“On Saturday nights we offer our regular menu, which is an eight-course menu and it’s $180. On Tuesdays, we offer a five-course menu and it’s $95. Although there’s a few more courses on Saturday, it’s nearly half the price on Tuesday, and I think that’s definitely an attractive proposition for people.”
Ben Shewy, the general manager Australia’s Attica (a name that probably wouldn’t work in New York), talks to the good people at Eater about his restaurant’s variable pricing model.
Alinea, Next and Elizabeth in Chicago all serve tasting menus whose price depends on the night of the week, but Attica in Melbourne is the first restaurant we know of outside the United States who does so as well. In other words, expect to see more of this, everywhere.
Now technically, true variable pricing is offering the same menu at a different price, but this is a unique enough situation where I’d argue we can expand the definition a bit.
Attica debuted on the “World’s Best Restaurants” list at #21.
“À la carte was really bugging me — the sort of tyranny of the entrée was ever-present. I wanted to move away from that. It wasn’t fun to make $33 portions of food. I find it much more compelling to make a four-biter that leaves you wishing that you had a fifth. I think “the tyranny of the entrée” is the right way to put it. I don’t want to build this giant plate of food. That process ceased to be that enjoyable from a creative standpoint. I do like to embrace challenges and opportunities, but [creating entrées] wasn’t something that continued to excite me”
You want de true true? WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne speak de true true. Props to Eater’s Gabe Ulla for the fine interview. This is a good thing, as we’ve long argued against the necessity of entrees here at The Price Hike and The Bad Deal. For more WD-50 reading, here’s my Bloomberg News review of the restaurant.
Starting next year, New York City businesses with 15 or more employees will be required to give their workers 5 days of paid sick leave. Like any government regulation that imposes a cost on small businesses, that cost will likely be passed onto the consumer.
William Tiggert of Freemans & Peels says the bill could increase payroll costs by 4%, and so it’s not improbable to suggest that menu prices would rise by that much.
Make no mistake: We at The Price Hike fully approve of paying more for dinner so the good people who work hard to serve us good food can live better, healthier lives. This law should also decrease the risk of nasty food born-illnesses, as sick restaurant workers will stay home without fear of losing their jobs.
That said, every individual diner has his or her own individual income restraints, whether real or psychological. So you tell us — would you be willing to pay 2-4% more for dinner in New York or elsewhere so that restaurant workers can receive paid sick leave? And we hope you don’t mind us biasing our own survey by saying we hope your answer is a resounding YES! As we always say, good food costs good money.
“It may seem crazy to say that you may disappoint people by not putting expensive bottles of wine on your wine list, but it is the truth. And you are also depriving your business of revenue. By putting bottles on the list that are over $100, that are over $200, that are up to $1,000… I mean we have a bottle of Chateau Haut-Brion 1999 and that is $995 and that bottle will sell eventually. Someone will roll in and drink that bottle of wine. Like I said, we want to offer something for everybody, even for rich people.”
That’s how Pearl & Ash’s Patrick Cappiello responds when Levi Dalton notices that over half the wines at the downtown Manhattan restaurant are $100 or higher. Click through for the full interview. And check out Pearl & Ash’s full wine list, fellow brothers and sisters. (Source: Eater).
This Atlanta Waffle house charges adds 20% to each order for security. It’s a “property management surcharge” because “it used to get real crazy here.” But do you get the 20% back if there’s a robbery? Shout out to My Fox Atlanta for the story, and to Eater for bringing it to our attention. So what say you world? BUY HOLD OR SELL on the security surcharge?
Saison in San Francisco is one of America’s most expensive restaurants. Dinner for two, plus wine pairings, tax and tip, will cost over $1,000. So we’re stoked that chef Joshua Skenes & Company have launched an 8-10 course tasting of canapes in the lounge area for $48, reportsEater's Allie Pape.
Recall that Per Se in New York also launched a (rather spendy)salon menuin the depths of the recession. It’s all further proof that the so-called “tyranny of the tasting menu” isn’t much of a tyranny at all.
As Eater celebrates “Whale Week,” documenting the high-rolling gastronomic enclaves that dot our fruited plain, we’ve been reminded that Masa is still our most expensive restaurant. Dinner for two, after tax and tip, starts at $1,160. Wine and cocktails, of course, are extra. But how much extra? Good question.
So here, The Price Hike presents Masa & Bar Masa’s cocktail list, which is certainly one of America’s spendiest cocktail lists; you’d expect anything less from America’s spendiest restaurant?
