Hold the silly hats and loud noisemakers. And forget the four-course dinners that drag on until midnight. Because that kind of New Year’s Eve is simply not for everyone.
For free spirits who'd rather mark the occasion with spontaneity — and without reservations — we give you some places to hit spur-of-the-moment. And early in the evening, before the crowds descend.
Brasserie Cassis, 387 S. Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview, 516-653-0090, brasseriecassis.com
Bid adieu to 2014 the French way — with frog’s legs, escargots or a big pot of mussels. Plus pommes frites, of course. Eat at the bar and wash it all down with a glass of bubbly.
Swingbelly’s Smokehouse Beachside BBQ, 909 W. Beech St., Long Beach, 516-431-3464
Be among the first to check out the new ownership, chef and menu at this BBQ spot where a pulled pork platter, 12-hour brisket tacos or Kansas City ribs may be had at the bar (or a table) with one of the 16 interesting beers on tap. Like Pork Slap Pale Ale.
Mara’s Homemade, 236 W. Jericho Tpke., Syosset, 516-682-9200.
Channel your inner Cajun at the bar with a bucket of crawfish paired with Saison d’Ecrevisses, a Louisiana beer brewed especially for a meal of “mudbugs.” From 7 p.m. on, you’ll also find live jazz and dancing.
BBD’s — Beers, Burgers, Desserts, 49 Rte. 25A, Rocky Point, 631-849-1620, eatbbds.com.
Chef-owner Ralph Perrazo is featuring some rare and unusual beers on tap for the occasion. Try one at the bar, with a burger or bowl of ramen. Vegan and vegetarian choices, too.
Doppio Artisan Bistro, 24 Clinton Ave., Huntington, 631-923-1515
Grab a pizza, a panino or a pasta with a glass of wine at the bar of this hip-casual Italian spot.
Espana Tapas & Wine Bar, 655 Middle Country Rd. St. James, 631-656-1564, espanatapasny.com
While small-plates restaurants abound on Long Island, this is one of the few authentically Spanish ones. Come early and order tapas and wine at the bar — the way Spaniards do.
Brewology, 295 Montauk Hwy. Speonk, 631-801-6221, brewologypub.com
Think beer and pretzels — warm, wonderful pretzels, dunked in house-made mustard, eaten with one of the 24 craft beers on tap. Find them at the bar of this new Speonk gastropub.