What do we love about New Year’s Eve? It’s a celebration of everything good about the year with enough booze to blot out what we want to forget. Add a great meal — especially one that someone else prepared — and you’re ushering in the next 12 months in effortless style.
Whether you’re an early-to-eat-and-early-to-bed sort, or your idea of a good time doesn’t begin until the ball drops, we’ve found a restaurant that’s an ideal fit for your 2007 finale. Just be sure to call early for reservations.
You’ll have a great meal with enough time to arrive at a late night party if you dine at Cobble Hill’s Provence en Boite, where chef Jean-Jacques Bernat will be serving a New Year’s Eve feast from 5 to 8:30 pm. The $65, five-course dinner (with one glass of champagne) begins with an “amuse bouche,” to be followed by your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert.
Bernat’s lush offerings include a warm onion tart with goat cheese and baby greens, and entrees such as roasted rack of lamb, served with baby vegetables, roasted chestnuts and berry sauce.
Bernat is as adept at the sweet side of the menu as he is the savory (the cafe serves as a patisserie, too), so the desserts will be splendid.
LouLou, the tiny, romantic bistro in Fort Greene, entices diners with chef Bill Snell’s updated French menu. For New Year’s Eve, Snell is offering a $55, four-course menu with choices for the vegetarian and carnivore. Although the prix fixe doesn’t include wine, one can take in the intoxicating rack of wild boar with fig confit and mascarpone polenta, or coffee- and coriander-crusted sirloin steak, and for dessert, there’s flourless chocolate cake with vanilla bean Chantilly whipped cream.
Snell’s Cocotte restaurant in Park Slope is bringing more Gallic treats to diners. Again, for $55, diners can enjoy three courses, and wine is extra. Revelers have their choice of two to three selections per course like duck foie gras terrine or crab cakes to start, duck with bacon-braised red cabbage or pan-seared sea scallops as an entree, and for the finale, there’s chocolate mousse or a traditional “buche de Noel” (a traditional French Christmas cake shaped like a tree log and covered with meringue “mushrooms.”)
Charlie Statelmen, chef-owner of Cafe On Clinton in Cobble Hill, is offering three seatings for the evening (5:30 to 6:30 pm, includes the full menu as well as specials; 7:30 to 8:30 pm, features half the standard menu, specials and a five-course tasting menu; and 10 to 10:30 pm introduces the five-course tasting menu with one bottle of champagne).
At Cafe On Clinton, you can put all the ills of 2007 behind you while sipping oxtail consomme with earthy black truffles, then choosing among the filet mignon with bearnaise sauce, mashed potatoes and asparagus or lobster with a gingered Sauternes sauce.
Late diners can linger at the tables or congregate at the bar to toast and watch the ball drop.
“No bells, whistles, balloon drops or orchestra. Just great food and drink,” promises John Tucker, owner of the venerable Rose Water in Park Slope. The eatery’s new chef, Marcellus Coleman, is spinning out a fabulous five-course dinner with two to three options per course.
Start with “hamachi” (yellowtail) accompanied by a lapsang sake gelee. Follow that with a terrine of foie gras then a wild mushroom cooked in parchment paper, or maybe a lovely, butter-poached lobster? Take a sip of wine before diving into the truffle-crusted rack of lamb or the roast squab with boulangerie potatoes.
For dessert at Rose Water, the timbale of bittersweet chocolate mousse with caramel ice cream sounds divine. The entire blowout is offered for $100 per person, plus $45 to pair wine with each course.
Follow the aromas of cinnamon and cardamom to the Fez Cafe in Windsor Terrace, where chef-owner Bahija Elmourabit is putting the finishing touches on a Moroccan feast. For $45, the chef is offering three courses that begin with Moroccan mussels in white wine with turmeric, entrees such as lamb shank with shiitake mushrooms and Israeli couscous or grilled salmon with mustard sauce and sauteed vegetables. The meal concludes with chocolate cake or baklava and ice cream.
