Mercado Forces

"Everybody's doing the gouge thing," says Berglund, "and we just thought, what's the point? It's going to be loads of fun--we'll have hats, noisemakers, balloons, we'll really get into it, all that rowdy stuff." How rowdy can things get in candlelight? Find out for yourself: At press time the Local had about 20 reservations left.

Table of Contents seems to be splitting the difference between rowdy and refined: Their $65 prix-fixe meal will feature live music and includes treats like grilled venison loin with huckleberry jam on a black-truffle-potato pillow, and options like 100-year-old, $15-an-ounce Madeira. A full vegetarian menu is available, and there will be options for more extravagant menu upgrades, too.

If your plans are to stay inside and batten down the hatches, however, you're not alone. Alexander Dixon of St. Paul's Zander Cafe, is closing for New Year's so he and his staff can celebrate at home. But you can join him bright and early New Year's Day, at a new annex tentatively dubbed Z. It opens this week and will serve breakfast treats like five sorts of eggs Benedict, omelets, and baked goods. Z, 518 Selby Ave., St. Paul, (651) 225-8933 will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday.

If you still can't make up your mind, check out the City Pages New Year's Guide in the December 22 and 29 issues; it will list as many restaurant specials as possible, though there's no telling which will have tables available. Meanwhile, here's the information you need to make reservations at the aforementioned dining spots:

Goodfellow's
40 Seventh St. S., Mpls., (612) 332-4800

Auriga
1934 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., (612) 871-0777

La Belle Vie
312 Main St. S., Stillwater, (651) 430-3545

The Local
931 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., (612) 904-1000

Table of Contents
1310 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., (612) 339-1133

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