Rather than stressing over last minute dinner reservations or buying overpriced tickets to a crowded bar, I decided to host a New Years Eve dinner party and game night for some of my closest friends. Knowing that they would likely take surge-priced Ubers to and from my apartment, I wanted the party to be worth the trip. A special meal, a few rounds of Settlers of Catan / Exploding Kittens, and more laughs than we could count,made it one of the best New Years Eves to date!
How many guests?
Me, my fiancé, four friends and a cat.
How did you set the mood?
New Years Eve was cold and rainy in Brooklyn this year, so I did my best to create a cozy haven for my guests to enjoy themselves. I lit candles throughout my apartment, strung lights atop the kitchen cabinets, and used lamps with vintage bulbs. I also bought a disposable helium tank and blew up a bunch of balloons with long curly ribbons!
What was on the menu?
-A board with manchego cheese, soppressata, and mixed Spanish olives. I also added a sprig of rosemary for a pop of color
-Baguette - which I heated at 300 degrees in the oven 10 minutes before guests arrived
-Roast beef - I used 100% Grass-Fed Local Beef Top instead of NY Strip Roast at Sara's recommendation, it was delicious.
-Arugala salad with goat cheese and beets
-Store bought chocolate cake
How did you get it done?
I bought all the food and decorations two days in advance, and prepared the roast beef and potatoes the day before so I could throw them in the oven right before my guests arrived. I also asked my friend Jenn to bring the dessert, and Lauren to bring the wine/champagne.
Any party tricks?
This was my first time buying a disposable helium tank, and it certainly won't be the last. I love the way balloons look at parties, but dread walking/driving them from the store back to my apartment. This saved me a lot of hassle and embarrassment.
Air your dirty dish -- did anything go wrong that you hoped people wouldn't notice?
Something always goes wrong! I had a late start to party prep because I had to work the entire day of. Because of that, I was still working in the kitchen as guests arrived - something I always try to avoid. Luckily, they helped themselves to wine and conversation, and ultimately forgave me.
Best part of the night?
Having almost no leftovers! I hate waste, so it was great to see that everyone enjoyed the meal enough to have seconds.
Written by: Marisa Ortiz
Photography: Marisa Ortiz