Beach, ending at the restaurant’s Moonlight Deck to celebrate under the stars with a complimentary Herb & Sea towel and hot toddy by the fire. The Moonlight Deck is a destination all night long, so even if you choose to forego skinny dipping, enjoy a meal and cocktails, and ring in the New Year, toasting by the bonfire! For those looking to dine, choose from a four-course prix fixe menu showcasing the bounty of both sea and land featuring starters like Fresh Oysters with hibiscus and chili caviar, lemon, and herbs; and Sturgeon Crudo with aguachile granita, seasonal fruit, and cilantro oil paired alongside comforting dishes like Pork Belly and Butter Bean Soup. Complete the evening with a Wood Fired Filet or Roasted Squash Agnolotti before indulging in a Chocolate Mousse Bar and Citrus Cheesecake. Book via OpenTable.


InterContinental San Diego’s signature Baja-inspired waterfront restaurant Vistal is offering a special New Year’s Eve dining experience with unobstructed views of the bay. From 7pm to 9:30pm, reserve a table to share a delicious, coursed out meal with friends and loved ones. First course appetizer options will include Ice Wine Poached Pear with Humboldt Fog brulée, arugula and farro salad, pecans, pickled mustard seeds, maple-white balsamic reduction, U10 Diver Scallops with blood sausage, apple and fennel confit, toasted hazelnuts, and poblano velouté; and Beef Carpaccio with petite cress, radish, artichoke hearts, burnt scallion aioli, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and black truffle salt. Choose from one of three entrees: Vegan Beetroot Bourguignon with pee wee potatoes, baby carrots, pearl onions, morel mushrooms, and beetroot-thyme braising jus; Seaweed Crusted Chilean Seabass with risotto nero, salsify, sea beans, and uni emulsion; or a 16 oz. Beef Prime Rib topped with wild mushrooms, asparagus, and triple cream brie cheese, house tater tots and rosemary jus. End the year on a sweet note with Vistal’s Mini Dessert Trio featuring chocolate praline mousse, lemon cream yuzu choux, and mango-passion fruit mousse cake. Reservations available via Resy

VAGA Restaurant

Elevate your New Year’s Eve at VAGA Restaurant, an oceanfront hotspot inside the stunning Alila Marea Beach Resort. They’re featuring a five-course dinner curated by San Diego native Claudette Zepeda from 5-10pm. This dinner is $175 per person and reservations are available at vagarestaurant.com. Looking for a party? The Countdown Celebration kicks off at 9pm at VAGA Bar; there is no cover charge and reservations are not necessary.

VAGA Restaurant


Spend New Year’s Eve overlooking the bay at Garibaldi, InterContinental San Diego’s rooftop restaurant inspired by the flavors of Southern Italy. Garibaldi’s sweeping views make it a special destination to enjoy a luxurious four-course menu including an amuse bouche of bignè topped with beet cured smoked salmon, horseradish cream, sturgeon caviar, starters such as House Folded Culurgiones and Beetroot Carpaccio, and main courses like the 12 oz. Veal Chop Tomahawk with roseval potato, red pepper, olive, anchovy, chilli, and coriander yogurt or the Pesce Spada e Aragosta, Grilled Swordfish alla Siciliana, and more. For a sweet conclusion to the evening and the year, enjoy Trio Di Dolci, with Garibaldi’s signature Cassata Siciliana Cheesecake, Tiramisu, and Pistachio Panna Cotta.  Reservations are available via Resy with seatings from 7pm to 9:30pm. 

Polo Steakhouse

Carlsbad’s new Polo Steakhouse will be offering a four-course prix fixe menu on New Year’s Eve led by Executive Chef Judd Canepari (La Valencia). The first course options are King Crab & Shrimp Cocktail, Chorizo Spanish Octopus, Seared Wagyu, and Seared Royal Trumpet Mushrooms. The second course features soup and salad options including White Asparagus and Black Truffle Bisque, Endive and Candied Walnut Salad, and Barzini Salad. Entrées include a 6 oz. Petite Prime Filet and Lobster Tail, Maryland Lump Crab Stuffed Salmon Filet, Mushroom Bolognese, and Eye of Rib. For dessert, enjoy the Tres Leche Churro, New Haven Cheesecake, or a Flourless Chocolate Souffle Cake. Reservations are offered from 5pm to 10pm and will require a $25 per person deposit.  


