The usual New Year's Eve drill, of course, is to get hammered at a party while noshing away at whatever happens to be put out. This year, why not preface the evening with a real meal, sending out the old with one last act of gluttony? In one of this week's Short Lists
"Out With a Bang" Rob and Robin suggest the most extravagant NYE dinner options. For those of us who have made resolutions to spend something less than $650 on holiday meals, there are some other possibilities more likely to fall within your credit limit.
davidburke & donatella
David Burke, a.k.a. the Mulleted One, might be overly theatrical, but he's just the guy for a once-a-year blowout bash. Expect parfait of hamachi, avocado, hijiki, and baby mche; foie gras torchon, candied nuts, duck gele, and toasted brioche; and other treats, including Burke's trademark lollipops.
Cost: $150 per person if you get there early, and $225 per person after 8 p.m.
Hours: Seatings are every half-hour from 5 to 10:30 p.m.
Go mushroom crazy at the black-and-white truffle ball. Andrew Carmellini's understated cooking is just the thing to bring in the New Year on a note of sustained tranquillity.
Cost: $250 per person for the "Nero-Bianco Capo di Anno" tasting menu with Alba white and Provenal black truffles.
Hours: The mushroom dinner starts at 8 p.m.; the regular menu is available for guests arriving between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The Mermaid Inn
This is one of few relatively proletarian restaurant celebrations, a raucous, cheaply priced party with lots of noisemakers, beer, champagne, and two all-seafood menus, which include crab soup with sherry and Old Bay croutons, oysters with chile-lime mignonette, and pan-roasted codfish with lobster-and-corn risotto and citrus-herb butter.
Cost: $45 for a five-course seafood menu starting at 6:30 p.m.; $65 for a six-course menu starting at 9 p.m.
Room 4 Dessert
We plan to repair to Room 4 Dessert, where they won't have a special menu or elaborate theme. The night starts at nine, goes late, and costs $100 for all the sparkling wine you can drink and what chef Will Goldfarb is calling "punch and pie," in addition to his usual assortment of sweet and savory dishes.
Cost: $100 for all the champagne you can drink and as many Goldfarbian creations as you can hold.
Hours: 9 p.m. onward. Don't make any plans for the next day.
Out With a Bang [NYM]