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View Full Version : NYC Entees Hit $45.00-When do We Hit $100.00?


ralph124c
10-30-2006, 12:08 PM
The NY Times had an article, about NYC restaurants "breaking" the $45.00 barrier for entrees. it seems to me that $30..00 was the "barrier", just a few years ago! When will it hit $100.00? look-I have no quarrel with rich people-but what on earth justifies these sky high prices? And, we are talking (typically) about a steak or piece of fish-salads, potatoes, veggies, etc. are all extra! So, NYC dopers-are these p[laces worth it? The last time I was in NYC (last Sept.) myself and a friend had a marvellous lunch in little Italy-it came to $34.00 for the two of us! or is this a sign that the rich are getting TOO rich?

mazinger_z
10-30-2006, 12:15 PM
My friend and I were celebrating his new promotion, while I was in Chicago. We had $48 (iirc) steaks. That was just the steak, no sides. Then again, they were double porterhouses. Like Scrubs, we have our own version of Steak!

Eureka
10-30-2006, 12:23 PM
I heard a commentary on the radio on Sunday (NPR, Weekend Edition) featuring a woman who just wrote a book Talking with my Mouth Full, Crabcakes, bundt cakes, and other kitchen stuff (title may be slightly off). She commented on the fact that her generation (she's in her mid 50's) went through a time when the weren't interested in domesticity, but now they've come to appreciate food, and want Farmer's Markets, and Farmhouse cheeses, and a wide variety of specialty products. I wonder if that's part of what is driving higher entree prices, the idea of having something so special and unique.

Or maybe it isn't. Certainly I wouldn't pay $45 for an entree. But I'm not a Baby Boomer, and I'm not rich.

silenus
10-30-2006, 01:12 PM
If true, it just reinforces my opinion that there is nothing in NYC that I care about. At all. I used to harbor fantasies about eating my way acroos the city, but if those are the prices, forget it.

iamthewalrus(:3=
10-30-2006, 01:39 PM
Just judging by average inflation over the past 100 years or so, it'll be about 20 years.

And I think I'm a bit confused. I've never eaten in a restaurant where the entree didn't include some sides. Things like salad, dessert and apetizers were separate, but the entrees are all "meat on a starch with vegetable something-or-other." Are there actually places where they just bring out a plate with the meat?

I've eaten at nice but not spectacular restaurants that have $20-30 entrees. So $45 doesn't seem like a huge leap to me, especially if it's a famous chef or a choice cut of meat.

Marley23
10-30-2006, 01:42 PM
It won't matter if it hits $100. By the time it's even close to that, only the celebrities and rich people will be left in New York. Everybody else will have moved to North Carolina.

dogbutler
10-30-2006, 02:30 PM
It won't matter if it hits $100. By the time it's even close to that, only the celebrities and rich people will be left in New York. Everybody else will have moved to North Carolina.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Dewey Finn
10-30-2006, 02:45 PM
If true, it just reinforces my opinion that there is nothing in NYC that I care about. At all. I used to harbor fantasies about eating my way acroos the city, but if those are the prices, forget it.
I don't care whether you go to New York, but it's silly not to do so because the prices of some entrees at some restaurants is over $40. Lots of other places have great food for little money. Last week, in fact, a guy from Queens won an award for the best street food (Sammy’s Halal on 73rd Street and Broadway in Jackson Heights, Queens).

Marley23
10-30-2006, 02:46 PM
You say that like it's a bad thing.
North Carolina is very nice. Being priced out of a place I want to live is not.

Hampshire
10-30-2006, 02:50 PM
Of course the factual answer to the question is:

When the market will bear it.

If they could charge $100 for an entree today, and still have a packed dining room nightly and long waiting lists, they would do it in a heartbeat.

Shalmanese
10-30-2006, 02:55 PM
The cost of eating out, when adjusted for inflation, has actually been steadily dropping. Food is getting cheaper if anything. Whats probably affecting New York is the increasing cost of rents rather than the cost of getting a slab of protein onto your plate.

Plenty of places have single dishes that cost more than $45. Theres a whole passel of uber burgers who compete with each other for the most expensive burger in the world. Gordon Ramsey in London has a white truffle pizza which costs around USD$100 IIRC.

mazinger_z
10-30-2006, 03:29 PM
Just judging by average inflation over the past 100 years or so, it'll be about 20 years.

