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Restaurants hope festive menus attract revelers for NYE celebrations amid COVID-19 concerns

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Restaurants hope festive menus attract revelers for NYE celebrations amid COVID-19 concerns

Venues prep for safe NYE celebrations

SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- "We've got escargot and Chilean sea bass. We've got a beef Wellington, Wells Farms bone-in ribeye. Lobster tails, prime rib, you name it. We're gonna just take care of our guests," said Tom Anderson, owner of Buck and Honey's Restaurants.

A festive feast is an incentive for many to bid farewell to 2021, dining out with friends. "Hot cocoa crème brûlée and an eggnog panna cotta are just two of the six desserts we have on our NYE menu," said Anderson.

Dane County has had critically high COVID-19 levels this past week, so venues like Buck and Honey's Restaurant are taking every precaution to keep New Year's Eve celebrations safe.

"We are spacing our reservations out longer to give people more time to come in," said Anderson.

When customers arrive, they're socially distanced. "We space our guests out and we're blessed that we have a lot of room in our restaurants," said Anderson.

Helene Palau, Director of Operations for Deja Food Restaurant Group, said, "L'Etoile's doing a five-course prix fixe menu. It does have some hidden surprises."

Aside from their spacious interiors, management at L'Etoile and Graze restaurants said they've prepared so that guests can ring in New Year's safely.

"We've limited our bar seating area, so it's only available for guests that have reservations. We've removed tables and both our restaurants haven't really gone back to full capacity," said Palau.

Still rebounding from the pandemic, these venues continue with safety measures, making sure their guests start the new year with a good time and great food.

"I just hope that everyone you know, goes into 2022 with, hopefully, a more positive outlook," said Palau.

"We've always had the concept of if we protect ourselves, then we can protect everybody else and that's been a focus of ours throughout COVID, but it's a time to celebrate," said Anderson.

The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Club is requiring vaccines for its New Year's Eve event and some other venues have simply decided to cancel.

A spokesperson for Cafe Coda on Williamson Street tells 27 News they decided to close temporarily due to the increasing omicron threats and for the safety of the community. They plan to reopen in the spring.

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