Even when it seems like things are going right, New Year's Eve is there to remind you of its banality.
Still, friends of every age insist on flying down from their Mid-Atlantic or Northeast shitholes to clog the roads, take all the Ubers, crowd the good restaurants, and leave their vomit and discarded shoes on the street. Even assuming you dodge the more esoteric pitfalls of New Year's Eve in Miami, there's the risk of an overpriced prix-fixe dinner, watered-down booze, and that server who drags their feet with the endless champagne. If you do go out, do be nice to your server.
So here's a suggestion: Gather up the money you planned to spend on New Year's Eve and take it to a handful of high-end Miami stores that deal in high-test caviar. Ask the knowledgeable staff to guide you through all the varieties and price points to find the right jars for a perfect night.
Marky's Gourmet. Likely one of the best-known gourmet stores in Miami, Marky's has long been a purveyor of first-rate caviar varieties. Since the outlawing of sturgeon exports from the Caspian Sea, Marky's North Florida farm, Sturgeon Aquafarms, has increasingly expanded its stock and production of beluga, sevruga, and osetra varieties. The shop sells caviars at all price points, from a $61 half-ounce of ink-black beluga hybrid to bright orange poppy salmon eggs (a steal at $7.06 per ounce), and ultraluxurious varieties like the creamy, pale green Osetra Imperial Golden ($171 per ounce). Marky's also stocks flavor-neutral spoons, premade blinis, and accompaniments like creme fraiche. 687 NE 79th St., Miami; 305-758-9288; markys.com.
Caviar Russe. While best known for a shockingly simple menu with stunning prices thanks to scatterings of fish eggs in and around every dish, Caviar Russe always has a supply of take-home caviar on hand and has been known to supply restaurants around town like Mignonette. Here you can pick up a one-ounce tin of classic Caspian Sea Osetra for $95, or the higher-end Caspian Sea Ostera Gold for a mere $295 an ounce. Happy shopping. Inside Four Seasons Hotel Miami, 1435 Brickell Ave., Miami, 866-215-6641; fourseasons.com/miami.
Proper Sausages. Known for refusing to let anything other than the best enter his shop, Freddy Kaufmann is stocking Thomas Keller's
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A couple of quick notes: If you don't have a mother of pearl spoon, you can use plastic — yes, plastic. Metal is said to alter the fish eggs' flavor.
Next, be sure to make fresh blinis. You'll be at home, near your kitchen, in your sweatpants, so there really are no excuses. Here are two recipes. For something perhaps less intimidating for a home cook, look here.
Still can't be bothered? Use a good potato chip. Cape Cod is the gold standard.
Finally, be sure to round out your accouterments with classic choices like chopped chives, chopped shallots, and crumbled hard-boiled egg yolk. Don't worry if your knife work doesn't produce the same preciously right- angled brunoise you see at restaurants.