Here's What Happens When an American Restaurant Uses Chinese Dim Sum Carts.4

Briefly: You have a very clever way to get customers to spend a lot of money, because everyone orders off trolley carts (without prices) rather than off menus. Guests choose their dishes after making an emotional, visual connection with the food, rather than making a rational decision based on the price. That all said, I dig it and award TWO STARS in my review for Eater. 

Would you rather pay $12 for pizza at Roberta’s or $17 at Franny’s? The answer is ostensibly simple, but because pizza is a hyper-local item, it’s likely you’ll pay the extra $5 if you live closer to Franny’s than Roberta’s. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the competitive environment for pizza in New York means you probably won’t overpay by much more than $5 for a good pie. Click through for my full observations on PIZZANOMICS for Eater!

Would you rather pay $12 for pizza at Roberta’s or $17 at Franny’s? The answer is ostensibly simple, but because pizza is a hyper-local item, it’s likely you’ll pay the extra $5 if you live closer to Franny’s than Roberta’s. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the competitive environment for pizza in New York means you probably won’t overpay by much more than $5 for a good pie. Click through for my full observations on PIZZANOMICS for Eater!

"I do not fault any business for any corkage fee they choose to charge - $50, $100 or $1,000. What would we say if a customer walked into Luger’s, brought in a great cut of rib eye with asparagus, olive oil, sea salt & pepper, passed it to the host and said "Medium please. Don’t worry, I will buy some drinks. Table for two!" — James Mallios, owner of Amalia. 
That’s one of the many fine comments reacting to my Eater piece about how Per Se has increased its corkage fee to $150 per bottle. Check it out.

"I do not fault any business for any corkage fee they choose to charge - $50, $100 or $1,000. What would we say if a customer walked into Luger’s, brought in a great cut of rib eye with asparagus, olive oil, sea salt & pepper, passed it to the host and said "Medium please. Don’t worry, I will buy some drinks. Table for two!" — James Mallios, owner of Amalia. 

That’s one of the many fine comments reacting to my Eater piece about how Per Se has increased its corkage fee to $150 per bottle. Check it out.

Thomas Keller’s Per Se ($310) and The French Laundry ($295), two of America’s most expensive restaurants, are now commanding what are surely America’s highest corkage fees, at $150 per bottle, as I reported this afternoon for EATER. That’s OODLES more than what most other high end restaurants charge; Joel Robuchon in Vegas levies a $100 fee, while Masa in New York asks $95.
Are such policies necessary to sell wine and maintain a restaurant’s profit margins? Do they hurt consumers who are looking to enjoy their own wines in a restaurant? Should guests even be able to enjoy their own wine in a restaurant? We don’t bring our own fish into Le Bernardin, after all, so why should it be appalling that Le Bernardin doesn’t allow outside wines? Whatever your position, please do state it in the comments!

Thomas Keller’s Per Se ($310) and The French Laundry ($295), two of America’s most expensive restaurants, are now commanding what are surely America’s highest corkage fees, at $150 per bottle, as I reported this afternoon for EATER. That’s OODLES more than what most other high end restaurants charge; Joel Robuchon in Vegas levies a $100 fee, while Masa in New York asks $95.

Are such policies necessary to sell wine and maintain a restaurant’s profit margins? Do they hurt consumers who are looking to enjoy their own wines in a restaurant? Should guests even be able to enjoy their own wine in a restaurant? We don’t bring our own fish into Le Bernardin, after all, so why should it be appalling that Le Bernardin doesn’t allow outside wines? Whatever your position, please do state it in the comments!

Alma in Los Angeles, Bon Appetit’s best new restaurant of 2013, is going tasting menu-only. For some, this will be a PRICE HIKE, as chef Ari Taymor will no longer offer his $65 five-course option. For others, this will be a PRICE DROP from the current tasting, priced at $110. Click through for my full Eater interview with Taymor; he talks why he’s changing things up and whether he’ll go service-included in the coming years. (Graph Credit: Eater).

Alma in Los Angeles, Bon Appetit’s best new restaurant of 2013, is going tasting menu-only. For some, this will be a PRICE HIKE, as chef Ari Taymor will no longer offer his $65 five-course option. For others, this will be a PRICE DROP from the current tasting, priced at $110. Click through for my full Eater interview with Taymor; he talks why he’s changing things up and whether he’ll go service-included in the coming years. (Graph Credit: Eater).

baddeal:

Nineteen percent of New Yorkers surveyed by Gallup said they struggled to afford food at least once over the past year, compared with a nationwide high of 23% in West Virginia and 25.1% in Mississippi.
New York is on the higher end of the scale, with residents of Alaska and New Hampshire being the least likely to have a hard time with food costs. “Americans’ growing struggles to afford food may be linked to a rise in food prices across the country, particularly meat prices, while national incomes have largely flat-lined since the recession," Gallup wrote. Sad news.

baddeal:

Nineteen percent of New Yorkers surveyed by Gallup said they struggled to afford food at least once over the past year, compared with a nationwide high of 23% in West Virginia and 25.1% in Mississippi.

