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Around Town: Patch Picks for Ringing in 2011

Patch brings you the best last-minute places to party as we celebrate the new year.

It happens every year. You're still stuffing Tupperware into the fridge and saying goodbye to the relatives after the holidays when you realize New Year's Eve is upon us — and you haven't even thought about what your plans are.

Last-minute planning for New Year's can be a pain, and if you're not careful you can wind up spending way too much money — or worse, waiting in a long line as the ball drops. So what's the solution? Patch did a bit of research into New Year's parties, dinner specials and shops that are open New Year's Eve where you can grab some quick fixins to throw your own fiesta. Here's what we found:

Parties

  • Party like it's 1989 at in Bethesda. Bethesda's own brewery will host an 1980s-themed dance party complete with 1980s music and 1980s cocktails at 1980s prices. No cover charge!
  •  in Bethesda will host a "British Invasion" New Year's Eve ball featuring heavy hors d'oeuvres, games, a DJ and a continental breakfast. Cover starts at $30 but call ahead and get your tickets early — the price will likely go up as the evening goes on.
  • is hosting a New Year's Eve bash featuring an ice luge, drink specials and a DJ. No cover charge here.
  • For a kid-friendly New Year's Eve celebration, ring in the New Year Irish-style at  in Bethesda. When the ball drops in Dublin at 7 p.m. our time, RiRa will celebrate with a Guinness toast for adults and sparkling apple cider for kids, along with a special dinner menu. A band starts playing at 10 p.m., and the kitchen will be open till 1 a.m.

Dining Out and Dinner Specials

In restaurant-heavy Bethesda, there's far too many New Year's Eve dinner specials and fixed-price menus for us to list here.  But you can find everything you need to know about eating out Dec. 31 in Bethesda and surrounding towns on Open Table and Bethesda Row's website.

Bethesda highlights include a three-course menu at with live jazz and dancing for $69 per person, a "Mezza Madness" dinner at featuring Middle Eastern dim sum and a belly dancing performance for $75 per person and a special cava toast and DJ at for $85 per person.

Other restaurants in Chevy Chase, Potomac and North Potomac are also offering dinner specials, and we've listed a few below. But if you choose to eat out, Patch recommends that you call the restaurant ahead or reserve directly through Open Table. Many restaurants we called were filling up, and filling up fast. If you're willing to eat out earlier or later in the evening, though, you're likely to have a better shot of snagging a table. 

  • This Chevy Chase Italian cuisine hot spot, featuring the food of Chef Geoff Tracy, is offering any three courses for $39 per person. Be sure to call ahead.
  • Another classic Chevy Chase restaurant offering French specialties, La Ferme's spots are filling up fast for a New Year's Eve dinner that features a four-course menu for $80 a person. Call ahead.
  • In the mood for Japanese? New Year's Eve will be your last chance to snag December specials at Chevy Chase's Sushi Ko that include $5 happy hour cocktails and house wines, $4 Kirin beer and $5 to $7 food specials.
  • This iconic Potomac landmark, nestled along the Potomac River, is sure to be a romantic way to ring in the New Year. Fixed-price menus are $85 per person. Call ahead.
  • Fondly known as the "Cheers of Potomac," this Potomac Village restaurant is offering a special New Year's menu and live music starting at 9 p.m. Reservations requested.
  • This is another classic Potomac restaurant offering country French dining, and spots for New Year's Eve dinner are filling up fast here. Call ahead – your best bet is to dine early or later in the evening.
  • Rockafellas Restaurant: Less than a year old, this North Potomac bar and grill restaurant is hosting its first New Year's Eve party. They will have a DJ, a champagne toast and buffet all night long. No reservation required. Cover is $20 per person.
  • Beale Street Grill: Located in the Traville shopping center, Beale Street Grill is moving its regular Saturday night live blues music to Friday to help ring in the new year. The band will start around 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. No reservation required.
  • Pasha Lounge: The popular Kentlands Moroccan restaurant is serving a six-course fixed menu and featuring live music. They are offering two seatings for the evening: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Call ahead for reservations.
  • Le Palais: This Kentlands restaurant is offering an evening of authentic French fine dining with a special nine-course meal for $110 per person. Reservations required.

Throw your own

CVS pharmacies are open New Year's Eve and stock party favors and decorations for your 2011 bash. Check www.cvs.com for locations.

Don't forget to let us know about parties and specials we missed in the comments section. 

Happy New Year from Patch!

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