Now here’s the problem: If you’re sourcing your bitters from artisanally bearded Brooklyn men who fly in rare herbs and panaceas from the Himalayas, and you use those ingredients to serve cocktails you can’t get elsewhere, you can charge as much as you want. But if you’re working at Masa, serving a $25 watermelon martini with Ketel One, you should ask yourself a whole variety of questions, starting with why the [bleep] you’re serving a watermelon martini at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant.
These prices are less about serving “the best”, and more about a high end restaurant leveraging it’s “brand” and menu price to justify exorbitant cocktail prices. Yep, we’ll rate this list as STRONG SELL.
Our Good Friends at Eater have compiled a list of America’s most expensive tasting menus using The Price Hike’s own “REAL COST" metric, which means they’re letting your know how much dinner will cost after tax, tip, and sometimes wine pairing. It’s a fine list, and we hope more outlets (and restaurants) will start using REAL COST as a way of displaying prices, as it lets diners know precisely how much they’ll spend without any annoying mental arithmetic.
Big shout out to Gabe Ulla, the fine food writer behind this list.
White truffles are happening and The Price Hike is all over it, baby.
Anything that costs so much (and smells so good) is gonna raise our eyebrows, so we’ll be tracking the prices of these fine funghi at restaurants all across our fruited plain. The Eater People already published nice truffle roundup last week to kick things off, check it out.
And for those short on bonus money, keep in mind that the truffle shuffle, the most famous truffle dish of all time, is still 100% FREE. You’re welcome.
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, given the quality of food at Brooklyn restaurants like Brooklyn Fare and Blanca, where dinner for two after wine, tax and tip will easily exceed $650.
Things are only comparatively cheaper at Gwynnett St. in Williamsburg, the subject of my three star Bloomberg News review this week. The wine paired tasting menu is $115, a recent PRICE HIKE from $110. That all comes to $296 after tax and tip for two. Bread service is an extra $5, even on the tasting menu.
Advice to Gwynnett: Go ahead and hike your prices again, because you shouldn’t have to pay more for bread on the tasting menu. REALLY.
“Corkage fees at ambitious restaurants ensure guests don’t bring their own wines to save money, which is the wrong thing to do. High-end dining (and high-end drinking) should be a curated experience; if you want a collaborative experience, then go to a pot luck at The Knights of Columbus.”
The Price Hike’s Ryan Sutton (that’s me) chats about corkage fees with Eater’s Talia Baiocchi. I’m not entirely opposed to bringing wines to high-end restaurants, but diners should be careful to respect the individual wine culture of each venue, and one certainly shouldn’t bring a wine to an ambitious spot to “save money.” (Source: Eater National).
Chef Magnus Nilsson, who runs Faviken restaurant in Northern Sweden, will host a one night-only dinner at Chef Daniel Patterson’s Coi in San Francisco, as first reported by Eater.
Faviken is ranked 34th on the San Pellegrino list of World’s Best Restaurants.
The cost of the dinner is $250, with optional wine pairings at $105. So after 8.5% sales tax and an 18% service charge, your wine-paired repast will cost $450 for one or $909 for two. Yeah, we’re calling it a BUY.
Sure, that’s a bit more expensive than an actual dinner at Faviken, where meals are 1,250 SEK ($188 USD), or 2,500 SEK ($375 USD) after wine pairings. Then again, you MIGHT end up saving some bucks by not flying to Northern Sweden. As much as we’d like to get out of Dodge…
Oh, they’re throwing in the new Faviken cookbook too. It’s in English.
“I’ve always priced and designed the menu so that we would provide a lot of value. 25 years ago, we had entrees that were between $25 and $35, and now we have entrees that are $30 to $48. Our prices and check averages have gone up, but our food costs have remained the same.”
Chef Alfred Portale talks with Eater’s Gabe Ulla about the menu prices at Gotham Bar & Grill and about the possibility of opening up some new joints. It’s a great interview, though to be precise, Gotham’s mains, on the current online menu, are $35-$49 (with one exception: a $26 squash entree on the “weekly specials”). Starters are generally $21-$29.
There’s also caviar service ($100-$325), large-format steaks that can range from $115-$135, as well as a tasting menu, which rose by $15 last year, following a three-star New York Times review.
Yes, we’ve dined at Gotham. Yes, we love it. Yes, we’ll be back. But Portale might be misunderestimating his prices by a few dollars. (Source: Eater).