Party like it’s 2010

By JIM MACNIE  |  January 6, 2010

There's a lot to celebrate at the Knickerbocker Café, 35 Railroad Avenue, Westerly. It isn't every year that a landmark music club rises from the ashes. Appropriately, they have an icon of the local blues scene leading the year-end festivities. DUKE ROBILLARD brings his smooth sting to the stage for a set of hard-swinging action. Dinner, with food by Chef Frank Algiere, is from 6 to 10 pm; the music starts at 9:30 | $50 | 401.596.4225 |

My wife and I closed out the summer by swooping into the OCEAN MIST, 895 Matunuck Beach Road, Matunuck, for a scrumptious and fun dinner in September. The place was jammed. But even the owner says that it's the brunches that put the menu on the map. The Mexican meals have been buzzed about for years, and whether you're looking to re-carb after eradicating a few brain cells with New Year's revelry, or pre-carb for your annual date with the Atlantic Ocean, a taste treat awaits you at 9 am | 401.782.3740 |

Some of us like to start the new year with a grand view of what lies ahead. The vista of Narragansett Bay that can be seen from the seaside windows of the COAST GUARD HOUSE, 40 Ocean Road, Narragansett, is a literal view that prompts such symbolic notions. The waves crash on the rocks mere feet from your omelet or French toast or burger or crab cake. Brunch is a blast when you're in an inspiring spot. It will be served from 10 am to 3 pm | $25.95 | 401.789.0700 |

MAKING THE PLUNGE You can dive in (or just watch) in Newport and Jamestown, or see real polar bears at the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

The effects of our massive snow storm are gone, but the chill of that dumping is still in the air. I wonder if there might be fewer participants at the various PENGUIN and POLAR BEAR PLUNGES at all the usual spots this New Year's Day. It takes a certain sense of daring (mixed with a full-tilt lunacy) to leap into the waves on a "warm" January 1, never mind one that has been preceded with a blast of arctic air. I mean, the river across the street from us in Wyoming has even iced over — that doesn't happen often. That said, you know there will be plenty of silly splashers trying to grow goose pimples and turn a disturbing shade of blue as they barrel across the sand and hit the surf around the state. It's just the way it is. The Jamestown action takes place at noon at Mackerel Cove on Beavertail Road, a superb place to hang even if you're not plunging (401.823.7411). The Newport scene goes down at noon at Easton's Beach on Memorial Boulevard. There's music and food after the insanity subsides. Donations go to the A Wish Come True! Fund (401.846.0028).

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