And I think I'm a bit confused. I've never eaten in a restaurant where the entree didn't include some sides. Things like salad, dessert and apetizers were separate, but the entrees are all "meat on a starch with vegetable something-or-other." Are there actually places where they just bring out a plate with the meat?

I've eaten at nice but not spectacular restaurants that have $20-30 entrees. So $45 doesn't seem like a huge leap to me, especially if it's a famous chef or a choice cut of meat. You guys (and not just walrus) need to get out more. $45 a steak, and yes, only steak is pretty common. Every top steak house in the country has a piece of meat approaching that range. It's called an ala carte menu (well, everything on the menu is ala carte).

However, I will say that the common price for steak is around $28-$32 (I'll just $30 avg). And, the market will bear it. I took my gf to Chicago once, and I couldn't even get a reservation 6 weeks in advance (but this is more due to this conspiracy theory that my friend has, one of the few theories I'm willing to believe much less entertain).

Cluricaun
10-30-2006, 03:40 PM
I took my gf to Chicago once, and I couldn't even get a reservation 6 weeks in advance (but this is more due to this conspiracy theory that my friend has, one of the few theories I'm willing to believe much less entertain).

Wait, what? You can get into Charlie Trotters or Everest with less than a weeks notice at almost any time. I can't believe there's a resturant with that kind of waiting list.

Charlie Tan
10-30-2006, 04:02 PM
This past Friday I was at a place that wanted $15 for burger and fries.

Now, prices don't translate very well from one country to another, so I'll rewind to '85. I was fresh off the plane in Chiago as an exchange student. My room mate thought we should celebrate my arrival and we did so, at the Hyatt Regency. Lunch was $80 for the two of us, including tips.
A while ago, my ex-gf and I went to a medium priced, but still fancy place in Stockholm. Drinks, sallad, main course, a bottle of wine, espresso and cognac for two people ran to $300 excluding tips. It was nice and my employer paid for half of it ( by voucher, as a bonus), but we still felt a bit cheated. It was very, very good. But had I paid for it all by myself, it would've felt way to pricey.

In short - there is no normal price. Main courses will be @ $100 when there are enough people willing to pay that amount. Paying $15 for half a pound of burger, made from freshly ground (prime) beef, with English Cheddar, in a whole grain bun, and real, home made (never frozen) fries, might be a bargain. Five bucks for a Big Mac, fries and a Shake might let you feel cheated. IOW - it all depends on the situation and location.

iamthewalrus(:3=
10-30-2006, 04:37 PM
You guys (and not just walrus) need to get out more. $45 a steak, and yes, only steak is pretty common. Every top steak house in the country has a piece of meat approaching that range. It's called an ala carte menu (well, everything on the menu is ala carte).Huh. I go out to eat all the time, and in Santa Barbara, which has a vast supply of restaurants. And I've never seen a menu where the majority of the entrees didn't come with sides.

I rarely go to steak houses. Perhaps it's more common there.

Billdo
10-30-2006, 04:48 PM
And I think I'm a bit confused. I've never eaten in a restaurant where the entree didn't include some sides. Things like salad, dessert and apetizers were separate, but the entrees are all "meat on a starch with vegetable something-or-other." Are there actually places where they just bring out a plate with the meat?

This is the difference between a high-end steakhouse and a high-end regular restaurant. In a traditional steakhouse (think Sparks, Smith & Wollensky, Mortons, etc.) you will typically pick out your steak without any sides or add-ons(and they have a wide range of cuts and sizes), and separately order a baked potato, creamed spinach or other side dishes. In most other regular restaurants, the entrees will typically be meat/fish accompanied vegetables/starches.

On the other hand, many of the extremely high end restaurant will give you a choice only between either a prix fixe menu, where you will get to select among several options for each of three or four courses at a fixed price or a tasting menu where you get seven or more small courses selected by the chef, again for a fixed price. It isn't unusual to have the prix fixe menu at $80-100 and the tasting menu at $120-150 at some of the best restaurants in the city.

John Mace
10-30-2006, 05:01 PM
You guys (and not just walrus) need to get out more. $45 a steak, and yes, only steak is pretty common. Every top steak house in the country has a piece of meat approaching that range. It's called an ala carte menu (well, everything on the menu is ala carte).
Yep. I ate at one this weekend. I think my steak (just a small one) was about $35, but you could pay as much as $90 at this restaurant and all the sides are extra. But, damn, was it good!! I tend to always order a real small steak at such restuarants just because the aps and sides are so good that I like to try a bunch. Usually, a group of 5 or 6 can easily get by with 3 sides-- they tend to be pretty big.

