St. Valentine’s Day Massacre

Unemployment in Massachusetts is at 9.4%.  That tenth person you see on the street is out of work.

You’d never know we’re in an economic crisis from looking at Boston restaurant pricing for Valentine’s Day.

These are temple of gastronomy prices, well-deserved at iconic American restaurants like The French Laundry, Daniel, Le Bernadin, and Jean Georges.  But for a night out elsewhere?  I don’t think so.

Have a look:

1. Aura: $190 per couple without tax, wine, and tip.

2. Beacon Hill Bistro: $190 per couple without tax, wine, and tip.

3. Craigie on Main: $300 without tax and tip.

4. Dante: $200 plus tax, wine, and tip.

5. Hamersley’s: $220 plus tax, wine, and tip.

6. Lumiere: $200 plus tax, wine, and tip.

7. #9 Park: $165 per person, plus, tax, wine, and tip.
And the winner is…

8. L’Espalier: $185 per person, plus tax, wine, and tip.

Where’s the love?

I don’t know.  Why not drop big bucks by ordering caviar and fresh fish from Browne Trading Company, supplier to top restaurants, and open a great bottle of Roederer?  Or save up for a pilgrimage to a temple?

Is one dinner worth literally a month’s worth of groceries for two people?  Who can afford these prices, anyway?  And: Is there an economic downturn or not?  If there is, why are people partying like it’s 1999?

An article in today’s New York Times notes that spending for V-Day in 2009 was down 13.9% from the previous year due to the recession.  The article goes on to say that Americans are looking for frugal ways to be romantic.  Chefs need to know that…www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/business/media/28adco.html?ref=business

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