In recent years New Year's Eve has just been another night - no special celebrations. I hate driving anywhere that night, so staying home was the obvious answer.
But now we have a really nice local restaurant just a few miles away, and they were offering a special New Year's Eve dinner, so two of the couples on our street decided to join us at the Grand Oak Steakhouse at Highland Springs Resort.
We had an early reservation, so early that it wasn't even dark yet.
But, first things first - the wine. Only two of us are drinkers, so I brought a bottle of 2000 cabernet to drink.
Either a 3-course or a 5-course meal was offered, with two choices for each course. To taste the maximum number of courses, Bill chose one and I chose the other, except for the entree. Here are the food photos and descriptions from the menu:
Pre-dinner snack (maybe amuse bouche?)
Cauliflower creme (smooth as silk and delicious)
Trio of Salmon (Salmon roe on blini, tartar and olive wood smoked Balik lax with beets and fine herbes)
Twist on Waldorf Salad (Escarole, endive, candied walnuts, apples, celery root and gorgonzola cheese)
Wild mushroom consomme with sherry and duck confit ravioli
Jerusalem artochoke soup with pistachios and hazelnut oil
Purple sea bass & bay leaf shrimp, black noodles, fennel, basil and saffron-vanilla foam
Kabocha ravioli, spiced raisins, baby turnips and kumquat emulsion
Grand Oak filet wellington, parsley, winter greens and red wine jus (the other entree choice was a vegetarian gratin with winter root veggies)
Meyer lemon souffle with marbled chocolate and huckleberry ice cream
Caramelized champagne creme, pyramid cake, quince and anis