Downtown San Diego’s gem of Latin-American cuisine, Zama, will be hosting a special New Year’s Eve dining experience followed by a lively celebration to ring in the new year. Early seating is still available at 5pm for a limited à la carte menu with Latin American and Asian Infusion dishes. Sushi lovers can order specialty crafted rolls including the Zama Crudo made with sea bass, salmon, scallops, garlic, olive oil, sesame seeds, and soy, or the Rolls Royce Maki with shrimp tempura, asparagus, rolled, tuna strips, and jalapeno garlic aioli. Guests seeking a heartier entrée can order the Prime Filet Mignon grilled to perfection or Delmonico New York Sirloin topped with Zama’s specialty spiced rub. Conclude with the Japanese Yuzu Cheesecake topped with a sweet wild berry sauce and lemon zest or a decadent Chocolate Fondant that melts in your mouth lava cake-style, paired with rich pistachio gelato. Starting at 10:30pm, Zama will transform their lush jungle-inspired space into a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. The captivating space will be filled with lights, a DJ, dancers, and entertainers and each guest will receive party hats, noise makers, and a celebratory glass of Champagne for when the clock strikes midnight. Tickets for the celebration will be available for $250 per person which can be spent towards the bottle service menu, the drinks menu and select sushi platters. Anything over the $250 minimum will be covered by a credit card presented at the beginning of the table service. Dinner reservations can be made on OpenTable, and to reserve a table for bottle service call 619.915.5789. 

L’Auberge Del Mar

Enjoy dinner al fresco at Adelaide, offering reservations at either 5pm or 8pm, with the later seating including a complimentary glass of bubbly. Seeking a party? L’Auberge is opening up its Living Room Bar, fit with live music, DJ performances, and a full bar mixing craft libations until 1am. Riding into the following day, Adelaide will be offering a signature New Year’s Day brunch overlooking the morning’s oceanic views on the Sunset Terrace. No ticket purchases necessary for New Year’s festivities; prix-fixe dinners start from $160 per person. Confirm dinner reservations by phone at 858.793.6467.

Bleu Bohème

Celebrate NYE in French fashion at Kensington’s Bleu Bohème with a three-course, prix fixe dinner and festive cocktail, available from 4pm to 8 pm, exclusively on Saturday, December 31. 

Created by owner and executive chef, Ken Irvine, the celebratory meal will be priced at $80 per person. Toast to fresh starts with The Clean Slate Martini, made with Kahlúa, Armagnac, Frangelico, cream and Aztec chocolate bitters, before enjoying owner and executive chef Ken Irvine’s custom holiday menu. Choose between smoked black Mediterranean mussel bisque with puff pastry and crème fraîche; crab croquettes with jicama remoulade, tomato-rocket salad, and saffron aioli; fresh roasted beet salad with clementines, pickled red onions, goat cheese croquettes, and rocket lettuce; or Brussels sprouts with butternut squash, house-smoked bacon, and apple balsamic vinegar. For an additional charge, guests may select a Maine lobster crêpe with mascarpone cheese, asparagus, and white truffle-carrot emulsion. 

Entrée options consist of a cassoulet of Hudson Valley Muscovy duck leg confit with creamy goat cheese polenta, baby kale, olive relish, and sauce verte; petit filet mignons with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and haricots verts with sauce au poivre; horseradish-crusted Faroe Island salmon with mashed Yukon gold potatoes, asparagus, and smoked tomato beurre blanc; or Shiitake and oyster mushroom raviolis with ratatouille, spinach, espelette, tomato relish, herbs, and white wine cream sauce. For an additional charge, order large dry-pack sea scallops served with saffron lobster risotto, linguiça, rapini, fennel, and basil pistou.  

Dessert offerings include rich dark Callebaut chocolate mousse with seasonal red berries; crème brûlée, rich vanilla custard with a crunchy sugar crust; warm flourless chocolate cake with house-made vanilla ice cream; warm gingerbread topped with strawberry confiture and caramel ice cream; and warm brioche bread pudding with caramelized apples, raisins and white chocolate. 

Reservations are available by calling 619.255.4167 or by visiting www.bleuboheme.com

Bleu Bohème


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