Jacques Gautier will be putting his spin on Latin cooking at Palo Santo, another Park Slope favorite. The menu hasn’t been decided upon yet — that usually happens during the early morning hours when Gautier is shopping for provisions — but he has set a price for the two New Year’s Eve seatings. At 6 pm, he’s offering five-courses for $50, wine not included. At 9 pm, he’ll be dishing out a nine-course meal with wine pairings for $100. Palo Santo functions as a wine bar, too, so whatever he’s pouring will be excellent.
Just to give you an idea of the chef’s style, I recently enjoyed Gautier’s superb grilled quail with a garlicky chimichurri herb sauce, and a rich duck leg with mole, roasted plantains and mustard greens.
You can have two courses, 10 courses, or eat your way into oblivion at Zipi Zape, where Spanish tapas are the house specialty. This Williamsburg favorite is the place to come for chef Diego Gonzalez’s vibrant small plates of octopus salad with pimento sherry sauce, Maryland oyster gratin with aioli sauce, or foie gras on toast with porcini pate and Rioja wine. Plates run from $1 to $14, and there are plenty of interesting wines to choose from.
Pietro’s in Bay Ridge is accepting reservations for New Year’s Eve dinner with seatings throughout the evening. Reserve early though, because owner Jimmy Mutkowski said, “It’s really warm and cozy here. Great for a party.” Chef Mario will be serving a full a la carte menu of Italian-American specialties with a complimentary glass of champagne. Among the many options: veal sorrentino with eggplant, prosciutto, mozzarella and white wine sauce or fresh filet of striped bass.
If you’re looking for a night of romance, look no further than Laura’s Gourmet Restaurant in Windsor Terrace. The Italian eatery will be serving a $55, four-course meal of salad, pasta, a main course such as stuffed filet of sole or a veal shank and dessert. Seatings begin at 4 pm. The meal comes complete with a glass of wine and a champagne toast that owner Laura Leone said, “Will get people ready to go out dancing!”
Ditmas Park’s answer to a hoedown is happening New Year’s Eve at The Farm on Adderley. There will be two seatings for the evening. Between 6:30 and 8:30 pm, chef Tom Kearney is offering a five-course, $55 prix-fixe menu. At the 8:30 seating, the menu is $75. You can look forward to cauliflower soup with an oyster fritter, morel mushroom risotto with fried leeks, Maine lobster with saffron orzo or pan-seared sea scallops with salsifry (a root vegetable with a delicate taste similar to oysters) for entrees.
The Farm is known for sophisticated desserts, so count on being delighted with gingerbread cake or a chocolate fondue with figs and pears. Both seatings are invited to the party that begins at 11:30 pm with a DJ and is followed by live music. For those not dining, there’s a $20 cover charge that includes unlimited champagne.
Patrik Landberg, the talented chef manning the stove at Melt in Park Slope, is offering a sophisticated prix-fixe meal and a late-night party as well. During dinner hours, Landberg’s five-course menu for $62 (wine is additional) begins with a wild mushroom filled puff pastry shell with white truffle dip, and proceeds to soup, an appetizer, entree and dessert. There are two to three choices with one vegetarian offering per course.
All the dishes sound delectable, but who could resist lush lobster bisque with a hint of Tahitian vanilla for the soup course, and a Valrhona chocolate souffle cake with whipped cream and fresh berries for dessert?
From 11 pm to 2 am, a DJ will spin tunes. During that time, diners can indulge in an all-you-can-drink (not including top shelf whisky and champagne) open bar for a flat fee of $40.
Downtown Atlantic in Boerum Hill will be ushering in the new year with help from the Carl Thompson and Friends trio which will ease diners into 2008 with their mellow jazz tunes. While you’re kicking back, indulge in chef Kurt Sippel’s four-course, $75 prix-fixe menu which includes wine. Enjoy a classic shrimp cocktail, roasted rack of lamb and a chocolate banana tart with warm fudge sauce among other American standards.
At DUMBO’s Five Front, where chef Paul Vicino satisfies diners with gutsy American bistro fare, you can dine, dance, and — if the weather allows — take an after-party stroll to the waterfront for a dazzling view of the Manhattan Bridge.
