Cheers to eating fancy

Illustration by SERENE LUSANO

New Year’s Resolution: stop spending so much money at restaurants. It’s a worthy idea, but one that could wait until after a New Year’s Eve blowout dinner. Several area restaurants are offering such extravagant affairs. The Firehouse Restaurant’s five-course menus cost $99. Think fennel pollen-crusted lamb with a red wine-huckleberry sauce or chevre soufflé with chervil, crème fraiche and caviar. Vegans get a menu too: smoked quinoa salad, chanterelle bruschetta, tofu in banana curry and so forth. Vegans will also be welcome when Mother and Empress Tavern team up for a five-course meal. For $85, guests can choose between one vegetarian—or vegan—and one meaty option for each course. And while strictly an omnivorous affair, the four-course dinner at Cask & Barrel looks mighty impressive. For $60 plus entry to a swanky afterparty, you get the likes of pan-roasted salmon with kumquat, fennel, sprouts, hazelnuts and beurre blanc or 24-hour short rib with apple chutney, fermented barley and a port wine sauce.