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Westchester $16 Martini [moved from Tristate]

Can't believe it but I was charged $16 for a Tangeray martini the other night at a local steak joint. Not for "10" but ordinary gin. Where will it end?

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  1. >>Where will it end?

    It won't. As long as they will come, they will charge it.

    Doesn't surprise me in the least.

    Was it served at the same place that charges $88. for steak for two? Hysterical.

    1. Which local steak....? As long as we as patrons continue to pay the prices the will continue to charge...

      1. Last time I paid that much for a martini, it came with beluga caviar in it!

        5 Replies
        1. re: coll

          What a waste of beluga caviar.

          1. re: dolores

            Yeah, it was years ago when it was abundant. Wish I had some now.

            1. re: coll

              the reason it was so abundant years ago is the reason it is so scarce now!!.....overfishing, think twice before eating beluga at any price point.

              1. re: nkeane

                I just received a gift of salmon roe, that's what we'll be having Christmas Eve this year. I'm not putting it in martinis though.

                1. re: nkeane

                  The importation of Caspian Sea beluga caviar is presently unlawful. Osetra is the best possible caviar option in the US.

          2. I just have to know what steak house!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: wincountrygirl

              I don't know, but if I had to guess I'd say Willet House, which we ate at only once and called The Wallet House!

            2. A question, was the Martini served in a simple cocktail glass......or was it served in a larger vessel on the rocks or in a wine glass(on ice)?......or was the Martini served in a Huddle or accompanying Stainless Steel shaker where it was poured out at the table and there was an additional amount in excess of the glass provided.

              There has been a trend in restaurants that patrons order only a single drink when dining out, for whatever reasons and to adapt, the restaurants have decided to give you one good drink which in effect becomes a double sized drink. If this is the case here, although you may not agree with it, I find it reasonable and not a dishonest practice.

              60 Replies
              1. re: fourunder

                And if I wanted a double, I would have ordered a double.
                $16 for a martini is outraegous!

                1. re: RichK

                  A question. When was the last time you asked how much liquor a establishment pours into one of their cocktails? By old standards, a cocktail would be a two ounce pour, .....and you would be complaining about a short pour.

                  Last I recalled, the house has the right and sets the size of the drink and the cost. Whether you want a double or not, the cocktail size it is what it is......and if you(the patron) were served a drink as such. I would also bet you(the patron) would fully consume it with nary a thought of whether it were a double or not.

                  Whenever I tell my favorite bartender to give me a half drink, she still pours me a full one. When I point out to her I only asked for a half drink, she tells me to drink only half....I laugh a little......and yes, I always finish the whole drink.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Go to Bao's in White Plains. They pour a very nice martini for $6 along with a delicious meal.

                    1. re: lucyis

                      where is bao's. I live in white plains. Do you mean Boa on Central Avenue. If you do, they are gone..

                      1. re: kaaaassss

                        I believe Bao's is the restaurant n the mini mall with the large Asian grocery supermarket on the lower level and the DMV is also in there. The mall is across the street from the hotel where Aberdeen's is located.

                          1. re: kaaaassss

                            kaaaassss, you've never been to Bao's??? It's the only place I'll pay to eat.

                            It's somewhere between Imperial Wok and Aberdeen in authenticity, I believe, but the food and service are very, very good.

                            I didn't realize they had good, reasonable martinis, I'll have to remember that for the next time.

                            1. re: dolores

                              No I had know idea it was even there. I've been to both Aberdeen and Imperial Wok. I will definately give them a try. I can walk from where I live.

                              1. re: dolores

                                Really, Dolores? Bao's is "the only place you'll pay to eat?" The only one? What do you do in other restaurants, eat your dinner, ask for the check, then run out?

                                1. re: foodlad

                                  Pay to park to eat. My mistake, foodlad, I assumed that you were among those who find that deal breaker of mine so amusing.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    one of the nice things about living in white plains is i don't have to drive to any of the restaurants so I don't have to pay to park..

                                    1. re: kaaaassss

                                      You're right, kaaaasss, you have the opposite advantage. The restaurants you drive to have free parking, for the most part.

                                      Given that, I'm not impressed with the reviews on the restaurants in WP proper. Are there any you would equate with Spadaro or Sushi Nanase, quality-wise?

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        I like La Bocca, Tre Angelina, Tango Grill, Sushi Nanase. There is certainly a quantity of restaurants in WP but very few of quality...

                                        1. re: dolores

                                          Dolores: Do you ever cook or just go out to eat? I have never seen anyone been to every single restaurant mentioned, just curious and by the way if you could only go to one which one, why and what would you order?

                                          1. re: nbermas

                                            nbermas, I've not been to 'every single restaurant mentioned', not by a long shot. I only eat out once a week, and cook from scratch every other day of the week. I depend on what I read here for recommendations and even then, some places close before I can get there.

                                            Just one? That would be a tough one, but I guess I'd have to say Spadaro's. The food and the warmth shown by the owners trumps the other two places on my list.

                              2. re: laylag

                                I like that idea....drinking 6 dollar martinis right next to the DMV!

                            2. re: lucyis

                              You might be ordering a name brand martini, but for $6 a martini you're getting a bathtub gin (or vodka) martini. Do the math.

                              1. re: byrd

                                When it's mixed up with fruity stuff does it really matter? When i have a glass of straight spirits I will specify.

                                1. re: lucyis

                                  A martini does not have fruity stuff. It is just gin/vodka and vermouth.

                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    Traditionally, it's just gin. A vodka martini cocktail is technically a kangaroo.

                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                      How cool. I never knew that. I go back and forth between vodka and gin - not in the same night! - and will now start asking for a Kangaroo and see who knows what it is. Thanks, invino....

                            3. re: fourunder

                              A martini served "up" is a lot more than 2 ounces of alcohol. If it was just reg gin as the OP said, that is def still an overcharge. If the booze was say, Belvedere or Chopin one of the more expensive vodkas, served up thats a fair price. Sorry to say.

                              1. re: momof3

                                it was not Willet House and the drink was not in a oversized glass. the price should have been between $9 & $11. The cosmo ordered with premium vodka was not over priced. Will have to give Bao a try.

                                1. re: martyl9

                                  I thought $12. for a martini at Gavi was a rip-off.

                                  $16. is beyond a rip-off, but hey, as I said, if the sheeple pay it, the restaurants will charge it. More power to them.

                                  1. re: dolores

                                    Don't drink when there drink before at home and take a taxi or designated driver because that price sounds insane.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        Dolores; It was early and what i meant to say is either don't drink or drink before you go and take a taxi, sorry got up way to early too much going on, have a great day

                                        1. re: nbermas

                                          LOL, np.

                                          True, but the entire experience of dining out, for me, includes a cocktail. Especially with steak, where a Manhattan is a must and makes the meal. For other cuisine, a martini is a must.

                                          I've read about a sidecar here recently, and am curious as to what that is. I've also read about a real daiquiri, and gave up after finding out from two bartenders that they use mixes.

                                          So a cocktail, as per another thread, that is well made and given serious attention, and whose first sip is perfect, is impossible to find in Westchester. There are some VERY good cocktails, e.g., the $12. drink at Gavi, but otherwise, they are not to be had.

                                          So for a place to now charge $16. and for it NOT to OUTstanding, is beyond reprehensible. I only wish I knew who these crooks were.

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            The ingredients of a classic Sidecar are, I believe, Brandy, Cointreau, lemon juice, lime juice and sugar. I was introduced to this divine concoction many, many years ago at the Fordham Bar and Grill in the Bronx. The chair of a government planning committee I sat on insisted on having committee meetings at this venerable establishment. I can't recall if we actually got around to planning anything, but the Sidecars and hamburgers were pluperfect.

                                            I'm not much of a bar person (for one thing, at 4'10" I find it rather difficult to get on those darn stools), so good drink is always associated in my mind with good eating. Sounds like I need to check out Gavi.

                                            1. re: dolores

                                              Daiquiri it light rum, fresh lime juice, convectionary sugar(not regular sugar) and ice. shake and serve up or with the ice. enjoy.

                                              1. re: martyl9

                                                Thanks both, it sounds yummy. I wonder if I dare ask for it next time I'm out.

                                                Can't hurt to try.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  sorry to say Dolores but most bartenders have no idea how to make the drink. usually they won't have the confectionary sugar or use Irish Roses for the lime juice. Once the better half had one served to her with tequila. sometimes, i had to go behind the bar and give the bartender a lesson. now that she drinks Cosmos, I don't have to deal with it. Once you make one for a guest in your home, every body else wants one. try it at home. enjoy
                                                  marty

                                2. re: fourunder

                                  Sorry, I disagree. If i go to my regular place, yes they give me more than the two ounce pour.As you said, your favorite bartender gives you a full drink, why, because you are a regular.
                                  I've never complained about a short pour in my life. As i said, if I want a double I'll order a double.

