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Half Moon Bay New Year: Multicourse Meals Set to Music

Local celebrations focus on pleasing the palate.

Though it might be tempting to drive up to San Francisco this weekend to celebrate the coming of another year, consider staying close to home this Saturday night — especially if you're looking for a memorable meal to round out 2011.

Special Dinners

Four and five-course prix fixe meals are the main New Year's Eve attraction here on the Half Moon Bay Coastside. Local restaurants are attempting to seduce would-be diners to join their celebrations with a collection of elaborate dishes.

will have an early dinner seating from 5-8 p.m. and a second seating from 9 p.m. - 12 a.m. Early diners will have the choice of ordering from the regular menu or a $65 prix fixe menu. Only the prix fixe menu will be available at the second seating. The Gypsy Tribe band will perform. Dancing and a midnight champagne toast round out the evening. Reservations requested.

will serve a five-course $85 prix fixe menu ($75 before 6 p.m.) which includes party favors and a midnight champagne toast. Highlights include a hearts of palm, avocado & roasted pineapple salad; a crab-stuffed artichoke heart; wood-roasted elk; a vegetarian moussaka and a selection of house-made desserts. Reservations requested.

is featuring specials created by Chef Gaston Alfaro such as  prawns stuffed with crab, shrimp and Pecorino cheese, prosciutto-wrapped California sea bass accented with lemon pomegranate coulis, and a surf and turf sampler that includes beef tenderloin medallions and jumbo sweet sea scallops with a lobster sauce. Blue on Green will perform Celtic and Americana rock tunes beginning at 5 p.m. The New Year will be celebrated at 9 p.m. and the restaurant will close shortly afterwards.

A five-course prix fixe meal at will set diners back $85 and include the following highlights: a hors d'œuvre of chicken liver mousse with port wine and jam, a seared scallop starter, a butternut squash and ricotta roulade with sage and hazelnuts, and a choice of crab-stuffed sole, pan-roasted duck breast or a slow-roasted filet mignon as the main course. Chocolate fondant cake or chiffon cheesecake with winter citrus salad are dessert options. Glass of sparkling wine included. Dore Coller and Fourplay will perform live music.

is serving a four-course prix fixe meal. A few of the options available in the first course are a butter-poached Maine Lobster with a puree of cheddar cauliflower or a stuffed Sonoma quail with duck confit.  For the main course, choose from black cod, an elaborate beef dish (prepared with Amarone wine, Cognac, smoked bacon, white polenta and more), or a risotto made from beets grown at Half Moon Bay's Daylight Farms. Chocolate panna cotta or a Meyer lemon semifreddo with huckleberry coulis are the dessert options. Vegetarian and vegan options available. Music in the restaurant's front Music Box room, along wtih Prosecco and party favors included in cost. $80 with 18% gratuity added, $20 corkage.

Big spenders and budget watchers alike can opt for an evening at the Half Moon Bay. Choices at include a four-course prix fixe dinner (choice of entrée) for $135 per guest plus tax and gratuity ($68 for children five to 12 years old). Seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Even bigger spenders can splurge on a five-course prix fixe dinner (choice of entrée, caviar and one half-bottle of champagne per couple). $225 per adult plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.

Get yourself to the hotel's lounge and bar early for a free celebration complete with a DJ, live music, champagne bar and midnight balloon drop. No reservations are needed — first come, first served.

The hotel is also hosting a children's New Year's Eve party from 6 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. with arts and crafts along with a buffet, balloon drop and sparkling cider midnight toast. $110 per child age five to 12. Each additional sibling receives a $20 discount. Reservations are required.

Live Music Venues

Music lovers can head over to The Wine Bar starting at 8:30 p.m. to listen to six bands play until "whenever," according to owner Claudia Marshall. Cost is $100/couple, $55 single. Credit card reservations are required. Call 650 726-0770.

It wouldn't be New Year's on the coast without something going on at the . Partygoers can dance all night to DJs Project Puffalo, DJ DM and Makeo. At midnight, there will be a balloon drop and champagne toast. $10 cover (age 21 and up) includes complimentary glass of champagne.

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