I’m looking over menus recently, as usual, and I don’t know about you, but $11 for “blistered” Shishito peppers with yoghurt? (Anyway, why not use first aid cream for the blisters? Who’s writing the menu? Dr. Gupta?) Fingerling salad for $12? I get it: If it’s date night, fine. But otherwise? $12 buys you a pizza for two at Babbo Pizzeria and Enoteca. $11 gets you three pounds of peppers. Picked by Peter Piper.
The idea of small bites is a good one: Healthy, fun, good for the palate. But prices should match the brevity or reflect the rarity. That is, if the ingredient is pricey–matsutake, caviar, bottarga, etc.–charge plenty. But peppers and potatoes? You’re kidding me. See above. $23 for that, plus tax and tip, and a $15 cocktail, and you’re out a Ulysses S. Grant.
Dining out should be easy. A nice salad, as ma would say, a bowl of pasta or piece of fish, glass of good wine. That’s how you build regulars.