Discovering Fine-dining Deals
Wednesday - November 11, 2009
Economic changes have found their way to fine-dining restaurants, and many of them are offering discounted prices, the likes of which I’ve never seen. It’s obviously a temporary measure, but with increasing fixed costs and decreasing visits from regular customers, “dining sales” seem the obvious way to go.
But while times are tough for restaurants, some of the special menus created to attract new guests offer outstanding value. If you’re a foodie, or someone who just loves the ambience of an award-winning restaurant, there’s a great opportunity right now to experience fine dining at a fraction of the cost.
At Chef Mavro, for example, a $59 menu created in August to celebrate the French style of cooking legend Julia Child was such a hit at the restaurant that Mavro and chef de cuisine Kevin Chong have created another.
This one coincides with the annual release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the fun young wine from France released every year on the third Thursday in November.
“The release of the 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau is a great excuse for a party,” says Chef Mavro, “particularly as Georges Duboeuf has proclaimed this vintage the best in 50 years.”
The Chef Mavro three-course menu includes delightful additions, including a pre-appetizer, a pre-dessert and the irresistible house-made mignardises (bite-sized desserts). Mavro’s menu includes a salad of maitake mushrooms, green papaya, Sumida watercress, galangal and kaffir lime; crispy suckling pig, and a Meyer lemon curd Japanese-style cheesecake with ginger ice cream and pomegranate syrup. A glass of fresh, young Beaujolais Nouveau costs just $10.
The experience at Chef Mavro is not just about the food, it’s about appreciating the art of fine food and the dedication of those who create it. I don’t go very often to Chef Mavro, but when I do I come away renewed and happy, and almost as full of passion for wine pairings as his wonderful staff.
At Michel’s at the Colony Surf, the chefs have created a three-course menu at a fixed price that’s selling well, and encouraging diners to experience the legendary service and ambience of the beachside restaurant at a fraction of the usual cost.
“When people come to Michel’s they just love it,” says general manager Philip Shaw. “The service is outstanding, the food is incredible and the view is amazing.”
He’s not exaggerating. Michel’s is one of those rare restaurants where the food, service and the view come together to make the evening more than just dinner and drinks. Shaw has wanted to encourage younger diners to come to experience the uniqueness of Michel’s for a long time, and the poor economy has given him an excuse. “We want to encourage people to come and see all of it,” says Shaw, “and by offering a special menu - one that changes frequently - we can offer people a rare opportunity to experience Michel’s.”
The latest sunset menu (which you can request anytime during the evening) includes jumbo Madagascar prawns, ginger-infused mahimahi, glazed prime N.Y. steak and dessert.
Times might be tough, but fine dining out has never been easier.
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