Feliz Año Nuevo in NYC

Posted on December 19, 2012

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(Courtesy of Paolo G.)

Feliz Año Nuevo in NYC
by AnneLise Sorensen

Skip the sticky-floor pubs on Third Avenue where everyone’s wearing glitter 2013 glasses. Forget paying $500 to stand on a rooftop and sip overpriced champagne. And, good God, steer clear of the drunken hordes in Times Square.

Instead, celebrate New Year’s Eve like they do in Spain at Boqueria, which is hosting an NYE tapas dinner with sparkling cava and plenty of bilingual flirting

A dark-red haunch of jamón greets you at the entrance of Boqueria on Spring Street. This and the sheep’s cheeses whisked out on wooden platters are pretty much all that the sleek SoHo restaurant shares with Barcelona’s biggest produce market, after which it’s named. (Footwear is more along the lines of Manolo Blahniks than manure-caked rubber boots for one.) But the tapas are the real deal, including blistered padrón peppers sprinkled with sea salt; juicy lamb cubes marinated in lemon and cumin; and Catalunya’s best-known staple, pa amb tomaquet, grilled bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled in olive oil.

As the hour nears midnight, bowls of fresh grapes are brought out so that you can participate in the tradition of  “doce uvas” (12 grapes). Pop one grape into your mouth for each stroke of midnight – and you’re promised a lucky year. Or at least a lucky night if you get the chance to pop grapes into the mouth of a new friend.

Boqueria, 171 Spring St., 212-343-4255, boquerianyc.com.

This review by AnneLise Sorensen originally appeared on MSN (Microsoft Network).

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