Ring It In
A tour guide of countywide New Year’s Eve parties.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
All around the world, people celebrate the New Year in different ways. In Brazil, people wear white clothes for good luck and then go to the beach where they jump over exactly seven waves. Down in Colombia, folks dress a doll up with clothes from every member of the family. The doll, which is called “Mr. Old Year” is burned at midnight. Very far from South America, Koreans try to stay up all night due to an old legend that says your eyebrows will turn white if you fall asleep on New Year’s Eve. Closer to the United States, in Mexico, some women wear red underwear, signifying their hope to find new love during the next year.
Just like the rest of the big old world, there are plenty of different ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve here in Monterey County.
Though this is an entertainment column—not a food piece—several establishments offering both food and music for local merrymakers deserve mention. Down at the Highlands Inn, there will be a party featuring jazzy music from the Martin Headman Trio after a five- or seven-course meal ($250/seven course meal and party; $150/five-course meal and party; $50/party only, per person. Up the road a few miles, the Mission Ranch has pianist Maddaline Edstrom performing during dinner followed by entertainment at the piano bar with Gennady Loktionov. The Sardine Factory will also have piano music during dinner, while Los Laureles Lodge serves a prix fixe menu, as Sonny G and Lee Durley play jazz and R&B numbers.
At the Hyatt in Monterey, $150 per person gets you a three-course meal, trips to a no-host full bar, party favors, a champagne toast and music by the Joe Sharino Band. The group—which performs everything from Ricky Martin’s “La Vida Loca” to Van Morrison’s “Moondance”—just won the 2004 Best Band in Silicon Valley Award from the San Jose Mercury News.
Down in the Cannery Row section of Monterey, Sly McFly’s will have a dinner buffet followed by blues music courtesy of local performer John “Broadway” Tucker.
Over at Eddie’s on Fremont Street, owner Eddie Edwards will be serving up a southern New Year’s tradition at the beginning of the new year. After spinning some old school and hip-hop records, Edwards will dish out some black-eyed peas and rice to his customers (dress code enforced).
Far south in Big Sur country, the Big Sur River Inn will have coconut shrimp and mango ceviche as a part of their tropical Tiki Night New Year’s Eve celebration. Along with food specials and tropical drinks, my boy Tristan Champagne will be spinning surf music and world beat records.
For those who are more interested in libations than food on New Year’s Eve, two Monterey County establishments will be serving up some interesting beverages. In Salinas, the Monterey Coast Brewing Company will be pouring glasses of their limited edition Imperial Porter. Just make sure you have a ride, because the beer contains 11 percent alcohol. At Blue Fin Café on Cannery Row, Pavona wines, a small local vineyard, will be pouring varietals like their 2002 Petite Syrah. In addition to fine wines, partygoers will be able to fill up on food at a buffet and play as much pool as humanly possible.
Of course, a lot of people base their New Year’s plans around catching some great live music. In addition to local legend John “Broadway” at Sly McFly’s, Cannery Row will have live music by Cheeky Spanks at Bullwacker’s.
Down the road at Ray Askew’s Ocean Thunder, the Cowboy Satellites will be tearing through songs by The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and The Byrds. Also, if you are into that timeless classic rock sound, head to Big Sur’s Fernwood, where the Stanimals are sure to jam out tunes by The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan among others. Bandleader Stan Russell is inviting all women who wear animal print clothing to jump up on stage with the band.
In downtown Monterey, there will be several venues offering live music. At Cibo on Alvarado, Neil Banks will be playing funk and soul hits. A floor above Cibo, the Lava Lounge will feature local rockers Righteous Anger, Bullettooth and Plaster. The usually free venue will have a $7 cover and a Mardi Gras atmosphere, including bead giveaways and drink specials prompted by a flashing strobe light behind the bar. Down the street at Viva’s, Vince La Rocca is throwing a no-frills New Year’s Eve party with Salinas rock/reggae group Cali Nation.
North of Monterey, almost in Santa Cruz County, the folks at the Moss Landing Inn are hosting T & Company, a group that plays all varieties of dance music.
Several venues in the area offer DJ music instead of live music. Club Octane is throwing a Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball with a dozen different DJs including Peter Be! and DJ Angel ($25). A few buildings away, the Portola Plaza Hotel is hosting Boogie By the Bay, a dance music party with a DJ ($69 per person, 649-4511). Meanwhile, Planet Gemini will have DJ Sister Elegance spinning old school and dance music after a comedy set by James Stephen, a former practicing lawyer ($30).
A handful of local bars and restaurants like the Mucky
Duck, the London Bridge Pub, and
Lallapalooza will throw old-fashioned New Year’s Eve
parties with party favors and champagne.
CLUB / RESTAURANT info
Big Sur River Inn Hwy 1, Big Sur 667-2700
Blue Fin Café 685 Cannery Row, Monterey 375-7000
Bullwacker’s 653 Cannery Row, Monterey 373-1353
Cibo 301 Alvarado St., Monterey 649-8151
Club Octane 321 Alvarado St. Monterey 646-9244
Eddie’s 2200 North Fremont, Monterey 375-6116
Fernwood Hwy 1, Big Sur 667-2422
Highlands Inn 120 Highlands Dr. Carmel 620-1234
Lallapalooza 474 Alvarado St. Monterey 645-9036
Lava Lounge 301 Alvarado St. (Upstairs) Monterey 646-9244
London Bridge Pub Municipal Wharf #2, Monterey 655-2879
Los Laureles Lodge 313 W. Carmel Valley Rd. Carmel Valley 659-2233
Mission Ranch 26270 Dolores, Carmel 625-9040
Monterey Coast Brewing Co. 165 Main St. Salinas 758-2337
Monterey Hyatt 1 Old Golf Course Rd. Monterey 372-1234
Moss Landing Inn Hwy 1, Moss Landing 633-9853
Mucky Duck 479 Alvarado St. Monterey 655-3031
Ocean Thunder 214 Lighthouse Ave. Monterey 643-9169
Planet Gemini 625 Cannery Row, Monterey 373-1449
Portola Plaza Hotel 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey 649-4511
Sardine Factory 701 Wave, Monterey 373-3775
Sly McFly’s 700-A Cannery Row, Monterey 649-8050
Viva’s 414 Alvarado St., Monterey 646-1415