Send off 2011 right—with a bangin’ meal. Plenty of hot places to eat, drink, and toast to the end of the year, so make a reso and raise a glass of bubbly on New Year’s Eve (that’s Saturday December 31st, yo).
SF’s newest hotspot ~AQ~ is offering a $90 prix-fixe by chef Mark Liberman, with dishes like cassava and bigeye tuna with yuzu, burrata, and radishes; charred foie gras (additional $10) with sea urchin, tart apple, and celery; black bass with black trumpets, ham, and pine nut bouillon; and beef two ways (cheeks and sirloin, creamed cabbages, and Parmesan). Note the option to add shaved black truffles to any dish for $10. The midnight toast will be accompanied by exotic citrus Champagne and verbena with pink peppercorns. Prices exclusive of beverages, tax, and gratutity.
You can make it a classic SF night by spending New Year’s Eve at ~BOULEVARD~, where a multi-course prix-fixe menu will be served during two seatings, 6pm-7:15pm and 8pm-10pm. The second seating will include a Champagne toast, entertainment, and midnight fireworks. Pop!
For a high-end experience, try the tasting menu at ~COI~ with 11 courses from chef Daniel Patterson. Based on the last meal I recently had there, it’s going to knock your socks off. $165/person; wine pairings additional $105.
Here’s a fantastic deal—you know they’ll feed you well at ~CONTIGO~ for New Year’s Eve. They’re prepping a tapas tasting menu with seven different Spanish tapas, including lomo Ibérico de bellota pinchos, a tartleta of local Dungeness crab and avocado, seared Atlantic diver scallops with jamón Serrano and black trumpet mushrooms, and lamb rib chops with merguez sausage, plus choice of dessert. There’s a vegetarian option too. To top it all off, at midnight guests will be invited to eat the traditional 12 grapes one at a time with every chime of the clock. Cute. $75, beverages, tax, and gratutity not included; optional Spanish wine flight will be avail.
In the mood for something a little more exotic? Try an Indian feast: ~DOSA ON FILLMORE~ will have a four-course, prix-fixe New Year’s Eve menu ($85) inspired by the coastal cuisines of southern India. Each course is multiple-choice—not as in the test, as in, it’s so hard to choose, they all sound great. At the Valencia location, they’ll have a similar menu of specials available à la carte. Some of their new takes on traditional coastal dishes include a Malabar fish stew of lobster, Dungeness crab, mussels, squid, and prawns with saffron idlis; a white truffle masala dosa; a Chettinad goat curry with lemon rice; and your choice of dessert too. Stick around ‘til midnight, when they’ll have sparkling wine and party favors to ring in the new year.
~AJANTA~ in Berkeley, another Indian option, will be open for dinner, serving the regular à la carte menu plus a three-course “Best of the Best at Ajanta” chef’s tasting menu ($25). The main course includes the Goan chicken dish galina shakooti, lamb rib chops, methi machi, and badal jaam; there’s a vegetarian prix-fixe ($22) too. Can’t beat that pricing.
For an intimate dinner in the Sunset, consider the inaugural New Year’s Eve feast at ~OUTERLANDS~. A four-course prix-fixe menu will be served with seatings at 6pm and 8pm. The menu includes Dungeness crab and citron to start, terrine of three rabbit preparations, leg of lamb with toasted farro, and brown butter cake to finish. Reservations are required and space is very limited, so reserve now by email (include your name, party size, preferred seating time, and any dietary restrictions).
Keepin’ it simple (and simply delicious) on New Year’s Eve is ~PERBACCO~: open with normal hours and no special menus or pricing.
Keepin’ it jazzy is ~PICCINO~’s Festa di Fine Anno (a celebration of farewell to the old year), starring a local jazz trio and a special four-course menu highlighting surf and turf. Two seatings, 5:30pm-7pm and 8pm-9:30pm. $95, includes wine pairings with each course, excludes tax and 20% gratuity.
Head over to ~NOJO~ for a traditional Japanese kaiseki menu. Expect a seriously multiple-course evening that will include kumamoto oyster with soy gelée, chawanmushi with chives and American sturgeon caviar, grilled duck breast, and even multiple desserts. By reservation only, and please take careful note of their NYE cancellation policy. 6pm: $78, or $118 with beverage pairing. 9pm: $90, or $140 with beverage pairing.
A little less traditional Japanese and a lot more Japanese party-style is ~NOMBE~, with a couple of NYE options. Reserve at least 24-hours ahead to partake in the seven-course kaiseki menu ($40, wine and sake pairing additional $20), seating between 6pm-8:30pm. The courses include an amuse-bouche (like bacon-wrapped ginko nuts with quail egg), assorted sashimi, a grilled item, a stew, dessert, and more. You can also order from the regular menu until 9:30pm. At 10pm, they’ll kick off the official New Year’s Eve par-tay ($60, tax and service included) with a DJ, buffet-style favorites (like Nombe chicken wings), and all-you-can-drink Sapporo. At 11:30pm have some hot soba noodles to say goodbye to 2011, watch them crack the sake barrel at midnight (all-you-can-drink taru zake from the barrel), and at 12:30am have some Japanese New Year chicken and mochi soup for good luck.
Make it a swanky night at ~TWENTY FIVE LUSK~, which is offering a four- or five-course tasting dinner ($95 and $110, respectively) and optional wine pairings ($55-$120) at two seatings, 5:30pm and 8pm. Featured dishes include poached Maine lobster cocktail, warm smoked sturgeon and salmon terrine, pork cheek crépinette, California squab, seared diver scallops, grilled bigeye tuna, Wagyu filet mignon, roasted goose, and passion fruit crème brûlée. Add freshly shaved Alba truffles to any course for $36. Make resos if you’re coming for dinner, or just drop in at the downstairs bar and lounge (5pm-1:30am). No cover if you’re “handsomely dressed in the spirit of New Year’s.” Keep it klassy, people.
Photo from AQ’s Facebook.
Saturday Dec 31, 2011