Chef-owner Joshua Skenes’s recent announcement that Saison would adopt a new pricing scheme has hounds divided. In this era of Occupy and a recession that threatens to double-dip, who’s willing to pony up $498 for the chef’s counter nowadays?

Not deepfry7, for one. “A little too harsh on my wallet,” says deepfry7, a New Yorker who had planned to dine at both Saison and Benu on a future trip. Comparing Saison to The French Laundry, the “impeccable service, 20+ courses, and … bragging rights of going” weigh in favor of the famed Yountville restaurant.

But to aloisius, the nearly $500 dinner tab at Saison pencils out because $50 of it is sales tax, another $150 is spent on wine pairings, and $100 goes toward the tip. “I don’t think it is too outrageous,” aloisius says. “I spent about $100 to $150 more per plate at The French Laundry with wine.”

Thinking about the current restaurant landscape, johnq concludes that no one else is trying what Skenes is, which is a “very small, very expensive [restaurant], focusing on a luxury, elite experience.”

Are Skenes & Co. filling a gap or going too far to limit their audience in a way that ultimately will hurt their business? No one’s quite sure, but as deepfry7 says, “best of luck.”

Saison [Mission District]
2124 Folsom Street, San Francisco

Discuss: New Saison Chef’s Counter

See more articles