Merced County Times Newspaper
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Five Ten Bistro heralds in the New Year with steak, lobster, champagne!

Some of Merced’s top restaurant servers said they enjoyed waiting tables at Five Ten Bistro during the festive dinner on New Year’s Eve.
Some of Merced’s top restaurant servers said they enjoyed waiting tables at Five Ten Bistro during the festive dinner on New Year’s Eve.

A festive meal and a champagne toast heralded the start of the New Year at Five Ten Bistro, located at 510 W. Main Street in Merced.

Community members dining at the Bistro on New Year’s Eve chose entrees from the regular menu, with the addition of two superb specials — a filet mignon and lobster tail dinner, and a lobster ravioli made with a brandy sauce.

The restaurant served dinner until 9 p.m., at which time the bar was open, leading up to the midnight champagne toast, ringing in the New Year.

The origins of the champagne toast is a subject written about by historian Paul Dickson, who explained that there is a thin line between history and folklore.

Champagne was viewed by 16th century Europeans as a drink for the wealthiest people, and it was very costly.

The term “toast” wasn’t coined until the 17th century when the custom was to put a piece of toast or crouton in a drink, much as one would put a slice of lime in a cocktail today.

There is a theory that the clinking noise of glasses originated in the first days of Christianity, and was meant to drive off the devil.

Another theory, according to historian Dickson, is that the clinking of glasses during a toast started as a way for nobles to eliminate the possibility of being poisoned.  Clinking would slosh the alcohol from one glass to the other, meaning the guests could rest assured that the drink was safe.

The idea of staying up until midnight to celebrate with champagne started in the 1800s.

Between 1800 and 1850, champagne’s popularity surged and it became more available. Production of champagne in bottles increased from around 300,000 a year to 20 million bottles a year.

Today, approximately 300 million bottles of champagne are sold each year.

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