News for Foodies 12.29.11

Cafe Max
    Reports of Cafe Max’s demise are false, Max Weintraub, its chef and owner, said this week. The restaurant is, and will be, open, and is welcoming New Year’s Eve revelers with three dinner seatings, at 5, 7, and 9 p.m. The earliest birds will get two courses, with a choice from five appetizers and five entrees, for $30 plus tax and tip. At 7 p.m., diners will be offered feathered tiaras, top hats, and noisemakers along with a $65 four-course dinner, which includes a free house drink. The 9 p.m. seating will cost $50, including the four courses, party favors, and a midnight toast.

More New Year’s Eve
    The Living Room restaurant at c/o the Maidstone in East Hampton will offer an early a la carte dinner for New Year’s Eve, served between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., and a $125 holiday special beginning at 9 p.m. It includes a four-course dinner and a glass of champagne. Choices for starters will include wild mushrooms served with a brandy truffle cream and toasted brioche, gravlax with potato pancakes, creme fraiche,  Swedish caviars, and oysters. Entree choices will be loin of venison, Muscovy duck breast, veal with lobster, and roasted rack of lamb.
    Those who choose to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Shagwong in Montauk can order a dinner special, with prices starting at $10.95, or choose a $40 prix fixe that includes three courses plus a glass of champagne.
    At Manucci’s, also in Montauk, a New Year’s Eve special includes a four-course dinner and complimentary champagne toast for $45 plus tax and gratuity. Seatings are at 6 and 10:30 p.m.    
    The Harvest restaurant in Montauk will be open for New Year’s Eve, as will East by Northeast, where there will be live music by Klyph Black and Tali (Icepack) Jackson.  A first dinner seating costs $40, and a later seating, at 8:30 p.m., will cost $85. It will include a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, and midnight champagne. Reservations have been requested. Items on the menu will include local bay scallop ceviche, roasted filet mignon, monkfish, or Long Island duck breast, lobster, rack of lamb, and shrimp, clams, and mussels served over udon noodles with lime and sake broth.
    On the day after the big night, there will be a New Year’s Day brunch at Gurney’s Inn, to start 2012 off right.
    At Pierre’s in Bridgehampton, an early birds’ dinner will be served from 5 until 6:30 p.m., for $55, and a New Year’s party celebration dinner will begin at 8:30 p.m. and cost $95. On New Year’s Day, Pierre’s will open at 8 in the morning, and will serve an American breakfast as well as brunch and dinner later in the day. 
    The Southampton Inn has promised an “old-fashioned New Year’s Eve party, Hamptons style.” The package includes not only dinner, accompanied by an open bar and midnight champagne toast, but overnight accommodations at the inn, a New Year’s Day brunch at OSO, the inn’s restaurant, and a late checkout, at 2 p.m. New Year’s Day. The cost for all is $389 per couple plus tax and gratuity.

Top Latke
    Jason Weiner, the chef and owner at Almond in Bridgehampton, took first place at the third annual Latke Festival held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Dec. 19. His potato latke with house-smoked bluefish, goat yogurt, and dill was made using a family recipe passed down from his grandmother and featured local ingredients.
    A prix fixe is being offered at Almond between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. every night of the week. The $28 special includes three courses, with a choice among three items from the regular menu for each course. The choices change nightly.