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New Year's Eve ... Eat IN or Go OUT?

For the past few years we have hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner with our closest friends. One year was Ocean themed, where we served all seafood. Grilled Spiny Lobster, Pissed Off Shrimp, Stuffed Grilled Calamari and a smoked fish salad.

Last year we had grilled herb and mustard crusted rack of lamb and grilled Wahoo served with a grilled vegetable cous cous and an arugula Parma ham salad, we ended the night with Jell-O-Shots, it was so much FUN.

This year we have a “Smoked” themed.
Smoked Baby back Ribs (I am originally from the South; I have been in Bermuda for 15 years!)
Smoked Pulled Pork with homemade smoked cherry pepper BBQ Sauce
Grilled Wahoo
Baked Bean
Southern Potatoes
Smoked Sausage Grits
Crackling Corn bread
And at midnight Green Pea and Smoked Ham Hock Soup

So how do you spend your New Year’s Eve? Eat IN or Go Out?

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  1. Definitely eating in - we used to go out to a particular restaurant in the Boston/Somerville, MA area, but for the past several years, a friend hosts a small dinner party at her very large house. The entire downstairs has been renovated, and she now has a very large open kitchen that is located between the dining and living rooms, so it's always a gathering place (except when cooking is going on - too many cooks, and all that!).

    So about 10 of us gather there and several of us do the cooking (my role is usually prep chef for the person who will be doing the majority of the cooking). Not sure what we're having this year - either osso buco (this would be my choice) or some type of fish (as there is one vegetarian in our group). We've done stuffed rolled pork roast in the past, usually with a salad and a soup of some sort.

    I do like your themes, bgg - (ooh what I wouldn't give for a rack of lamb at one of our dinners!). Please described the Pissed Off Shrimp? Hot and spicy? Or "pissed" as in drunken shrimp? :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Since Bermuda has very few good restaurants we spend a lot of time in the kitchen and having dinner parties...Thank goodness I spent years in the restaurant industry. I can fall back on some great experiences I spent inthe kitchens and catering.

      I love these shrimp (love hot and spicy food anyway)
      Hope you like them!

      Grilled Pissed off Shrimp
      2 lb. Med tiger shrimp, cleaned and
      1 tbsp Crushed red hot peppers
      2 tbsp Hot Chili Jelly
      4 cloves of garlic pressed or chopped finely
      1/4 C Extra V Olive Oil
      Salt / pepper to taste

      Combine all ingredients and add shrimp.
      Allow to marinate for at least 1 hr.
      Sometimes I allow 4 hrs.
      Skewer the shrimp and grill until desired
      doneness, about 3 minutes on each side

      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

        Best food in Bermuda has always been in people's homes ;-) I'm not going out on those crazy roads on this island tonight, I'll be making Julia Child's tournedos with mushroom madeira sauce. If I'd had my wits about me I would've made traditional split pea soup, but I didn't.

    2. Eat In. Not in a zillion years would I go out. Maybe order some take out around 4:30 pm before the joints start getting slammed
      Everything about NYE out is amateur night. The restaurants all make the food ahead of time, and slap out the prix fixe food, and try to rush for the next seating. I've worked those nights at restaurants. Most of the service industry is pumped up by one nihgt employees. It's just so not worth it IMO. I'm sure there are a few places that have a great NYE set up, but I'll bet you they are few and far between.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gordeaux

        Exactly. Back in my server days we referred to the big resto holidays (mom's day, valentines day, new years, easter) as amateur night. The food is generally substandard b/c kitchens & cooks are pushed overwhelmed, servers are perpetually weeded and the customers are generally not accustomed to dining out in nicer establishments(thus the term "amateur night") and will often leave bad tips which, in turn, pisses off the server...

        Because of all of the above - and because I am so stuffed from the holidays that I feel like a slug - w'ere staying in. We'll have roasted loin and sauerkraut w/ mashed potatoes and a veg on NYD.

      2. Here, eat in with a few friends. As in Boston no doubt, it is bloody cold here in Montréal and we boomers are too old to enjoy queueing at -whatever to get into restos and bars.

        I've happily spent St-Sylvester in slightly-warmer climes going from place to place (slightly warmer - say, Paris, Perugia, Rome...). Friends in Argentina and Chile definitely taking the "out" route, but it is high summer there!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lagatta

          In Boston, they have First Night - I've done it once, back in the early 1990s, reserving a table for the night at a (now non-existent) restaurant near Boston Common and wandering outside whenever we wanted to see the ice sculptures, watch people skating on Frog Pond, see if we could get into a musical venue with our First Night Buttons (usually lines are way too long for that). But it was about 45-50 degrees F. out that night - easy to deal with. I've done it once; that's more than enough. It gets way too crazy out there (Boston's had the longest running First Night program in the country - since our bicentennial).

