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Over 60...and Getting Younger: January 15, 2010

Prix Fixe

Four senior citizens, on a Friday night, trying to decide on a place to eat. Two couples, in a car, not knowing whether to go east or west to the dining place of choice.

View number one – “Let’s go to a diner, you can get tons of food for a reasonable price.”

View number two – “I worked all week like a dog. Let’s find a dark place with ambience and a good bar.”

View number three – “Let’s find a restaurant with a prix fixe menu. I might even have a coupon.”

View number four – “Let’s go somewhere, I’m starving.”

Needless to say, the price-fixed place was the winner.

When we were handed the menus we all made a startling observation. “There was nothing desirable to choose from on the prix-fixe menu.”

With the economic downturn, many restaurants now feature a new approach on their printed menus - “Prix Fixe Dinners.” The reduced prices are very attractive but the choices are meager and sometimes downright unappetizing. The limited menus leave nothing worthwhile to eat. You are probably better off skipping the reduced menu and turning directly to the regular menu where the prices are still the same. You get exactly what you want and you do not engage in restaurant mathematics and leave unsatisfied.

Another modern touch is the recent change in the price of drinks. We always forget that a glass of wine or a cocktail does increase the tab significantly. A glass of wine priced at $10 or $12 is exorbitant. A martini priced at $10 or $12 is also out of line.

The bill edges up and the two couples who set out for a quiet, reasonable Friday night supper have edged over the $100 or $150 price for the evening. Perhaps that is the “new” cost of eating out, but it will eventually lead to diners staying put at home.

I feel pain for the restaurateurs but money has become tighter and they should work to cut prices where they can afford to.

Nothing is as enjoyable as a Long Island night out at a restaurant with ambience and good food. We have the best and most cosmopolitan restaurants. Let’s keep them affordable!