Here’s what December 26 looks like at my house. Wrapping paper and ribbons drift like tumbleweeds through our downstairs rooms, and the rugs have a disconcertingly gritty texture from bits of billionaire’s bacon, nuts, and crackers. Little sticks filled with gunpowder litter my dining room (along with the lingering whiff of fireworks), vestiges from our post-dinner Christmas crackers, and every drinking vessel that I own—from the hollow-stem Champagne flutes to plastic, milk-filled sippy cups—has been used by a lipstick-wearer and then placed somewhere strange, like under a chair. Wine bottles are everywhere—on the table, all over the kitchen, and on the mantel—and it looks like someone has performed surgery on my good linen tablecloth–the one that costs $35 to have laundered, and whose stains prompt a judge-y look from the launderer. I’m not even going to mention that it takes three or four dishwasher cycles to clean all the dishes, and that’s not counting the hour at the sink, hand-washing pots, wooden cutting boards, silver, and knives.
The good news is that you can actually dine and dash on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve: Feast your brains out and then simply pay the check and get up from the table. When you lay down your head in your pristine home, you will sleep the sleep of angels, happy in the knowledge that you won’t wake up to a Civil War battlefield.
• Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at Italian Kitchen
Look for a regular menu of Shea Gallante’s delicious, modestly priced cuisine.
• Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at Tarry Lodge There are tables open for dining (and you can probably find seven fish dishes on the menu—plus loads of great sparkling wine.)
• Christmas Eve a at The Cookery The lords of meat mayhem are slinging their regular menu all night long.
• Christmas and New Year’s Eve at Xaviars Restaurant Group
From the invitation: “The Tale of Two Eves: Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at the Xaviars Restaurant Group
Monday, December 24
For Christmas Eve, we are offering fabulous menus at all of the dining rooms in the Xaviars Restaurant Group. If you are not celebrating at home, we certainly hope you will choose to gather with friends and family in Piermont, Yonkers, or Congers for a Hudson Valley Christmas!
Monday, December 31
For New Year’s Eve, we are offering delectable and celebratory menus at all of the dining rooms in the Xaviars Restaurant Group. We invite you to join the celebration to ring in the New Year deliciously with friends and family in Piermont, Yonkers, or Congers with hopes for a terrific 2013
For reservations, please call:
Xaviars at Piermont (845) 359-7007
Restaurant X & Bully Boy Bar (845) 268-6555
X2O Xaviars on the Hudson (914) 965-1111
Freelance Café & Wine Bar (845) 365-3250
(Reservations for Freelance only taken for Holiday Dinner Service)”
• New Year’s Eve at The Cookery
From the site: “Save your party horns, stupid hats, overpriced prix fixe menus and celebrate New Year’s with the people you love and the food that warms you. We are open on Monday, December 31st from 4 to 10 pm serving all The Cookery classics plus the unmercifully carnivorous specials. If partying is what you’re looking for then Shots of Jameson at the River Road House afterwards! Call (914) 305-2336 for reservations.”
• New Year’s Eve, Plates on the Park
From the site: “Click here to see the amazing three-course prix-fixe menu from Chef Karp, all of which includes a glass of bubbly for clinking! On the early side (at 5 pm), it’s $60 with a child’s menu for $20, making family celebrations a great deal! At 7 and 9:30, the menu is priced right at $100 with the 9:30 seating going unlimited on the bubbly, DJ, and dancing! And if you’re coming from [sic] and still not done, join in for a drink at the bar and a spin in the dance nook. Here’s to lucky 2013!”
• New Year’s Eve at Crabtree’s Kittle House:
On Monday, December 31, there are three great Kittle House options to choose from. From the site: “First, an early seating in the main dining room designed for those planning to be somewhere else when the clock strikes midnight.
Second, a formal five-course gourmet tasting menu in the main dining room with music, open bar, wine, and Champagne toast at midnight.
Third, in the Carriage Atrium Room, it’s a Cabo San Lucas New Year’s Fiesta with Chef Marc Lippman, formerly the Executive Chef of Cabo’s famed Las Ventanas Resort, preparing a lavish grand buffet featuring his favorite Mexican specialties with live Mariachis and a DJ playing dance music all night long.
Everyone gets to watch the ball drop in Times Square as we count down 2012 with noisemakers, party favors, and Champagne.
