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Flawless First Night

Three-course dinner on New Year's Eve? Why not ten, with a live band and dancing? Splurge on one of these second seatings for an extravagant evening.

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Gilt  

Per Se
$700

10 Columbus Cir., 4th fl., at 60th St.; 212-823-9335.
Dress to the nines, but consider an elastic waistband: Thomas Keller will design a ten-course menu to be released the day of. Between the anticipation of each dish and dancing to a live jazz band, you might just burst those fancy seams.
Seating: 9 p.m.–10 p.m.

Café Gray (View Menu)
$600

10 Columbus Circle, 3rd fl., nr. Eighth Ave.; 212-823-6338.
Times Square's got nothin' on the Time Warner. Here you’ll find dancing, a coveted view of the Central Park fireworks, and your very own 2008–ball finale—albeit, made of chocolate.
Seating: 9 p.m.–10 p.m.

Gilt (View Menu)
$500
455 Madison Ave., at 50th St.; 212-891-8100.
The night's theme is a celebration of the old and the new—and, clearly, dancing to live jazz in a mansion while dining on white-truffle risotto with grand cru Burgundy or Australian rack of lamb with black truffles accompanied by a 1985 Bordeaux would be considered luxurious in any era.
Seating: 8 p.m.–10 p.m.

Craftsteak (View Menu)
$495

85 Tenth Ave., at 15th St.; 212-400-6699.
Revel in excess: Taittinger poured out of six-liter bottles, Wagyu beef served with short-rib fondue, live jazz for dancing, and an open dessert bar that could become a catalyst for dietary resolutions the next day.
Seating: Cocktails at 8 p.m.; dinner at 9 p.m.
Need an outfit? Check out our New Year’s what-to-wear guide.

Grayz (View Menu)
$395
13-15 W. 54th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-262-4600.
Ten-course meal? Please! No fewer than twenty small plates, including spiced Champagne truffles and lobster tartar, offer sustenance to townhouse guests who’ll be sipping on Paul Goerg Champagne from a premium bar and dipping their partners to the sounds of the Gerard Carelli Orchestra.
Seating: Evening begins at 10 p.m.

Café Boulud (View Menu)
$350
20 E. 76th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-772-2600.
Daniel Boulud ends his five-course prix fixe by looking to the cookie for inspiration. The result is a dessert called Black and White, which combines a dark chocolate crémeux with caramel mousse and ice cream. Contemplate its diverse connotations while kicking it to a live band.
Seating: 8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.

Aquavit (View Menu)
$310
65 E. 55th St., nr. Madison Ave.; 212-307-7311.
Langoustine, lobster, and then more lobster, with New York strip steak, are paired with mostly French wines. Of course, that is, if you can pass up beer-braised short ribs with apple slaw and North Fork pinot noir. To brighten the spirit, and lighten the load, a D.J. will be spinning all night for dancing.
Seating: 8 p.m.–9 p.m.

Del Posto (View Menu)
$250
85 Tenth Ave., at 16th St.; 212-497-8090.
A jazz quintet's in the house—which seems to be the prevalent choice for entertainment this year. But music lovers will be pleased to hear that the menu also includes a steak named for the nineteenth-century Italian composer/gourmand Gioacchino Rossini, while Molto Mario lovers can relish his "own pork-sausage recipe."
Seating: From 8 p.m.

Fiamma (View Menu)
$175
206 Spring St., nr. Sullivan St.; 212-653-0100.
Fabio Trabocchi's complex concoctions might be more French in style than Italian, but the haute preparations of winter black truffles and Piedmontese hazelnuts with chocolate form a meal fit for a Medici.
Seating: 9 p.m.–10:30 p.m.

L'Impero (View Menu)
$175
45 Tudor City Pl., nr. 42nd St.; 212-599-5045.
Will there be dancing? No. It's a restaurant, after all. But no matter; you've come to devour the Maine lobster pasta and tackle a roasted Vermont goat—which will be much easier once the Prosecco's flowing.
Seating: 8 p.m.–10:45 p.m.


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