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Oct 6, 2008 07:44 AM

TriState Region Restaurants Feeling the Economic Heat?

I was wondering if any of you have any first hand knowledge whether any or all of our favorite Tri-State area restaurants are feeling the heat from the Economic downturn.

Have any of you noticed whether its been easier to get reservations in the past month? Are restaurants less crowded than usual?

This is the season that restaurants hope to do well financially. from September to December... This is a tough period to face a downturn. Some may not survive the January to April typically slow period if this season is off significantly.

I, for one, know my friends and I are going out to eat a LOT less and have committed to doing so for the foreseeable future. We typically eat out 5-6 nights a week and often at fairly expensive restaurants (by lower hudson valley standards). Our dining out has been reduced to 1-2 nights a week, and we are choosing less expensive restaurants. (I may have to change my login name to "lessfrequentdiner" from "frequentdiner")

Im sure we are not alone. We are rediscovering Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Fairway and supermarkets. Pretty soon Whole Foods may be crossed off the list as too expensive.

What are your personal observations and experiences? An inquiring mind wants to know.

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  1. You're quite right, frequentdiner. We were only eating out once a week, but now are more picky and judgemental if everything isn't just right. Given that prices haven't been reduced, I have no patience with imperious restaurant owners/managers.

    I crossed off Whole Foods early on, and have added 'shopping around' to my lexicon, since Stop and Shop is playing games with their pricing. Perhaps they always did, but I have found prices to be better at Pathmark, and like the fact that it's a grubby store.

    Yup, the chickens have come home to roost, and I won't be sorry to see a few restaurants fail. I do hope, however, that my short list of favorites will persevere and in the case of Sunset Grill, come back reallllly soon.

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        1. The Times recently had an article about how Westchester restaurants are feeling the pinch. The article sort of made me laugh. First they talk about how business at 42 in White Plains is off, so they have created a "value" prix fixe $79 menu. I haven't been to 42, though I really like Goncalves' food, but if you're thinking that a $79 prix fixe in Westchester is a "value meal," it just shows how out of touch you are. Oh, and they no longer require jackets because times are tough. As if that really makes a difference.

          There are places in Manhattan that are really making themselves over with an eye to the times. For example, L'Impero reopened as Convivio and now offers a wonderful, high-end prix fixe for $59 and have plenty of very moderately priced wines on the wine list. Still not a "cheap" meal, but that is a value, and they're crowded all the time. Unlike 42, apparently.

          I do think that Westchester restaurants will need to get a grip, but we're still early enough in the downturn that they may need a bit of time to come out of denial.

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