One way would be to go to this place: Barbetta. The New York Times has a fine story on it, here: The Elegant Relic of Restaurant Row. Even if you don’t intend to go, you’d be rewarded just reading the piece.
Love that photo by Dina Litovsky for The New York Times. The sign is “made of opal glass. A forerunner of neon, it is the last of its kind in the city…”. Fantastic.
According to blogTO, the tables are of a ….
…Design by ODAMI and MiiM (that) incorporates innovative tabletop cubbies with heavy, spill-proof lids designed to stow your phone at the beginning of the meal. Servers remove the lid at the end to remind you to return to your phone, and emerge from the period of serenity Sara offers diners.
Nice restaurant, great idea. For more on it, see: Sara – blogTO – Toronto
I am a fan of Summerlicious (and Winterlicious) in Toronto: it’s a festival of sorts for people who like fine dining . It’s debatable if you are getting a deal on the meals, though I would argue that you are. If you lean the other way, then read this: 10 best deals for Summerlicious 2018 – NOW Magazine. By going to one or more of these 10 places, you’ll dine in a good restaurant and get a good deal as well.
Then you need to read this: The Thrill of Losing Money by Investing in a Manhattan Restaurant | The New Yorker
It is a wonderful read of a terrible experience.
Besides that, though, it is an entertaining but damning analysis of the restaurant business in cities like New York. (I imagine it is the same for most cities.) I think at some point there will be fewer and fewer fine dining experiences in cities, and the best food will come from places that are small and have very low overhead. And all those large spaces that were once filled with large restaurants will close.
If you still want to own a restaurant after all that, don’t say you weren’t warned! 🙂
(Image is of Prune, one of my favourite NYC restaurants. If fine dining is to have a model in the future, it is likely to come more from places like this, imho.)
This Village Voice article has a run down of a number of great restaurants being forced to close due to the price of rent in Manhattan. Restaurants are following bookstores, which are also suffering from the cost of doing business in this part of NYC.
I suspect low margin businesses like this will move to the other parts of NYC and away from the big rent/big money sections. It will be interesting to see the migration both of the businesses and the people. Compared to the way Manhattan used to be in the later part of the 20th century, this is a better problem for them to have.
For more on the bookstores closing, see this piece in the New York Times.
According to blogTO, these are the best new cheap eats in Toronto (for 2013, at least) and these are the 10 most expensive restaurants in Toronto
to dine in Hogtown.
Whether you want to go in style or go casually, all these spots should deliver a good meal (and in some cases, much more).