Chefs plan sophisticated menus for New Year's Eve

Chefs plan sophisticated menus for New Year's Eve

December 30th, 2009 by Anne Braly in Entertainmentfood

What will you be doing New Year's Eve? I, for one, will be home watching the Chick-fil-A Bowl game. If you plan on making it an evening on the town, here are a couple of suggestions to make it memorable.

* Easy Bistro & Bar chef Erik Neal will pull out all the stops for his four-course culinary toast to 2010. Start with your choice of appetizers, such as the raw oyster sampling. My pick for the second course would be the smoked ham salad with gruyere, escarole and walnuts. You'll have a choice of four entrees: steamed Mero seabass; truffle and maitake-crusted chicken breast; lamb loin with basil-fennel crust; or beef tenderloin Rossini with seared foie gras and syrah sauce. Your dessert choices are incredible as well. The prix-fixe dinner is $70 per person; $95 with wine pairings. Call 266-1121 for the 6:30 and 8 p.m. seatings.

* St. John's Restaurant will offer two seating options for its four-course tasting dinner. Chef Daniel Lindley has filled the menu with all kinds of good things, including Bristol Bay oysters, Nantucket Bay scallops, Maine lobster salad, chestnut risotto with braised rabbit and black truffles. The first seating is $100 per person, with reservations available between 5 and 6:45 p.m. The second seating is $125 per person, with reservations available between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. The second seating includes live jazz and a champagne toast at midnight. All reservations are presold, due to high demand, and tax and gratuity are included. Phone: 266-4400.

* Broad Street Grille executive chef Matt Pinner and his talented team are preparing a sophisticated, five-course dinner. The crowning touch of these enticing dishes is the selection of entrees: Silverton Ridge rack of lamb with homemade lamb sausage, pan-seared natural chicken breast with Parmesan potato puree, baby carrots and Cabernet reduction; Scallop Mousseline and citrus poached colossal shrimp; or horseradish-crusted tenderloin with woodland mushroom ragout. And, of course, there will be an amazing assortment of mouthwatering desserts. Hours: 6-10 p.m. Price: $125 per couple (includes access to the New Year's celebration in The Foundry with live entertainment, a complimentary beverage and midnight champagne toast). Guests may choose to attend the party in The Foundry only for a cost of $15 per person. For reservations, call 424-3700.

The town of Dayton, Tenn., carries with it a remarkable history, most notably, the historic Scopes Trial of 1925. Now, members of the St. Tikhon Orthodox Church are selling copies of "Trial by Taste," by church member Richard Daugherty and Father David Colburn. The book sells for $28, and proceeds will help toward the St. Tikhon Orthodox Church building fund. It can be purchased in Chattanooga at Bluegrass Grill, 55 E. Main St.; or in Dayton at the offices of the Dayton Herald, 3687 Rhea County Highway, and the Gathering Place antiques store, 1422 Market St., just south of the Rhea County Courthouse.

The large book contains more than 600 recipes from the church family, friends and other Daytonians who love to cook. The introduction includes a history of the famous Scopes Trial. I enjoyed thumbing through this cookbook and was captivated by many photos in the book, showing Mr. Daugherty and Father Colburn's trip to Turkey, Germany and Greece.

Recipes for any occasion are included, such as this one that offers a deliciously different take on cucumber dip. It's a refreshing appetizer that would add flavor and color to your New Year's spread.

Cucumber Nut Roll

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon grated onion

2 teaspoons grated cucumber

Pecans, finely chopped

Fresh parsley leaves

Combine cream cheese, onion and cucumber and form into tiny rolls or balls. Roll each in pecans and decorate with parsley.

E-mail Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com.