Mass-market red-sauce emporium Olive Garden is no stranger to a deal, its TV commercials are constantly hawking the “Italian kitchen’s” $6 soup, salad and breadsticks bonanza. Normally, the restaurant is a destination for budget-conscious families looking to fill up on the cheap, but this New Year’s Eve, its center-of-the-world Times Square location will fill up with big spenders willing to drop some serious cash for the opportunity to see the ball drop melee from up close—and to chow down on a $400 buffet of eggplant parm and chicken marsala (but no breadsticks).
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In the dog-eat-dog world of a Times Square New Years Eve, not just anyone can gain access to the plaza’s normally run-of-the-mill franchise restaurants, which include burger chain Ruby Tuesday and fried shrimp slinger Bubba Gump. With midnight revelers crowding in Midtown, the plump pleather booths go to fat-wallet types who are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to stay just on the other side of the glass from the madding crowds—but still get to partake in the NYE “fun.”
Additional menu items available at Olive Garden’s pricy fete will include chicken and broccoli, shrimp primavera, short ribs, mashed potatoes and garden veggies, and the party will also feature a DJ, open bar and champagne toast when the ball drops. But shockingly enough, its hefty price tag isn’t even the most expensive Times Square option this December 31st: according to an article in this week’s Post, Bubba Gump will be charging $799 for its seafood soiree, and admittance to Ruby Tuesday meaty extravaganza will range from $349 to $1699 for a VIP table. Now that’s a lot of Asiago Peppercorn Sirloin!
Feeling spendy and looking for a front-row seat to the Times Square action? Better get on that, like, today: each New Year's, Olive Garden sells more than 300 seats, and they're just about sold out. And if you're a seafood lover? Too bad: the Bubba Gump dinner sold out a while ago. So next year, set aside some savings and check for tickets in November if you want to join the fray.