Last night my sisters, brother, and I attended the annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square. We’ve actually been going every year since I was in high school, so it really has become one of my favorite family holiday traditions. While we all love the festive fun activities like the tree lighting ceremony, and the crafts for kids that are offered in many businesses from the Time Warner Center to 66th street, the highlight of the evening for us is the food!
We always start from Time Warner Center and work our way up to 66th street, they do offer a trolley but we just walk up. This year it’s estimated that around 20k people turned out for Winter’s Eve – the sidewalks were packed, but New Yorkers kept it moving. So basically, NYC’s local restaurants and bakeries sell small bites at $1-5 each at three different locations – Time Warner Center Columbus Circle, Lincoln Square Restaurant Row on Broadway between 62nd & 64th, and Richard Tucker Park on Broadway between 65th & 66th street.
We lined up at Sapphire Indian Cuisine and Asiate at Time Warner – they always have ginormous lines, and they also sell two of our favorites every year. Asiate does a delicious Beignet that is simply magical – we all bought our own because when something tastes that good, you just don’t share.
Saphire Indian Cuisine serves Tikka Masala every year – and it is a hit every time. Seriously, the line there can get insane but the portion size is decent and the tikka is warm, delicious, and not too spicy. Arpeggio Food & Wine had an amazing Panettone Bread Pudding, Rosa Mexicano had Mexican Hot Chocolate – they also do this every year and we love love love it! We also bought the Pasta e Fagioli and Chocolate Mousse from Cafe Fiorello, and Banana Bread Pudding from Magnolia.
Atlantic Grill served up an insanely delicious Mini Carrot Cheesecake with Winter Fruit Compote. Atlantic Grill is one of my favorite restaurants, so I was really happy to see them there. The tarty citrus flavor of the compote really went well with the creaminess of the cheesecake and warm flavors of the carrot cake. Landmarc served up a tasty Orrichette alla Norcina, and Gourmet Garage had my favorite Tomato Cheddar Soup. Francesco’s Pizzeria had delicious Zitti and Penne Alla Vodka – one of the more generous portions of the evening. La Boite En Bois served insanely good Mushroom Ravioli with a Light Cognac Sauce. The ravioli was one of my favorite dishes – it had surprising depth of flavor, and the cognac sauce was plate-licking good.
I’ve never been to Andanada, but based on what I had last night they are next on my list. I had their Campiñones rellenos de jamon, and Pulpo A La Gallega. The Campiñones rellenos de jamon had great flavor and was pleasantly salty, but the Pulpo is what really sold me on Andanada. Pulpo A La Gallega is octopus seasoned with olive oil and pimienton de vera served under mashed potato puree – and their’s was so good! The octopus was tender, and the mashed potato puree was creamy and played well with the flavors of the dish. We ate quite a lot, but it was so great being surrounded by fellow NY’ers and being able to try so many great dishes. We loved listening the the live music, and taking part in one of our favorite holiday traditions!