21 January, 2003

Fine Dining

Ten Things Your Restaurant Won't Tell You, from Smart Money. The Highlights:

Increasingly, restaurants of every scale are charging for services we once took for granted. The French Laundry, a four-star eatery in Napa Valley, charges customers $50 to open an outside bottle.

The fuck?!

"It's actually a great value," says the restaurant's sommelier, Bobby Stuckey. "We decant the wine, provide proper glasses for specific varietals, and those glasses wholesale for $70 apiece. The fee is fair for everyone."

Again: the fuck?! Seventy fucking dollars for a glass? Not a glass of something. A glass. What the hell is wrong with people? Why do they a) feel they need these special glasses and b) feel they need to spend an outrageous amount of money on them?

For instance, to justify using truffles in a dish's name, restaurants often will either spike cheaper mushrooms with truffle oil or put in a tiny amount of the luxe tubers with ordinary mushrooms.

I hate mushrooms. So all I can say is: ha ha!

Randall McCrea, a wine lover and chairman of the Houston chapter of the American Wine Society, anticipated a sumptuous dinner when he brought fellow oenophiles to one of Houston's top restaurants three years ago. Then he tasted the $45 syrah, ordered on the waiter's strong recommendation. "It was too young and too rough," remembers McCrea. "That wine ruined our dinner. It shouldn't have been opened for another five years."

Oh, well! Little Lord Fauntleroy doesn't like the wine! Shouldn't he have known that the wine was too young? I would suggest he bring a bottle of his own next time, but, well, we've already seen what happens.

Whingy motherfuckers. That forty-five dollars you spent on a bottle of "bad" wine could have fed someone for days. Or at least kept a wino licquored up for a week.

1 comment:

  1. I'm no oenophile, but I do like wine, and know a good bit. I will also admit to having bought a couple sets of special glasses for various wines, and I will defend that they do actually improve the wines taste---most likely due to controlling the vapors more. However, a $50 corkage fee is absurd. Even if there's 4 people at the table, and those glasses will most likely be used 100-200 times before breaking/lost/damaged/etc, which means that the actual value is about $0.50/glass, so that's, hmm, $2? But realistically, it's just an insult to the diner. There are some places where it's mandated by law, but even then, $5 would be "fair." The real reason it is so high is that in many restaraunts, 90% of profit is in wine, since they mark it up a minimum of 100%.Freaking idiots.

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