Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020; Con Alma NYE Dinner; Bridges & Bourbon NYE Celebration (12/31/19)

"Light-Up Night" takes on a new meaning with Steel Town Fire.

“Light-Up Night” takes on a new meaning with Steel Town Fire. photo: Martha Rial.

1) Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020 is the biggest New Year’s Eve party in the ‘Burgh, and happening all over the Downtown’s Golden Triangle. Musical highlights include The Shadowboxers (Highmark Stage in the Cultural District, 10:45 p.m.), Sierra Sellers (August Wilson African American Cultural Center, 7:15 and 9:15 p.m.), and Feralcat (Dollar Bank Stage in the Cultural District, 9 p.m.) The entertainment and attractions lined up for First Night are amazing: bands, dancers, comedians, acoustic musicians, dance lessons, a glow dance party, caricature artists, puppets, theatrical performances, and fire performers. Oh, and of course, fireworks! Events start at 6 p.m. and go until midnight. See our preview story.

2)  Con Alma (Spanish for “with soul”) combines Latin cuisine with a jazz setting. The cuisine includes tacos, quesadillas, and entrées such as arroz con pollo (“rice and chicken,” Cuban style). There are also vegetarian items, including a jimaca salad that incorporates mango. Almost every night features live music. Noted jazz guitarist/music director and co-owner John Shannon and his Nosmo King Trio are the house band, playing many weeknights. Weekends will feature other renowned local jazz artists. The bistro is 1900 square feet; plenty of room to bust a move. Sunday nights feature Latin jazz. This might be a good time to try one of the restaurant’s contemporary cocktails, like Root Down, which mixes Anejo Rum with coffee liquor among other ingredients. Con Alma is closed Tuesdays but opens 5 p.m. every other day except Sunday. An outdoor patio and daily vinyl happy hour are other big draws here. In addition to Shannon, the other co-owners are General Manager Aimee Marshall and Executive Chef Josh Ross.

Con Alma is featuring a special New Year’s Eve prix fixe four-course dinner and champagne. Live music includes the Frank Cunimondo Trio from 7 – 9 p.m. and the NYE Quartet from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. Seatings at 7 and 10 p.m. 5884 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside. (CM, RH)

3) Downtown’s Bridges & Bourbon restaurant will be having a special New Year’s Eve celebration with hors d’oeuvres, drinks, party favors, and champagne. There are three packages of varying degrees to choose from for your celebrating desires. Bridges & Bourbon features modernistic cocktails and engaging food. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. 930 Penn Ave., Downtown.

4) If jammin’ and dancin’ in the New Year is more your style, then Rivers Casino has you covered. One of Pittsburgh’s top dance bands, No Bad JuJu, performs in the Drum Bar beginning at 9 p.m. 777 Casino Dr., North Shore.