New Year’s Eve, like Valentine’s Day, is what folks in the restaurant biz refer to as “Amateur Night” -- meaning the patrons who frequent eateries on these occasions are not necessarily the most serious diners. That said, some of our local chefs have come up with seriously creative menus for the evening.
North One 10 gets your table “sharing and grooving” with grilled shrimp cocktail, caviar hush puppies, oysters with spinach and brie, and short rib sloppy joes. Following courses bring choices, which include, for starters, white truffle beef tartare with parmesan crisps, followed by duck and yellow beet salad with artichoke vinaigrette, and entrees of porcini-dusted sea bass, or lamb chops with Pommery vinaigrette, corn stuffing, and fig compote, or grilled steak and eggs with swiss cheese home fries and truffled fritatta. Try a warm chocolate egg roll with hazelnut cotton candy for dessert.
Starting at 9:00 P.M., $95.00 plus tax and gratuity. $135.00 with wine pairings. For reservations: 305-893-4211. 11052 Biscayne Blvd.
At Chispa in Doral, choices for each course include a ham-wrapped oyster “teaser”, blue crab salad, and entrees such as wood oven-roasted bone-in rib eye steak or ancho and honey-laquered Chilean sea bass.
First seating at at 5:30 p.m., $49.00 per person. Second seating at 10:00 p.m., with champagne toast, $69.00. Tax and gratuity are not included. For reservations: 305-591-7166. 11500 N.W. 41 Street, Doral.
La Cofradia is going all out with six courses that include foie gras terrine with sauteed spinach, beets, and balsamic reduction; malpeque oysters; pan-seared halibut with jumbo lump crab hash browns; porcini risotto with Périgord truffles; filet mignon with sweetbreads and polenta; and a chocolate cake dessert with too many components to list here. For an additional $250 per person, you can enjoy a sip or two (1/2 ml.) of Louis XIII Fine Champagne Cognac, served in a personal-sized crystal bottle and a Louis XIII case (which you get to keep).
Dinner begins with an 8:30 p.m. reception and seating at 9:00 p.m., $250.00 per person. 160 Andalusia Ave., Coral Gables. For reservations:305-914-1300
The Fontana and Palme d’Or restaurants in the Biltmore Hotel will be serving their regular menus, which are actually much better than regular. The party here is separate, so you can dance the night away in the Country Club Ballroom with live music by the Outreach Band and DJ Jorge Castellanos, and click glasses in a champagne toast at midnight.
9:00 pm thru 2:00 am: $75.00 per person. Cash bar. 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables. For reservations:305-913-3206.
Over and up at Atrio in Level 25 in the Conrad Miami, dinner includes pink champagne sorbet with miso glaze, a soup of chanterelle cappuccino with prosciutto froth, a fish course of sea scallops with truffles and lobster fricassee, and a meat course of filet mignon with smoked quail mousse and port wine sauce.
First seating $100.00 per person; second seating, including a champagne toast, 9:30 p.m. until midnight and is priced at $150.00 per person. Conrad Miami, 1395 Brickell Avenue. For reservations: 305-503-6529.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink’s “Under the Big Top Bash” brings a three-course menu, with one bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne per two guests. For starters you can choose between Kumomoto oysters, heirloom tomato salad with Key West shrimp and green goddess dressing, and crispy pork belly with kimchi and crushed peanuts. Main course picks include wood-roasted yellow jack with lobster panade and parsley butter sauce, and almond-braised short ribs with whipped sunchokes, persimmon compote, and toasted almond salad. A shellfish platter “royale” is offered for an additional $96. Dessert is an assortment of pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s creations.
Seating is at 9:00 p.m., $175.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity.130 NE Street in Miami. For reservations: 305-573-5550
Mark’s South Beach will be serving hors d’oeuvres on the terrace, followed by a four-course dinner with selections such as scallops and Fiji shrimp with saffron risotto cake and pepper coulis; puree of English pea soup with apple wood-smoked bacon and truffle créme fräiche; for entree, Kobe rib-eye with truffle duchess potatoes, or Dover sole stuffed with Maine lobster, or pomegranate glazed duck breast and confit with spiced apple bread pudding; dessert offerings include a “sabotage” of chocolate.
The Hotel Nash, 1120 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. For reservations:305-604-9050. $250 per person plus tax and gratuity. Includes open bar.
Norman Van Aken will be presenting special dinners at his new Tavern N Town restaurants down in Key West.
First seating for three-course dinner at Tavern is 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., for $75.00; second seating is at 9:00 p.m., with champagne toast, at $100.00 per person. Town will serve a five course menu at 9:00 p.m. priced at $150.00 per person with Champagne toast. Plus tax or gratuity.
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Beachside Resort & Conference Center, 3841 North Roosevelt Blvd. For reservations:305-296-3676.
For the ultimate New Year’s Eve: The Setai Hotel’s “Beyond Paradise” party will feature cocktails in the courtyard, a five-course Lagoon Dinner menu with wine pairings, and late night dancing at the Paradise Club with music by Jennifer Hudson and DJ Sky Nellor. The event is hosted by Dylan McDermott.
Cost: A thousand dollars per person. Dinner at 7:45 p.m., Paradise at 9:00 p.m. Collins Ave. and 21st St.; 305-520-6262. -- Lee Klein