From his chat on Wednesday he notes several problems including service and attitude. The implication is that there will be criticism of an established, well respected and revered institution that costs $200 and up per person.
How many restaurants do we have that are in this price range? Laboratorio? Citronelle? Cafe 15? Possibly. But only if a better bottle of wine is ordered. Even with a $110 prix fixe (Laboratorio and Citronelle) you would still have to have a $90.00 bottle to make the $400 and this assumes 10% tax and 16% tip.
Which restaurant charges $148.00 per person on Saturday night? Charges over $100 per bottle for virtually every full bodied red wine? (There were three under $100 a year ago.) Charges an additional $300 suppliment for one of two Chef's Tables? (That, for four people, is 148 X 4 + 300 + 200 (2 bottles of "cheaper" wine) + 4.5% tax + 16% tip = $1,323.72 or $330.93 per person. A total that Alain Ducasse would envy. (Yes, weekdays are less expensive and not everyone, of course, is going to sit at the Chef's Table. But those are the days and the seats that qualify for the $200 per price. That standard alone is high enough. But at $331 per person and if you throw in the $850 for the room for two in a building a block down the street, well, we have to compare "The Inn" to at least a two star...in Paris where we can include the off season airfare, modest hotel and taxi. (best advance off season airfare: $395, hotel for two nights @$150 per night tax included, $72 for taxi, etc. and $350 for dinner)
The same restaurant that I have been to four times over the past twenty two years, most recently having celebrated a major birthday. One of the four meals was superb, as expected for the price. Two were quite good overall, perhaps slightly better than the nearby Four and Twenty Blackbirds (one quarter the price) and the fourth, the most recent, an incredible waste of both calories and money. (i.e. The "Seven Deadly Sins" were still cold from having been refrigerated overnight as leftovers from the previous evening).
Could the time have come for "The Inn" to receive less than an enthusiastic review? And if it is "The Inn" what would Tom Sietsema have thought of it if he had sat at the Chef's Table on a Saturday night?
Somebody has to pay for that stove.