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Dec 18, 2013 10:39 AM

Park Slope New Year's Eve resto?

We're looking for a place to have a relatively tranquil dinner (for 3) on New Year's Eve. We would prefer an early seating--not interested in the midnight scene. We're in the Park Slope area near 5th and Sterling Place. Very grateful for any ideas!

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  1. I believe that both Franny's and their newer more traditional offshoot Marco's are both serving special meals on New Years Eve

    1. If there's one night in the year where the word "tranquil" doesn't apply, it has to be New Year's Eve. Everyplace that's open at midnight starts gearing up as soon as they open, whether it's at noon or 5:00 PM. I doubt any establishment's mind is on providing a tranquil dining experience that night.

      The staff that works on NYE is also gearing up for the festivities (ordeal?) to come. Their minds aren't on early quiet dinners.

      Understanding that, if you still want to venture out on NYE, I can tell you that my wife and I had an early-ish dinner one NYE a few years back at Blue Ribbon. We got there around 5:30 or 6:00 PM and it wasn't all that crowded, but by 7:30 it had crowded up quite a bit. All the dining seats were taken and there was a line at the bar. We enjoyed our dinner and we were thankful that we were getting out of there as the evening was picking up steam. But we had a good time and there was enough staff to handle the flow. I can't describe it as tranquil, though.

      Good luck in any event...

      10 Replies
      1. re: BrookBoy

        I think any of the places you can rely on for a civilized dinner can deliver it on that night, though the pressure (in most places) of multiple seatings can tell. Weve had good experiences at Convivium on holidays for example.

        1. re: BrookBoy

          On holiday evenings one of the most blood chilling phrases I've ever heard in restaurants is "we have a special menu tonight."

          Translated, it means they've removed most or all of the regular menu choices in favor of a 3 or 4 choice set menu that's almost always inferior to what they usually serve. And they'll charge you two or three times as much for the privilege of eating an inferior meal.

          Places that offer interesting specials in addition to the regular menu are a different story.

          Other people may have had different experiences but I've got CH friends who've had the same thing happen to them.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, Valentine's and Mother's Day...same story. Kinda reminds me of those "special" Restaurant Week "deals"...which, IMO, aren't so.

            1. re: Mike R.

              Having a limited menu seems like a valid practice to me, to accomodate a larger than average demand and more than the usual amount of turnover. For example a restaurant (now closed) that we went to a couple times on NYE had three seatings. The pricing was reasonable and the food was up to their normal standard. The only noticeable effect was that the courses were pushed out rapidly making a less relaxing experience. In general we avoid going out to eat on these special days - or if we do will head to Chinatown or similar.

              If a restaurant is offering a truly special menu (as opposed to a simple prix fixe) and a relaxed atmosphere, I think special pricing is warranted.

              1. re: jen kalb

                You are a far more generous soul than I, jen kalb. I agree with Bob M above. Maybe I take exception to classifying Thanksgiving in the same group as VDay, MDay and NYE. Mostly it's "wedding food" quality. It's optimized for turnover and margin. And demand. I don't hold it against a restaurant trying to meet an extraordinarily high demand. I just don't participate in it. I would rather eat dinner at my home or at a friend's home than go out. It's like trying to get a nice quiet pint with a friend on March 17th, or a high-quality, civilized margarita on May 5th.

                1. re: egit

                  For reasons I won't go into, we don't have the option of staying home. I realize it's not the best night of the year to go out to eat, and I also realize I was silly to use the term "tranquil."

                  So let me re-pose the question: if you had no choice but to dine out early on NYEve, where might you go for the least execrable experience possible?

                    1. re: elk

                      Dinosaur BBQ. Good food and laid back atmosphere.
                      Happy New Year!

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    Jen, I am wondering what place you are alluding to. We spent 2 - 3 NYE's at Mike and Tony's (also gone) and found it great- regular menu, professional service, and nice balloons decorating the space.

                    1. re: jonfbrooklyn

                      it was a place near us now long closed. not MIke and Tony's.

            2. • Park Slope's under-the-radar Olivier Bistro will serve a four-course New Year's Eve menu for $45 per person. Sample dishes include oysters gratinee, lobster bisque, beef Wellington, parfait au chocolat, and, of course, lots of bubbly. Call 718-768-6600 to reserve. [Grub Street]