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Upscale is on tap for New Year's parties

December 30, 2005|By By Greer Wylder

On Saturday night, you can sit in front of your television set, a glass of bubbly in hand and drink in the new year by watching the same old ball drop in Times Square.

Or you can finish out 2005 and bring in the New Year with something fresh -- like a five-course dinner and dancing at one of the newest restaurants on the Newport Coast, a $40 dinner for two at one of Newport Beach's best Asian restaurants, or a complete evening at a nightspot that provides couples dinner, champagne, dancing and more for $500.

At Mastro's Ocean Club in the Crystal Cove Promenade, the New Year's Eve package includes appetizers, a five- course meal, imported cham- pagne, a buffet of desserts, live entertainment and dancing, and, of course, party favors.

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Mastro's is known for its excellent seafood dishes, including a wide variety of lobster, crab and other shellfish, along with chicken and steak entrees. The New Year's Eve package costs $190 per person with dinner reservations accepted between 7 and 11 p.m. Your table is yours for the entire night.

Reservations need to be guaranteed by credit card for this package. Mastro's is at 8112 E. Coast Highway in Newport Beach, (949) 376-6990.

One of the best New Year's Eve deals has to be at Thaifoon in Fashion Island. For $40, couples will get an appetizer, two entrees and a banana caramel spring roll Cheesecake, bananas and caramel encased in a flaky spring roll (with vanilla bean ice cream and strawberries) for dessert.

The two appetizer choices are lettuce wraps (chicken stir-fried in an Asian marinade and served with fresh lettuce wraps) and crispy crab wontons (wontons filled with crab and cream cheese, served with a sweet chili sauce).

For an entree, diners can choose between Mongolian beef (filet mignon in a dark sweet sauce with green onions); Kung Pao chicken or shrimp (stir-fried with red and green bell peppers, roasted peanuts and dried chilies) honey walnut chicken or shrimp (in a creamy honey sauce with candied walnuts and straw mushrooms); or pad Thai (long rice noodles stir-fried with shrimp, chicken and vegetables and topped with peanuts).

The dinners will be served from 4 p.m. to closing. For reservations, call (949) 644-0133.

Finally, if you want 2005 to end with a bash, there's a big party at the Clubhouse at South Coast Plaza. To give you an idea of the extravagance that awaits you, the co-sponsors of the evening are Lamborghini of Orange County, Skyy 90 Vodka and Samuel Adams Beer.

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