          Tomorrow, we're getting snow, and the low temps are going to be about 11 degrees F. at night. I don't envy anyone who's planning on being out tomorrow night.

        2. With a 2 year old daughter we have stayed home the last few years, and will be staying home for New Years for the next few years.

          Before we had a child we did the restaurant, bar, hotel party, Key West, & the Sarasota New Years Eve things in past years. The best were the hotel parties, decent food, but the best part was drinking as much as you wanted, and only having to navigate yourself to the elevator and to your room. Key West was a blast, as was Sarasota, as much for the warm weather, and being away from cold Chicago, as the revelry.

          This year will be surf and turf of some sort(big surprise for me the meatatarian I know). I will hit my local butcher for some prime steaks(depends what looks the best), as well as maybe a trip before I head home down to Chinatown for some live lobsters, or live Dungeness Crab.

          Of course lots of beer, alot of tequila, and enterainment provided by the X-Box, and Rock Band 2.

          2 Replies
          1. re: swsidejim

            "(big surprise for me the meatatarian I know)" That is funny because we do know your tastes! Have a good one - kayo, ang iyong asawa, at ang anak babae!

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              have an enjoyable New Years Eve, and good New Year as well.

          2. I live in DC and I'm with the rest of you - eating in. My fiancee and I are going over to another couple's house and having homemade pasts bolognese, garlic bread, salad, chocolate fondue for dessert...and did I mention booze?

            I'm actually really looking forward to a relaxing night of eating, drinking, playing with their dog and perhaps a few drunken board games...perfect way to ring in the New Year!

            1. Eat in..
              This years menu is.
              5lbs of King Crab Legs..Asparagus..mushroom risotto..bottle of J champagne..
              Shafer '04 Hillside select Cab
              Dessert is fresh pineapple grilled and diced with brioche, vanilla pudding served in a trifle bowl..
              Happy New Year!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Beach Chick

                You have to eat in!

                You will have better; food, company, music and booze. Think about it this way, the $250ish you pay for dinner someplace than some weak all you can drink for another $100ish, you can have an excellent meal drama free at home!

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Beachie, no! Don't open that big, beautiful boy yet ('04 SHS), and definitely not with your menu! Do me a favor and save him for NYE 2012, at the earliest., and grab a second bottle of J. You'll be glad you did!

                  Eat in.

                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                    Thanks invino for your concern on the SHS..I got a case from my rock star friends and already have had a couple of bottles and it is so damn good..
                    I'll take your advice and put some away for 2012.

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      I'd like a few rock star friends!

                      That wine's great now, but what'll happen to it in a few years will blow your mind.

                      Have a great NYE (safely at home, the only way to enjoy it!).

                2. As we mostly eat in during the year, we go out on NYE but just to lower key places and not destination places where they have special prix-fixe menus, etc.

                  1. Gotta eat in. Even if the restaurants weren't packed, even if the food quality wasn't below par, and even if you wouldn't be exposed to every drunken yahoo on earth, there's still the matter of navigating past said drunken yahoos on the way home. Maybe not such a big deal if you live in a place with decent public transit, but I don't have much faith in other drivers on their best days. New Year's Eve? Fugeddaboudit.

                    1. Here in the land of NYE celebrations, (Las Vegas) it is, indeed, amateur night. Plus, by staying in, we can enjoy a great bottle of wine, some good steaks, the fireplace and each other without fighting hordes of tourists, overpriced prix fixe menus and sloppy drunks.

                      1. Eat in. I chose staying in about 25 years ago when I lived in North Beach, SF. All the drunks were heading to my neighborhood to party and I wanted nothing to do with them. I still prefer to hit the gourmet markets for celebratory foods, light a fire in the fireplace and sip a good wine with the people I love most.

                        1. Eat in: make makizushi, musubi, misoshiro, daikon and carrot namasu, teriyaki ribs, quick eggplant tsukemono.

                          1. we generally stay in, or try to eat out early. I don't like to be on the roads too late on NYE. However this year we are going out at the request of my best friend. We are meeting her and her family at their favorite resto early-ish for the prix fixe menu, then returning to our house for the rest of the evening.

                            1. Not sure on the menu yet, but I will be eating in. NYE is amateur hour. Too many people, too many crazy people. I would rather go out another night, where it is less crowded. And most likely if u start eating at 8 , you cant sit around til 12 at a table ordering drinks without racking up a huge bill, so you save some $ too.