Ignatz
10-30-2006, 05:07 PM
It won't matter if it hits $100. By the time it's even close to that, only the celebrities and rich people will be left in New York. Everybody else will have moved to North Carolina.

I did just that but from further northeast of New York.

Today for lunch at "What's Cookin'?", two miles from my office, I had two good-sized slabs of liver, smothered in onion gravy, with corn and green beans for $4.95. Iced tea cost $1.50 extra (free refills), all plus 7% sales tax and a $2 tip. Friday I had two baked chicken breasts, with field peas and collards, same place, same price. Tomorrow they'll have moussaka, stuffed grape leaves and banana pudding, ditto. I don't know what steak costs as I do not eat it.


I turned my house heat on last Wednesday after a month of being between a/c and heat.


COME ON DOWN!

iamthewalrus(:3=
10-30-2006, 05:34 PM
This is the difference between a high-end steakhouse and a high-end regular restaurant. In a traditional steakhouse (think Sparks, Smith & Wollensky, Mortons, etc.) you will typically pick out your steak without any sides or add-ons(and they have a wide range of cuts and sizes), and separately order a baked potato, creamed spinach or other side dishes. In most other regular restaurants, the entrees will typically be meat/fish accompanied vegetables/starches.

On the other hand, many of the extremely high end restaurant will give you a choice only between either a prix fixe menu, where you will get to select among several options for each of three or four courses at a fixed price or a tasting menu where you get seven or more small courses selected by the chef, again for a fixed price. It isn't unusual to have the prix fixe menu at $80-100 and the tasting menu at $120-150 at some of the best restaurants in the city.Thanks, Billdo. I've heard of the prix fixe vs. tasting menu split for fancy restaurants, but have never been to such a place. And I can understand the reason for steak houses not including extraneous food now that you explain it.

John Mace
10-30-2006, 06:02 PM
Thanks, Billdo. I've heard of the prix fixe vs. tasting menu split for fancy restaurants, but have never been to such a place. And I can understand the reason for steak houses not including extraneous food now that you explain it.
Think of the (recent achieved) Michelin 3 Star restaurant in Napa-- The French Laundry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_French_Laundry). Not that I'm biased towards CA establishments or anything. ;)

silenus
10-30-2006, 06:24 PM
I don't care whether you go to New York, but it's silly not to do so because the prices of some entrees at some restaurants is over $40. Lots of other places have great food for little money. Last week, in fact, a guy from Queens won an award for the best street food (Sammy’s Halal on 73rd Street and Broadway in Jackson Heights, Queens).

OK. When we go back east to see the inlaws, I'm gonna want some specifics. I love deli food, and good Jewish deli is manna. They are scarce out here, so I want to get my fill in the time allowed. Plus Chinese, a trip to Nathan's and Papaya King, etc. I'll let you know when to give me a list! :D

Moe
10-30-2006, 09:48 PM
I don't care whether you go to New York, but it's silly not to do so because the prices of some entrees at some restaurants is over $40. Lots of other places have great food for little money. Last week, in fact, a guy from Queens won an award for the best street food (Sammy’s Halal on 73rd Street and Broadway in Jackson Heights, Queens).

Hey, I live in Jackson Heights about 5 blocks from there. Gotta check that one out.

And to the OP, yeah, what Dewey said. I actually don't know the restaurants in Queens all that well (despite having lived here for a year) but on Smith St. in Brooklyn (for ex.) you'll find Manhattan quality and variety of cuisines for normal-person prices.

Zebra
10-30-2006, 10:17 PM
While watching Iron Chef, the real version, they frequently talk about how much a rare ingredient they are using costs and that the dishes created there would be in the 100's of dollars.

cerberus
10-30-2006, 10:19 PM
A nicely-sized Kobe steak will easily exceed $50. There's always McD's.

OpalCat
10-30-2006, 10:22 PM
Yet another reason to be happy I'm a vegetarian. Vegetarian dishes at restaurants are typically cheaper. Of course, some steak house type restaurants have no vegetarian dishes, which means I don't even have to bother going into them at all.

John Mace
10-30-2006, 11:38 PM
Yet another reason to be happy I'm a vegetarian. Vegetarian dishes at restaurants are typically cheaper. Of course, some steak house type restaurants have no vegetarian dishes, which means I don't even have to bother going into them at all.
That's the difference between GA and CA. Our steak houses routinely have vegetarian dishes. But we're weird.

