Remember when you partied like it was 1999? Well, how about making this New Year's Eve less about chugging peppermint schnapps, and more about having an elegant, grown-up dinner and a midnight toast with a n-i-i-ice flute of bubbly? Our ever-eating city is host to a bountiful bevy of multiple-course supper parties at some of the best spots in town, and for a few extra clams you can wine, dine and feel fine, all without swabbing the bathroom floor the morning after. Here's a list of the happening places to get your attention and your leftover holiday bread.
Le Café Miche
1431 Wyoming NE
What do ducks and Germans have in common? Usually nothing, but New Year's Eve guests of Le Café Miche will be treated to a unique sort of entrée: duck schnitzel. Our hometown French bistro is offering a four-course, $90-per-person party/dinner with party favors, a jazz trio and plenty of flowing champagne. The menu consists of classic favorites such as a soup course of either lobster bisque or roast garlic saffron, entrée choices of either beef Wellington, lamb loin, seared Ahi tuna, rack of veal Marsala or the aforementioned Deutschland duck. And what's better than this? For an additional $114, you can take advantage of a special New Year's Eve package available through Le Café Miche and the uptown Marriott. You get a limo ride to and from the restaurant, dinner, champagne and a room for the night with a late checkout time in the morning. Call to make reservations.
The Corn Maiden at Tamaya Resort and Spa
1300 Tuyuna Trail, Santa Ana Pueblo
This restaurant offers a New Year's Eve menu that is "maiden" heaven. (Sorry, corny.) From 6 to 9:30 p.m. dinner guests will be treated to foie gras with figs and cheese, soup and salad, and five tongue-salivating choices of entrée, including a potato-encrusted lamb loin, a lobster-stuffed filet, veal and crab scallopine, red currant-glazed ostrich, and my personal favorite pick, the wild boar tenderloin. Dessert is a white chocolate cassis and raspberry tamarind marjolaine with bittersweet chocolate ganache, complete with coffee service. Definitely call and make reservations ahead of time, as limited seating is inevitable.
3128 Central SE
What exactly is it about Jennifer James' cooking that we all love and cherish? Maybe it is the fact that it looks as pretty as it makes us feel (blush and stammer for a minute). New Year's at Graze is a love affair all its own with $55 per person at the 5 p.m. seating and $85 for 7:30 and after. So what do you get for this? Some hot culinary lovin' to the tune of five courses. Grazers will receive choices like roasted butternut squash soup with fresh herb garnish, fried oysters with wilted spinach and Tabasco aioli, butter-poached lobster tail over couscous, fennel and watercress salad, and a love-it-or-leave-it dessert menu of poached pear with bread pudding and a bittersweet chocolate boca negra with mint ice cream. Call to reserve seating.
288 Prairie Star Road, Santa Ana Pueblo
Who's the star of the New Year's Eve dinner? You are! You are! Eat like a champion with their six course menu at $75 per person, and pinch a few pennies (10 percent off, to be exact) by arriving from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Your edible star treatment begins with a first course of pan-seared Ahi tuna/herb-grilled lamb chops, followed by flash-fried Atlantic oysters and a braised pork foie gras tart. Next is a bowl of black tiger shrimp bisque and seasonal herb salad, then on to the main course: beef tenderloin with a lobster tail--always a crowd pleaser. Stars deserve sweets, so expect four different dessert picks, including raspberry chocolate torte and a strawberry almond Napoleon. Make a secured reservation over the phone with a credit card, as seating is limited here, too.
3009 Central NE
Impressing yourself and others is always easy when you dine out at Zinc. Have a snazzy and jazzy New Year's Eve for $65 per person, which includes the table, live music, food and wine (but you gotta pony up for tip and tax). Start off with Champagne and Brie. Then comes the apple-smoked chicken salad paired with a half glass of Roessler Dutton Chardonnay, followed by porcini mushroom ravioli paired with a half glass of Roessler 'Sangiacomo' Pinot Noir. The main course is wild chinook salmon paired with the Roessler 'La Brisa' Pinot Noir, or an all-natural ribeye paired with the Roessler 'Blue Jay" Pinot Noir. Could there possibly be more? Why, yes—for dessert try house-made truffles. In jazz speak it all equals yummy-scoo-deep-a-doo-dah. Call for reservations.
Seasons of Albuquerque
2031 Mountain NW
Our upscale buds at Seasons are known for changing it up, and although the meals are pricey, you get what you pay for. Take their New Year's Eve spread, for example--along with the regular menu for those wishing for a more casual dinner, there is a prix fixe menu with four courses for $60 per person with wine pairing, or $40 without. Special seating is included, and prix fixe menu guests will be entertained in the private Magnum room at 7 p.m., but do call and make reservations as seating is limited.
3500 Central SE
These guys can cook. They'll have you Scalo-vating over the six courses of goodness promised for their New Year's supper du jour. For $70 a person (or $90 with wine pairings) you can choose one of four seating times: 6, 7, 8:30 or 9:30 p.m. and enjoy a six course layout of seared scallops, potato leek soup, pan-seared quail stuffed with toasted pecans, a fresh citrus salad, rack of lamb with herb demi-glace and a dark chocolate mousse for dessert. Call for reservations.
Chama River Brewing Company
4939 Pan American Freeway
Executive Chef Dustin Joseph will lead us right into the promised land of 2006 on the evening of Dec. 31. For $65 bones per person (add $15 for beer flight, $28 for wine flight, $40 for reserve wine) you and your cats and kittens can kick it to live music, dancing and a five course meal starting at 9 p.m. and ending with a champagne toast at midnight. Want a sneaky-peek at the menu? Starters are pan-seared sea scallops with vanilla bean beurre blanc and forbidden rice cake, and one entrée choice is house-smoked grass-fed tenderloin of Uruguayan beef with black truffle risotto. What, might you ask, is forbidden about the rice cake? I guess you'll have to go to find out. Call ahead for reservations.