Ciano, Shea Gallante’s year-old Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, has increased the price of its pasta tasting menu to $89, a 13% hike from $79. Gallante, who chatted with The Price Hike via email about the $10 increase, said hist first pasta menu was “underpriced.”
- Can you give us some color behind the new, higher price point? The courses and ingredients are a bit different this time around. This second menu is a completely new line-up of dishes. I’m using black truffle pate in one of the courses, the last course is more substantial on the protein aspect, and this menu is much more labor intensive than the past one. The first menu was heavier on the composition side during plate-up, and this one is much more labor intensive on the prep end of it. Hope this is a clear enough explanation. The first one was was underpriced for what was served, but it was a new concept and I wanted people try it.
- Do you sell a lot of these menus? We do sell quite a few, I do cap it at about 25 per night and when they’re gone thats it for the evening. We sell out about 45% of the time. (Shea Gallante)
Of course, Mario Batali’s Babbo offers New York’s most well-known pasta tasting; its price has hovered at $69 for the past few years or so, $20 bucks less than Ciano (Babbo’s menu appears to contain fewer luxury ingredients). Alternatively, $89 is what Michael White’s Ai Fiori currently charges for its four-course set menu. Two diners who order Ciano’s pasta tasting can expect to pay $226 after tax and tip; a party of four will pay $452.
Recall that Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton (that’s me) awarded Ciano three stars in his review. And recall that Gallante’s tasting menu was once as high as $135. See below for Ciano’s current menu: