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Any New Year's Eve reviews?

e
eatingaround33 Jan 1, 2008 06:52 AM

Where did you go and was it worth it? Did you have to wait? Did you feel rushed? Would you go back again?

  1. c
    cmd Jan 2, 2008 04:20 PM

    A fairly large group of us had reservations for the late seating at Les Zyg. The music side was fairly full, but the other side was also open, and dead quiet when I went for a pre-dinner drink around 9 p.m.

    The menu is still online: http://winebar.com/downloads/NEWYEARM...

    The smoky prawn appetizer was great--3 huge prawns, lots of buttery goodness in the brioche croutons. My ribeye was ok--overcooked (came out well when I'd ordered medium), but it seemed like mine was the only one to suffer that fate. Oh well, it was NYE, and the sauce (the menu says a mushroom glace) was delicious and good for re-moisturizing the meat. Sides were also good, particularly the broccoli rabe. I'm not generally a sweets fan, so I finished with the cheese plate. One was blue served with some kind of fruit. One was not, and it had honey. By this point we'd had some wine, so that's about as specific as I can get. I did try a bite of the chocolate pot de creme, and I think that would have been a better way to go.

    The set menue was $85 for 3 courses and a split of something sparkling (may have been champagne--I didn't look. It was a bit sweet and not my favorite) at midnight.

    Oh, and they had a band, which made it good for a group--I didn't feel like we were intruding on anyone's romantic evening, although there were several couples at two tops.

    I actually hate going out for NYE, but this was fun. I'd do it again.

    1. t
      tamerlanenj Jan 2, 2008 10:54 AM

      Someone posted a comically bad La Voile review. Sounds like it was a disaster there on NYE.

      1. soxchik Jan 2, 2008 08:08 AM

        Four of us went to Vlora near Copley at 7:45pm (dinner took about 2 hours - didn't feel rushed at all). They were serving their regular menu, not a prix fixe which is a major reason we chose it. We were seated right away - they were fairly slow when we got there but it was full within an hour. Our waiter was brand new (we were his first table) but he was great. The manager (not sure if he is the owner) and the waitstaff checked in on us several times - very welcoming place. The food was great - we got the Tava and Grilled Clams as appetizers - both fabulous. For entrees, my dining companions had the rib-eye (decent), gnocchi (excellent), chicken and lemon soup (excellent), and arugula salad (ok). I had the Penne di Aldo which was fairly good, but I'd ordered it without olives and it arrived with olives (I decided to just pick them out since we'd waited almost an hour for our meals). We also had the baklava for dessert (very good). Apparently there was some mix-up with our order in the kitchen, so we waited over 45 minutes between our apps and our main courses, but since we were in no rush it was fine. I would have expected an apology, something comped, or possibly a free drink for the extra wait - but since it was busy and New Years, and everything else was so good, it wasn't a big deal to us. I'll definitely be going back.

        1. MaineRed Jan 2, 2008 07:28 AM

          Four of us were at Casablanca in Harvard Sqr for the pre-fix, wine pairing, and Vueve :) the pricing was great and the food very consistent with their standard delicious offerings...the service was hectic, which is expected but w/the wine pairing it made for a cluttered table.

          I had the mushroom tart, herb-crusted seared tuna, spice cake: everything was delicious and perfectly done...I know that's vague, but I really had a bit too much to drink :)

          the rave was the surf and turf -- simple but tasty, but the lamb was just as good.
          the creme brule "the best I've ever had"

          our friends were really impressed and loved the place, it was a great choice. We were there for a late sitting and stayed thru the new year. no rush at all, would go back for sure.

          the bottle of Vueve for $50 was the best deal considering the cheapest I've seen it is about $38/bottle.

          http://www.casablanca-restaurant.com/...

          1 Reply
          1. re: MaineRed
            Joanie Jan 2, 2008 07:32 AM

            Damn, I wish I'd seen that menu on Bostonchefs or Opentable. Good deal but Cambridge was out of the way for me that nite. Oh well.

          2. b
            Bostonbob3 Jan 2, 2008 07:00 AM

            The GF and I had dinner at Marco on New Year's Eve. What was described as a six-course meal was actually more like 12, as every choice on the menu was served to each table. So, for example, the second course was both a pheasant soup and a gorganzola-cucumber soup.

            Naturally, I left the menu at home, but will post tomorrow. Off the top of my head, I'd say the bucatini with razorclams, and the sole were both highlights, but everything was quite wonderful.

            Also, they only had three seatings all night, so our 8:00 reservation meant we were there until a little after 10:00. Nice pacing, no rush at all.

            1. hiddenboston Jan 2, 2008 06:31 AM

              I had a very nice dinner on New Year's Eve, but it was at Sardella's in Newport, RI, so I can't comment on it on this board. But here's a link to it:

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/475269

              1. rlh Jan 1, 2008 05:34 PM

                Arrived at EVOO for 10pm dinner reservation - immediately and graciously seated, friendly server was attentive throughout well-paced, but not at all rushed dinner in spite of the packed room (one deuce did stay empty the entire time we were there, but the small bar was full from start to finish).

