What You Don’t Want To Do This New Year’s Eve

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You do not want to spend $300 on an overcooked steak, wilted salad and a glass of cheap champagne.

You do not want to watch the ball drop in Times Square, unless you’re Ryan Seacrest and getting paid handsomely to be there. Trust me. You just don’t.

You do not want to be at a party packed to the gills with people you don’t know, with nowhere to run when that creepy stranger leans in for a sloppy kiss come the stroke of midnight.

You don’t want to do any of those things or be in any of those places, right?

Let’s face it: you just want to have a delicious, hassle-free meal with the one(s) you love. So save yourself. Come ring in the New Year us! No doubt the food will be good. (Does Chef Cruz ever disappoint?) The crowd will be friendly–no creeps allowed on the premises. And the bill won’t send you to the hospital with a coronary on the very first day of 2014.

The menu specials this year will feature seared foie gras, roasted wild boar, seared venison and a classic Surf and Turf, plus a variety of oysters and clams for the shellfish lovers out there. And yes, we have champagne.

So come spend the evening with us and start the new year off right. Click here for reservations.

 

 

Have A Lucky New Year!

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This Yankee gal has been advised countless of times by well-meaning Southern friends that she absolutely, positively must eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day. The superstition–some say dating from the Civil War–has it that ingesting the little devils will bring you boundless luck and prosperity in the year ahead.

Southerners typically chow down on the two-toned legumes in a salad or with stewed tomatoes…or in Hoppin’ John, a popular dish in which the peas are cooked with rice, pork (such as chopped pork or ham, hog jowls or hambones, fatback or bacon) and

seasonings.

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I’m not sure if there’s any truth to this legend, but who am I to turn up my nose at possible everlasting love or a fountain of riches? Besides that, Southern soul food rocks so the worst case scenario is that you’ll have a killer meal.

I’ve done a little research and found a few restaurants in New York that serve up the goods:

Pies ‘n Thighs
166 S. 4th St. (at Driggs Ave.), Brooklyn

Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too
366 W. 110th St. (between Columbus & Manhattan Ave.), Manhattan

Seersucker
329 Smith St. (between President & Carroll St.), Brooklyn

Sylvia’s
328 Lenox Ave. (between 126th & 127th St.), Manhattan

We here at the Washington Square Hotel and North Square Restaurant wish you a happy, healthy and yes, lucky and prosperous New Year–whatever you choose to eat!

Forget Times Square: Revel In Central Park.

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If you’re in town for New Year’s Eve, skip Times Square. Honestly, it really isn’t fit for man nor beast and certainly not discerning tourists. It’s crowded, there’s no restroom and frankly, you’ll be more comfortable watching the ball drop on TV.  But then, I’m a tad claustrophobic and Times Square freaks me out on a good day.

Last year, for the first time, after a big celebratory dinner downtown we hopped the subway up to the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park for a great view of the park’s New Year’s fireworks. At the stroke of midnight, the pyrotechnics announced the beginning of 2012. It’s exciting, it’s fun and–get this–it’s not crazy crowded. Last year, the weather was practically balmy and even then the crowd was not dense. I loved it and am now officially hooked.

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Along with the fireworks, there’s the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run. The New York Road Runners kick of the year with an un-scored

(i.e. it’s not competitive) four mile run through the park. Runners line up on the 72nd Street traverse near the fountain. The crowd (some in costume) gathers at about 10 pm for dancing to music provided by a DJ. At 11, there’s a costume parade and contest. The official run starts at midnight. I didn’t partake in the course last year–too busy digesting veal chops and champagne–but the crowd was friendly and they all looked like they were having a blast.

The fountain (which, by the way is beautiful in and of itself) is located in the middle of the park, around 75th street. Here’s a map:

If you’re coming from the Village, take the B or C train from West 4th to 72nd Street. When you get off the train, just walk into the park and follow the crowd.

As of today, the weather is predicted to be clear but chilly. Bundle up and you’ll be fine!

 

 

 

So Long, 2012

If the Mayans got it wrong, we’ll all be around for yet another New Year’s celebration. I love spending that evening at North Square because while it is festive (yeah, we’ve got your sparkly blowers and funny hats and ladies and gentlemen dressed to the nines)…it also has a mellow, come-as-you-are vibe. The crowd is friendly and the food is just what you want eat to kiss the previous year goodbye. Plus no one will ever, ever ask you what your New Year’s resolution is because, frankly, that would be a big ole’ buzz kill and we like to have fun.

This year’s specials sound scrumptious. Chef Cruz’s appetizers include:

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  • Lobster bisque garnished with tarragon creme fraiche
  • Roasted tomato soup garnished with grilled shrimp and crisp potatoes
  • Seared foie gras with roasted apples and a pomegranate sauce

The entrees are equally decadent:

  • Roasted wild boar with braised red cabbage, apples, fingerling potatoes and a ginger port sauce
  • Surf and turf with creamed spinach, garlic mashed potatoes and a black truffle sauce.
  • Grilled veal chop (to die for) with mushroom risotto, tomato chutney, and a red wine and herb au jus.

And Consulting Pastry Chef John Cheng has come up with an insane cap to the meal with Dessert Fantasy Trio 2013…a salted chocolate caramel banana tart, molten chocolate cake and a trio of ice creams.

Hey…holidays are designed for excess. You can always diet next year, right?