New Year’s Eve Dining Guide
BY BRIDGET SALMONS
On a budget? You don’t need to drop a lot of dough to impress your New Year’s date with a midnight-smooch-worthy dinner. Here, our six favorite NYE prix fixe menus under $60 (plus three restaurants where you can score a pricey meal for less). You can thank us later.
At Le Bar Lyonnais, the $60 five-course menu starts with the cassolette of snails (a Philly Mag favorite dish) and ends with your choice from the Le Bec-Fin dessert cart. Plus, if you stay until 11 p.m. you’ll be treated to complimentary chocolates and petite pastries from the famous kitchen. Seatings start at 5 p.m. 1523 Walnut Street; 215-567-1000.
Here are some of the dishes on London Grill’s four-course menu: roasted filet with sweetbread-and-bone-marrow ravioli, goat cheese gnocchi with wild mushroom and tomato chutney, striped bass with Maine lobster and chanterelle mushroom ragout, and oyster tartare. Yes, it’s all sounds very rich, but it will only cost you $45. Seatings from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. 2301 Fairmount Avenue; 215-978-4545.
Something about roasted oysters (with crème fraîche and caviar), truffle-crusted seared scallops, and spit-grilled lobster just screams “New Year’s.” If you agree, you’ll love the Oyster House’s $55 four-course dinner. If you’re really trying impress, add on the $10 raw bar course and you’re still only at $65. Seatings from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. 1516 Sansom Street; 215-567-7683.
There’s no shortage of holiday ingredients on chef Dionicio Jimenez’s $60 four-course menu at Xochitl. Tuna ceviche is paired with foie gras and figs; langostines are treated to mushrooms, quince and vanilla; and baked cod is covered with pumpkin-seed pesto. Seatings from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. 408 South 2nd Street; 215-238-7280.
With small plates like crab-stuffed piquillo peppers, chestnut soup with foie gras, and lobster a la plancha on Amada’s $60 menu, you’re guaranteed to start the New Year with a full and happy belly. 217 Chestnut Street; 215-625-2450.
At Mémé in Rittenhouse Square, Chef David Katz’s $50 five-course meal is all about the these high-quality ingredients: quail from Griggstown farm in New Jersey, cheeses from California’s Cowgirl Creamery, and a chilled shellfish assortment with both East and West Coast oysters. 2201 Spruce Street; 215-735-4900.
Psst … When it comes to New Year’s Eve dining, the early bird catches the worm. Meaning, oftentimes the trick to affordable NYE dining is to book the earliest seating available. Here are three of our favorite “early bird” deals:
At Blackfish, chef Chip Roman’s New Year’s tasting menu costs $75 for four courses. But if you make a reservation between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., you’ll get three of those seafood-centric courses for $55. And best of all, you’ll still have your pick of the four-course menu — skip dessert and have three savory courses, or forgo one of the early courses and end the meal with something sweet. 119 Fayette Street, Conshohocken; 610-397-0888.
At Noble American Cookery, make a reservation for the 6 p.m. seating and you’ll get a four-course menu, which includes the delicious-sounding red-wine-braised short ribs and sweet onion rice pudding, for just $50. (The later seating costs $75!) 2025 Sansom Street; 215-568-7000.
At Bar Ferdinand, the 5 p.m. seating feasts on chef Michael Thomas’s six-course menu (chestnut gnocchi, Spanish octopus with salsa verde, and smoked duck breast ) for a mere $55. After 7:30, those six courses will cost you $75. 1030 North 2nd Street; 215-923-1313.