Monday, October 19, 2009

Giving a restaurant a bad review because of large reasonably priced entrées?

A little bit preachier than I like my reviews:
The most remarkable thing about Minetta Tavern was that it appeared to be a response to the bad economy. If your aim in dining was maximizing value for dollar, then Minetta is a find. I don't know the precise figure, but the cost per calorie was very low. The portions were large, very large. The tartare was three golf ball mounds. The small rounds of toast were warm and very tasty. The chicken was a good pound and a half of meat. I came home with the chicken breast in a doggy bag. At the next table, the steak was falling off the plate.

And the prices were reasonable--even low, by New York City standards. The chicken was $28, the tavern steak $21, and the burger a measly $16. But maybe the proprietors--and the customers for that matter--need an education on obesity. This was a textbook case of what we--individually and collectively--shouldn't want and don't need: huge portions at low prices. Maybe people think they are getting a bargain. At one level they are, but the consequent expanding waistline is no bargain at all.

To be fair, he also says the food wasn't impressive either... but it still strikes me as odd to take off points because the portions are too large and cost too little.

On the brighter side, it got me to look at the menu for Hamersley's Bistro in the South End, which I've never eaten at and has a vegetarian prix fixe option for Anna... and I notice cassoulet is on their fall menu. Hmmmm.