New Year's Eve is generally a pretty quiet evening for us. Last night, we joined friends (who happen to be my bosses) for dinner at Furio. They were doing a special prix fixe menu for NYE, which turned out to be fabulous. I wish I had thought to bring my camera so I could have taken photos of the meal. Bummer.
In any event, the meal consisted of five courses. We had our choice of two items for most of the courses; for the main course, we had our choice of four. First course for most of us was the Peppercorn and Herb Crusted Ahi with a Potato-Leek Cake. The ahi was seared a little better than rare, which is not my favorite, and the peppercorn was a bit overpowering for me, but everyone else loved it. I did, however, savor the potato-leek cake, which was excellent. While we were enjoying our ahi, Dave was enjoying his Baked Oysters with Lemon and Olive Oil Drizzle.
Second course for me was the Baratta Cheese Pizzette with Baked Plum Tomatoes and Baby Greens. Excellent, my favorite course of the night. I'm not familiar with Baratta cheese, but it reminded me of a rich, fresh buffalo mozzarella melted atop the tiny pizza. YUM. The rest of the group ordered the Kobe Beef Carpaccio with Baby Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad. Che especially loved it, but raw red meat is not my thing.
The next course for three of us was the Tomato and Dungeness Crab Bisque with a Petite Candied Pancetta and Tuscan Grilled Cheese Sandwich. The bisque was a little bit of a disappointment for me (not enough for me not to lick the bowl clean, but not the rich creamy bisque I had imagined it would be), but the tiny little sandwich was to die for. Julie must have loved the three Saffron and Shrimp Tortellini with Roasted Garlic and Gorgonzola Sauce, because her plate was clean before I even started to eat my soup and sandwich.
For three of us, the main course was Vanilla Poached Maine Lobster with Artichoke Au Gratin and Grilled Asparagus. The presentation was adorable - all of the lobster meat had been removed from the shells but arranged with the empty tail and head shells to look like a whole lobster on the plate. The lobster was buttery and sweet, with just a hint of vanilla, which was a nice contrast to the sharpness of the marinated artichokes in the au gratin. Che, of course, went with the red meat option: Filet Mignon with Braised Cabbage and Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes. I had a taste of his smoked gouda potatoes, which were sooo delicious. His steak was cooked to medium rare perfection.
Finally, dessert. I was the only one who chose the Ricotta Blini Strawberry Shortcake. Not really knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. The blini were these silver-dollar sized pancakes sandwiched with layers of a ricotta strawberry cheesecake-like filling. Yum. The rest of the group, being the chocoholics they are, ordered the Chocolate Bomb with Caramel Mousse, which was a huge serving of rich creamy caramel mousse served in a bowl made of dark chocolate, topped with fresh berries. I had a bite and while it was very good, it was much too rich for me. Che and Dave cleaned their plates and then finished off what was left of Julie's, after she ate off the fruit.
After dinner, we shared a champagne toast to what I hope will be a wonderful 2008.