In Michael Bauer's column today, he discussed the ever-rising prices of fixed-price menus:
Over the years, I've been to many high-end restaurants with tasting menus for special occasions, and why the price has always been steep (usually around ~$100-150/pp before wine), it seems to have risen quite dramatically in the last year or so with many places getting close to the $200/pp mark. It seems to be that whenever a restaurant gains a Michelin star (particularly for their second/third), they raise their prices significantly, such as with Meadowood, Saison, Benu, Atelier Crenn. I've only gone over the $200/pp threshold once at the French Laundry, which I considered a once-in-a-lifetime type of experience, but I just can't imagine how a many of these restaurants that are a lot less established can command these kind of prices. Is the economy just getting that much better?
It's kind of disheartening since there's so many restaurants I would like to try, but since we only get to go out to these type of places a few times a year for anniversary/birthdays, by the time we get to the next place on the list the price has gone up quite significantly.