$40 Entrees - Will you bite
- jfood Oct 21, 2006 07:02 PM
Interesting article in today's NYT. Looks like the 4-handle is becoming a more accepted policy on menus. In particular is <2 oz of lobster for $42.
Personally I can't see myself ordering this on my nickel but may consider if with clients and to give them comfort if they are thinking of ordering. Another sub-text in the article was the line that place a $40 entree on the menu makes the $36 and $38 entrees look "cheap."
Do others have a hard time ordering a $40 entree?
I have done that, but only under extraordinary circumstances - those being a combination of exquisite food in a splendid restaurant on a special occasion when I had an uncharacteristically large amount of money available!
I have a much harder time ordering an expensive item if someone else is paying, unless my host orders an equally or more expensive one...so the OP's point is well grounded. I do find, however, that my own preference is often for some of the less expensive things anyway, such as a small bone-in ribeye instead of any sort of filet, or any variety of gigantic steak!
I was thinking yesterday while reading the article that this isn't so bad, I even think the extraordinary prices at places like Per Se in NYC are reasonable for a one off. I've clearly become an unhinged foodie/Chowhound.
Ditto the extras as expensive and irksome. A diet coke for 4 dollars in a narrow tube-like glass, filled to the brim with ice, then watered-down diet coke allowed to fill the few empty crevices between the cubes. And, of course, no refills.
Also, I tend to order egg white omelettes a lot... 2.50 extra for egg whites only? Are they shipping these commodities in from Tahiti? And a two ingredient omelette for 9 bucks, then a buck or more for "additional ingredients." I get charging for meat and specialty ingredients, but when I want to add white onions to spinach and mushrooms, you wanna charge me a couple of bucks for twenty litle diced cubes? And don't even get me started on the exorbitant charge to substitute a salad or steamed veggies for the toast and potatoes.
Yes and no.
If it cost that much I would pay $40 for the cebeche here because the poster said "Pedro Solari is to Cebiche what Michael Angelo was to ceilings painting"
But I just read that article and it was really insulting to diners. It isn't about the food anymore, it is about the show.
Throw outrageous bucks at something that is cooked with passion AND skill (passion without skill ain't a good thing) ... sure ... the money doesn't matter.
But how often do you think you'll find true greatness and deliciousness when the owner is hiring people to 'engineer' the prices on the menu? To me the point seems to be maximizing profitability rather than deliciousnes ... and other than better ingrediants and a nicer room, it makes it no different than chain food ... and isn't what so many of those places mentioned in that article are ... high-class chains?
That's not to say you can't find true deliciousness at a chain when someone in the kitchen really cares ... about the food. It's just that it is rare that a $40 bite lives up to the hype.
Not that I don't go for the show at times and it is fun. I just don't go expecting the ultimate in tastiness anymore. I've rarely found it at these high-priced joints. I usually remember the experience rather than the actual eats.
There are always topics about the most memorable or delicious food and, you know, it is rare that the $40 ... or whatever the top dollar dish at the time ... is anyone's true craving.
It is certainly not here in one of the latest versions of that type of topic ...
on my own dime, would have to be for a celebratory meal, like a birthday or anniversary. but for an important business dinner, i'd bite. and had dinner (business) this week at BLT Prime (mentioned in the NYT article), the food was sensational and well worth it, IMO, although I thought the wine list was absurdly overpriced --- i guess we save that topic for another day.