Another enticing New Year’s Eve dinner will take place at Faustina (454 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, FaustinaSLC.com) where Executive Chef Billy Sotello has assembled a decadent prix fixe ($50 per person) menu that includes options such as tuna tartare; pancetta-wrapped rabbit with winter squash caponata; black-truffle-layered scallops with roasted fennel risotto; herb-crusted beef tenderloin with sauteed portabello and white asparagus; black truffle gnocchi with Hen of the Wood mushrooms and roasted corn-truffle broth; and roast lamb rack with squash ratatouille. Dessert choices include vanilla-bean creme brulee, chocolate lava cake, and pumpkin panna cotta. Suggested optional wine pairings (priced separately) include Belle Glos Pinot Noir Blanc (one of my favorites), Londer Dry Gewürztraminer, Anselmi “San Vincenzo,” Nik Weiss Riesling and Elderton Botrytis Semillon. Phone Faustina at 801-746-4441 for reservations.
New Year’s @ Finca & Pago
If you’re looking for unique dining on New Year’s Eve, I’d recommend giving Scott Evans’ restaurants a look. First, at Finca (1291 S. 1100 East, Salt Lake City, FincaSLC.com), a New Year’s Eve tasting menu (in addition to the regular Finca menu) will be served that honors the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight. The six-course menu incorporates grapes into each dish, and each is paired with a grape-based libation, to simulate the 12 grapes of New Year’s. Sample menu items include a beet salad with pickled grapes, house ricotta and honey-wine vinegar, and a pork-cheek empanada with grape and quince jam. The price is $45, plus tax and gratuity, with alcohol pairings priced individually. Call 801-487-0699 for reservations.
Then, at Pago, (878 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, PagoSLC.com) there will be a three-course tasting menu ($60, plus tax and gratuity, with wine pairings priced separately), featuring menu options such as oyster Brie bisque; Pleasant Creek steak tartare; braised pork shanks with apple butter, Savoy cabbage and sage späetzle; potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms; Meyer’s Ranch strip steak Oscar; and scallops with housemade bacon, fingerling potatoes, Brussels sprouts and chowder nage. Phone Pago at 801-532-0777 for reservations.
Quote of the week: The drunkeness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to. —P.J. O’Rourke