Eating Through Frugality

With Thanksgiving a success (hopefully) and the mountain of dishes finally moved to the cabinets for at least the next few weeks, perhaps it’s time to let someone else do the cooking.

Office parties, seasonal get-togethers and holiday shopping; these are great excuses to splurge on a meal, and for those willing, Forbes has compiled a list of the most expensive restaurants in America.

Highlighted on the list was Tom Colicchio’s rotating appearance at his Craft Restaurant denoted Tom: Tuesday Dinner, where every other Tuesday the Top Chef will return to the stove to prepare a prix-fixe menu at the upwards of $200.

Not into New American?  Head further uptown for a 29-course Omakase menu at Masa, where chef Masa Takayama imports fresh ingredients from Tokyo daily.  Of course you’ll be paying for quality — if not the airfare — and dinner for one will be around $400, making this easily the most expensive restaurant in the U.S.

Other notables on the list:

Alinea, Chicago
A prix-fixe menu at Grant Achatz’s gastronomic jungle gym will demand around $195.00.

Canlis, Seattle
Summed up as a “quintessential northwest dining experience”, the restaurant has been thriving since 1950.

Inn at Little Washington
, Washington, Virginia
The French Room, Dallas
Urasawa, Los Angeles
Joel Robuchon At The Mansion, Las Vegas

If these dining fares are too rich for your blood, please take time to consider the busboys!

In a letter published today in the NY Times, Ariane Ruskin Batterberry, a restaurant industry writer, gave offered a rebuttal to Thomas L. Friedman’s advice on frugality.

Thomas L. Friedman says he has an urge to tell the young people who are still crowding restaurants to stay home and eat tuna fish. And he says to “forget the inaugural balls; we can’t afford them.”

I hope no one listens, because this approach could lead to disaster.

Ours is the industry of opportunity. A large portion of our leading restaurateurs began as busboys.

Large-scale layoffs among food service workers haven’t happened yet, but it is important to see that they don’t. A 7 percent unemployment rate means that over 90 percent of workers are still employed. For our country to remain economically stable, it is of great importance that they continue to spend as they normally do.

Go out and have a great dinner. The job you save may be your own.

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