Pullman brings back the roaring ’20s with a Prohibition-themed New Year’s Eve party

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New Year’s Eve Prohibition Style Dinner and After Party

Pullman — Saturday, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. (Party at 10:30 p.m.)

Pullman Bar and Diner -- Little Village  archive photo
Pullman Bar and Diner — Little Village archive photo

Ring in the new year with a hint of nostalgia at Pullman this Dec. 31. The popular Iowa City restaurant and executive chef Sepehr Sadrzadeh are putting together a fun and delicious event in the style of a 1920s speakeasy.

The idea for a speakeasy-type party had its origins late last year, Sadrzadeh said in an email, but the restaurant didn’t have the time to do it up right. Once they started planning for this year, the notion was expanded. “We just kind of thought why not extend the party into dinner service and do the prohibition-era decor all night,” Sadrzadeh said, adding, “We can get a little whimsical sometimes.”

That whimsy at its full extent now includes both the dinner — a seven course extravaganza available at $100 a person — and an after party — a no-cover late-night event complete with champagne toast at midnight.

The meal, Sadrzadeh said, is “based off of old-school French technique and flavors, as well as some American staples from the early 1900s.” Each of the seven courses is accompanied by a special drink pairing. “We tested cocktails all last week,” Sadrzadeh said, “and I was really excited about what our bar staff had developed.” Overall, the dinner is of the sort “that would probably be found in a classy restaurant back in the day,” he said. “However, each course will definitely have our spin on it. You should expect the unexpected.”

For the after party, which starts at 10:30 p.m. and is open to the public, Pullman’s bartenders will be serving both favorites from their regular menu and twists on period-appropriate classics. There will be drink specials available all night, but, Sadrzadeh said, “you’re going to have to come in and party with us to see what they are!”

Sadrzadeh, who was hailed as Iowa City’s Top Chef by the Downtown District in February and featured during this year’s Witching Hour Festival on the panel Hip Hop Kitchen: The Art of Freestyle, said he was excited for the challenges of the evening and the chance to celebrate with the Pullman community.

“I’m very excited about the experience my staff is going to have in the kitchen doing more finesse driven, fine-dining style food. They work very hard on our regular menu everyday and events like this give us some spontaneity and creative release in our lives. This dinner will cap off a hard-worked year for us at the diner and being able to end the year along side my staff and patrons at an event like this … it’s a blessing.”

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