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New Year’s Eve: Three words that bring either absolute joy or pure terror to your heart. If you’re a) on the joy side, b) in New York City and c) thinking that Times Square doesn’t have your name written all over it, consider some of the following options. (They’re not free, but remember: You always have the option of watching the ball drop in person, with a million strangers and no alcohol or bathrooms anywhere nearby.)
© Nathan Rawlinson
© Nathan Rawlinson
Corkbuzz Will Look A Lot Different on New Years Eve.
Corkbuzz. At Laura Maniec’s excellent new wine bar in the East Village, there will be a sea of Champagne—from, among other sources, a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar (a bottle that is 20 times as big a regular Champagne bottle and defies regular pouring)—plus an open bar and loads of hors d'oeuvres, charcuterie and cheese. $150; 646-873-6071 or corkbuzz.com.
Monkey Bar. If you’d rather celebrate in one of the city’s more fabulous dining rooms, the Monkey Bar is offering two five-course NYE menus with swanky dishes like pasta with crushed truffles. At the second seating, from 8-10 p.m., they’ll pour Champagne from nine-liter Salmanzar bottles. (I obviously have a thing for big bottles.) $135/$165; 212-288-1010 or monkeybar.com.
Locanda Verde. At Locanda Verde, they say NYE is business as usual. Ha! There are no special seatings, and there is the regular menu. But there’s also this: awesome sounding specials like potato and leek ravioli with crème fraîche and caviar; and for dessert, panettone bread pudding with nougat gelato. Plus 2,000 balloons and a midnight Champagne toast. Look for a similar situation with different specials and I'm not sure how many balloons at The Dutch. 212-925-3797 or locandaverdenyc.com.
Parm. Before my big 2012 diet, I plan on eating as much as possible of everything that just happens to be on Parm’s NYE menu: hot antipasti, New Year’s lasagna and that astonishing, high-rising ice cream cake. There are three seatings: 6:30, 8:30 and 10:30; at the final one, there will also also be bubbles and the house Scorpino cocktail all night. $60/$90; 212-993-7189 or parmnyc.com.
Má Pêche. The special NYE bo ssäm dinner at Ssäm bar is already sold out; don’t even try for it. But Má Pêche is still taking reservations for its epic Beef 7 Ways and its whole à la carte menu, and of course there’s Champagne at midnight. 212-757-5878 or momofuku.com.
Chef's Pass at Bouley. For those who want to be practically in the kitchen with one of the world’s great chefs (and who know that this kind of experience doesn’t come cheap), there’s Chef’s Pass at Bouley. At the 12-person table between the kitchen and the dining room, you can watch David Bouley prepare your meal, and/or take advantage of the kitchen’s Skype set-up to talk to your brother in the Caribbean or the Tours, France cheesemonger who aged the fromages you’re about to eat—you can ask him what he’s doing up so late. $550; 212-964-2525 or davidbouley.com.