                              1. This will be my first NYE with my SO. So is a musician and this is the first year without a NYE gig (economy). We're getting together at the home of the couple who introduced us and will stay the night.

                                I picked up a prime rib yesterday and have the rub on it....the rest of the menu is still in flux. Either way, loved ones together and safe coupled with good food and drink - can't ask for much more!

                                A happy, healthy new year to all you hounds!

                                1. In for us too. Last year we got Popeye's chicken takeout and it was the best new year's eve meal in my memory. Going out is just expensive, crowded and disappointing.

                                  1. We've gone out for the past couple of years (had surprisingly good food, but in LA there are lots of options) but this year we find ourselves with a wee toddler and lacking a babysitter so we're eating in. I'm making blue cheese gougeres, blini with creme fraiche and smoked trout, steamed artichokes, crab stew, and an almond tart. We have a couple of bottles of champagne.

                                    1. Staying in, at a friend's place. They're having "A Very Russian New Years," with vodka, borscht, and who knows what else! Should be good.

                                      1. We manage a retirement community in Guilford CT. Last year the managers brought in pizza for the residents. To me, that's not New Year's Eve. So, we're having cocktails and hors d'ouerves from 4:30-5:30, and then having a dinner of Cornish game hen with wild rice stuffing and orange glaze, roasted herb potatoes, parsley herbed carrots, and assorted desserts. We're also having sparkling cider (can't serve liquor but they can BYOB) and having entertainment after supper.

                                        Then afterwards mrbuffer and I will split a bottle of Asti Spumante in our apartment...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mrsbuffer

                                          In, in in! After a lame first New Year's Eve in a sub-par restaurant together, my SO and I decided to make New Year's Eve an annual lobster event. This year will be our 10th year of pigging out on steamed 2+ pounders, sipping bubbly, watching great movies and probably conking out a few minutes before the countdown to midnight. This year is even more exciting, because we're headed to India on New Year's Day for 6 weeks of happy wanderings, so New Year's Eve is the start of a grand vacation. Yahoo!

                                        2. Going out. BF needs to do something on NYE or else he feels that "the night was wasted and we are nothing but an old couple". Personally I would rather be w/family nibbling on caviar and other goodies while drinking a good bottle of champagne. But since we are new to the area and the only house parties that we have been invited to are 4+ hrs away, I am going to put on a smile and brave the crowds. Since we must go out I would rather spend $$ on food (even w/ "special menu") at a restaurant that I enjoy than pay a ridiculously high cover at a bar/club that is only charging a cover because it's NYE. So if it makes me an amateur because I'd rather spend $100 on dinner for two than spend $100 in covers (keep in mind I don't drink heavy) so be it.

                                          1. I usually want to eat out, but almost always end up eating in without complaint. At least the food is good, the company even better, and I'm not larding up on tons of foods I ought not to eat because "Hey, it's the holidays. Resolutions don't start til tomorrow!"

                                            But spending this NYE in New York, there is no way I am venturing out to deal with the frattastic, tourist-mobbed, cab-less 12-mile long public restroom that is Manhattan at midnight January 1, 2009. I will be joining a diverse group of friends for the kind of eclectic meal you could never get at a restaurant: Za'atar bread, Italian beefs, albondigas al azafran, banh mi and Gino's East pizza probably. With a few bottles of gin, whiskey and champagne, I'm sure it'll be a night to remember.

                                            1. Never, ever go out anymore. New Year's Eve is amateur night. And bad weather (where I am), crappy service, overpriced 'special menus' and drunks on the road. Always make a nice dinner at home.

                                              1. Eating in having appetizers and surf and turf(steak, shrimp and scallops)....however when my DH and I were first married we would go to a local dinner theater for their NYE show and celebration.....and for a couple years more recently we went to the Kennedy Center...had dinner in their cafe and saw a show and counted down to the New Year in the Grand Foyer.

                                                1. Eating in

                                                  Grilled ribeyes
                                                  Baked potatoes
                                                  Baked beans
                                                  Not sure what other veggie yet

                                                  1. Home! Home! Home! But I had to laugh this morning. A young couple on the plaza outside the Today Show studios was asked what they were doing tonight. They said they were staying in their hotel room to watch the ball drop on TV! Then why did they travel all that way? But I'm very glad I had the good sense to stay home. '-)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      The police cuts of an area of Times Square way before the ball drops. So if you want to see it live, many people get there around 6 or 7P and wait in the freezing cold for hours. Not my idea of fun.

