Restaurant critic Frank Bruni of the New York Times writes that high-end local restaurants have added deals and started acting more solicitously toward diners as their business slackens due to the recession and financial crisis (hat tip to Cheryl): "Restaurants Stop Playing Hard to Get". Excerpt:
Battered hard already by the recession and petrified of what’s to come, restaurants are talking sweet and reaching out in ways they didn’t six or even three months ago. They’re cutting special deals, adding little perks, relaxing demands and making an extra effort to be accessible.
They’ve seldom wanted you so bad, so they’ve rarely treated you so good. If you can still afford to dine out, you’re likely finding yourself enfolded in what the restaurateur Stephen Hanson— who recently closed two Manhattan restaurants, including Fiamma — describes as a big, tight embrace.
The photo above, of the chef Mario Batali (wearing Crocs), Sirio Maccioni (of Le Cirque), and Jean-Georges Vongerichten (mostly cropped out by Blogger) comes from the New York Times article. Vongerichten's flagship restaurant in New York, Jean-Georges, is one of only three restaurants in the city that has earned Michelin's highest, 3-star rating.