OpalCat
10-30-2006, 11:40 PM
Actually Atlanta has a pretty good vegetarian selection compared to a lot of places. It won high marks in one of the online vegetarian sites' "top places to be a vegetarian" things a few years back. I think it's better than northern VA where I lived until almost two years ago, and better than Tucson, AZ, where I lived before that, though that may be partially due to the fact that I haven't lived in Tucson for 10 years, and 10 years ago most places weren't very vegetarian friendly.

cerberus
10-30-2006, 11:44 PM
Little Five Points (L5P) in Atlanta is a vegetarian/vegan/commie/freak haven. Why, uber-vegetarian/PETA-head/Artist Nellie McKay herself raved about the vegetarian fare here.

And we even, recently, obtained that there indoor plumbing. :rolleyes:

jellyblue
10-31-2006, 01:36 AM
(snip)

And I think I'm a bit confused. I've never eaten in a restaurant where the entree didn't include some sides. Things like salad, dessert and apetizers were separate, but the entrees are all "meat on a starch with vegetable something-or-other." Are there actually places where they just bring out a plate with the meat?

(snip)
I HATE this! I love eating out at really nice places, but I'm a rather small woman. Don't bring me 30 oz. of steak or chicken or whatever with no sides whatsoever and then charge 50 bucks for it. Jellychick and I went out to a not-even-very-nice place when we were in Maui. I ordered chicken piccata (for about $28) and got two enormous slabs of chicken. That was it. Enough chicken to last me a week on a bare plate. It was good, as chicken picatta goes, or at least the corner I nibbled off of one of them was, but come on, people! Throw me a 'tater at that price! Oh and wait! You couldn't order potatoes if you wanted to! The chef "didn't believe in them". I had no idea potatoes have become some sort of anti-religion. So your only option for starch was to order a $20 plate of pasta to go with your slabs o' poultry. Jellychick wasn't very hungry. She ordered a side of string beans. For $11. So to sum up: to have a balanced meal with protein, starch and a vegetable, one would have to spend $59. Apiece. In a restaurant where everyone was wearing flipflops and kids were chasing each other around the tables. We should have walked out. :mad:

By the way, almost every hamburger I encountered in Maui cost $20, regardless of quality or presentation. And every restaurant featured burgers. Apparently people on vacation eat a lot of hamburgers. They came with fries though :D .

It's not just Maui, though. I'm seeing this sort of thing more & more in San Diego too.

mazinger_z
10-31-2006, 12:17 PM
Wait, what? You can get into Charlie Trotters or Everest with less than a weeks notice at almost any time. I can't believe there's a resturant with that kind of waiting list. Of the rare occasions I've eaten at Charlie Trotters, I've been told that the wait is insane (verging on months in advance).

I should clarify my law post. I took my gf with me because she wanted to see her parents. Work owed me dinner for being on a business trip, so I thought I would subsidize our dinner. I invited her parents along, and I was making reservations. This is where I couldn't get a table, but I couldn't get it between the hours of 4:30 and 10:30, iirc. So, yes, I was getting reservations, but at very inconvenient times. My only free time was Fri or Sat night, this was at: Mortons, Chicago Chop House, Gibsons, Ruth Chris, and at, I want to say Gene and Georgetti's. These were the ones that I hadn't been to yet. Mortons actually told me to try my luck and just show up because they don't take reservations at the time, or something like that. I thought about taking everyone to Charlie Trotter's, but my gf's dad likes having a choice on the menu with things he's tasted before (I don't blame him, I personally find fusion styles to be mostly revolting).

ralph124c
10-31-2006, 12:36 PM
What's the deal with these steakhouses? there is no cooking skill involved-you just buy a piece of high-quality beef and grill it! I've eaten at the Chicago Grill, Smith&Wollansky, Morton's, etc., and there isn't any difference between them. Grilling meat is NOT haut cuisine-you can get just as good a staek in many other places 9for a lot less money).

fuffle
10-31-2006, 12:49 PM
Opal--Tucson has gotten a lot better about veggie restaurants. The mid-range and fancy places will all have at least one veggie dish (even if it's not always that great) and most will take special orders. There are a lot of ethnic restaurants that have amazing veggie dishes and even a fair number of places that are veggie only. Things have changed a lot in 10 years, it would seem.