Sweet & Savory Countdown To New Year’s Eve

by | Dec 22, 2017 | Downtown Eats Guides, Featured

New York City, known as the greatest city in the world, is definitely the place to be for the holidays. New Year’s Eve in New York is iconic, with a full slate of holiday activities. Let us break it down for you. Yes, there are countless people, deafening noise, busy streets and avenues… and of course, you think you’ll never get the hang of it.

But then you do!

You don’t need to drive yourself crazy trying to find the perfect place to celebrate New Year’s Eve. We’ve chosen a few of our favorite local places, created by chefs from three different countries, to help you navigate the Downtown culinary scene.

These locals will have you ringing in the New Year with new friends, delicious cuisine and plenty of champagne. Check out our Sweet & Savory Countdown to New Year’s Eve. Three countries and three amazing chefs!

Ristorante Rafele


We’ve spent more than one New Year’s Eve at this local favorite. Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Raffaele Ronca comes from a family of butchers and fishermen, and has had a passion for food all his life. With his family also in the restaurant business, food and cooking was not only an integral part of his Italian culture, it is in his blood. After one bite, you’ll understand what we mean!

“His heart is as generous as his food. When I want to impress clients or friends from out of town, this is my go-to place. It’s home to me,” said Downtown‘s CEO & Publisher, Grace A. Capobianco.

A few years ago, Raffaele and Romeo Palmisano, an old friend from Naples, began discussing opening their own restaurant that would feature the cuisine of their beloved Naples. Working together, perfecting each detail (including the weekly flower arrangements), they created Ristorante Rafele.

Ristorante Rafele has had more accolades than most restaurants in a lifetime, especially from Italy itself.

“Walk through the door and you’re in Rome” agree fans of this “rustic” Italian West Villager serving “molte bene” pastas and wood-oven pizzas made with “super-fresh” ingredients; sidewalk seating and service that remains solid even when it’s “crazy busy” cement its status as a neighborhood “gem.” (from the zagat review)

Open with a special menu this New Year’s Eve



CRUDO DI BRANZINO ALLA CATALANA Branzino Carpaccio, puntarella, orange, capers and Castelvetrano olives

PAPPARDELLE FUNGHI SELVATICI House made pasta with wild mushrooms and house-made Norcia truffle purée

CLASSIC LINGUINE ALLE VONGOLE Linguine with Manila clams

COLORADO LAMB SPEZZATINO CON POLENTA BIANCA Braised Colorado lamb with white polenta

PESCE DEL GIORNO FAVE E CICORIA Fish of the day with Prosecco reduction, fave purée, and sautéed chicory

Dolci Chocolate Tortino Ricotta cheesecake with blood orange reduction

$95 per person


Senza Gluten

For those who suffer from celiac or other allergies, going out to eat on New Year’s Eve can be a little tricky. But it doesn’t have to be. Senza Gluten’s chef Jemiko is fully aware that being celiac or choosing a gluten-free diet can at times be challenging, especially when dining out. Senza Gluten wants to make sure your dining experience is perfect and safe by guaranteeing 100% gluten-free cuisine. Italian food is an all-time favorite for many Americans… however, it is characterized by foods like pasta and pizza.

At Senza Gluten they want to bring the best Italian dishes to the table using a completely gluten-free approach. The food is so delicious that even those who aren’t gluten-intolerant won’t notice that the dishes aren’t made the traditional way.

“Family is the second thing that comes to mind after your meal at Senza Gluten. They are the kindest people I’ve ever met and I am lucky enough to call them my family. You, too, will witness chef Jemiko receive hugs and thank yous from his newest guests. They are elated with joy that now they can eat their favorite dishes without getting sick,” Capobianco said.

Chef Jemiko did extensive research, including studies and asking what gluten-free people would like to eat and what they were missing, He decided to create a 100% gluten-free Italian menu to focus on this incredible, delicious cuisine that he learned from many executive chefs. A gluten-free Italian menu does not have to lack flavor, texture, or options.

Stay tuned, another surprise is on its way from this angel-like chef, too!

Open with a special menu this New Year’s Eve.


Rose and Basil

Rose and Basil is a fanciful wine and dessert bar located in the East Village, known for its rose adorned treats. We can surely attest that Rose and Basil is different from anything you’ve ever had.

“From the fresh roses dropped into glasses filled with rose colored champagne to the truffles served in a raised mini plate with glass dome, you’ll walk out of Rose and Basil feeling like Blair Waldorf when Chuck Bass flew to Paris for her favorite treats.”

The Rose and Basil cafe has been open since 2014 with self-taught Romanian-born Chef Ioana Holt in the kitchen. She started at the age of 5, following her grandmother Stella around the kitchen. Later in life, she learned the art of creating sweet from Mozart Chocolates in the Austrian Alps.

Chef Ioana has perfected how to elevate flavors, capturing both aesthetic and olfactory senses. She incorporates edible flowers into her stunningly artistic, delectable creations, which are sure to transport your tastebuds to another world. This hidden gem offers wine, beer, coffee and more. Rose and Basil also serve food with a petit menu. A must-try off the food menu is Californication. One bite and you will feel like you’re ordering from a wellness spa menu!

Do yourself a favor and ask to see the custom cake menu, as Rose and Basil is the place to go for your next wedding or party. And don’t forget to say hi to the real star behind this delight, Ioana’s French bulldog, Chiara.

“I personally had the pleasure of a delicious tasting at Rose and Basil, but the icing on the cake was meeting both Chef Ioana and Chiara. Warm and caring with a true passion for what she creates each and every day,” said Capobianco.

Open with a regular menu this New Year’s Eve.

Downtown Magazine