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Pinti 1
New Year's Eve celebrants who aren't in the vicinity of a ball drop or grand masquerade typically mark the holiday with a blowout

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Seattle Chefs Share Their Strategies for Making New Year's Eve Dinner Memorably Festive

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Pinti 1
New Year's Eve celebrants who aren't in the vicinity of a ball drop or grand masquerade typically mark the holiday with a blowout dinner. But restaurant-goers have to choose their destinations carefully, since their meals could well set the tone for the year ahead.

What matters most on New Year's Eve is not the delicacy of the food or the quality of the view: It's a festive atmosphere. And since it takes more than foie gras and party hats to create the right mood on New Year's Eve, we asked a number of the city's leading chefs to share their holiday philosophies. Remember, reservations are an absolute must on New Year's Eve, so select a simpatico chef and book your table now. And one last caveat before you call: Prices don't include tax, gratuity or alcohol, although select restaurants are offering wine pairings.

Restaurant: Agrodolce

Menu highlights: Housemade burrata; ricotta cavetelli; lamb meatballs

Price: $65

Chef Maria Hines says: "I also want to celebrate and treat myself during the holidays, but without heavy, rich, overindulging. I translate that to my menus with clean, bright flavors that highlight special and unique ingredients that make holiday dining truly memorable and get everyone excited about dining in the new year."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 2

Restaurant: Artusi

Menu highlights: Shaved hearts of palm with Belgian endive and caviar; braised quail; caramelized squash tartlet

Price: $45/$60/$70, depending on courses and dishes selected

Chef Jason Stratton says: "All of the dishes are a little more elaborate in preparation, celebratory foods to share with your loved ones. Though we don't usually offer a tasting menu,this night is one where I like to orchestrate a feeling of celebration through the food and let our guests relax in the revelry. And, as always, bubbles to celebrate...And a great playlist, of course."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 3

Restaurant: Anchovies & Olives

Menu highlights: Spanish mackerel with smoked raisins; squid-ink spaghetti; whole grilled branzino for two

Price: $65

Chef Zach Chambers says: "New Year's Eve gives me a chance to feature some items otherwise not found our menu while showcasing (regular) dishes that are great. The prix fixe format allows our guests to mix and match and try a bunch of stuff at a great value, and hopefully pushes them to return after the New Year to dabble in our other offerings."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 2

Restaurant: Bastille

Menu highlights: Oysters; steak tartare with truffle chips; dry-aged rib entrecôte

Price: $90

Chef Jason Stoneburner says: "Keeping in line with the "New Years Spirit" we will be cooking with booze, mostly French booze. Cheese from Champagne baked in Champagne, introducing Cognac in vegetable-based gratin dishes, using my favorite Pastis to steam open bowels of mussels, making Calvados based mignonette for oysters, and firing up pastries with rhum agricole. What will we ever do with the leftover spirits?"

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 4

Restaurant: Blind Pig Bistro

Menu highlights: Menu TBA

Price: $50 (based on a party of four)

Chef Charles Walpole says: "We want it to be like a fun party and not a formal affair. The food will come out share style and we want everyone to have fun, and at midnight we can all go on the roof and drink champagne. We have a great view for the fireworks. Last year we even had a smoke machine, so maybe we will have some surprise for this year."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 5

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kjunstorm

Restaurant: Cafe Flora

Menu highlights: Semolina tart; root vegetable medallions; bittersweet chocolate cake

Price: $50

Owner Nat Stratton-Clarke says: "Our mission was to create a meal that is memorable and different from anything our guests have tasted this year at Cafe Flora. For inspiration, our kitchen team turned to worldly traditions...For example, in our second course we have a citrus salad with kumquats to represent the Vietnamese tradition of eating kumquats and citrus for luck, as well as coconut lentil allspice sauce with our root vegetable medallions, as lentils are considered a lucky food in the south."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 1

Restaurant: Golden Beetle

Menu highlights: Oven-roasted black cod, chicken meatballs, cornmeal halvah

Price: $50

Chef Maria Hines says: See Agrodolce

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 2

Restaurant: Hitchcock

Menu highlights: Oysters with buttermilk and horseradish foam; chestnut gnocchi with beets, sauerkraut and sweet cream; cassoulet.

Price: $75

Chef Brendan McGill says: "I make an effort to go entirely over-the-top on New Year's Eve menus. It is the best chance of the year to execute at our highest level and reward those who spend their special night with us by laying it on thick. I aim for luxury, sex appeal, fascination, and nod to tradition while attempting something truly creative."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 2

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Ralph and Jenny

Restaurant: How to Cook a Wolf

Menu highlights: Escolar crudo; Dungeness crab tagliarini; beef strip loin with Brussels sprouts, hedgehog mushrooms and balsamic

Price: $65

Chef Michael Gifford says: "I want to celebrate the end of the year by celebrating some of the great local products that guests don't see everyday on our menu, things like Dungeness crab, salmon roe and hedgehog mushrooms, which have been hard to come by this year."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 1

Restaurant: Hunger

Menu highlights: Lamb sweetbreads; fennel citrus salad; Portuguese seafood stew

Price: $100-$150 a couple, depending on time of reservation

Chefs Brian and Jaime Brooks say :"We've centered Hunger's New Year's Eve menu around celebration and indulgence. In Spain, the celebration involves eating 12 grapes for good luck and drinking cava, so we will be offering a cava pour, as well as topping our intermezzo course with a roasted grape. It is an extra special day for us personally as it is our second wedding anniversary."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 3

Restaurant: Lloyd Martin

Menu highlights: Perigord truffles; lobster; foie gras; caviar

Price: $145

Chef Sam Crannell says: "'A night of feasting and sport -- the likes of which you'll never forget!' We looked at the 100-year old Escoffier Cookbook and said, "it's time to get back to the fun, really interesting and special ingredients that we haven't seen in recent years." We wanted to bring back the celebratory, indulgent side of New Year's."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 4

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xmatt

Restaurant: Spinasse

Menu highlights: Lentils with crisp pig's trotter; pumpkin gnocchi with local truffle butter; squab with a finaziera of king oyster mushrooms and sweetbreads

Price: $90

Chef Jason Stratton says: "We always serve lentils at the restaurant, which represent luck and prosperity for the coming year. We pay homage to the past with a menu of classic Piemontese dishes and one menu to look forward to the future with dishes we've created for that night to mark the end of the year."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 2

Restaurant: Tavern Law

Menu highlights: Burger with shaved black truffles and foie torchon; cocktails with house-aged rye; Gosset Brut by the bottle

Price: No cover charge, but 1920s party attire is encouraged

Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough say: "Our philosophy for making New Year's Eve special for our guests is simple: We make it an experience we'd enjoy if we had the night off."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 5

Restaurant: Tilth

Menu highlights: Rabbit rillette; lamb ravioli; bouche de noel

Price: $85

Chef Maria Hines says: See Agrodolce

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 1

Restaurant: Volunteer Park Cafe

Menu highlights: Celeriac and apple soup; seared sea scallop; duck confit salad

Price: $90

Chef Erika Burke says: "We rely on seasonality (and Mother Nature) to dictate our menus, and the ingredients on our New Year's menu are the "show stoppers." Of course we love our foie every once in a while, but it is less of who we are. We are about offering a celebratory meal in a cozy environment that is thoughtfully prepared and delicious."

Predicted level of raucousness (1-5): 1

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