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Out with the Old: A New Year’s Eve Party

To host a successful end-of-the-year celebration, stay cool. Wow guests with a few luxe details, but don’t overdo it. Below, find the culture-approved party plan for a decadent New Year’s Eve, complete with a menu, timeline, and, of course, some festive tunes. 


Serve this cheese: Robiola Tre Latti

Pop this cork: Champagne


  1. The Final Countdown,” Europe
  2. Everybody Have Fun Tonight,” Wang Chung
  3. “All My Friends,” LCD Soundsystem
  4. Let’s Dance,” David Bowie
  5. I Can’t Wait,” Nu Shooz
  6. Lust for Life,” Iggy Pop
  7. “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” Snoop Dogg (the ball, that is!)


THREE DAYS BEFORE: Shop; make playlist

TWO DAYS BEFORE: Make vinaigrette; prep blini toppings; make bisque

MORNING OF: Make blini batter; cook pasta; cut endive; seed pomegranates; set table; chill Champagne

ONE HOUR BEFORE: Cook blini; let cheese come to room temperature; heat bisque; arrange blini toppings

WHEN GUESTS ARRIVE: Pop the Champagne and direct them to the food

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.