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any restaurants that give complimentary dishes?

i know the mermaid inn gives pudding to its diners - does anyone know of any other restaurants that give free desserts or other dishes?

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  1. Many of the high-end restaurants give either desserts (petit fours like the marshmallows at Jean Georges), amuses bouche (like the incredible shot glass soups at Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and inter-course (hee hee) dishes like the frogs legs at Country.

    However Mermain Inn is a bit different in that they give you a standard "course" (in addition to the fishy fortunes) for dessert being that they don't offer any other dessert dishes. I can't think of any other places that provide something like that for the same reason...

    4 Replies
    1. re: dkstar1

      Also palate cleanser before the desserts come (usually fruit or sorbet).

      And, some also give a nice, pre-wrapped muffin or breakfast treat for the next morning.

      1. re: kathryn

        that's a good point. Del Posto gives you a bag of bread crumbs (strange) and Gramercy Tavern used to give great muffins. Nino's gives free bottled water and Brasserie has free hard boiled eggs at the bar.

        1. re: dkstar1

          oh, and Insieme gave us a cup of Straciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup) during my most recent dinner visit.

        2. re: kathryn

          Both Danube and The Modern Dining Room gave us a small pound cake to take home. All the extra touches are fairly typical at upscale restaurants. The Modern Dining Room was quite nice - amuse, fried fava beans during our review of the wine list/cocktails, miniature ice cream cones, petite fours and chocolates.

          I vaguely recall The Harrison gave us complimentary chocolates at the end of our meal. At Pylos I think our server gave us a complimentary dessert one time. I don't remember either one of us ordering it. At the River Cafe we received complimentary pink champagne. At Degustation we received a complimentary dessert.

      2. Most high end restaurants give you extra plates (like amuse bouche)
        Waterfront Ale House has popcorn on the tables

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lucia

          Il Giglio gives you a bunch of little appetizers when you sit down.
          Centrovasco gives you a huge bowl of free salad. Thats all i can think of right now...

        2. Rudy's - free hot dogs.

          1. Compass gives lots of wonderful goodies--including muffins to take home for breakfast!

            1. Crocodile Lounge gives a free pizza w/ each beer purchase!

              1. Among all the high end restaurants that I visited, Bouley gave the most complimentary dishes, particular after entrees and before desserts. Always bread to take home.

                The most generous was Robuchon. I received a complimentary small plate (which was the price of ~$30) and a complimentary dessert (~$20) and they were both the sizes of what they normally gave when you ordered. I did give them a very very generous tip for that dinner.

                1. Many of the Korean places on 32nd St. send out free dishes (things like savory egg custard) during your meal, at least if you spend a lot.

                  The Modern Bar Room gives you two whole dessert plates at the end of your meal, of (really good) chocolates, bon bons, and pastries.

                  WD 50 sends out an extra course of dessert.

                  Landmarc gives you a big handful of fantastic homemade caramels with your check.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cimui

                    Those caramels were my favorite part of my meal! The bar at Bocca give you a plate of free appetizers and Ditch Plains gives you free salt water taffy with your check.


                    1. re: roze

                      Love the saltwater taffy! Sapa gives free chips and tapas at the bar during happy hour and Maze at the London gave Amazing petit fours with the check. They were better than the desserts and this was during restaurant week!

                      1. re: picklesister

                        Oh, that reminds me: Home gives away chocolate chip cookies, too. They have a basket by the front window that you can dig into as you head out. Mmm...

                        1. re: picklesister

                          Ithaka gave us complimentary lukomades in honey.

                    2. Love Korean banchan...

                      Haven't been there in a while, but Sevilla always includes a garden salad before your main.

                      Solera presented us with a small terrine of some kind of chickpea spread and a dish of olives.