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A $20,000 New Year’s Eve Feast in the US… and Other (More) Traditional NYE Meals Around the World

Here are a few of the biggest budget meals at fabulous eateries across the US.

Credit: Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch

Arguably, the best way to celebrate the year gone by and welcome in the new calendar is through your stomach. Whether you enjoy a buffet, a takeaway or eating out at a restaurant, most of us have a celebratory meal close to our hearts. 

For those who have a bit more cash to splash, a high-end, multi-course feast might be the favorite way to celebrate. Here are a few of the biggest budget meals at fabulous eateries across the US.

The Mark Restaurant by Jean-Georges: (New York) $598

We are all used to perhaps a small fee for a restaurant booking – but cancel this one within 48 hours of the event, and you owe $598 per person.

With live music and a DJ, this restaurant on the Upper East Side of New York is offering a stellar New Year’s Eve experience at over ‘half a G’ per head. With 6 courses featuring Maine lobster, wagyu beef and yellowfin tuna, for those who can afford it, this would be a memorable meal indeed.

Empire Steak House (New York) $10,000 

For $20,000, you can buy a good car, a very luxurious holiday or perhaps a meal for two at a Manhattan restaurant.

This eye-watering sum, doubled from last year due to inflation, offers diners at Empire Steak House a gold-plated set menu – quite literally. Three of the courses of pasta, the entrée and dessert are topped with or coated with 24-carat gold. You can feast on a gilt wagyu tomahawk steak, gold-topped lobster ravioli and tiramisu.

SingleThread (California) $650 

This restaurant in Healdsburg, California, has three Michelin stars and is ranked within the world’s 50 best restaurants. For New Year’s Eve, there is an 11-course tasting menu for celebrations ‘inspired by the beautiful Sonoma winter season.’

The restaurant is supplied by its own farm in the Dry Creek Valley, and for $650, you can sample their goods to welcome in the new year.

Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann (Florida) $895

The lavish Faena Hotel on Miami Beach is home to the ‘Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann’ restaurant. Guests paying the $895 bill will feast on multi-course dinner menus with an open bar, live music, access to the Faena New Year’s Eve countdown and a firework display in the Mammoth Garden.

It seems no luxury dining experience goes without caviar – and other dishes on the menu include braised ossobuco, a wagyu tenderloin main course, and a golden croquembouche for two. However, guests on a plant-based diet can enjoy a vegan menu – featuring butternut squash ravioli and a roasted cauliflower steak. 

Traditional New Year’s Eve meals around the world

Across the globe, people mark the new calendar year in different ways. Some nations eat certain foods for good luck, and other people may just eat what they find tasty.

Spain

In Spain, it is traditional to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight. For each grape eaten, you are granted one wish. If you can scoff all 12 grapes in the minute between midnight and 12.01 New Year’s Day, you can expect your wishes to come true over the coming year. But fail to eat all 12 grapes in the minute, you could bring bad luck on yourself in the New Year!

Credit: Pexels/Pixabay

Greece

From Greek mythology through the generations, the pomegranate has been a symbol of luck, prosperity and fertility. The New Year’s Eve tradition involves smashing the fruit against the front door of the house with a right hand. The more seeds that are spread at the foot of the front door, the more luck that household will have for the year. 

Japan

In Japan, a traditional dish for New Year’s Eve, called toshikoshi soba, is eaten for dinner. These are typically soba noodles served with broth or a dipping sauce. Toshikoshi means ‘to kill off the year,’ and the long soba noodles symbolize longevity. It is believed the simplicity of the dish represents an easy release from the troubles of the past and a new start in the upcoming year.

Credit: Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch

Mexico

Lentils play an important role for Mexicans, alongside grapes, in the run-up to the new year. Families may eat lentils with their New Year’s meal or eat them separately. Lentils are thought to represent abundance with their coin-like shape. Some regions even carry them around in their pockets to bring good luck to the new year and gift them to family and friends too.

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