Celebrate New Year's Eve without the stress at these 10 restaurants 

Unrealistic New Year’s Eve bash expectations can unnecessarily ratchet up the stress. Where to go? What to do? Is it cool to want to just sit down to a pressure-free meal and forget the party?

Yes, it’s cool.

Here are 10 restaurants offering memorable last meals without the pomp and circumstance. You can even be in bed before midnight if you want. Holiday hours of operation may vary and reservations may be required.

click to enlarge S.E.A. - FILE PHOTO
  • S.E.A.
S.E.A. /$/ 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m./ South East Asian (Vietnamese, Laotian etc.)/ 741 Monroe Ave. & 1675 Mt Hope Ave. / 585-473-8031/ searestaurantrochester.cafecityguide.website

The menu at S.E.A. is like an old friend: warm, comforting, and reliable. Featuring a variety of Pho and other South East Asian standards full of rich, sophisticated flavors that are simultaneously familiar and deeply mysterious, S.E.A. is a beacon of hope in a world of uncertainty and our number one choice for the place to find your last meal of 2022.
Sodam /$$/ 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m./ Korean/ 900 Jefferson Road Bldg. 1 (behind Lorries Natural Foods)/ 585-475-9810/ sodamkoreanrochesterny.com
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  • Sodam.

Sodam offers a large variety of traditional Korean comfort food and regional favorites from its Henrietta location in the Genesee Valley Regional Market. From spicy Korean-BBQ to healthy vegetarian options and communal plates, Sodam has something for every palate at a modest price point and is a great option for sharing your last meal of 2022 with a group of friends and family.
Fiamma Centro /$$/ 5:00-10:00 p.m./ Italian (Campania Region)/ 4 Elton St. / 585-471-8917/ fiammarochester.com
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  • Fiamma Centro.

Fiamma Centro has a menu that largely revolves around its traditional Neapolitan wood-burning pizza oven, offering a large selection of specialties from the Campania region of Italy. On New Year’s Eve, Fiamma Centro also presents diners with a wide variety of traditional holiday seafood specials with wine pairing options prepared in its signature authentic style.

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  • Lento.
Lento /$$$/ 5:00-8:30 p.m./ American (Farm to Table)/ 274 N. Goodman St. (Village Gate)/ 585-271-3470/ lentorestaurant.com

Lento in Village Gate Square is a farm-to-table institution with a regularly evolving seasonal menu of contemporary American dining options. With a focus on French & Italian styled dishes made with fresh ingredients that are locally and regionally sourced, Lento is a sophisticated and forward-thinking restaurant that offers diners a thoughtfully prepared menu with sustainably minded holiday specials.
Rocco /$$/ 5:30-11:00 p.m./ Italian (Osteria)/ 165 Monroe Ave./ 585-454-35-10/ osteriarocco.com
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  • Rocco.
Since 2008, Osteria Rocco has been offering our community a well prepared, balanced, and often playful variety of casual Italian standards. Paring down its menu options to the absolute essentials, Rocco is everything you want an informal Italian dining experience to be: hearty and lovingly-prepared food served in a comfortable welcoming atmosphere. It is just the place to while away the final hours of 2022.

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  • Roux.
Roux /$$/ 11:30 a.m.-midnight/ French (Casual) / 688 Park Ave./ 585-461-2960/ rouxparkave.com

Casual French dining and a hip Old-World vibe define the experience at Roux on Park Avenue. Featuring a menu of brasserie-inspired dishes and drink selections, Roux has a progressive focus offering a large selection of natural wines to pair with classic French comfort foods like Steak au Poivre and Moules Marinières (Sailor-Style Mussels).
Shiki /$$/ 5:00-9:00 p.m./ Japanese (Sushi & Ramen)/ 1054 S. Clinton Ave./ 585-435-4710/ shikirestaurantrochester.com
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  • Shiki.
Shiki has been serving fresh authentic Japanese favorites from its South Clinton location since 2004. Chef-Owner Tanaka hails from Hokkaido in Northern Japan and specializes in traditional sushi, sashimi, ramen, and a variety of noodle dishes. With a unique atmosphere that resembles Tokyo office tower dining, Shiki places a specific emphasis on freshness, quality, and presentation.
Velvet Belly /$$$/ 5:00-10:00 p.m./ Seafood (Coastal Fusion)/ 3 Rochester Public Market/ 585-413-0825/ velvet-belly.com
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  • Velvet Belly.
Specializing in seafood and small plates, the menu at Velvet Belly in the Rochester Public Market is fresh, on-trend, and vibrant. With a well-crafted blend of traditional coastal seafood selections and cross-cultural fusion flavors, Velvet Belly is a lively up-and-coming spot to close out the year and will be offering unique holiday specials and cocktails this New Year’s Eve.
Park Avenue Pub /$$/ 4:30-7:30 p.m./ American (Traditional)/ 650 Park Ave./ 585-461-4140/ parkavepub.com
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  • Park Avenue Pub.
For people looking for something more traditional and familiar this New Year’s Eve, The Park Avenue Pub is the place to go. Offering a menu of modern steak, seafood, and pasta classics with matching wine selection, The Park Avenue Pub provides diners with a casual upscale dining experience in a cozy neighborhood setting. For New Year’s Eve, it offers classic and stylish surf and turf specials.
The Old Toad /$$/ British Pub/ 4:00-10:00 p.m./ 277 Alexander St./ 585-232-2626/ theoldtoad.com
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  • The Old Toad.
Rochester’s answer to the traditional British pub, The Old Toad embodies the enduring spirit of the United Kingdom. Featuring proud, authentic, and hearty foods such as fish & chips, Scotch eggs, and shepherd’s pie, the menu and accompanying selection of beers, ales, and ciders are steadfast in their adherence to the traditional pub aesthetic. This year, The Old Toad also offers a New Year’s Eve menu and drink specials. Expect the same dedication to tradition for which the pub is known.

J. Nevadomski is a contributing writer to CITY.
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