Monday, May 11, 2009

Blood stains on NY's white tablecloths

Mumsy, Biff-ster, alert the help to prepare for class war. Turns out there’s a recession underway, and it’s cutting our New York dining options. Pizza from Ray’s just won’t do, old boy. If this keeps up we’ll be dressing in black and eating downtown at one of Keith McNally’s places.   

Lever House, Country and Atria have already closed. Now Tailor, that quaint place in Soho with all the crazy desserts and cocktails, has gone bankrupt. There’s talk of Le Bernardin hanging up the fillet knife, and even Sirio is complaining about business at Le Cirque. We should’ve suspected something when Per Se put in a bar menu.   

It seems hedge-fund managers and other hoi polloi just can’t afford to drop hundreds or thousands a night, and there aren’t enough of us sclerotics left to keep a starched-tablecloth place in the black.  

Landlords set their rents with the expectation that restaurant prices and spending could climb forever, much the way new money types bet all those houses between Park Avenue and the Hamptons would keep rising in value. But gravity won out.   

Now the places of the moment are burger joints, and people are getting the visas needed to dine in Brooklyn—out past Peter Luger! Could jaunts to Queens be far behind?   

So rally the staff to dress us for an old-time hurrah, a true blue-blood blowout on the town. And what’ll it be? Russian Tea Room, the Rainbow Room, or Tavern on the Green?

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