As you are aware my incredibly generous hubby whisked me off to spend new years eve in New York City! If anyone is considering this as a trip, I can highly recommend. We were staying in an apartment in Hells Kitchen and the area was buzzing. Every single restaurant and bar was packed out from 7pm!
However, as a special treat and because I didn't know how easy to come by reservations would be I booked into The Capital Grille. It was a little stressful to get to the restaurant as roads were being blocked off for the Times Square celebrations so we did have to walk the long way around. However, on arrival we were seated immediately. The restaurant is large and the tables very well spaced out. We had a private booth, which was lovely. It's quite moody in terms of lighting with dark furniture, just how a typical NYC steakhouse should be.
We ordered a bottle of Moet seeing as it was a birthday and new years eve! We then indulged in some delicious but filling bread and butter from a large basket! The hubby chose the shrimp cocktail to start, which had a spicy kick and I opted for clam chowder, which was delicious and just the right size!
For the main course I had the 10oz Filet Mignon, whilst the hubby had the bone in ribeye 22oz. Mine was melt in your mouth delicious. The hubby's was nice but mine whilst significantly smaller was an excellent cut of meat and a perfect size to leave you satisfyingly full. We had a side order of parmesan truffle fries, which were easily enough for two people to share as well as the fresh creamed spinach. We love a creamed spinach and this may well be the best we have ever ordered so if you are a fan definitely try it!
The service here was excellent. Our table was decorated for a birthday celebration and the other half was presented with a birthday card and a birthday dessert on the house complete with signing and candles. Despite being new years eve and rushed off their feet the service was relaxed and personal and at no point did we feel hurried. We were in the restaurant for almost three hours with no issues of table turnover what so ever.
The total bill including service was £204. This clearly isn't a cheap option but for a special occasion I would rate the quality of food and ambience very highly.
After gorging on steak it was time to head to the streets for the new years eve countdown. Unless you are prepared to arrive by lunchtime or pay an exorbitant amount of USD for a pass you will not be located in Times Square. As there are no screens or speakers you will not see or hear the entertainment anyway. As a result rather than queuing from 3pm to still be unable to see I would recommend showing up at about 10:30pm as we did. The pen's run from Times Square to Central Park along Broadway and 7th Avenue. We managed to squeeze into one about half way between the two.
The countdown is quite a long, cold wait and we only did it for ninety minutes. You cannot leave for the toilet, you cannot bring in food or drink or bags either so bear this in mind for your visit. There were vendors wandering around with coffees and pizza but I don't know how warm they would have been by the time you purchased one!
However, despite what appears to be an odd choice of celebration (literally watching a quite unimpressive ball slowly lower to reveal 2016) this was a wicked experience. Imagine several million people screaming at the top of their lungs a new years eve countdown. Everyone was jumping, shouting, singing and in general having a great time. Confetti pours down on the crowd from the buildings and the atmosphere is like nothing I have ever experienced before.
As soon as the countdown is finished the streets clear and everyone pours into bars to finish the evening. If you do find yourself in NYC for new years eve I would recommend heading to the streets around the Times Square area for midnight, it is well worth it just to feel the buzz of excitement from the crowds.