Why Prix-Fixe Menus Work for Restaurants

February 11, 2011  |  

(Inc.) — It may have been frigid outside, but three girlfriends and I weren’t feeling the cold as we enjoyed a scrumptious feast at the Michelin-starred restaurant The Modern one recent night in New York City. Spicy steak tartare, grilled monkfish, crispy duck confit and homemade Alsatian sausage were among the delicious, generously portioned offerings, paired with lovely wines and finished with luscious desserts (why hello there, hazelnut dacquoise!) that we couldn’t resist sharing. The best part? Our meals (sans wine and tip) came to just $35 per person.  How is this possible? Ah, that’s the beauty of Restaurant Week, currently taking place in New York City, and generator of “approximately $6 million in revenue for our city’s restaurants” in 2010, according to NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta. But while The Modern has one of the best RW deals around—they offer their entire bar room menu, as opposed to a just few select dishes, at a bargain price—it isn’t always the ambrosial experience that my girlfriends and I experienced: A few days later, I had a RW lunch (the prix fixe price is $24.07 during the day) at Quality Meats in Midtown. My overcooked scallops appeared suspiciously quickly after I ordered, followed by a borderline raw steak with simple scoops of ice cream for dessert. Disappointing.

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