The last day of the year is arguably the occasion for the meal of the year. It’s a pivotal moment of reflecting on what’s behind us — new taste discoveries, the fading memory of both failed and successful dining trends — and it’s a time to anticipate the coming year's new culinary adventures and to plan for the future (maybe this is the year you’ll finally start that food blog or tackle an intimidating recipe from Modernist Cuisine). For some, it’s a last chance to throw caloric caution to the wind before embarking upon some shaky diet resolutions. In any case, when it comes to choosing a restaurant to ring in 2012, the pressures can be daunting.
Though many restaurants are sure to offer a special, albeit pricey, New Year’s Eve menu, not all can boast all the varied components that go into making an epic restaurant celebration. What are those things?
Sometimes it's a grand view, one that could be called “one of the greatest city views in the world," as at Top of the Hub in Boston, or one perched over painting-worthy landscapes, as at the Cliff House in San Francisco. Sometimes it's a wacky premise, like the Apocalypse-themed New Year's Eve menu at Vinegar Hill House in Brooklyn, N.Y.
After searching across the country for extravagant tasting menus, considering exquisite views, and evaluating chefs, food, cuisine, and place, The Daily Meal singled out 10 restaurants where you can still get reservations as the places that, if money were no option, rank as 2011's 10 Best Restaurants to Celebrate New Year's Eve.
Whether it's a menu, a view, or dishes that showcase the talent of America's best and brightest chefs, the 10 restaurants singled out in 2011's 10 Best Restaurants to Celebrate New Year's Eve are sure to set the scene for a special moment. Here’s a guide for having an amazing New Year’s Eve meal, one you’ll be talking about even 12 months down the line.