So Long 2011…10 Great Ideas for Ringing in the New Year!

When it comes to a special New Year’s Eve dinner date, you will be hard-pressed to make a choice in Staunton, an acclaimed foodie destination that is just as hip as it is historic.

1.) Zynodoa is rolling out the red carpet with their six-course Epicurean Adventure this New Year’s Eve. Known for their farm-to-table offerings, Zynodoa’s exclusive New Year’s Eve menu stays true to form with Virginia-raised trout, beef, oysters, and more. Expect to see award-winning Virginia wine available for pairing as well (additional $45). Make your reservation for either the 5 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. seating. $85 prix fixe.

Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center

2.) Should you care to stay the night, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel is just steps away. Ask for the hotel’s New Year’s Eve Epicurean Adventure package – which includes Zynodoa’s special event, a New Year’s Day breakfast for two in the hotel restaurant, late check-out, and complimentary parking. Book the night for a rate of $317 per couple (wine pairing not included).

3.) Always a crowd-pleaser, The Steel Wheels will be performing at Mockingbird Roots Music Hall on New Year’s Eve with their Independent Music Award-winning blues/bluegrass/old-time/fiddlin’ Americana sound. Enjoy a three-course dinner in the Music Hall, the concert, and a midnight champagne toast for $60 per person. Buy tickets online and call 540-213-8777 to make your Music Hall dining reservation.

4.) Mill Street Grill is offering good southern comfort food with your choice of pork loin, lamb, salmon, ribs, and more from 3 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.

Couples who enjoy a little entertainment after dinner will find these venues and artists quite appealing. Maybe this is the night that you do a little of this and a little that. You know, sample the town.  Everything’s walkable!

5.) Like to laugh and love the stage?  The American Shakespeare Center has a 7:30 p.m. showing of the hysterical, and often snarky, one-man show, The Santaland Diaries, based on National Public Radio’s David Sedaris and his real-life tale of being an unemployed actor/writer working as an elf in Macy’s department store in New York City. Mature content. Purchase tickets from $18 to $24.

Bryan Eijah Smith & The Wild Hearts

6.) The Pompei Lounge presents its 2nd Annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball with the Alternative-Americana set of Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. $5 cover charge includes a champagne toast at midnight and face painting is free.

7.) Just down the street, Downtown 27 features the modern rock sounds of Maybe Tomorrow. For $75 per person, enjoy an appetizer, dinner and dessert, a non-alcoholic beverage, and entrance to the Back Bar. If you’d like to upgrade to the $90/person ticket, a table in Back Bar will be reserved for your party of four (no individual sales).

8.) The Darjeeling Cafe welcomes guests to their New Year’s Eve Extravaganza with “a four-course dinner, champagne, pretty clothes, great atmosphere …” all for $60 per person or $100 per couple and $15 per person with wine pairing.

9.) Baja Bean continues their annual Findells Rockin’ New Year’s Eve from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m.  This is a rollicking fun time, attracting a fun and lively crowd, year after year.

Byers Street Bistro

10.) In the Wharf District, Byers Street Bistro welcomes The Snowbirds for their NYE Bash from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. If you love acoustic classic rock, this is your concert.

So what will you choose this New Year’s Eve? Cheers to a bountiful, engaging, and energetic 2012!

For more information about Staunton, please visit our web site at

Casey Higgins is a Shenandoah Valley girl residing in the Richmond area with her husband and two children. She writes for Virginia Tourism Corporation presenting travel ideas for families and couples, shining a light on hidden gems, and uncovering hometown delights. Follow her on Twitter at @jccjhiggins.


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