Death of Dining?

WSJ: Fine dining sales, which totaled about $7 billion last year, are expected to plummet 12% to 15% in 2009. In New York, the Rainbow Grill above Rockefeller Center announced last week that it will stop serving dinner, and will offer only drinks and appetizers. Taurus, an Atlanta steakhouse that had earned accolades in the local press, closed two weeks earlier. In San Francisco, Rubicon, a top-rated restaurant co-owned by New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent, closed in August...

To avoid the fate of some of their peers, many restaurateurs have been rolling out dramatic discounts. Starting in December, Jean Georges, the high-end New York restaurant of chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, began serving $35 dinners, complete with hors d'oeuvres, three courses and after-dinner homemade marshmallows in Nougatine, the restaurant's more casual room; in the formal dining room, the cheapest four-course menu is $98. Other eateries are now offering three-course meals for about $20 or less: David Burke Primehouse in Chicago has a $20.09 Sunday night dinner, and, until Feb. 12, London Grill in Philadelphia is serving a lobster or beef filet meal, with salad and dessert, for $18.95.

Pic: Noah Sheldon/WSJ


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