Food Finds: New Year’s Eve Plans

Although my astrological sign (Cancer) would tell you otherwise, I don’t have much desire come New Year’s Eve to make lists of all that’s been accomplished this year and things that still need to get done in the next or generally reflect on the past 364 days.  By this time of year, I’m more than ready to get started on a new path with new adventures.  I tell you this because I’d thought about doing a round up of all things food as we head into 2011, but I’d much rather think about what you’re doing on NYE and all the yummy things we have to look forward to in the coming year.

I’ve never been a fan of spending gob loads of money to stand around with a bunch of strangers trying to pretend that we’re having a good time, so I rarely venture out on December 31.  This year, though, I’m putting on a nice outfit and heading to Vermilion for a 5 course Indian-Latin meal.  There appears to be some Iron Chef battle going on that night, too, which I’m not entirely clear on, but if you’re giving me duck vindaloo and shrimp paella while a DJ spins, battle it out to your heart’s content!  Other restaurants you should check out if you’re interested in ringing in the next decade on a tasty note:

  • Mercadito is also doing a 5 course menu with an open bar option.  This is one of my favorites for always good, always fresh and always fun Mexican.
  • Cafe des Architectes will let you celebrate in grand style by adding black truffles to your entrée. Go ahead! You deserve it.
  • Recently reopened Avec is throwing their hat into the 5 course NYE ring and has an optional wine pairing in case you don’t want to have to figure that out on your own.  As one of the best communal table places in the city, you may meet your 2011 crush while feasting on pork belly cassoulet.
  • I’ve never had a bad meal or a boring time at Carnivale, which on top of Caribbean inspired food will have samba dancers and other live entertainment. Really, can you go wrong with that?

If you’re looking to bring in the new year like a rock star, check out these sure to be spectacular parties:

  • After you have dinner at Cafe des Architectes, head to Le Bar which is located on the other side of the Sofitel. It’s one of my favorites for its cozy atmosphere (fire place included!), St. Germain inspired cocktails and lovely park view.
  • Sable Kitchen & Bar (which provided the delish treats and liquor laced cocktails for my birthday this year) is going retro with a 1940s theme party, complete with small plates, desserts and champagne.
  • Only a few tickets are left for Lumen’s Vintage Vegas Party, so get moving (procrastination is sooo 2010!).  I’ve had many a fun night at this swanky and sophisticated club, including birthday ’09.

And when you wake up on Saturday morning, feeling less like a rock star and more like you’ve been hit on the head with a boulder, put a coat on over your pjs (or your going out clothes, either way) and find yourself at one these hangover cure spots:

  • Eatt’s menu reads like the comfort food lover’s dream: corn beef hash and eggs, sausage, bacon and ham skillet (yes, that’s all in one dish!) and Dutch apple pancakes.  Go even if you aren’t hung over.
  • The Bongo Room is a no-brainer.  Just say yes to chocolate tower french toast, smoked duck breast Benedict or (and?) pumpkin spice pancakes.
  • If you can’t get to breakfast, let breakfast come to you.  Grub Hub offers delivery from hundreds of restaurants that usually don’t deliver.

I am wishing you all health, happiness, laughter, love and joy in 2011! Celebrate well and see you next year!

Just a note from your friendly lawyer by day, food blogger by night to say that all of my recommendations above are purely based on my own independent non-NYE visits to these places (except Grub Hub, which I’ve never used) and while I can’t guarantee that they’ll wow you like they did me, I really hope they do.  Obviously let me know if you go and what you think.


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