hello 2011

New Year’s Eve for us is often spent at home.  We’ve hosted a few NYE parties over the years but usually it is just me and Farb.  There is no reflecting, no resolution making but rather just a quiet night after a busy month of holiday merriment.  Perfect for us. We don’t have to dress up, brave the cold and more important, brave the throngs who over-indulge.  Dinner can take as long as we want and the best seats to watch the Space Needle fireworks are right in front of our window.  The evening started out with a glass of Prosecco while making appetizers.  That was quickly followed up with this little number.  NY’s Union Square Cafe has a nice version of a Proscecco cocktail called the Venetian Spritz.  It’s simple and a great aperitif. Fill a flute ¾ full with 3.5 oz of Prosecco, add a splash of the Italian bitter-orange liquer Aperol and 1 sugar cube.  The sugar cube will cause a chemical reaction so watch for the foam and fizz.
We had two apps, crab and artichoke stuffed mushrooms [okay, I cheated – store bought from Metropolitan Market but they were delish!] and deviled eggs.  My friend Kevin unwittingly taunts me on Facebook with comments about his deviled eggs, which apparently he makes for every family gathering.  My mouth starts salivating every time I read his status updates that even mention the word egg.  Couldn’t take it any more and made my own.  They were tas-tee!  Kevin: I’m ready for a deviled egg taste off when you are.  I know I’ll never win a tamale throw down.

         

Cocktail time! Next up was Tabla’s Pomegranate Gimlet. [Do you see a NY city cocktail theme here?]  I love pomegranates and this is a great winter drink.  Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice.  Add  1¾ oz of gin, 1 oz each of lime and pomegranate juice and ¾ oz simple syrup.  Stir and garnish with lime and/or pomegranate seeds.  It is refreshing and was a nice palate cleanser.  Plus, look at the beautiful color.

The BEST part of the evening…the Canlis Salad.  I am a salad girl.  And in Seattle, this is my all-time favorite, which is funny because it took three visits for me to finally try it.  The mint and oregano perplexed me; the coddled egg scared me.  But the third time is always a charm.  I order it every visit without fail.  I truly adore Canlis, for many reasons: the food is always great, their wine list hurts my head in a wonderful way, they have Yamazaki Japanese whisky {love}, the ambience is spectacular, it’s walking distance from the house, and their team, well, they are pretty wonderful.  My favorite person there is maitre’d David Kim.  He goes above and beyond to make sure that each and every visit is special.  Taking the time to get to know and remember our guests is just in his nature.  We had Farb’s 50th birthday at Canlis and it is the place we go every year for my birthday.  Many special occassions have taken place there and David has been a part of them all.  And if you haven’t heard about how Canlis chose to celebrate their 60th birthday, you should.  They perfectly married cunning, creativity and social media to honor Seattle and give many gifts to the community.  The greatest gift of all may be how they are now approaching philanthropy.   Kudos, Canlis, and happy birthday.

Braised beef short ribs with polenta and simply prepared green beans rounded out the meal.  Good thing dinner was spaced out over four hours otherwise we might have exploded.  Last cocktail of 2010 was Gramercy Tavern’s Applejack Rabbit.  If Canlis is one of my favorite Seattle restaurants, Gramercy Tavern is #1 in NYC.  Seasonally inspired, everything from the food to the cocktails to the decor is impeccably done.  Did I mention the decor? Ooh baby.  Fall is my favorite season and when fall comes to New York, no one does it better than Gramercy Tavern.  Simply put, it is stunning!   A note about our NYE’s drinks.  If you enjoy cocktails and like making them at home, you must get Danny Meyer’s [the man behind many of NY’s beloved restaurants] book Mix Shake Stir.  It will become your bible.

Although this drink combines apple brandy and maple syrup it is not overly sweet.  The acid from the juices balance it out well.  In a small bowl, combine 2 oz of apple brandy with 2/3 oz maple syrup.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice adding the brandy-syrup mixture and ¾ oz each orange and lemon juices.  Shake and strain into a martini glass; garnish with an apple slice.  The Applejack Rabbit was the perfect “dessert.” 
 

Following this and the fireworks show, we said goodbye to 2010.  Excited to see what 2011 brings.

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