December 29th, 2008

What’re you doing New Year’s Eve? Readers poll

Shirley Maclaine in The Apartment

Since I’m out of the New Year’s Eve loop this year (I’ve temporarily abandoned Boston for Vermont), I decided to reach out to’s readers to get a snapshot of what the discriminating Beantown imbiber is up to on Amateur Night. Here are a few of the answers I got.

James S. has a plan I can get behind. “I often entertain at home on NYE, but this year I have friends who expressed an interest in exploring cocktail culture more deeply, so I’m bringing them over to the bar at No. 9 Park, followed by dinner at The Marliave (downstairs, which has a far more modest menu that the ritzy upstairs, but the same worthy bartending).”

Brian D. said, “I’m having dinner at my wife’s sister’s house. Her husband is a wine importer, so I’m expecting something good. Then, I’ll probably just have a few beers on my couch. It’s a bad night to be on the road.” Indeed it is.

A romantic named Patrick has the following plan: “Probably heading to Bina for an early dinner, then getting home before the madness and getting under cover with my sweetheart to make out at midnight. I’ll make her a tremendous breakfast on New Year’s morning, and congratulate ourselves for not dealing with the douche-bag factor fighting for cabs at 1:30 a.m. Have a peaceful New Year’s Eve.” Same to you.

Sensible cocktailians Fred and Andrea of the Cocktail Virgin Slut blog say: “We’re eschewing all commercial establishments and the concept of driving anywhere for New Year’s. We’re probably going to start at an ex-co-worker of mine’s house whose wife was a Boston bartender and move on to friends of Andrea’s who are new-school creative cocktail wizards. We’ll probably visit our favorite bars and bartenders in the days before and after New Year’s.” Smart.

“We always stay in, low key, with bubbly and treats,” says freelance food/drink/sports writer Jacqueline Church. Mmm, bubbly and treats.

Meanwhile, Winn G. will be out and about in your ‘hood, Jackie: “I shall be attending the New Year’s Eve party at Sorriso, 107 South Street, in the Leather District. It should be good fun.”

The ever-acerbic MC Slim JB offers this opinion of the annual year-end ritual: “Pure amateur-night hell, about as good an idea as dining out on Valentine’s or Mother’s Day. Rookie drinkers, restaurant gouging on chintzy prix-fixe menus, a risk to life and limb on both sidewalks and roadways, and a better-than-average chance of getting your shoeshine ruined by someone else’s vomit. I’ll be cooking a luxurious meal (by the standards of my kitchen) at home for a few friends, serving some classic cocktails (I’m thinking maybe Scofflaws, as I made my own grenadine recently and they look so festive), and busting out maybe one fancy bottle of wine from my meager cellar. I may serve some Champagne as an aperitif, but most of my crew are wary of it, ascribing rough morning-afters to bubbly even in sensible quantities.” About that bubbly — make it a good one and no one gets hurt.

Jennifer H. is (thankfully) not afraid to share this: “My roommate and former boyfriend — yes, it’s true — is getting a root canal that day so I may stay in that evening out of pity. I have the afternoon off and would like to run around doing First Night stuff if my knees are up to it. My best New Year’s, however, began at the Independent, moved to Atwood’s by foot via the Shell station for cigarettes and whatnot for the rest of the group, then to Joey Mac’s (I love dives), which was closing, then on to a party Joey’s bartender had been invited to at the East Side Bar & Grill. All I remember is that in the back the walls were shell pink and there was a DJ and dancing … no, I remember a little more than that. This was exactly what I wanted to do … not be in the big city for the fireworks, something I did at nineteen, but celebrate and drink with a bunch of friends, not ignoring the night either.”

Poor Mary J. needs our help, as she’ll be “in Pittsburgh, PA, desperately seeking a good Manhattan! Ideas?” I told Mary to track down one of the Pittsburgh broads who started the original chapter of Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails.

Finally, Amie D. plans on “hunkering down with my best sweats, lo mein, and a delicious bottle on whim. Will hit the Southie Brownies in the a.m. if I have back up …” No f-ing way! OK, maybe next year.

See you at the bars in ’09, everyone.

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9 Responses to “What’re you doing New Year’s Eve? Readers poll”

  1. Jan D

    Working at First Night Boston making sure every one else has a wonderful New Years Eve

  2. ljclark

    Party hats off to you, Jan D.

  3. erik_flannestad

    I’m with Jacqueline Church! Stay in, Low key, bubbly, and treats all the way.

  4. ljclark

    You, too, Erik? Are good bars in SFO as overcrowded as those in Boston on NYE?

  5. Jonathan

    I’m a flask of Jameson’s reserve and First Night in Northampton — no good bars in town — but great low key kooky entertainment in the Happy Valley can’t be beat

  6. Gareth

    Some interesting plans mixed in there, sounds fun.

    Staying out of the bars. Friends over with a 1/6 barrel of Blanchard’s finest and a nice bottle of single malt (a steal in duty free) to cap it.

  7. steinpilz

    For the lady in Pittsburgh, one of my favorite places (it really is a very food- and drink- friendly city) was the oyster bar at the Grand Concourse – it’s in a big old train station that now houses a fancy restaurant. Haven’t been back in years, must certainly by other good places around there now.

  8. ljclark

    Oooh, lots of whiskey drinking, and some good vibes from Pittsburgh. Beautiful.

  9. pinky g

    Happy New Year, Drinkboston!! You’re the tops! xoxo

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