New York City Swirling the Bowl; Who Ordered the $115 Steak?

“Go ahead, bite the Big Apple. Don’t mind the maggots.” – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
Slow Joe Biden has been making noise recently about how Americans are making higher wages as of late.
Well, I’m sure that some people out of a nation of roughly 340 million people are drawing higher pay compared to a year or two ago.
But what good is a bump in pay when gas, groceries, electricity bills, etc., are through the roof?
Case in point would be a recent article from reporter Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post noting that certain fancy-shmancy restaurants in mid-town Manhattan are charging $38 for a burger and fries; $42 for a plate of pasta; $50 for halibut… now hold on to your hat (or wallet), how about $115 for a 12 ounce steak?

Hey, big spender.

New Yorkers who love to dine out are reeling from the latest affront — huge price hikes for standard dishes with no “luxury” ingredients such as foie gras or truffles in sight.

Roast chicken for $40. Halibut for $50. Pasta dishes starting at a whopping $42. Rampant inflation has landed with a splat on Big Apple restaurant menus, and it’s taking a big bite out of customers’ wallets.

The cost of eating in a “midmarket” Manhattan restaurant has soared. Remember when appetizers typically cost $15-$25, with entrees in the $20 and $30 range? Based on my own experiences and owners’ estimates, New Yorkers going out for a meal should be prepared to pay 20% more across the board.

That’s a lot more than the 8.6% leap in consumer goods prices as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, resulting in a bill that can shock even fortunate expense account eaters.

The escalation shows up in my every restaurant meal these days, from neighborhood diners to the priciest luxury spots. My usual party of four, accustomed to paying $400 before tip (including one cocktail or glass of wine each) for a “midrange” dinner, now routinely coughs up $500.

A delicious (but not very large) cut of halibut at Times Square’s reborn Lambs Club weighs in at $50. The 12-ounce, gorgonzola-cured Wagyu steak at Andrew Carmellini’s Carne Mare, one of my favorite dishes of 2021, was $72 when the restaurant opened last June. That same cut cost $110 in November, and has since climbed to $115.

Liberals gone wild; $38 burger and fries.

Celebrated Italian fine-dining establishment Marea on Central Park South was never cheap. The $39 pasta dishes were a bargain, compared to meat and fish entrees in the $40s and $50s.

No longer: All of Marea’s pasta choices, including the famous fusilli with braised octopus and bone marrow, are now $42.

Down in the Village, Minetta Tavern’s fabled Black Label Burger, going for $33 last summer, is now $38 — just one example of how carnivores citywide are absorbing the reported 14.3% jump in wholesale beef costs from April 2021 to April ’22, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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