Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Mar 7, 2012 07:44 AM

Is there such a thing as a fine dining chain?

This is more of a philosophical post with regard to a project I'm working on. I'm trying to compile a list of fine dining restaurants that are not local, but are technically chains. I've encountered the usual celebrity chef restaurants a la Wolfgang Puck in NYC, Las Vegas, & LA. However I feel as though I might be missing other restaurants like Le Cirque. Are there any thoughts or suggestions about how I could do this research. Furthermore is there a chain you think I'm missing. Your help would be very much appreciated!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There is the Capital Grille chain in Boston, that's a fine dining chain.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jamieeats

      I'd add Ruth's Chris as being close to fine dining (higher end steak house).

      1. re: jamieeats

        I would add Flemings to the list as well.

        1. re: Janet from Richmond

          Agree on the Flemings even though I feel guilty for going, but they always treat us so well and the food is always top notch and the wine is good too. I haven't gone in years though as we try to focus on locally owned places.

      2. Emeril Lagasse's chain of restaurants are considered fine dining, I think. Ditto for steak places like Ruth's Chris, Flemings, Palm, Del Friscos. Roy's and McCormick and Schmick's maybe?

        2 Replies
          1. Thanks everyone! This seems to be a good start!

            1. We have a restauranteur in Philly named Stephen Starr who has opened maybe a dozen places in the city and beyond. They range from high end to beer gardens. But is that a "chain"? I'm not sure as he wants to satisfy multiple tastes, while I think the key to chain restaurants is being the same no matter which location. His name is marketable tho. You know a "Starr" restaurant as a brand. And he does place his fingerprints on every venture; so it's not like he's just buying places and hanging a "Starr" sign over it. Nor is he selling his name to any restaurant for a price.

              1. Would Legal Seafood qualify as a "fine dining chain?" I haven't been in a while, but they always seemed to be quite a few steps ahead of Red Lobster and the like.