ORLANDO – It’s a quiet environment, with dim lighting that creates the ideal spot for a romantic dinner between two that ends with a champagne toast at midnight ….
No, it’s a wild night, with flashy production numbers, music and dacning — almost like something out of Vegas …
Since the Funky Monkey Wine Company has two separate locations, and both of them are celebrating New Year’s Eve, you get your choice on the big night. Do you want serene and romantic … or some lively entertainment with your meal? Decisions, decisions.
“Pointe Orlando is more of a party,” said Ashley Nickell. “Ours is more relaxing.”
Nickell is preparing the New Year’s Eve meal at Funky Monkey’s downtown Orlando location, at 912 N. Mills Ave. It promises to be a lavish offering in a restaurant that seats 45 people in an intimate setting.
Guests start with a duo of Carpaccio, tuna with wasabi cream and Gold masago, and beef with horseradish cream and olive oil drizzle.
The appetizer includes a choice of carmelized seared scallop, a bed of Lemon Risotto, Mint Oil drizzle, and Cripsy Pancetta … or a vegetable roll with cucumber, asparagus, roasted red peppers and carrots.
The soup course includes roasted garlic and leek soup, followed by a spinach salad that comes with strawberries, prosciutto, bacon vinaigrette, croutons, and poppy seeds.
The entrée gives guests a choice of filet of beef with lobster mashed potatoes, Mushroom Demi grace, and white pepper asparagus … or sea bass with Saffron mashed potatoes, truffle brown butter sauce, and bourbon glazed baby carrots … or Sous Vide braised lamb shank, cherry red wine reduction, roasted duck fat potatoes, and white bean ragout.
For dessert, guests can choose between “Hot Chocolate” bread pudding with peppermint infused whipped cream and vanilla bean ice cream, or Egg Nog Crème Brulee Cinnamon with whipped cream.
“It takes works,” Nickell said of the task she faces preparing this enormous meal. “I have to plan it weekly in advance.”
Nickell added that during the meal, guests “can order whatever wine they want.”
But if it sounds delicious, a lot of other people thought the same thing days ago.
“The Mills meal is completely sold out,” said Matthew Slattery, the executive chef. “But at Pointe Orlando, they’re still accepting reservations.”
Funky Monkey’s larger restaurant is at Pointe Orlando at 9101 International Drive. This one has 150 seats, more than three times larger than the Mills Avenue site.
They also have a lavish meal planned – Panzanella Salad, Crab and Spinich Dip, an Assorted Buratta Platter with stuffed olives, roasted tomatoes, grilled artichokes and assorted meats, Lobster and Truffle macaroni and cheese, Apple and Blue Cheese Bites, Assorted Skewers (Miso glazed rock shrimp, salmon and ginger, chicken and broccoli Karage) and grape-infused meatballs stuffed with mozzerela cheese.
And as you wine and dine, there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate with shows, shows and more shows.
“We’ve got about seven different production numbers,” said Jimmi Rossi, who manages the Funky Monkey’s new Mills Street diner, Bananas, and has been helping out with the Pointe Orlando entertainment.
“We have huge costumes,” he said. “We have numbers from ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Grease.’ It’s very much a Las Vegas-type show.”
The elaborate show is put on by Danielle Hunter and Company, with performances by Hunter, Alicia Markstone, The Minx, the Funky Monkey Dancers and others. The fun also includes plenty of ice.
“We’re doing a huge display and bringing in ice carvers,” Slattery said. “They come in and carve the ice and build a three tier stations,” which will include a raw bar and dessert station.
The cost for this event is $99 and reservations can still be made by calling 407-418-9463.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@gmail.com.