Torrisi, a Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurant that originally charged $45 for a progressive meal of Italian-American fare in a bare-bones environment, has moved even further in the direction of fine-dining, raising the price of lunch and dinner to $100.
The longer 8-10 course menu is a $20 hike from this summer’s price of $80, or a $30 hike from the former lunch price of $70. The extended 20-course tasting, which once reached $160, is no longer available. So the REAL COST of a meal for two at Torrisi, after tax and tip, is now $258, or $412 after wine pairings, which start at $60.
Jeff Zalaznick, a partner with Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone at The Major Food Group, explained the changes in an email to The Price Hike:
“The $100 menu will be 8-10 courses and will be conceived by the chefs based on a list of special ingredients. There will be a variety of different dishes served from the same ingredient each night so you may get a different dish than the person you’re dining with, and the table next to you may be getting some different dishes than what you’re getting. We feel this is the best way to give every diner the most innovative and uniquely tailored experience, while putting the ingredients at forefront of the meal.
In addition to the menu change, we have also made some other interesting moves. We have further improved the dining room to remove more seats and create more dynamic serving and finishing stations. We have also changed the service so that cooks and chefs are now integrated into it. A good deal of your food will now be cooked and plated right in front of you and brought to your table and explained to you by the chef who just cooked it. We hope these changes will make guests more physically comfortable and will give them a deeper connection and more comprehensive understanding of the food they are eating.”
When asked about the debate over tipping, Zalaznick had the following to say: ”We are looking into service-included/add-service pricing models and may introduce them in the future."
Torrisi is the second big-time restaurant in recent years to offer the same extended menu (and price) at lunch and dinner; Eleven Madison Park did as much in 2012 and Per Se has always offered its nine-course menu during lunch (along with a few cheaper options). Momofuku Ko as well has long offered its priciest $175 menu at lunch, while reserving its $125 option for supper.
The spendy lunch is a nod to destination diners, as well as to those on holiday who have time for a longer midday meal. In other words, business lunch folks will likely be better off at Carbone, the excellent a la carte and old school member of the Major Food Group. Torrisi lunch is for when you have Friday off.
Is this all a BUY HOLD or SELL? That’s your call, world. But keep in mind that Bloomberg’s Ryan Sutton (that’s me) awarded 3.5 stars to Torrisi in his re-review of the restaurant last year. Expect reports on the new $100 menu to appear in the BLOGOSPHERE shortly.