                                  1. re: RichK

                                    RichK,

                                    You say.........Sorry, I disagree. If i go to my regular place, yes they give me more than the two ounce pour.

                                    Then you say......As i said, if I want a double I'll order a double.
                                    _____________________________________________________________

                                    I'll let you figure it out....

                                  2. re: fourunder

                                    Amen from an old time bartender, retired now. People who complain about the cost of resto drinks need to consider the time, expense, service costs and sometimes just common sense. I agree with you here and in your prior post. Drinks are priced according to a mark-up that relates to costs to support the bar, the resto and at the wish of the customer to have larger cocktails. What if the drink were only 1/2 the huge glass for $9, maybe a 3-4 oz cocktail, there would be venom on the short pour. I don't think we have enough info to judge this as extreme....

                                    1. re: jspear

                                      Sure we do. $16. for a 6 ounce cocktail is highway robbery.

                                      But hey, if I want a martini with my macaroni or a manhattan with my steak and I'm stupid enough to pay $16. for it, why shouldn't they then raise it to $18.? They absolutely should.

                                      1. re: dolores

                                        Does anyone know what 4-5 ounces of Grey Goose or Belvedere costs?

                                        1. re: dolores

                                          Delores,

                                          Six ounces is probably too much liquor in your example, it's probably closer to four ounces. Here's a little math and the formula used to base the prices charged in restaurants. Whether you or anyone else cares to dispute the general examples, I have to leave that for another discussion, but the standards are long in place.

                                          1. Tanqueray Gin approximate cost $20, based on four ounce pour from my previous posts, would yield 8 servings, less one presumably for a buyback, would yield 7 actual paid drinks. $20 divided by 7 = $2.85 liquor cost. Coupled with the following:

                                          2. Insurance: $1.00
                                          3. Rent/Utilities(Electric): $1.00
                                          4. Labor: $1.00
                                          5. Glassware/Condiment/Ice/Water: $1.00
                                          6. Taxes: $1.00
                                          7. Bank Mortgage $1.00

                                          This yields a total cost of $8.85 to the house to make this drink. Considering the suggested mark-up in the restaurant business is a minimum 400% to cover costs......the price of $16 is arguably expensive, but it is not unreasonable in my opinion.

                                          As a note, the OP still has not named the restaurant, so I can only surmise this based on the little information provided and thus have assumed the steakhouse is higher end in a affluent community....which I know Westchester to be. If however this was a local pub type place, you could knock the costs down somewhat, but the same would apply....except that the local pub would never serve you a large drink or in more expensive glassware.

                                          1. re: fourunder

                                            I'm sorry you're only getting four ounces in your drinks. The drinks I make are six ounces. The drinks I get in the restaurants I patronize are six ounces, with sometimes a little left over in the container brought to the table.

                                            Maybe I have been paying $16., who knows, for my six ounce drinks. From now on, I will check.

                                            As to your math, it's the same as the bread and the takeout containers to me. If you have to nickel and dime me on my martini or manhattan, then go out of business. If you're savvy, bury the cost in the entree or the appetizer. I'll be none the wiser, and pay the bill without noting that the price of drinks has gotten outrageous.

                                            $16. for a six ounce drink is outrageous.

                                            1. re: dolores

                                              Your logic is flawed, perhaps they are "burying" their costs at the bar. Costs are costs and to stay in business a resto has to recoup them. Thanks fourunder for the breakdown, shows the sense in how things are priced, drinks or entrees.

                                              1. re: jspear

                                                My logic is not flawed.

                                                If restaurants want to charge $16. or $18. or $20. for a drink, they are welcome to do so.

                                                If there are actually people out there willing to pay these prices, they are welcome to do so too.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  The flaw in your logic is to see it OK to hide costs in apps and not drinks, costs are costs whether that irritate you or are hidden from you.....

                                              2. re: dolores

                                                "$16. for a six ounce drink is outrageous."

                                                The premium martinis at my work are a measured 2.25 ounces. They run from $7.50 to $9.50. $16 for a six ounce drink sounds divine to me!

                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                  OMG another agreement, I think the earth just quaked a bit ;)

                                                  1. re: jspear

                                                    Every now and again, friend.