New York is on the higher end of the scale, with residents of Alaska and New Hampshire being the least likely to have a hard time with food costs. “Americans’ growing struggles to afford food may be linked to a rise in food prices across the country, particularly meat prices, while national incomes have largely flat-lined since the recession," Gallup wrote. Sad news.

ryansutton:

Pine Intermezzo at Elizabeth Restaurant, Chicago. Chef Iliana Regan gathers up spruce and blends it with sugar, water and CO2. How does it taste? Sharp, sweet, and fragrant. I’ll call it a drinkable Glade Plug-In. Great [expletive-omitted] stuff. It’s part of a tasting menu that generally runs $100-$165, depending on the day of the week. See my full writeup over here.

Rating: STRONG BUY. Elizabeth, incidentally, uses the Nick Kokonas-brand advance ticketing and dynamic pricing system. Rock on.

ryansutton:

Pine Intermezzo at Elizabeth Restaurant, Chicago. Chef Iliana Regan gathers up spruce and blends it with sugar, water and CO2. How does it taste? Sharp, sweet, and fragrant. I’ll call it a drinkable Glade Plug-In. Great [expletive-omitted] stuff. It’s part of a tasting menu that generally runs $100-$165, depending on the day of the week. See my full writeup over here.

Rating: STRONG BUY. Elizabeth, incidentally, uses the Nick Kokonas-brand advance ticketing and dynamic pricing system. Rock on.

baddeal:

I’ll be joining Eater as a restaurant critic and a data guy! Am humbled to be working with other new hires like steakmaster Nick Solares, jack-of-all trades Robert Sietsema, and national restaurant editor Bill Addison. Am also stoked to say I’ll continue filling The Price Hike & The Bad Deal with great content, both original and from around the web. I’m very grateful to all of who’ve read The Hike & The Deal over the past three years! You’re the BEST!

STRONG BUY!!!

baddeal:

I’ll be joining Eater as a restaurant critic and a data guy! Am humbled to be working with other new hires like steakmaster Nick Solares, jack-of-all trades Robert Sietsema, and national restaurant editor Bill Addison. Am also stoked to say I’ll continue filling The Price Hike & The Bad Deal with great content, both original and from around the web. I’m very grateful to all of who’ve read The Hike & The Deal over the past three years! You’re the BEST!

STRONG BUY!!!

The Tipping Documentary4

YOU GUYS let’s make this happen? A young filmmaker, Anna Savittieri, is gonna make a movie about one of our favorite topics, TIPPING. She’s set a goal of $1,550 and has raised $250 so far. She’s fixin’ to visit Boston, DC, New York and Chicago to interview service industry workers. Tipping is a BIG DEAL, as the hospitality industry is the second-largest private sector employer in the United States, providing work for more than 13 million people, many of whom earn the tipped minimum of just $2.13/hour.

This issue is particularly significant as restaurants like Sushi Yasuda have moved to abolish tipping, and as efforts to raise the tipped minimum have faltered. So we hope Savittieri raises her Kickstarter goal many times over and gives us some serious film making!

ryansutton:

Chicken Breast. Mushrooms. Blood Pudding. Almonds. Looks like an abstract rendition of Continental drift, right? See South America separating from Africa? And guess what? Tastes really good. The iron and funk of the boudin noir make up for the brilliant neutrality of the bird. Part of Contra’s $55 five course menu. Rating: STRONG BUY. (Photographer: Ryan Sutton). 

GOOD FOOD! GOOD PRICE! GOOD PHOTO BY OUR SISTER TUMBLR!

ryansutton:

Chicken Breast. Mushrooms. Blood Pudding. Almonds. Looks like an abstract rendition of Continental drift, right? See South America separating from Africa? And guess what? Tastes really good. The iron and funk of the boudin noir make up for the brilliant neutrality of the bird. Part of Contra’s $55 five course menu. Rating: STRONG BUY. (Photographer: Ryan Sutton). 

GOOD FOOD! GOOD PRICE! GOOD PHOTO BY OUR SISTER TUMBLR!

The Many Prices of Elizabeth For The Same Meal. We Dig It, Baby.

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Iliana Regan has some serious tattoos, a Michelin star, and wicked future ahead of her. She is a real deal forager, serving up fried lichens, raccoon snausages, and the broth of freshly killed deer. And house made Cheerios. It’s all part of the loooong tasting at Elizabeth Restaurant on Chicago’s North Side. Expect 17-plus courses.

Regan calls this “New Gatherer Cuisine.”

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“You go into Carbone, and the whole thing is so fake…I went for dinner and I was embarrassed to be there”

Says Sean MacPheron in an interview with The New York Times. He’s the guy behind Waverly Inn, which sells $55 truffled mac & cheese to celebrities. He’s also the guy who’s allowing Tao, a Buddha-themed restaurant that sells $88 Wagyu ribeye to tourists, to open underneath his Maritime Hotel. 

So to be fair, the dude clearly knows a thing or two about fake.