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Komi, 17th & P Streets NW, 2013 James Beard Award Winning Chef Johnny Monis Rocks East Dupont - Tipping Eliminated on Sep 7, 2017 for 20% Pre-Tax Service Charge

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8 minutes ago, DaRiv18 said:

I once tried to tip our server at Komi some extra cash for him to pocket personally, and he refused it.  

I wonder if this is following P&P's "let us not burden you with math" at the end of a luxurious meal, for the benefit of the diner.  Also, if you are ordering a $500 bottle of wine at a restaurant, you are trying to impress somebody, so the extra benjamin just adds to your mystique.  

Well - just to be clear, I wouldn't order a $500 bottle of wine. I'd much rather order 3 bottles at retail and enjoy them at home.  Check that, I'd rather order 2 cases of $20 wine and enjoy those at home.  How does one go about getting one of those expense account things?

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Agree.  The $75 wine pairing complements the meal as well as I could ever imagine for me, and whoever curates that deserves the $15. 

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17 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I still wish there was a way to leave line cooks, dishwashers, and AGMs a tip - they work harder than servers, and are paid less.

A pre-tax service fee is not subject to tipping regulations, and *can* be distributed to the kitchen staff. This is partly why alinea/next went to the service fee model. I suspect that is likely influencing Komi as well. I suppose it may also result in slightly higher tips;  my suspicion is that it would be slightly lower net but guaranteed and stable and therefor better for all involved.

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Komi got a well-deserved Michelin star this year (although I'm still annoyed on their behalf that they didn't get two and LS has none).  Full list on Eater. 

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Haven't been to Komi in years and would appreciate some updated info. How do the dietary restrictions/substitutions work? Something discussed while making a reservation or upon arrivalat the restaurant? Considering going for my birthday, but am also pregnant and staying away from raw/undercooked proteins, etc. Also, is there only one seating and time available per night?

Thanks!

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In the past, I have usually mentioned the dietary restrictions during the reservation.  Then upon arrival, the server has always confirmed the restrictions and if they need clarification, they ask.

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12 hours ago, cajcaj said:

How do the dietary restrictions/substitutions work? Something discussed while making a reservation or upon arrivalat the restaurant? Considering going for my birthday, but am also pregnant and staying away from raw/undercooked proteins, etc. Also, is there only one seating and time available per night?

It's not single-seating; they take reservations at various times.  They're always great about accommodations (we're pescatarian, and we've been with a pescatarian friend who was also pregnant at the time, further limiting her options), but definitely give them advanced notice.  (Service is so excellent that I'm sure they'd make it work at the last minute, but why not get the benefit of advanced planning for such a special meal?)  Enjoy!

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Thank you rbh and jca76! So far Komi is the front runner and I'll be sure to note my restrictions when/if calling for a reservation. 

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I just made a reservation to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday. I haven't been in 10+ years. I want to say I went in maybe 2005, before they had a set menu. I lived a block away for 13 years so will be revisiting old stomping grounds as well. I'm very excited!

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I cannot remember the exact year Komi started, but a group of my wine pals and I went when it was a much more casual affair ad they allowed us to indulge and bring some really good wine. We talked with everyone on the staff about the food, the wine and just shooting the sh!t. It is a great memory.   Maybe 2004? 2005? 2006?

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13 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

I cannot remember the exact year Komi started, but a group of my wine pals and I went when it was a much more casual affair ad they allowed us to indulge and bring some really good wine. We talked with everyone on the staff about the food, the wine and just shooting the sh!t. It is a great memory.   Maybe 2004? 2005? 2006?

I was at Little Serow a few weeks ago, and Johnny told me he's worked every Valentine's day for 14 straight years, FWIW.

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13 hours ago, Pool Boy said:

I cannot remember the exact year Komi started, but a group of my wine pals and I went when it was a much more casual affair ad they allowed us to indulge and bring some really good wine. We talked with everyone on the staff about the food, the wine and just shooting the sh!t. It is a great memory.   Maybe 2004? 2005? 2006?

Komi opened in 2003 I believe. Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

in the early days Komi had a great brunch. I don’t miss much about living across the street, but that’s one thing.

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50 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

Komi opened in 2003 I believe. Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

Can you believe how *different* Komi was when it first opened, with Sebastian Zutant getting his start, and those beignets you'd dip in hot chocolate?

---

BTW, here are the original internet posts on Komi - this is when I was active on eGullet, but just before I agreed to become Forum Host (I resisted for as long as I could, but the third time he approached me, Steve Klc wouldn't take no for an answer - one thing's for sure: Steve Klc is the person who changed the course of my life).

