By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Tricks aren't for kids at the "Pimps and 'Hos" bash taking place at this infamous pan-Asian eateryknown more for its To Wong Foolike waitstaff and raunchy cabaret shows than its cuisine. Freak the night away with a lap dance from a sexy tranny, while one of the cross-dressing waiters/waitresses caters to your culinary whim. The drag queen show promises to have you salivating just in time to enjoy entrées like the Kyoto aged grilled sirloin, macadamia-nut-encrusted chicken, pan-roasted ginger duck, and oven-roasted vegetable napoleon. This sounds like the right freakin' way to start the New Year. Seating at 6 and 11, 24 First Avenue, 212-995-5500, $40 and $90 respectively. A.I.
This extravagant temple of Japanese cuisine offsets its 13-page menu, devotion to location-specific top-notch ingredients, and award-winning wine list with certain nightclub-like flourishesamong them an ice carving of the Buddha and a focus on cocktails. New Year's Eve is no exception, and the judicious appreciation of umami will be set to a hip-hop, rock, and an '80s soundtrack. Doors open at 8, 62 Thomas Street, $100. K.H.
Night of the Cookers
Everybody will know your name once the party kicks off at Fort Greene's favorite neighborhood chomping ground. The regular after-work crowd will take the reveling up a notch as DJ Ras spins hip-hop and r&b all night at the cozy restaurant's New Year's jam. If last year's party is any indication, you won't remember a thing until two days into 2007. Tickets include a buffet and champagne at midnight. Blackened catfish, bourbon chicken, spinach ravioli, and the blackened-seafood platter are some of the notable selections on the menu. At 9, 767 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, 718-797-1197, nightofthecookers.com, $30 in advance. A.I.
Water's Edge Restaurant
Luxuriating with fine food and wine is as good a way to usher in the New Year as any. Bask in the beauty of the Manhattan skyline as a Finland-born chef serves up seafood (Virginia crab bisque, grilled sturgeon) and local specialties like Long Island duck breast. You can also check out the selection of artisanal cheeses, including an Amish-made cheddar and a Tuscan pecorino fossa. Manhattanites enjoy the extra bonus of being able to ride the private (and free) "river boat" water taxi service available at 34th Street and the East River, adjacent to the heliport. Seatings at 5:30, 6:30, and 8:30, 44th Drive and the East River, Long Island City, Queens, 718-482-0033, $65 per person, $200 for 8:30 seating. Valet parking available. A.B.
There's a pink-lit disco ball glittering above an elevated platform at this Lower Manhattan joint. Maybe that's all you need to know if you want to ring it in John Travoltastyle and dance the night away under the spell of the hottest tracks. The space is vibrant and sports comfortable banquet seating and an array of artwork. Admission includes an open bar from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., hors d'oeuvres, champagne at midnight, and a continental breakfast in the morning. The DJ will spin hip-hop, '80s and '90s jams, and Top 40 rock. Doors open at 9 p.m., through 5 a.m., 104 Avenue C, 212-780-0202, alphabetnyc.com, $100. A.I.
The Back Room
Like a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the entrance is unmarked and down a set of stairs in a dark alley. Inside, there's a sliding bookcase that's actually a door leading to another bar, and the bouncers are selectivebut everybody knows about this place by now. Investor Tim Robbins has been spotted tending the bar, where drinks are served in teacups and the beer bottles are wrapped in brown paper bags. 102 Norfolk Street, 212-228-5098, price and time TBA. A.B.
Described as part lounge, part club, and part oasis, this trendy watering hole boasts three floors of dancing delight. DJs will spin Top 40 hits and hip-hop classics on the lower level, while '80s rock will rule the second. The price of a ticket buys access to an all-weather roof deck with smoking lounge, a five-hour open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and a flute of champagne at midnight. Tasty treats will include vegetable crudités, combination purees with grilled pita, goat cheese toasts, tomato and olive oil bruschetta, jerk chicken skewers, and mini meatballs. Doors open at 9 p.m., through 4 a.m., 35 East 13th Street, 212-843-2400, $125. A.I.
Chelsea Brewing Company
True alcoholics will appreciate the inevitable glory of drinking in the New Year in a 12,000-square-foot microbrewery and, oh yeah, restaurant. The view isn't too shabby either; the party takes place behind a two-story wall of glass that allows a view of the Hudson. Drink in style at one of the genuine mahogany bars or light it up in the cigar lounge. A DJ will provide the music, and the price of a ticket includes an open bar, appetizers and dinner buffet, and champagne at midnight. At 9, Pier 59, Chelsea Piers, 212-336-6440, $90 in advance, $115 at the door. A.I.
Rumor has it that this nightspot was voted Soho's hippest new bar and lounge, but that shouldn't prevent dive lovers out there from bingeing in the New Year with five hours' worth of free drinks at the spacious bars on the lower level and the wraparound-deck area upstairs. A world-renowned DJ (shh, it's a surprise) is scheduled to spin hip-hop, rock, and '80s music from an elevated booth for your booty-shaking pleasure. General admission includes access to all bars, champagne at midnight, hors d'oeuvres, and free tickets to the after-hours party. V.I.P. perks include a platter of food, bottles of premium vodka and champagne, strawberries and chocolate, and access to a private room. Doors open at 9 p.m., through 4 a.m., 323 West Broadway. $90 general admission, $225 V.I.P.A.I.