A desperate reader who will be marooned in New York City this New Year's Eve is in a pickle: she wants to make the night special without all the glitz of a big club night. We offer some tips:
My holiday plans have changed and I'm stuck in NYC on NYE. I'm not really a big go-all-out club person, but I also would hate to stay at home all night to ring in 2011 with 6-8 friends. Thought maybe you guys at Guest of a Guest could give me some advice in terms of finding something in-between?
~Some Enchanted Evening"
We feel your pain. Why buy into all the hype (and expense) of a big night out in the Meat Packing District, and why settle for the depressing hibernation of a night in when everyone's out?
Fret not! Even in New York, it's possible to find a happy medium.
1) Book A table At A Smaller, Chic Venue
We recommend you try booking a table at Public for a festive atmosphere that will encapsulate the memory of the night without going over the top. Public, owned and operated by the AvroKO restaurant group, has tip-top yumminess from chef Brad Framerie and decadent dessert offerings from Elle Mirsky, the joint's pastry chef. Might want to wash everything down with a bottle of Ruinart, Blanc de Blancs, a tasty brut that will make your celebration a whole lot more festive.
You might also want to try booking a table at La Esquina, which has a great brasserie and bar perfect for a low-key, but meaningful New Year's Eve. Try out the chile relleno (a plate of absolute joy) or the pollo rostizado taquitos--a nice citrusy-spicey morsel of goodness. Go with the place's large selection of tequila instead of champagne!
2) Have A Picnic In Central Park
Though you may have to suppress your amygdala (read: fear central in your brain), a nocturnal visit to Central Park--especially along the periphery with other revelers--is not that scary. Bring a thermos full of champagne and another full of cocoa, and take to the park by Strawberry Fields at 72nd st. or the Columbus Circle entrance.We are not at all suggesting you take over Sheep's Meadow; we at GofG do not wish death upon you.
Make sure you and your friends bundle up, and bring along a guitarist buddy for a folksy all-American feel.
3) Throw Roof Top Champagne Blitz
So you don't want to make the evening a big to-do, but you also want to be surrounded by the people you dig when the stroke of 12 is nigh. Take an easy night in your usual routine but add a twist: have your revelers congregate on your rooftop at 11:30 for a champagne toast and resolution-sharing period. This eliminates the need for a lot of apartment sprucing and requisite cleanup, and it also ensures that you will capture the moment in an efficient manner. Send your friends off back to their lairs with small chocolates or party favors they can munch on the next morning to wear off their brut hangovers.
4) Drink Champagne In Your Bed Alone
We mean...if it really comes to that. Just kidding. Kind of.
See how the evening goes, and if the spirit moves you, maybe you'll want to hit one of the parties in our upcoming guide to New Year's Eve.