                                                    2. For most big holidays my choice is eating in, for the reasons everyone has talked about....however, New Year's Day traditionally finds me diving at Pt Lobos in Monterey, and the thought of getting up at five am to get there on time makes me crazy, so tonight, as is usually the case when the weather is good, we will be enjoying an early New Year's Eve dinner at Passionfish in Pacific Grove. We may then stop by Monterey's First Night activities (they do a very nice one) for a bit, before going to sleep early at our favorite local motel, in order to get plenty of rest before hitting the water....

                                                      Fortunately, PF maintains its high standards on NYE (though it is crowded and noisy; going early helps) and while there may be a few specials, it is their regular menu. Not to mention their wonderful wine list....

                                                      When weather is bad, I generally try to stay home and dry. Not sure which I enjoy more, but tradition is tradition.....

                                                      1. Eating IN! Here in Wheaton, Maryland there are lots of ethnic markets to choose from. This year it's Shaul's Kosher Market: Bagels, whitefish salad, herring in cream sauce, lox bits (smoked salmon irregulars for half the price), schmaltz (fatty) herring, chopped liver (lighter and fluffier than pate or truffle mousse) with tomatoes and onions. And Martinelli's Sparkling grape-apple cider.

                                                        1. We're hosting a Dungeons and Dragons party! Our 19 year old ins home fro college and asked to have a bunch of his high school D&D budies over (they used to meat here every Wed. night). So we're making pizzas the kids play on the dining floor; we sit in the living room, listen and giggle. The last of 5 kids, and in 2 more years, he'll be gone. Enjoying him while we can. Also what a bus man's holiday for a couple of teachers!
                                                          Mission #2 Listen for the phone and check email. Sometime tonight we're going to be grandparents! Our eldest son's wife is over due and having a c-section in Seoul Korea on the morning of the first! They are 12 hours ahead of us, about as far away as is possible in this round spinning world.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg


                                                            We ate in...but sort of a variation. We invited several other couples, one we know well and others not as well, and did a semi-potluck. DH made his famous curried chicken, rice, and parotha and I made a raita and my SIL's cranberry chutney. One friend brought a salad, another brought desert (panettone bread pudding...DH loves her!), and another appetizers...and everyone brought wine!!

                                                            I made pomegranate cosmopolitans for the cocktail hour...and then just a little wine was drunk. So I have wine leftover! More importantly, we all had a good time, and everyone enjoyed the conversation....nice when you put together people who don't all know each other well and everyone relaxed and had a great time! Especially nice in this town, where its hard to get to know people.....

                                                            1. re: janetofreno

                                                              HAPPY NEW YEAR!
                                                              It was wicked cold here; subzero & 50MPH winds, imagine the wind chill. I just made fresh pineapple chicken breast(I rarely eat chicken!), leftover carbonara and a salad. Played cribbage by the fire and dranks some good inexpensive Menage au Trois wine. I cut wood for 3 hours, so it was a slow night.
                                                              Just bought Southwest air 1/2 price tickets to visit my bro in Henderson. Look out Skyline, here were come for Valentine's Day!
                                                              Wher's your favorite cheap mexican food in LV/Henderson?

                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                Please post any queries about LV/Henderson on the Southwest board. You are welcome to post a "pointer" here.

                                                                Thanks, and Happy New Year!

                                                          2. Eating in, that is if I could. Instead on most NYEs I'm stuck in my clogs and chef's whites feeding a crowd that (usually, with some exeptions) is too drunk to appreciate the food I'm cooking!
                                                            So eat in people, the cooks and servers don't want to be working, and if you pick a quieter night, you're garanteed better food and service...
                                                            (sigh...I know I'm dreaming, restaurants will ALWAYS be open on NYE)

                                                            1. I'm an eating in fan. I worked a lot of NYEs at a hotel, and I always dreaded driving home after, hoping I didn't meet up with a drunken yahoo.

                                                              This year Boyfriend and I ordered Indian to be delivered, and a friend came over later with a bottle of wine and some cheese. It was lovely.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: manraysky

                                                                We ate out at our favorite neighborhood place but EARLY...like I think it was still happy hour/early bird...LOL. Then we took our four year old to the fireworks close to our home and straight home BY 8:30! Dinner was great as always and I was in my PJS TO HAVE A DRINK AND WATCH THE BALL DROP...PERFECT EVENING!

                                                              2. Since I got some kidney stones for a late Christmas present, spent NYE eating in (my preference anyway) and allowed myself a whole 5 oz. of beer in case I needed to take some Percocet (which I did, New Year's Day at 5:30 am).