For those who care, my very first eGullet post is here (I was a sarcastic little snot even then; this was less than one year after Karen died. My goodness, Isabella must hate my guts: my second post is here); all my stuff there can be found here (not in order; the oldest stuff is on page 31). That said, I got my start posting on one of those rec.dc.restaurants newsgroups on Usenet in the 1990s - ironically, a friend of mine wrote me then and said, "In all seriousness, have you ever thought about being a restaurant critic?" 

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1 minute ago, DonRocks said:

Can you believe how *different* Komi was when it first opened, with Sebastian Zutant getting his start, and those beignets you'd dip in hot chocolate?

That “Mexican” hot chocolate was incredible! They still had goat back then, too.

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20 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

It was an Il Radicchio for awhile. I don't remember Vivo.

ETA: I still have no recollection of Vivo despite living a block away when it was open, but according to the intertubes it was in fact in that space, probably between Il Radicchio and Komi.

16 minutes ago, Keithstg said:

They still had goat back then, too.

That goat was life changing for me. I hadn't eaten much goat up until then. I still fantasize about that goat.

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57 minutes ago, dracisk said:

It was an Il Radicchio for awhile. I don't remember Vivo.

ETA: I still have no recollection of Vivo despite living a block away when it was open, but according to the intertubes it was in fact in that space, probably between Il Radicchio and Komi.

That goat was life changing for me. I hadn't eaten much goat up until then. I still fantasize about that goat.

They still had a pizza oven back then, too.

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2 hours ago, Keithstg said:

Komi opened in 2003 I believe. Took over from a Roberto Donna outpost called Vivo or something like that.

in the early days Komi had a great brunch. I don’t miss much about living across the street, but that’s one thing.

Yes, 2003 makes more sense to me. We've only ben back to Komi, my wife and I, maybe 4 or 5 times from maybe 2003 to 2011 or so. Recently tried to head back, but were thwarted due to our lack of planning. We'll fix that soon.

2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Can you believe how *different* Komi was when it first opened, with Sebastian Zutant getting his start, and those beignets you'd dip in hot chocolate?

--

Loved that stuff - truly! I remember the dining area was really quite casual at the time when they first opened.

1 hour ago, Keithstg said:

That “Mexican” hot chocolate was incredible! They still had goat back then, too.

Truth!

1 hour ago, dracisk said:

It was an Il Radicchio for awhile. I don't remember Vivo.

ETA: I still have no recollection of Vivo despite living a block away when it was open, but according to the intertubes it was in fact in that space, probably between Il Radicchio and Komi.

That goat was life changing for me. I hadn't eaten much goat up until then. I still fantasize about that goat.

I could not agree more.

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According to their website, the prix fixe is increasing from $150 to $165 as of July 1, with a notation that "A 20% pre-tax service fee will be applied to the final bill; no tipping necessary."  That is to say, the charge will effectively be $137.50 (not including alcohol and tax).  No mention of whether tip is also built into the drink prices (e.g., the $85 pairing).

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Marty L. said:

According to their website, the prix fixe is increasing from $150 to $165 as of July 1, with a notation that "A 20% pre-tax service fee will be applied to the final bill; no tipping necessary."  That is to say, the charge will effectively be $137.50 (not including alcohol and tax).  No mention of whether tip is also built into the drink prices (e.g., the $85 pairing).

That is not how I read it. I took it to mean they will now auto- tip for you and you don't need to tip extra. Was it $150 out the door before? I would expect the new total cost to be $165 + 10% tax + 20% tip = $214.50.

Otherwise it would probably say "tip included; no further tipping necessary."

Edited by guanabana
clarity
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3 minutes ago, guanabana said:

That is not how I read it. I took it to mean they will now auto- tip for you and you don't need to tip extra. Was it $150 out the door before? I would expect the new total cost to be $165 + 10% tax + 20% tip = $214.50.

Otherwise it would probably say "tip included; no further tipping necessary."

You're right, guanabana, that that's the more natural reading. Perhaps it's right. But wouldn't that defeat the purpose others have had (e.g., Danny Meyer) of building the service fee into the cost and precluding tips, which is to allow the restaurant to share the fee with the BOH?

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I *believe* that legally, if you call an automatic, extra charge a gratuity, then it must go to the server, but if you call it a service fee, it can be split up among many members of the service team, including managers, or even a portion kept by the establishment.

Service charges are also subject to tax. Since this is "pre-tax" my calculation is $165 + $33 + $19.80 = $217.80

Still worth it because Komi rocks

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