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juno | Nov 3, 201904:43 PM     15

I'm starting to beware of the word "cotorni" when I see in on a menu nowadays, and I'm starting to see it a lot. In effect, restaurants are taking a page from the airlines playbook - in which things that used to be included with your ticket - seat assignments, luggage and such - are now priced separately. Making for a much larger overall price. In restaurants, paying extra for veggies has been standard in fancy steak houses and other high-end joints. Like, $5 for a baked potato, $6 for spinach. But now, worryingly, the cotorni game has infected mid-level neighbourhood restos. My favourite local Italian spot now does cotorni - if you order Cornish hen, for example, that's all you get: just the Cornish hen. If you want side veggies as well, items that in the past came sided with your main dish, you're directed by your server to the cotorni section, where veggies are priced from $6 to $10. A $27 main dish suddenly becomes $35 or more. I get why restos are trying this (in non-Italian joints, the cotorni section becomes "extras" and "add-ons".) They're trying to keep the initial price attractive. But I've sampled many of these cotorni and, in my view, most of them aren't up to much. Acceptable enough, I suppose, but hardly worth the price. If anyone knows of cotorni that are actually worth it, kindly advise. Until then, "cotorni" is on my do-not-fly list.

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