If you haven't made New Year's Eve plans (or are shying away from prix fixe dinners that cost hundreds of dollars), here's a special collaborative holiday dinner that won't break the bank.
Coco Asian Bistro & Bar's chef/owner Mike Ponluang has asked a special friend to share kitchen duties with him on the last day of the year -- Mark Militello.
The former Mango Gang'er and Ponluang are longtime friends who, after knowing each other for more than two decades, decided to work jointly on a mega holiday celebratory dinner.
The dinner launches Coco Asian Bistro's guest chef series, which will feature a different guest chef each month for six months, starting in January, with the roster of chefs and dates announced shortly.
The special New Year's Eve dinner features special dishes, priced à la carte. Guests who order an entrée from the special menu will receive a complimentary glass of Piper Heidsieck Brut champagne. In addition, an abbreviated version of the bistro's regular Thai menu will be available, including pad Thai with lobster, chicken with peanut sauce, vegetable fried rice, and a sushi/sashimi boat.
Special soups and appetizers include shrimp tom yum soup with live, head-on shrimp, Thai chili paste, lemon juice, fish sauce, lemongrass, galangal, and scallions ($16); roasted winter pumpkin soup with seasonal vegetables ($12); chopped salad with leaf lettuce, radicchio, romaine, rice beans, Thai basil, tofu, tomatoes, and roasted cauliflower, in a ginger vinaigrette ($15); coriander-seared tuna sashimi with crispy pork belly, tangerine oil, and miso glaze ($15); and local burrata salad with red and gold beets, mixed greens, red onions, and toasted pistachios, with soy sauce and aged balsamic vinaigrette ($15).
Special entrées include a Kobe beef filet with fresh vegetables and Asian chimichurri ($39); seared siver scallops with Asian tat soi greens, pineapple, and coconut ($35); lamb shank with fresh rosemary, garlic, tomatoes, and red wine, served with green beans, sun chokes, and purple potatoes ($39); and roasted salmon with turmeric-scented rice and stir-fried vegetables, honey, lemongrass, and sesame glaze ($27).
For dessert, choose between a black rice mango pudding ($12) or a Thai coffee tirimisu ($13).
In addition to the special menu, guests will be entertained by a singer and musicians starting at 6 p.m. and will receive complimentary noisemakers, party hats, and a champagne toast at midnight. Dinner is served on New Year's even from 3 p.m. to midnight. The menu is also available on New Year's Day from 4 to 10:30 p.m.