                                                    Are you getting buried in snow right now? We are in MA, but the bourbon and cider is keeping things warm!

                                                    1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                      just got back with provisions for chicken francaise and a great bottle of wine, we are snowed in.....

                                                2. re: dolores

                                                  they are not burying the costs. you are always one who argues that youd rather the prices be raised than have individual charges for things (bread, chips, etc.) so this is a case of exactly that and now you complain about this.

                                                3. re: fourunder

                                                  If that's true, why aren't all martinis in Westchester $16?

                                                  Or Manhattan for that matter where rents are even higher?

                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                    Can't speak to the spreadsheet of this resto much less all others in Westchester but each has costs specific to each as well as a mark up designed to cover costs and post a profit. If all westchester restos pay the same rent or own their building or have been in business for the same amount of time or use relatives for labor or buy from the same distributor etc etc etc....can't compare apples and oranges bob

                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                      For the same reasons a can of Coca-Cola isn't a dollar everywhere in Westchester and Manhattan.

                                                      If you read my earlier comments, the house sets the size of the drink and the price to charge. It's called discretion and how it's decided is based on the part of each individual establishment which has it's own unique set of variables they must deal with to be profitable and successful.

                                                      As (jspear) has pointed out.....can't compare apples to oranges bob.

                                                    2. re: fourunder

                                                      Fourunder said this:
                                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      "1. Tanqueray Gin approximate cost $20, based on four ounce pour from my previous posts, would yield 8 servings, less one presumably for a buyback, would yield 7 actual paid drinks. $20 divided by 7 = $2.85 liquor cost. Coupled with the following:

                                                      2. Insurance: $1.00
                                                      3. Rent/Utilities(Electric): $1.00
                                                      4. Labor: $1.00
                                                      5. Glassware/Condiment/Ice/Water: $1.00
                                                      6. Taxes: $1.00
                                                      7. Bank Mortgage $1.00

                                                      This yields a total cost of $8.85 to the house to make this drink. Considering the suggested mark-up in the restaurant business is a minimum 400% to cover costs......the price of $16 is arguably expensive, but it is not unreasonable in my opinion."
                                                      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      The more I look at this the more I realize that the numbers don't add up. The fixed costs alone equal $6 and would be the same whether the bartender was pouring water or liquid gold. If you use this math and add in a markup then Cokes in Fourunder's average bar would cost $12. Beers would be $14.

                                                      No, the math is bad. The argument doesn't make sense. It's a case of pure and simple gouging.

                                                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                        Bob says:

                                                        No, the math is bad. The argument doesn't make sense. It's a case of pure and simple gouging.
                                                        ____________________________________________________________

                                                        No Bob, my math is fine. $2.85 Liquor cost + 6.00 Fixed cost = $8.85, the cost to the house of providing the specific Martini drink to the customer in the original post.

                                                        The fixed costs mentioned are part of a formula used to determine the costs of doing business....also known as overhead. You are confusing the cost of the liquor used to make the drink and it's mark-up extension to determine the price charged for the drink.... as to what the cost is to house to produce the drink. Even if a patron asked for a glass of water at the bar, the fixed cost are still the same to the house......only instead of bringing positive dollars...none were brought in.....so the house loses on the non transaction....and you would be correct by your reasoning of:

                                                        The fixed costs alone equal $6 and would be the same whether the bartender was pouring water or liquid gold.
                                                        _________________________________________________________

                                                        Liquor cost of $2.85 for the Tanqueray plus the approximate 465% mark-up chosen on top(13.25) is extended to $16.10....the arguably expensive drink price......however it follows the general accepted formula/math to determine the necessary and correct price to maintain profitability, which I stated to be a minimum of 400%.

                                                        BTW....if you reference the above post by (invinotheresverde's) example of the the drinks and the prices her establishment serve and charge, you will see the extentions are similar.

                                                        1. re: fourunder

                                                          Why then don't ALL bars charge $16 for a Tanqueray martini?

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Because the fixed price at all restos is not the same, the other costs figured into drinks are not the same, the overhead is not the same, rents are not the same, personnel costs are not the same.....on and on and on........

                                                            1. re: jspear

                                                              You see, that's where c oliver and I have you. The reality check is to see what other bars are charging in order to find out what the market rate is. If you find that bars in the same area are all charging $10 for a similar drink you are left with three possible conclusions -

                                                              1. The owners of the other bars are incredibly bad businessmen who will soon be going bankrupt because they don't charge enough to cover costs.

