Bad economy leads to restaurant deals

June 11, 2009 3:26:35 PM PDT
More and more people are trying to save money by eating at home. But this is actually a great time to dine out. Restaurant owners and chefs want you back, and they're rolling out the welcome mat in creative ways. And this includes some of the best restaurant in the city. As soon as the economy tanked, business started tapering off for many restaurants. And while those in the luxury-end of the market are still maintaining their high standards, they're also getting creative when it comes to pricing, and that should whet your appetite.

The former chef of Le Cirque, Alain Allegretti, opened his own restaurant last summer, just before the market crashed and people's tastes for luxury began changing.

"We understand people are cautious about spending their money today," he said.

With that in mind, he's changed his dining options to include price-fix meals - $28 for lunch, $39 for dinner.

"We want to offer them something very special at Allegretti," he said.

It's an affordable way to taste provencal food at a restaurant some call one of the city's best newcomers.

Top cuisine is what you'll find at Per Se, and you'll pay top dollar, $275 per person and up, for the the nine-course tasting menu in the dining room. But last month, Per Se started serving dinner a la carte, for $12 to $46 a dish.

"It made Per Se more accessible to the public," chef Jonathan Benno said.

Chef and owner Daniel Bouloud's newest restaurant, DBGB, is part bar, part restaurant and priced right.

He says the $40 check you are likely to end up with is more than reasonable when it comes to New York City standards.

DBGB is on the Lower East Side, a world away from his four-star restaurant Daniel, on the Upper East, but his newest spot is perhaps his alter ego, timed perfectly to reflect the economy.

"From the beginning, I wanted a very casual place where the sophistication of the food is in its simplicity, and it's all about value," he said.

And the push for value is what makes this a good time to eat out.

So price fixed meals are a great option. At Allegretti, the price fix is offered all night. And there's also a pre-fix menu offered at Daniel, early in the evening from 5 to 6:30. Or head to Per Se, to dine in the lounge for less money.

Allegretti is located at 46 west 22nd Street. For more information, visit or call 212-206-0555.

For more on Per Se, visit Pre-fix is available for lounge dining, a la carte, no reservations taken.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar is at 299 Bowery. For more information on there and Daniel, visit or call 212-933-5300.



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