Twice as Glittering for Half the Stress

Yes, everyone greets New Year's Eve with a certain amount of trepidation. You're supposed to have fun, and not just reasonable amounts of fun; you're supposed to have amounts of fun that make you leap onto a table and shimmy the night away, while yodeling and holding a bottle of Perrier-Jouet between your knees. It's enough to make even the most exuberant of partygoers wish for brief bouts of flu--ordinary plans on New Year's never seem like enough, since you're supposed to have really fabulous plans.

Luckily the folks at BACKSTAGE AT BRAVO! have put together a good-looking evening of dining, dancing, and festivities that will allow you to have great-big fun with teeny-tiny pressure. The menu they're planning is impressive and way too long to print here, but suffice to say it's five courses with a variety of choices for each course, and vegetarian options throughout. (For example, for an appetizer you get to pick either scallop and shrimp in a phyllo nest with sauce Americane, wild-mushroom risotto and duck confit, warm vegetable Napoleon with tomato vinaigrette, or gorgonzola and prosciutto tartlette with zinfandel glaze.) Arnie Fogel and his "mini-big band" will play music to keep you swinging all night, and a nice bubbly list--from $18 Spanish sparklers to $100 Veuve Clicquot and a bevy of special New Year's selections--rounds out the glittering event. $39.95 per person gets you food, a glass of champagne, and dancing. Call 338-0062 for reservations or more info.

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