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blakegwinn

"Entrees Reach $40"

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Has anyone mentioned this one yet? Maybe I just missed the string. I thought the turnover rate vs. entree price comment was especially interesting.

Just last week, I saw a dining guide for Washington DC from 1965. The page describing the elegant Jockey Club mentioned that is was in the "expensive" category - entree prices at $3.50!

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Just last week, I saw a dining guide for Washington DC from 1965. The page describing the elegant Jockey Club mentioned that is was in the "expensive" category - entree prices at $3.50!

Which was a fair amount of money back then. If I remember correctly, the first time that we ordered pommes souffle there, the cost was $.75.

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Which was a fair amount of money back then. If I remember correctly, the first time that we ordered pommes souffle there, the cost was $.75.

Speaking of pommes souffle, any place in the area make these?

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Has anyone mentioned this one yet? Maybe I just missed the string. I thought the turnover rate vs. entree price comment was especially interesting.

Interesting is one way to put it. "When I grow up, I want to be the corporate grind in charge of turnover maintenance at Crapplebee's," is another.

Not that I'm at all a lingerer, but I thought part of the entire point of eating at a place of higher caliber is the right to not be pushed in and out of the restaurant like so much cattle being processed through an abattoir.

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has a nifty inflation calculator on their website. According to that, $3.50 in 1965 equals $22.50 in 2006. Not exactly the super-luxe price range.

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Interesting is one way to put it. "When I grow up, I want to be the corporate grind in charge of turnover maintenance at Crapplebee's," is another.

Not that I'm at all a lingerer, but I thought part of the entire point of eating at a place of higher caliber is the right to not be pushed in and out of the restaurant like so much cattle being processed through an abattoir.

I think I had a different reading. What I thought was that clientele of more casual restaurants are now expecting the pacing to be similar to that of finer dining. The restaurants are then forced to charge more to make up the difference from not being able to turn as many tables as they once were.

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I think I had a different reading. What I thought was that clientele of more casual restaurants are now expecting the pacing to be similar to that of finer dining. The restaurants are then forced to charge more to make up the difference from not being able to turn as many tables as they once were.

This is surely then a classic vicious circle, as personally the more cash I'm forking over for my dinner, the less inclined I am to stomach the sip, swallow and scram treatment. Can we look forward to the advent of the $175 entree, which includes the right to spend the night on an Aerobed under the table -- optionally in the company of one of the waitrons, as gender preference dictates?

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If the Inn at Little Washington is charging $159 prix fixe on Friday and Saturday nights for four courses + an amuse we are NOT talking about $40 entrees. Perhaps $90 entrees would be more appropriate. $25 for the first course/appetizer, 10 for the dessert, 10 for cheese and $15 for the amuse. Not quite the exaggeration that this would seem since when one breaks down the price it really does end up with an extraordinary amount that is charged for the main course. Unless the cheese course is $50 instead of the 10 I'm allocating.

Of course I haven't included the $250 suppliment for the chef's table for four.....

Makes Maestro's $149 for 10-11 courses seem like an absolute bargain.

Citronelle, CityZen, Eve and Roberto seem to be just "giving" their restaurants away!

Edited by Joe H

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Speaking of pommes souffle, any place in the area make these?
I fear that they have gone the way of Baked Alaska, the Mighty Mo and tuxedoed guys named 'Rocco' making Caesar salad at tableside.

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I think I had a different reading. What I thought was that clientele of more casual restaurants are now expecting the pacing to be similar to that of finer dining. The restaurants are then forced to charge more to make up the difference from not being able to turn as many tables as they once were.

Hard to imagine that any establishment considering bumping the price of an entree from $37 to $41 is "casual."

(On the other hand, if I were running a casual place like The Cheesecake Factory and I had a crowd of morons waiting an hour and a half for a table anyway, I'd kick the price of all the entrees up to $40 just to see what happened.)

There's an odd twist on supply and demand at work. Between the not insignificant number of people for whom money is no particular object -- people whose mortgage, car payments and tuition for their kids' private schools are together above the six-figure mark -- and those people on expense accounts, there's a different market equilibrium for high-end restaurants. For these people, the extra few dollars a week for a more expensive entree and a ridiculously marked-up wine are insignificant, like when, back in the day, the price of cigarettes went from a buck to two bucks for me. Never noticed the difference.

At one level, a chef who can get away with it is nuts not to charge the extra money. How hard is it to get a reservation at Craft? Why shouldn't they profiteer wildly? On the other hand, I don't forafuckingminute believe the "we're just covering the rent and the interior design excuse." We're living in an era of shamelss

greed and there's no reason chefs shouldn't rake it in, too.

(As much as I hate to say nice things about Landrum, since his butt gets kissed so shamelessly so often these days, I this would be a good moment to point out that one afternoon during the shut-down,in between returning my wife's coat (thanks again, Michael) and deciding what bar to bless with his mid-afternoon, high-spending self, he got damn near teary and Marxist in the course of an eloquent description of the the workers paradise of inexpensive beef and cheap wine he was determined to create with the then-unopened RTC and the original Ray's. We're lucky. Not too much of that attitude around anymore.)

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