Good Taste: Martha’s Vineyard offers many choices to dine out on New Year’s

State Road Restaurant offers two seatings at two prix fixe prices: 6 pm for $75 and $9 pm for $125.
File photo by Mae Deary

State Road Restaurant offers two seatings at two prix fixe prices: 6 pm for $75 and $9 pm for $125.

I think it’s nice during the post Christmas exhale to have one more holiday to anticipate before the real winter lull sets in. The week allows for some time to tinker with new toys, assemble new treasures, and read new books but amidst all that relaxing I like that the holiday hoopla is not over all at once.

Sometimes the pressure of doing something momentous on New Year’s Eve is too much and the temptation to ignore it is strong. But bidding adieu to the past while optimistically saluting the future doesn’t have to be extravagant (though it can be). It can be marked with a special dinner out, at one of many Island restaurants offering unique New Year’s Eve menus.

I’m including a traditional “good luck” recipe in case your couch, a pair of new PJ’s, and a bottle of bubbly are how you celebrate.

Edgartown

The Harbor View Hotel is hosting their first annual New Year’s Eve Party. Start the evening with a $48 prix fixe, three-course dinner at Henry’s from 5 to 9 pm. At 9 pm, the entire downstairs of the hotel turns into a semi-formal gala. Tickets are $75 per person and include passed hors d’oeuvres like caviar topped fingerling potato crisps, a raw bar, risotto station, a Champagne toast, a dance party with DJ Ricky Prime and DJ Di in the Grand Ballroom and entertainment by The Sultans of Swing in Water Street restaurant.

At 12 midnight, check out the much anticipated fireworks display. Semi-formal attire is required at this 21+ event, get your tickets at the Harbor View. Overnight packages are available at both the Harbor View and at the Kelley House, where you can spend the night instead of cab fare, then make your way to the Grand Buffet Brunch at from 10 am to 2 pm. Jeremy Berlin will be on the keyboard while you enjoy Lobster Eggs Benedict, waffle and omelet stations, a raw bar, and more. Brunch is $38, check out harbor-view.com for details.

Atria is in the midst of their maiden off-season, and will celebrate New Year’s Eve with dinner, dancing, and champagne, both in the upstairs dining room and downstairs in the brick cellar. Call 508-627-5850 for details.

The Grill On Main is offering a two-for-one deal on entrees such as grilled Angus beef tenderloin and baked cod on New Year’s Eve. Call 508-627-8344 for reservations.

Alchemy is offering two seatings for their New Year’s Eve celebration. From 5:30 to 7:15 pm, guests will enjoy a three-course prix fixe dinner for $65; from 7:30 to 10 pm, a four-course prix fixe for $85. Call 508-627-9999 for reservations and details.

Albert Lattanzi has a whole lot of oysters, which will be incorporated into his traditional Italian New Year’s Feast, a four-course, $49.95 prix fixe served in the pizzeria as well as in the main restaurant. Call Lattanzi’s at 508-627-9084 for reservations and details.

Oak Bluffs

The Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company is taking reservations for the New Year’s Eve extravaganza. For $75 per person, enjoy a five-course feast including a chowder course; salad; appetizer; entrée choices chicken, scallops, swordfish, and tenderloin; and dessert. Swoon to the tunes of Frank Sinatra during dinner and ring in the New Year with Elvis. Call 508-696-3000 for reservations and stay tuned for information about the groundbreaking new Resolution Cocktail coming soon.

In addition to their signature pub fare and homemade brews, Offshore Ale will have New Year’s specials and live music. Call 508-693-2626 for details.

Park Corner Bistro is doing a four course New Year’s dinner with a champagne toast. Call 508-696-9922 for reservations and pricing details.

Vineyard Haven

Join Chef Jean Dupon for his annual French New Year’s Feast at Le Grenier. The four-course feast of an appetizer, a Caesar salad, entree, and dessert is $85, with entrees available such as La Caille aux “Folles”: stuffed quail with duck, veal, and pork finished with a Cognac Portobello demi-glace; or Scallops a la Russe: sauteed with shallots, flambeed with vodka, finished with red caviar and cream. Finish with the classic strawberries au poivre, served over ice cream; coffee and tea is included. Call 508-693-4906 for reservations.

Zephrus at the Mansion House is offering two-hour seatings to enjoy Chef Ben deForest’s a la carte menu. Appetizers such as grilled stuffed quail with chestnut spaetzle and bittersweet market greens with corn bread croutons and cider vinaigrette range from $9 to $18. Featured entrees include roasted rack of lamb with Asiago-spinach risotto and roasted garlic-red wine sauce ($48) and seared “big-ass”sea scallops with root vegetables and celery tea ($29). If you can get your whole party to agree, consider Chef’s New Year’s Tasting Menu ($78), and the whole table must participate. The Mansion House urges you to be safe. Rooms start at $99, or allow them to call you a cab. Call 508-693-3416 for reservations.

West Tisbury

The Lambert’s Cove Inn is offering a four-course prix fixe menu. Reservations will be taken between 5:30 and 6 pm for $100 per person. The later seating, between 8 and 8:30, is $150 per person and includes a champagne toast at 12 midnight. Start with a soup: butternut squash with fresh nutmeg, crème fraiche, candied pecans, and fried sage or cauliflower with white truffle oil, house made purple potato chips, and chives. Appetizers include local oysters two ways, and shrimp and grits. For dinner, butter poached lobster, local bay scallops, vegetarian options, and more. Guests will enjoy the sounds of Jeremy Berlin on the keyboard and Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish for dancing.

Celebrate with State Road Restaurant during two seatings, at 6 pm for $75 and at 9 pm for $125. There is also open seating available at the bar with an a la carte menu.

Good luck

The tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s for good luck dates back centuries. In the south, the beans are typically served with collard or mustard greens and ham. The greens symbolize money while the beans, because they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity. This is a simple recipe, slightly adapted from allrecipes.com for New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas, but the beans can take up to three hours to soften, so get started early. Serve with your favorite green to get the money rolling in 2012.

You’ll need:

1 pound dry black-eyed peas (canned are available if you prefer)

2 cups chopped cooked ham (perfect use for Christmas ham leftovers!)

salt and pepper to taste

1 pinch garlic powder

2 onions, diced

1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes

Directions:

Place black-eyed peas in 8 qt. pot.

Add enough water to fill pot 3/4 full.

Stir in ham and diced onions.

Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor, blend until the tomatoes are liquefied.

Add tomatoes to pot. Bring all ingredients to boil.

Cover the pot, simmer on low heat for 2 1/2 -3 hours, or until the peas are tender.