                                                              2. The Magic Martini Bar, the one charging $16, has costs much higher than the others because they signed an incredibly expensive lease and pay their staff twice what the other bars do.

                                                              3. The Magic Martini Bar is gouging their customers by charging far more than comparable places in order to make as much money as possible.

                                                              I vote for #3. Now they're fully entitled to do this - it's not a right or wrong issue. It's a business decision. But lets not pretend that the price is driven by factors not under their control.

                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                I guess I don't see bob, because there are many other factors and outcomes other than the ones listed in your post. Of course, it is easy to pigeon hole and put things under the heading of "not under their control" or in fact, within their control but I don't think you or c oliver know the entire story or circumstance since you are not even sure what the name of this establishment is, specifically where it is, who owns or runs it, if it is a stand alone, blah blah blah. It is nice and sometimes easy to speculate however.....I am not in disagreement that this is an expensive price but I also see others hear who would gladly pay for it as part of a dining experience and i have indeed paid more for a martini, of course I would rather drink antifreeze before Tangueray anyway but that is beside the point. It is nice to look at a single price and wonder if these businessmen or women will soon go under, I would speculate that there is something there worth spending money on, location, food, service, history.....I don't see the mega-negative that you all are painting.....

                                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                  Bob says:

                                                                  You see, that's where c oliver and I have you. The reality check is to see what other bars are charging in order to find out what the market rate is. If you find that bars in the same area are all charging $10 for a similar drink you are left with three possible conclusions -..........

                                                                  I vote for #3. Now they're fully entitled to do this - it's not a right or wrong issue. It's a business decision. But lets not pretend that the price is driven by factors not under their control.

                                                                  __________________________________________________________

                                                                  If you came to your conclusion to include a combination of your three examples, I could respect your observation as honest, but all you are doing is making comments to support your position and by ignoring facts you have no way of knowing about any individual bar or restaurant in Westchester or Manhattan,.i.e. the circumstances of the Magic Martini Bar and the other bar and restaurant owners.

                                                                  Using your example of:

                                                                  If you find that bars in the same area are all charging $10 for a similar drink....

                                                                  Lets say there is a Bar A is located at 1 Main Street in a 1500 square foot building.... and has been in existence since 1950, with the same family ownership passed down the family tree.....this family owns the building, there is no mortgage on the property and they pay no rent, only property taxes. They also have not made a single renovation or improvement to the building or interior from 1950 to present. They have ten employees..... two bartenders, two servers, two cooks, two kitchen preps, a dishwasher and a busboy.....a very small operation.....serves a 2.25 ounce Martini...as does the place where (invinotheresverde) works

                                                                  Now the Magic Martini Bar occupies the adjacent building @ 3 Main Street, which is 10,000 square feet, has a rent of $30,000/mo based $30/sq.ft, for commercial property, they have a bank note for $2 million for the development of the restaurant and it's furnishings(not to mention their own personal money they have expended up front to the architects and lawyers), a staff of 30-40 and is a steakhouse with fine wines and an expensive liquor inventory...not to mention all the other overhead, as I am sure you and others will get my point.......and serves a four ounce Martini as I surmise....but possibly a six ounce as (dolores) surmises.

                                                                  Do you still really believe there is gouging on part of the Magic Martini Bar?

                                                                  I'm with jspear, invinotheresverde, jes and Edge on this one.....it's not outrageous and understandable.
                                                                  _____________________________________________________________

                                                                  Last to address your comment:

                                                                  The reality check is to see what other bars are charging in order to find out what the market rate is.

                                                                  This really isn't a consideration in determining the Magic Martini Bar's price structure for drinks unless they are in direct competition with a similar restaurant and MMB is directly targeting the competitions customers. Assuming the MMB is primarily a Steak oriented restaurant....the only consideration is what these similar restaurants are charging for their drinks......but I'll go out on a limb and assume the MMB feels their product is better than the others in the area and the regular customers who frequent their place are a captive audience and are fine with the entire experience.

                                                                  1. re: fourunder

                                                                    I don't think there's any need to do a complex analysis on this. Over time experience tells you roughly how much a drink costs in a particular setting. Of course drink prices vary but as you move up the ladder to fancier places you certainly expect to pay more. The problem arises when a bar is charging a price that's significantly higher than other bars of comparable style and atmosphere.

