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New Year's celebrations

Tastemakers

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Sitting at home watching that ball drop on TV? That isn't fun ... it's watching other people have fun. If you plan to count down to 2002 in one of Richmond's restaurants, you'd better make those reservations quick. Here's a brief sampling of what's available.

For food fanatics, Pomegranate's first New Year's Eve looks decadent in true European fashion. It features a five course meal served in seatings throughout the evening. Entrée choices include seared Arctic char with ragout of white beans and grilled veal chops over roasted potatoes. The meal ends with Parmesan ice cream. Reservations required. Dressy casual. 1209 E. Cary St. Reservations required. 643-9354.

The Tobacco Company offers three options, depending on when you want to wake up the next day. Upstairs, among the white-linen, dinner is served from the regular menu with a champagne toast, 5 p.m.-midnight. At the bar, the Jimmy-O Band keeps the crowd entertained for $20. And downstairs in the club, the bar dishwasher is in continuous operation as tuxedoed party-goers knock back unlimited food and drink from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $125 per person. Reservations required for dinner and club. 1201 E. Cary St. 782-9555.

At The Hard Shell, diners have choices for each of their four courses, while Terri Murphy performs live jazz throughout the evening. Reservations required. $50 per person. Casual dress. 1411 E. Cary St. 643-2333.

Try to remember the spirit of the season while you're running around making accommodations for yourself. Back in early November, Shackleford's chef Mike Lowther was senselessly killed in a shooting at the age of 37. Lowther was also a poet and a father, and the owners and staff at Shackleford's have established a fund in his name to assist his young son's future education. You can donate to the fund at either the Richmond or Williamsburg location. 741-9900.

— Laura Davis

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