Vicino’s five-course, $85 prix-fixe dinner (add $35 for wine pairing) celebrates the coming year with a glass of champagne and dishes like briny shrimp bisque, herbed gnocchi with lobster “knuckles” and sage brown butter, and grass-fed beef tenderloin with braised short rib ravioli. The band hasn’t been selected yet, but Vicino promises “something lively.”
Plan on having one hell of a time at Paloma in Greenpoint where Chef Camille Becerra will host a party with a DJ and dancing as well as “championship karaoke with prizes.” Before you pick up the mic though, you’ll want to sit down for Becerra’s $85 prix-fixe menu which includes a glass of champagne, raw oysters, a chilled dill-infused shot of vodka, grilled prawns with traditional Mexican 12 grape salad or lamp chops, another glass of port with cheese and chocolate, Christmas pudding with ice cream and a midnight champagne toast.
After all that booze, you won’t care who hears you sing “Brick House.”
You can have a quiet dinner or party till you drop at the Greenhouse Cafe in Bay Ridge. From 4 to 8 pm, chef Robert Gonzalez is offering a three-course, prix-fixe dinner with a champagne toast for $35. Diners can enjoy the new American menu with several starters such as fried calamari and penne a la vodka with shrimp, entrees of broiled salmon with champagne dill sauce or veal “Francaise.” And for dessert standards done right, try the cheesecake or “brownie overload.”
At Greenhouse Cafe’s later seatings — 9:30 pm to 10 pm — the same menu is served with an open bar for $75 (not including bottles of champagne). A DJ will spin tunesto dance to. Hosts Bobby Daquara and John Keegan supply late night revelers with noisemakers so expect a rollicking good time.
The dining room at Carroll Gardens mainstay Marco Polo Ristorante is always stunning, but on New Year’s Eve, it will have more sparkle than ever. Beginning at 8:30 pm, the evening will feature a $125 four-course meal, an open bar, a midnight champagne toast and music from a live DJ. (The meal is just $60 for children younger than 12.) So, while it might be hard not to overindulge on the homemade spinach ravioli with butter-sage sauce and the duck breast salad, keep in mind that the party goes until 2 am, and you’ll want to have the energy to dance.
With two seatings — one early and one late — Park Slope’s Tempo Restaurant and Wine Bar can accommodate your New Year’s Eve dinner whether it’s the main event or simply a warm up. The early seating, at $59 per person, includes four courses of high-end dishes like sauteed foie gras and Maine lobster, while the second seating is $89 per person and has five courses as well as sparkling wine.
“Our first seating is geared to be an elegant dinner before people leave for wherever they’re spending the midnight hour,” said owner Robert Amato. “The later dinner is for people staying until midnight to raise a little hell.” And with music all night long, midnight party favors and 500 balloons waiting to be dropped, it sounds like quite the party indeed.
268 Clinton St. between Warren and Congress streets in Cobble Hill accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $16-$19. Dinner is served daily. Brunch is available on weekends, from 11 am to 3:30 pm. Subway: F, G to Carroll Street. For reservations, call (718) 625-5908. www.cafeonclinton.com.
337 Fifth Ave. at Fourth Street in Park Slope accepts MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $10-$22. The restaurant serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday; brunch is available from 11 am to 3 pm on the weekends. Closed Mondays. Subway: F to Ninth Street; R, M to Fourth Avenue. For reservations, call (718) 832-6848. www.cocotterestaurant.com.
346 Atlantic Ave. between Hoyt and Bond streets in Boerum Hill accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $8-$22. The restaurant serves lunch Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 4 pm. Dinner is available Tuesday through Sunday. Brunch is served on weekends, from 11 am to 3 pm. Closed Mondays. Subway: A, C to Hoyt St. For reservations, call (718) 852-9945. www.downtownatlantic.com.
240 Prospect Park West between Windsor Place and Prospect Avenue in Windsor Terrace accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $8-$17. Lunch and dinner are available daily. Brunch is offered on weekends, from 10 am to 3 pm. For reservations, call (718) 369-0716.