Main Dining Room
5:00 – 7:00 pm (must be finished by 9:00 pm)
$65 per person plus beverages, tax, and tip
$32.50 for children under 12 years old
A Three-Course Dinner with a Choice of:
An Appetizer –
Winter garden root vegetable velouté chive labneh, pumpkin seed oil
Kittle House winter garden chopped salad, Champagne vinaigrette
Our house-smoked sustainable Norwegian salmon, Yukon Gold blini, Meyer lemon crème fraïche
Island Creek oysters on the half shell, American caviar
Roasted baby beets Hudson Valley goat cheese, pistachios, tangerine lace, pistachio Champagne vinaigrette
An Entrée –
John Boy’s Chickenwild mushrooms, shishito peppers, butternut squash, truffled Yukon Gold purée, Wild King salmon Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, yellow mole, citrus quinoa
Cervena venison, loin Brussels sprout/butternut squash/smoked bacon hash, quince compote, cranberry oil, Alaskan halibut oceanic herb broth, cockles, scallops, cauliflower purée
roast filet mignon of beef, matsutake mushrooms, bone marrow, red miso
A Dessert –
New York-style cheesecake with candied chestnuts
Kittle Crack Pie with coconut gelato
Vanilla crème brulée
Kittle Kat Chocolate Bar with vanilla bean gelato
A selection of gelato and sorbet
New Year’s Eve Celebration Dinner
Main Dining Room
9:30 – 10:00 – 10:15
A Five-Course Chef’s Tasting Menu
$150 per person plus additional beverages, tax, and tip
Includes open bar, a Champagne toast at midnight, noisemakers, live music, dancing
2) Chilled Olympia oysters with Osetra caviar and Meyer Lemon crème fraiche
Chilled Scottish prawns with sea urchin aioli, pomegranate oil, and wild tarragon
3) Poached Norwegian halibut with Champagne nage, gooseberries, Nantucket Bay scallops, asparagus
Roasted red snapper with Nantucket Bay scallop and butternut squash risotto, rich shellfish broth
4) Wagyu beef tenderloin with matsutake mushrooms, bone marrow, red miso
Roast loin of New Zealand Cervena venison, smoked bacon-Brussels sprout-butternut squash hash, quince, cranberry oil
5) Two very special desserts
Petits fours and coffee service
Atrium Carriage Room
It’s a Cabo San Lucas New Year’s Eve fiesta!
Featuring live mariachis and the great Latin dance music of DJ Tomas
Arrival 9:00 – 9:30 – 10:00
Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres until 10:30 pm
A lavish buffet dinner featuring Chef Marc’s greatest Mexican food hits; a ceviche and taco station and a Cabo Wabo Margarita bar! Includes an open bar, wine, and Champagne, midnight Champagne toast, noisemakers, and special Mexican party favors.
$135 per person plus any additional beverages, tax, and tip
The Cabo San Lucas fiesta buffet menu:
Christmas Eve salad with chipotle-lime dressing
Guacamole con totopos
Jicama, pineapple, cucumber con cacahuates
Ensalda Mexicana-avocado, tomato, red onion
Mexican corn “asado”
Saffron rice and frijoles de la olla
Shrimp in a spicy red sauce from Veracruz
Scallops and avocado from Colima
Grouper with papaya and red onion from Loreto
Baja-style fish tacos, tacos al pastor, chicken adobo tacos with salsa verde, pico de gallo, jalapeno escabeche, guacamole, flour and corn tortillas
Red snapper “Veracruz style”
Orange and tequila shrimp from Jalisco
Black turkey mole from Oaxaca
Rabbit in a chili sauce from Taxco
Mexican hot chocolate with churros
biscochitos-Mexican wedding cookies
For Kittle House Restaurant and Inn reservations and additional information please call (914) 666-8044.”
Here’s the thing: On January 1, remorse is going to hit you like a ton of bricks; you’re going to feel fat, hung over, broke, stuck in a stupid job, and tragically out of style. Is it true? Look—it probably is, but it’s also that cruel moment of
re-assessment that comes every New Year’s Day. I’m thinking, your life is going suck anyway, so you might as well go out in a blaze of glory. For me, that means salty, fatty pork products like these here, at Mima Vinoteca: prosciutto, porchetta, bresaola, and salami. Mmmm—remorse be damned.