                                                                    Most people don't like to be surprised in that way. They feel like they're being played for suckers. OTOH, there is a certain type of well to do patron that actually *enjoys* paying higher prices. It reinforces their sense of self worth - "I can afford the very best." Prices that high also tend to attract other people who enjoy paying higher prices. They can look around the room and be happy seeing people like themselves. It's like joining an expensive country club.

                                                                    While this doesn't appeal to me I'm certainly not outraged by it. Rich people are entitled to their pleasures and the owner is entitled to make as much money as he can. No one is forcing anyone to go to that bar and pay those prices.

                                                                    But just don't tell me that the owner is forced to charge $16 for a martini.

                                                          2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                            jfood thinks this was an example not an audited fixed versus variable costs and return per pour.

                                                            In this case the fixed equals $6 of fixed and $2.85 of variable.

                                                        2. re: dolores

                                                          Haven't heard any of the background dolores unless you know more than has been reported here.....

                                                4. That reminds me of the $16 margarita I had one time at the Boxcar Cantina in Greenwich. As spec'd in my profile, for $16 @$^%#%@ dollars?!?!?

                                                  That's a mistake I only made once. I'll NEVER go back there.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                                                    I've actually gone back for Gavi's $12. drink (I know, versus everything I say) because their calamari are soooooo good.

                                                    But I will NOT go back to the crooks at High Street Roadhouse where an EXTRA charge is leveied on someone who orders a margarita up and is not told AHEAD of time.

                                                    I wonder if these places think they're fooling someone with their shenanigans?

                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                      A lot of places charge different prices for the same drink depending on what it's served in. We don't do this at my work, but I don't think it's odd/skeevy that some places do. If X amount of margarita is poured into a collins-type glass with ice, the same X ounces will look small in today's ginormous martini/cocktail-type glass.

                                                      They probably didn't tell you in advance because it's common sense. Big glass with drink and ice= full. Big glass with drink and no ice= not full. To fill, add more booze.

                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          The restaurant I work for charges more for a cocktail in an "up" glass for this reason.

                                                        2. re: dolores

                                                          I've never heard of a Margarita up. But I agree, if they are going to do that, how much effort is it for the bartender/server to say "BTW,...."

                                                      1. Formulas? more information?

                                                        Here's the only caculus you can believe in:. "what the market will bear." It's not what it costs, but what people will pay.

                                                        If the current economy is a lesson, hopefully the 16 dollar martini will go the way of those million dollar Las Vegas condo. No buyers.

                                                        And .how about the profit margins on coffee (and most liquids, including soup) at any restaurant? that same formula would result in a 25 dollar martini

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: louuuuu

                                                          >>what the market will bear." It's not what it costs, but what people will pay.

                                                          Amen.

                                                          >>hopefully the 16 dollar martini will go the way of those million dollar Las Vegas condo. No buyers.

                                                          Double amen.

                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                            This conversation should not be just limited to the $16 martini. What about the $3.50 coke, the $12.50 glass of wine, etc. The commonality is that the price is not known until you get the bill. This is similar to the "special of the day" entree.

                                                            1. re: jayjay

                                                              True, jayjay. Like the 'special house margarita' that is more expensive without ice but is not so noted.

                                                              I guess that's why they call it voting with your feet, the customer can't exactly change policy. Conversely, once such a ripoff is known, it's up to the patron to decide to return.

                                                              1. re: dolores

                                                                Or have the stones to complain right there. If any costs are extreme and you have not asked for clarification or even statement of them prior to or during the order, complain. A direct and simple answer should be offered that satisifies you. Any reputable place would do the same. I really have little empathy for folks that let a meal happen and then are appalled. If you think the prices are more than you can afford, or that you are willing to pay, ask. I would be surprised if this writer (getting back to the original post) ONLY had a 16 dollar martini on the bill. If he were at Ruby Tuesdays and got a 16 dollar drink, that would be a surprise. Again, before calling this OUTRAGEOUS or SHENANIGANS to dupe a customer, we need to know more about this resto, I think we are taking one item out of context and rushing to judgement. Also location, location, location.....when I drink in Manhattan I pay double what I pay in downtown Albany and either ask first or count on a heavy bar bill.

                                                                1. re: jspear

                                                                  You make a valid point. When one goes into an upscale expensive restaurant, you know ahead of time that the bill will be pricey...If you have a question, you should ask before ordering....