5 Front St. near Old Fulton Street in DUMBO accepts American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Bring stub from the Kwik Park parking lot (corner of Front and Dock streets) to the restaurant for validation, and you’ll park for $8. Dinner is served Wednesday to Monday. Closed Tuesdays. Brunch is available on weekends, starting at 11 am. Subway: F to York St, A, C to High Street. For more information, call (718) 625-5559. www.fivefrontrestaurant.com.
7717 Third Ave. between 77th and 78th streets in Bay Ridge accepts American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Three-course nightly prix fixe: $25. A la carte entrees: $16-$30. The restaurant serves lunch Monday through Friday, from 11:30 am to 4 pm. Dinner is served daily, and brunch is offered on Sundays, from noon to 3 pm. Subway: R to 77th Street. Valet parking available. For reservations, call (718) 833-8200. www.greenhousecafe.com.
1235 Prospect Ave. at Reeve Place in Windsor Terrace accepts American Express Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $9-$23. The restaurant serves dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Subway: F to Fort Hamilton Parkway. For reservations, call (718) 436-3715.
222 DeKalb Ave. between Ashland Place and Washington Avenue in Fort Greene accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $13-$19. Dinner is served daily. Brunch is available on weekends, from 11 am to 3 pm. Subway: C to Lafayette Ave., G to Clinton/Washington Street. For reservations, call (718) 246-0633.
345 Court St. at Union Street in Carroll Gardens American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $14.95-$27.95. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday; open from 3 pm to midnight on Saturdays; and from 1 pm to 10 pm on Sundays. Subway: F, G to Carroll Street. For information, call (718) 852-5015 or visit www.marcopoloristorante.com.
440 Bergen St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope accepts MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $16-$23. The restaurant serves dinner daily and brunch on weekends, from 11 am to 4 pm. Subway: 2, 3 to Bergen Street. For reservations, call (718) 230-5925.
60 Greenpoint Ave. between Franklin and West streets in Greenpoint accepts American Express, Diner's Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $7-$16. Dinner is served Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Subway:â€‚ G to Greenpoint Avenue. For information, call (718) 349-2400 or visit www.palomanyc.com.
652 Union St. between Fourth and Fifth avenues in Park Slope accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $18-$25. Dinner is available daily. Subway: R to Union St. www.palosanto.us. For reservations, call (718) 636-6311.
8727 Fourth Ave. at 88th Street in Bay Ridge accepts American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $9.95-$19.95. The restaurant serves lunch Monday through Friday, from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Dinner is available daily. Subway: R to 86th Street. For reservations, call (718) 238-8600.
263 Smith St. at DeGraw Street in Cobble Hill accepts American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $16.50-$28.50. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays. Subway: F to Bergen Street. For reservations, call (718) 797-0707. www.provenceenboite.com.
787 Union St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $19-$29. Dinner is served daily. Brunch is available on weekends, from 10 am to 3 pm. Subway: R to Union Street. For reservations, call (718) 783-3800. www.rosewaterrestaurant.com.
256 Fifth Ave. at Carroll Street in Park Slope accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. A three-course, $25 prix-fixe dinner is served Sunday through Thursday and $35 prix fixe is served on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant is open daily for dinner. For reservations, call (718) 636-2020 or visit www.tempobrooklyn.com.
1108 Cortelyou Rd. between Stratford and Westminster roads in Ditmas Park accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. Entrees: $11-$19. The restaurant serves lunch Tuesday through Friday, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and dinner daily. Brunch is available on weekends, from 11 am to 3:30 pm. Subway: F to Ditmas Park. For reservations, call (718) 287-3101. www.thefarmonadderley.com.
152 Metropolitan Ave. at Berry Street in Williamsburg accepts MasterCard and Visa. Tapas: $1-$14. Dinner is available Tuesday through Sunday. Closed Mondays. Subway: L to Bedford Avenue. For reservations, call (718) 599-3027.