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Dec 29, 2008 10:13 AM

KC: Restaurant Reactions to the Recession

Two recent experiences deserve cheers and jeers for restaurant adjustments to the economic mess.
CHEERS: AIXOIS has introduced a choice of full or smaller portions of many dishes. Our family of three ate well and with a full bottle of Chinon plus tip for less than $100.
JEERS: What's up with McCormick & Schmick? We've always counted on a good piece of fish at MS as a 6-8 times a year treat. The fish remains good, but the wine list prices have doubled? We like the "Katherine's Vineyard" Cambria Chardonnay and have been willing to pay in the high $30 to low $40 range. It retails six blocks away at Gomer's for $22 (on sale for $18 at times). Yesterday the MS wine list had it at $61! The lowest price white was a Columbia Crest Savignon Blanc for $47? A glass of Kendall Jackson chard was $14, more than a bottle price retail. How does this make sense for them? I confess I needed a glass of wine with my sole and was forced to overpay. Is this what they're looking for? I think they've lost our business.

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  1. I agree with the wine gouge. We ate at M&S Grill not long ago and many wines by the glass were more than the retail price for an entire bottle. Columbia Crest Sauvignon Blanc is usually under 10 bucks a bottle. We've always thought McCormick and Schmick charged too much for wine, but $14 a glass for Kendall Jackson is crazy. What's crazier is someone paying it!

    I'm all for smaller portions. The lunch salads at M&S Grill are gigantic. I'd gladly pay 25% less for half the amount.

    1. Do you two think they are doing this to recover the cost of opening the bottle when they're not selling the remaining glasses and have to discard the rest? This occurs to me because I'm not ordering wine by the glass when we eat out. Honestly, this is to keep the total lower, and I wonder if others are doing the same in this economy. I'd rather drink at home these days, as it's a better value. We don't want to give up eating out, but must rein in the budget. I really only drink when we're out on rare occasions, like a birthday party in a restaurant.

      1. The difference is that Aixois is not a chain, while M&S is. The conclusion to make here is to not eat at chain restaurants.

        1. 1924 Main also gets cheers for lowering dinner prices and offering affordable but good happy hour. great pre fixe deal on sunday and monday for $25

          1. We went to Trezo Vino in Leawood for lunch today, and found they'd altered the menu quite a bit. The portions seem to be smaller on sandwiches, but larger on salads, and prices have come down on all but the specialties. I still don't like that they charge $2.75 for iced tea, but that's a small quibble. Everything was tasty, and the service very good.

            5 Replies
            1. re: amyzan

              McCormick is all fluff anyway. Try the Bristol Seafood Grill for the best seafood in town, City Tavern always deserves a visit. And of course, 1924 and Michael Smith's two concepts but I think he's so busy he's not worried about cutting pricey as much as others.

              Speaking of seafood who do you guys think has the best (fried) oysters in town?

              1. re: BurtonBailey

                Happy hour at Extra Virgin is a good deal, with a number of half price plates.

                1. re: Aaron Deacon

                  I'm glad to hear others are refraining from the overpriced wine drinking at restaurants. Jeers also to the surly waitstaffs who roll their eyes as you order water. I either drink water, beer, or wine at a restaurant. When your booze is inflated, I'm drinking water, too farkin' bad. End of Story. Don't cop an attitude with me, because then I'm just going to stiff you further when the tip jar rolls around. Get it....good.

                  1. re: Aaron Deacon

                    We were at Extra Virgin for happy hour a couple of weeks ago. My husband and I had a total of 4 plates, 2 glasses of wine, and 1 beer. The bill came in at around $40.00. It was lovely.

                    1. re: Mushroom

                      I love the Campo Lindo Farms chicken livers. They always have something new on the menu every time I go, which is 2 or 3 times a month, and that's nice. Their wines by the glass are pretty good as well. Blue Stem is another happy hour everyone should check out.