dover sole price guide | 2011

This is your Dover Sole Price Guide. The cost can vary from day to day, based on availability, weight and rising jet fuel costs, so its price is sometimes listed as “market.” After all, chefs want to save the forests by not reprinting menus. But hey wait a minute, they’re okay with flying in this CARBON FOOTPRINT delicacy? In other words, restaurants don’t want to announce the price until you’re at the table with your husband/wife/mistress who really wants Dover Sole. And by then, they know you won’t balk when you’re told the price of this delicious flatfish is:

  1. Marea: “It’s around $75.” That’s for a 1.1 pound fish that the menu lists at $69/lb. RATING: BUY. As reported earlier, this is a HIKE from $62/lb.  
  2. 21 Club: “The chef’s not in yet but it was $73 yesterday”
  3. Le Cirque: [After holding for 5 minutes]: “This is the kitchen, I don’t know, I’m going to put you on hold again.” [Hold for another 2 minutes] “This Mario, it’s $69.”  
  4. The Four Seasons: [Male reservationist]: “It’s market price. We don’t have the exact number. You’ll have to ask your captain, do you have a reservation for tonight sir?… .[After which I gently break the reservationist’s balls]… . .wait, I was just told the Dover Sole is $68.”
  5. Nello: $65
  6. The Carlyle: $65
  7. Patroon: “I think $60 or $58, let me check” [I hang up after being left listening to a smooth jazz soundtrack on hold for too long]
  8. Desmond’s: “It’s generally about $58” [that’s “generally” up about $3 from the $55 that I paid two weeks ago]. 
  9. Milos [After improbable busy signal]: “$54 per pound.” [Do you know how big they are?] “No, it varies, depending on the delivery. The fish are downtairs.” [Lesson learned, always wait until fish are upstairs before asking price of Dover sole] 
  10. Avra: “They’re 44.95/lb” [But how big are they?] “They range in size and the fish we have now might not be the same size at dinner.”
  11. La Grenouille: $58 a la carte (or $14.50 supplement on $98 set menu)
  12. Harry Cipriani: “It’s $54.95 when we have it.” 
  13. Cipriani Downtown: $40.95 [see above for uptown prices]. 
  14. SD26: $55
  15. BLT Fish: $50. 
  16. Oceana: “$50/lb, sir.” [Do you know how big the fish are?] “No sir.” [Can you find out] “A pound.” [Like pulling teeth, isn’t it?] 
  17. Ai Fiori: $49
  18. David Burke Townhouse: $49
  19. BLT Prime & Steak: $48 [I can’t speak for the other 894 BLTs scattered throughout Puerto Rico, Antarctica and elsewhere]
  20. Keens: $48
  21. Smith & Wollensky: $48
  22. Casa Lever: “$48 for diner, $39 for lunch.”
  23. Brasserie Ruhlman: [What’s the price of your Dover Sole?]: “Is that a food or a wine sir?” [It’s a food] “It’s $44 or $46.” 
  24. STK: $45
  25. Hurricane Club: $39 [I’ve had pretty terrible food here. SELL]. 

PRICE HIKE ADVICE: Avoid Milos, where they expect the customer to perform mental calculus. I’ve never dined at Avra, but during my visits to Milos, the servers wouldn’t even estimate the price of any fish entree at the table. This reaffirms my belief that Milos is the Greek Nello and should be avoided at all costs. BIG SELL (Note: All prices were confirmed via telephone) 

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