                It was their regular menu, including the $35 prix fixe option, nice choice of daily specials, and very reasonable wine list.

                Nice cocktails (citrus drop and peach basil martini) to start. The oyster appetizer was amazing.

                The duck prosciutto was really good but not as amazing - too much EVOO dousing it, and not enough Parm or arugula salad with the main item IMHO.

                The scallop and chinese box entrees were really good - the porcini flan was out, so the scallops came with porcini truffle mashed (lots of potatoes) - a fine substitution that was noted at the time of ordering (still curious about the savory flan, however....)

                We had a nice bottle of champagne with dinner and through dessert - a really memorable sticky toffee pumpkin cake and roasted pumpkin seed ice cream - I may come back to the bar after dinner elsewhere just for that before the menu changes.

                This was my first experience at EVOO (though we are long-time regulars at Za), so I feel like we took a bit of a risk that really paid off and I can't wait to return and try other menu choices (like the Duck Duck Goose and tenderloin mains and the bread pudding dessert) and specials...soon!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: rlh
                  Joanie Jan 2, 2008 05:05 AM

                  We started with drinks at the bar at Great Bay then hopped the T slightly late for a 9PM res. at Lineage who were offering a 3 course seafood menu for $48. It was busy but not overly so, lots of room at the bar and prefer that area of the restaurant. We had a window seat in the other room and two of us had the seafood which was fairly worth the money. The tuna tartare was awesome, lots of food. Lobster ravioli was a bit disappointing and the sea bass w/ clams and shrimp was pretty tasty altho served in a cumbersome dish and a bit overcooked. No sides or veggies. I had a glass of prosecco while my friend got the wine pairing at $14 extra. Other friend went w/ the regular menu and started w/ lobster bisque and beignets and a huge beautiful steak that he loved ($29) w/ a couple glasses of merlot. They were out of grappa for those crazy grappa drinking guys but brought limoncello on the house. One creme brulee for dessert which was huge with a great crust but the custard itself was kind of flavorless. Nice service, nothing crazy going on, pretty much worth the $$.

                2. Sal Monella Jan 1, 2008 09:19 AM

                  Went to L'espalier (first time). Spent the equivalent of Cambodia's GDP for a pre fixe dinner for 2 with Vintner's tasting. Food was good, wine/champagne was good. Walked out pretty bloated. All in all it was a nice night but not too happy about the $$$ outlay. Lesson learned.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Sal Monella
                    k
                    kate used to be 50 Jan 2, 2008 08:13 AM

                    We went to L'espalier on NYE several years ago. My H wanted to surprise me, but I was not happy at all about the bill!!!

                    Did they give you "breakfast" on the way out? We got date bread and marmalade that was excellent.

                    1. re: kate used to be 50
                      Sal Monella Jan 2, 2008 09:20 AM

                      No parting gifts...other than a couple of masks and horns. Our only solice is that we didn't leave hungry. My wife was more sanguine..."would rather have spent the $ on a pair of new Prada boots". Won't be going back unless someone else is paying the freight. May add this place to my list of overrated places. I can only imagine the $ bump once they move into the Mandarin Hotel.

                      1. re: Sal Monella
                        k
                        kate used to be 50 Jan 2, 2008 11:18 AM

                        When they change locations you can be assured the prices will go higher. Hard to imagine.

                        1. re: kate used to be 50
                          Joanie Jan 2, 2008 12:18 PM

                          Weren't all these prices advertised online? L'Espalier on New Year's Eve, you must have known in advance what was coming.

                          1. re: Joanie
                            t
                            tamerlanenj Jan 2, 2008 01:07 PM

                            I'm sure the poster was expecting something expensive, but L'Espalier has a way of pushing the extras.

                            1. re: tamerlanenj
                              Sal Monella Jan 3, 2008 05:28 AM

                              Yea, we knew going in that they had 2 pre fixe options. $125 and $195. When we got the menus, the $125 was no where to be seen. So by default we took the $195. The Vintner tastings were $95 each.

                              1. re: Sal Monella
                                Joanie Jan 3, 2008 09:14 AM

                                Did you ask them about the $125 menu? That's lame if it just disappeared, $70 makes a big difference to some people.

                                1. re: Joanie
                                  Sal Monella Jan 3, 2008 10:24 AM

                                  We thought about it but opted not to so we don't seem cheap. Thinking back, I should have...

                        2. re: Sal Monella
                          g
                          Gabatta Jan 3, 2008 06:15 AM

                          Expensive, certainly. However I wouold not say that L'Espalier is overrated at all. It has been a consistently excellent dining experience each and every time I have been there.

                          1. re: Gabatta
                            t
                            tamerlanenj Jan 3, 2008 06:21 AM

                            One time I budgeted $400 to take my fiancee to L'espalier and the check wuond up being $700. I'm still not sure how that happened.

                    2. m
                      monicall Jan 1, 2008 08:08 AM

                      Last night we ate at Gargoyle's on the Square in Davis. To drink, I had the Chef's Cocktail which was an aloe vera and tangerine martini with pomegranate seeds and a fresh orchid, served smoking cold with liquid nitrogen. While the liquid nitrogen was unnecessary, it tasted surprisingly like apple cider, and I enjoyed it. The Asian pear martini was also good.

                      Everyone at the table started with the lobster mac n cheese, and we were all impressed by the large chunks of lobster and the overall quantity of both lobster and mac n cheese that we were served. It was very creamy, rich and filling, but we felt the sauce could have been a little thicker.

                      I had the glazed duck confit. The duck was perfectly cooked. The sauce was a little on the overpowering side, but I very much enjoyed the sweet sticky rice that contained mango. I also ate part of the pan seared Chilean sea bass, which was delicate and delicious. My fellow diners all enjoyed their dishes including the swordfish and the short rib. We were all impressed by the large servings.

                      For dessert we tried the malted milk cheesecake and the chocolate cream cake. No one could finish because they were all so rich and the cream cake portions were especially large. The malted milk cheesecake was a little confusing because it had no crust, but I enjoyed the unique flavor.

                      Overall we all enjoyed our evening and plan to return in the future. We didn't feel rushed even though the next seating started before we left. The only down side was that we were too full to eat any of the food at the party we went to afterwards.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: monicall
                        d
                        drewames03 Jan 1, 2008 08:28 AM

                        4 of us went to ESK. When we showed up for our 9:00 reservation, I was told that I made it (on open table) for 9:00 A.M.!!! I couldn't believe it! They felt bad for me and we were able to get a table at 10:00. The drinks were amazing (I don't remember most of them) and the food was excellent. I had the steak frites, which was cooked medium rare as ordered.

                      2. h
                        hargau Jan 1, 2008 07:34 AM

                        12 of us went to Solea in waltham. Got most of the hot tapas menu and a couple paleas, couple pitchers of sangria. It wasnt as crowded as it has been on past new years eves, which was nice. Service had a few flaws but overall everything was nice. Food was all excellent.

                        Fire alarms going off towards the end of our meal added a bit of a excitement. What we found amazing is with strobes and alarms going off, 99% of the diners continued eating as if nothing was happening. Nobody from the restaurant came out and made any sort of anouncement telling anyone if it was ok or not. Then the ladder trucks, and firemen carrying axes and oxygen, etc came busting in.. Yet everyone just continued dining! No fire as far as i know, must have burnt something in the kitchen or something

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: hargau
                          Gio Jan 1, 2008 07:39 AM

                          Too funny about ignoring the alarms, firemen, et al. The food must have been fantastic. Wasn't there a recent thread about an almost similar situation?

                        2. Sgt Snackers Jan 1, 2008 07:09 AM

                          I should not be awake yet, but here you go: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474981

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Sgt Snackers
                            gini Jan 1, 2008 07:16 AM

                            Snagged two seats at a high top at Prezza last night on a walk-in - no reservation. Friend had wood-grilled octopus & squid with canneloni to start - really great smoky flavor to the sauce - and I had the lamb ribs with salsa verde - tender but crisp, nice play between the lentils and the salsa. She had the gnocchi with bolognese for her dinner and I had their mushroom risotto. Thought their gnocchi were great as always. Love their risotto, but thought the texture of some of the mushrooms was just a bit too hard when working with the risotto. Trattoria Toscona's is still better. Prezza was serving truffles after dinner, compliments of the house, and our were just great. For dessert, she had the tiramisu parfait - not my thing, but evidently flavored well - and I had the limoncello cheesecake at the suggestion of our waiter, Nick - pretty great. Overall, a really nice dinner. I was surprised at how relaxed Prezza was - not every table was full the entire time we were there and the bar was hopping, but not cramped. A nice way to relax on New Year's eve.

                            1. re: gini
                              Rubee Jan 1, 2008 09:16 AM

                              Happy New Year Gini, though I'm sorry we missed you!

                              We had reserved a table, but when we were at Prezza last week, we canceled and decided to eat at the bar. It was busy when we got there! At 10 past 9 the bar was packed and we waited a bit; in fact, the staff said it ended up being their busiest NYE in years. We had a lot of fun as always and I love that right out the front door you can see the fireworks over the Harbor at midnight. Last year, after we walked out to watch them, we were one of the only ones there for a drink after midnight. This year the bar was still full. I almost ordered the lamb ribs that you had, one of my favorite appetizers. I tried two apps I hadn't had before - the grilled quail with chestnut risotto (very good), and the mushroom soup with white beans and grilled bread (fantastic). I was going to order the short ribs with horseradish spaetzle which the chef had recommended to us earlier, but I was already full so I finished with the egg raviolo. E had two of his favorites, both half-portions of pastas - the chestnut ravioli with duck, and the bolognese which he requested with tagliatelle instead of the gnocchi. Once again, Prezza did a great job - a festive time with wonderful staff, delicious food, a lively, friendly crowd, and a complimentary glass of champagne at midnight for everyone. Happy New Year Chowhounds!

                              1. re: Rubee
                                gini Jan 1, 2008 05:08 PM

                                I'm bummed we missed you too! Sounds like you guys had a blast! Happy New Year!

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