Alinea’s Nick Kokonas is starting to roll out his SLEEK ticketing system to restaurants around the world. To reserve a table, guests put down a small deposit on dinner — or sometimes they pay for the full price of a meal in advance, including tax, tip and wine pairings. The key here is that this system shifts the financial risk of dining out, which can easily approach $1,000 for two, from the restaurant to the guest, as the tickets are usually non-refundable. Is this a GOOD DEAL or a BAD DEAL? Your call, world. In the meantime, we break down the math over at Eater!
Dear Students: Be sure to study this EATER PRIME RIB chart carefully it’s going to be on next week’s exam. (Source: Nick Solares/Eater).
GOOD NEWS: Michel Richard’s not-very-good New York bistro is no longer open for lunch or dinner, as I report for Eater. BAD NEWS: The bistro still open for breakfast which means it continues to charge $10 for bowls of cold cereal and $26 for smoked salmon bagels. Yep, we’re calling this one a BAD DEAL.
“It is sad that the more “successful” a neighborhood becomes, the more it gradually takes on a recognizable, common look, as the same banks, drugstore chains and national brands move in. Be honest: Would you rather have one more bank branch in your neighborhood, or another independent restaurant?”
Danny Meyer, who will relocate his pioneering Union Square Cafe at the end of 2015 because of a brontosaurus-sized rent increase, speaks some TRUTH about how the NYC real estate market isn’t looking out for NYC or its wonderful communities (Source: New York Times
Momofuku’s meatless ramen is better than your pork fat ramen. I’m not saying that as a love letter to vegetables, which this ramen is not. This dish is rather an insanely delicious meat substitute ramen! It’s less about seasonal produce and more about giving you the same savory, salty, and rich flavor notes as you’d get in a broth made with animal fat. It’s the soup-based equivalent of making tofu chicken nuggets taste good — always a risk affair, but Momofuku Noodle Bar gets it right, I argue in this Eater essay! (Photo: Nick Solares/Eater).
“Yes, It would make even more sense to shut down Cocina and reopen it as Taqueria. We have the data and we know it would make us more successful. At least financially it would. In terms of accomplishing what I set out to do with that particular restaurant it would be a failure.”
So says Alex Stupak
. Big props to him for taking on some risk in this very conservative year for new restaurants. Then again, Empellon Cocina is not a new restaurant (Source: Eater
"Even the tarte tartin, with all its complex caramelization, makes the throat well up from sugar shock just like a Cinnabon. It all makes me wonder whether Flay is sometimes catering to an Applebee’s or TGI Friday’s crowd, where guests with a high tolerance for sweetness expect bland meats to get their kick from the likes of Jack Daniel’s glazes and such." — That’s Bad Deal Editor Ryan Sutton (i.e. me!!!) reviewing Gato for Eater!!!
There are certain specific products, like prostate cancer drugs, where gender-based advertising makes a lot of sense. Steak is not one of those products.
Dear Restaurants: Let’s make a deal. If you’re not going to take reservations, and if you’re not going to answer your phones, please let us know when you’re closed for a private event, via Twitter, which you already use to SPAM us about every gosh dar food pic someone takes of your joint.
I think that’s only fair.
“100% price transparency, while great on restaurant websites, doesn’t necessarily make for more enjoyable meals. Eating out would be pretty miserable if the price of your hay-smoked squid steak were etched onto the reclaimed driftwood it was served on, if waiters gave lectures on Champagne markups while pouring $75 glasses of bubbly, and if iPads were affixed to each table displaying a course-by-course feed of how much we’ll owe American Express in 30 days.”
That’s from my Eater review of Ma Peche
, which shows us how dinner can sometimes be more pleasant when we’re not always 100% clear about prices. The downside of course is that dinner becomes more expensive (Source: Eater
Am proud of be part of this team!!! My first review, Roberta’s, will drop today. You’ll also see Bill Addison file on Republique in Los Angeles, while Robert Sietsema will check out Mapo in Queens.