                                                                  1. re: kaaaassss

                                                                    Seems to help my digestion and keeps me coming back if I am not surprised with a bill, not to say that I haven't had them before...I'm a question asker anyway, specials need prices attached so that I don't blow the budget on the sushi sampler.......

                                                            2. re: dolores

                                                              99.9% of the times I have spent a lot for a dining experience I have been pleased and not regretted speinding one thin dime of it, including high prices for fine wine, great service, ambience, attention to detail, a rare fish flown in fresh, a positive fix on something not to my liking. If Marty or you are outraged at drink prices, please, please, please go elsewhere but if that 16 dollar martini was served to my liking along with a great steak and some wonderful potato recipe by an attentive wait person in front of a comfortable fire, maybe it all went into a great dining experience. If I was p%$#@ed off and looking to complain, I guess I'd find a place to do that right here.

                                                              1. re: jspear

                                                                Well, I don't own a restaurant, so $16. on up for a drink is still highway robbery.

                                                            3. re: louuuuu

                                                              As long as the State and Federal Taxes are attached to liquor sales and consumption to aid in the deficit of budgets, you will not see the cost of liquor or drinks in restaurants come down anytime soon....

                                                              Well see how the public reacts to the proposed tax on non-diet carbonated beverages proposed by New York's Governor......moral of the story....don't blame the restaurant for high prices on their offerings.

                                                              1. re: fourunder

                                                                As an owner, I can sympathize with the $16 "Martini". The Sex in the City Fishbowl sized Cosmo is part of the cause. $40 bottles of Vodka are another. I would put the cost of a 10 ounce Grey Goose Cosmo at $6-7. I would be tempted to charge $14-$16. Makes more sense to use a 7 ounce Glass, pour a six ounce drink and charge $10-$11. For years I had a customer bring her own 10 ounce glass with her.......

                                                            4. Since the restaurant isn't named, and this has become more of a discussion of restaurant pricing policies and general discussion about alcohol content in drinks than a discussion of Westchester restaurants, we've opted to move it over to the Not About Food board.

                                                              1. Last year at Christmas time we were visiting NYC and had martinis at the Mandarin Oriental overlooking Central Park. They were $20 but it took us over an hour to drink them. I had mine "up" but eventually asked for a glass of ice for it :) Was that an outrageous amount (Oh and it was top shelf)? Sure. But we still talk about it. But, man, that much for good but not great and out in the "burbs." Like dolores wrote, "as long as they will come,...."

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  A drink at Bemelman's will cost about the same. While there is no view, I still love going there and don't mind paying that for a (one only) cocktail.

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    I'm looking forward to a cocktail there also. As you say, only one, but the environment will be worth, I'm sure. We'll be back to NYC in June. Looking forward to it.

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    and it took an hour to drink.....that is just the point, you got what you paid for both in time to partake and location and view, both of which you were paying for.....

                                                                    1. re: jspear

                                                                      I'm TOTALLY not complaining about the price. It was SO worth it. And you're correct - that was a REAL drink :) A HUGE pour. We were happy, happy. AND they had a drink/app menu so we knew what we were paying. Would I sit there all night and "knock them back"? No, but then I no longer hang out in bars. It's a one-only thing like MMRuth wrote.

                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                        Sounds like a perfect hour to me too, I am really into slow drinks and would start up and move to iced as it warms, one of my least favorite things is a warm tini. With so much complaining about the price, it is great to hear someone who knows what they were getting for the price and enjoying it!!!

                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                      That's why giant fishbowl drinks are against cocktail nature. If it takes an hour to drink it is most certainly warm the second half hour. Happiness is a cold martini.

                                                                      I love love love the Bemelmans Bar too, but I preferred it when they didn't overserve their cocktails -- with the little pitcher of extra. If I want two drinks, I'll order two drinks.

                                                                    3. Since it was a restaurant, was the price on the menu?

                                                                      1. Reminds me of a cocktail i ordered at a pool in Vegas. My strawberry daquiri arrived in a gargantuan (what could be found in 7-11's across the U.S.) foam cup. When signing the bill, I saw that my oversized slushy cost $18. With tip, I was paying $20 for a slurpee. After tasting oversweet, virtually non-alcoholic drink, I went to the bar, handed it to the bartender who knew exactly what I was going to say. He asked me if I would prefer a "top shelf" drink on the rocks. I told him that for $20, he better come up with something very good. Ugh.