Foobooz Tuesdays

Renowned food and booze blogger Trivia Art (who rumor has it will be receiving a pretty sweet award manana) presents us with his tips to ensure a great New Year’s Eve. My advice? Give up. New Year’s Eve always sucks, except for that one where I kissed one of my sister’s hot friends right at midnight. That one was fun. Other than that they’ve all sucked. But Trivia Art is more of an optimist than I. Here’s his advice:

It first rears its head a little after Thanksgiving. Then you hear it again when you get together with friends in mid-December. By the week before Christmas it has become the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. “What are you doing for New Years?” Uggh! How has such a simple excuse to party it up and get drunk become such a production. What are you to do?

Foobooz helps you navigate the trials and tribulations of the biggest night out of the year.


Avoid galas. Galas suck. And not because spending hundreds of dollars to stand in line with a bunch of amateurs waiting for watered down drinks and mediocre food sucks. The problem is butlered hors d’Oeuvres. How do you keep your drink upright, nimbly procure a single cocktail napkin, skewer a coconut shrimp, dip it in a Asian plum sauce and deftly get it all in your mouth with one hand? That’s asking a lot of someone who started pre-gaming
around 3 PM.

Now if you do get stuck going to a gala, here are some tips. Scout out the room. There’s always one bar that will be inexplicably ignored for the first half of the night. It’s usually the temporary bar in the back. Don’t be a lemming, walk up to the forgotten bar, tip big and make friends with the bartender. It’ll help later. Secondly, pre-game. Get your drinking on before you head out. There’s sure to be long lines as midnight approaches and you don’t want to realize you’re depressingly sober as people start counting down the last seconds of 2006. And lastly, station yourself near the service bar around midnight. As harried waitresses pour champagne into plastic flutes and rush off with tray after tray of complimentary toasts, half empty bottles start to accumulate. It is your job to make sure these bottles are finished off before they go flat.


Another popular thing to do for New Years is head to the local bar. The problem with going to the local bar for New Years is that you’re going to the local bar for New Years. Sure you’ll know some of the people there. But it’ll be the regulars that you like to see the rest of the year, because they make you feel a little better about yourself. But tonight, you’re spending New Years with them and that realization is going to hurt.

So if you’re going to a local bar, go to the one that’s not trying to be something else. Lots of bars go crazy and start charging $85 or more for an open bar and may even suggest you get dressed up in your black tie best. Find the bar that is keeping it real, no cover, even some drink deals. This keeps your investment and expectations low. Both are good things on New Years Eve. For even more fun, bring your Comcast remote control with you. As the ball drops and everyone starts counting down the seconds, why not see how CSPAN brings in the new year.

House Party

Not all your regular friends will be at the bar on NYE, because they’re headed to a house party. The house party seems like a great low-key approach to the New Year until you get there and realize it’s anything but low-key. Is that your ex’s car out front? The uncle that only does shots of Jameson (lots of them) has his arm around you before you get your coat off. The meltdown of your friends’ marriage is playing out in front of you. The host drunkenly mumbles to you, “the bitch has been up my ass all day.” The wife is staring daggers at you. Somehow this is your fault. Oh yeah, Happy New Year!

If you get stuck going to a house party our only suggestion is bring something you like to drink with you. Otherwise you could be stuck drinking from that keg of Miller Lite.

Dinner Out

Dinner out is another popular choice for New Years, but no less fraught with problems. All the restaurants you look at are doing something special and expensive. It’s the chef’s day to show off. Sure he’ll be packed all night and on a tight schedule cooking unfamiliar dishes. What could go wrong? Sweetbreads? Oh boy.

But there are some simple tips to keep in mind to make sure you have an enjoyable dinner out. Consider a BYOB. It can really keep the cost down. Go to a restaurant that isn’t completely reworking their dinner for the night.
This way you know what you’re getting. And that of course makes it easier to pick some wine and champagne to accompany your dinner, skip the Stalinist State Stores and head across the bridge to visit the good folks at Moore
Brothers, the only place to shop for wine.

But most of all on this night, keep your expectations in check, don’t drink and drive and spend it with friends. And don’t forget the real party day is January First. That’s the fun day to go out bar-hopping, checking out the
mummers, and maybe even buy one of those stupid plastic horns they sell on Broad Street. Debauchery rules the day!