Friday, February 06, 2009

Foie Gras Sale: Everything Must Go

"Foodie Friday" continues...

Welcome to the upside of the recession: good tables at good restaurants at good times at good prices.

According to this piece by Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, NYC's fine restaurants are begging for your business (and yes, that is acclaimed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten wearing a sandwich board printed with "You Won't Believe Our Deals!" How humbling...).

As Bruni notes,

Battered hard already by the recession and petrified of what’s to come, restaurants are talking sweet and reaching out in ways they didn’t six or even three months ago. They’re cutting special deals, adding little perks, relaxing demands and making an extra effort to be accessible.

They’ve seldom wanted you so bad, so they’ve rarely treated you so good. If you can still afford to dine out, you’re likely finding yourself enfolded in what the restaurateur Stephen Hanson— who recently closed two Manhattan restaurants, including Fiamma — describes as a big, tight embrace.
This embrace takes many forms: lower prix fixe prices, a more solicitous staff, cheap wine, prime reservation times. It's like Christmas for foodies (assuming you still have a job that will let you dine out). Well, and except for the part where lots of great restaurants are closing...

Fosco and Oz, intrepid boy reporters, plan to do some research on this phenomenon in San Francisco over the next month. We'll let you know what we discover.

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