The New Year’s Eve festivities are in full swing – guests are enjoying dinner, games, conversation and of course, libations. Chef Wes’ menu is a big hit as usual, starting off with a fun amuse of a Lobster Corn Dog with Carrot Ketchup. As one guest told me, “you know you’re in a high-end place when the corn dogs are made from lobster”. Other highlights of the evening include an Oyster Sampler with Preserved Lemon & Whitefish Roe, Ahi & Passion Fruit-Truffle Vinaigrette, Cucumber & Champagne Mignonette; Squab Roulade with Foie Gras & Wild Rice Stuffed Cabbage, Minus 8 Vinegar; Marrow Bean Soup with Smoked Pork Won Ton; Seared Ahi with Ricotta Gnocchi, Fennel Purée, Olive Mousse and Poached Lobster with Celery Root-Potato Purée, Spinach, Black Truffle, Cognac Butter. After dinner it is off to the Tank & Trough for games, Texas hold’em, fireworks and music by Mudslide Charlie. If you haven’t experienced the beauty of a fireworks display reflecting off the snow on a crisp Montana New Year’s Eve, you just don’t know what you’re missing. As we approached midnight, the crowd grew more and more excited, not just in anticipation for the New Year, but also because one of our guests (who just happens to be a famous drummer) had joined the band for an awesome jam session. Midnight brought cheers, toasts and well wishes for new friends and old. The forecast calls for another six inches of snow tonight so 2009 will arrive in a fresh blanket of white. Happy New Year from all of us at Paws Up. Cheers.
- Jim Nielsen