Joe Bastianich tells Frank Bruni that he has slashed the price of Del Posto’s nine-course “grand tasting” from $175 to $125, and the twenty-course version is down from $250 to $175. Given that revenues at Lupa and Otto are actually up while traffic and spending are down at Babbo, Bastianich and Batali have obviously realized that lower prices mean more diners. And it’s definitely becoming harder to get people to pay for lavish tasting dinners — look at the schedule for the Zagat Vintage Dinner Series (where the throwback dinner at Del Posto is $295 including booze) and you’ll see that only the Per Se, Aureole, and Gramercy Tavern feasts are sold out — presumably because they have the fewest number of seats (20 to 24).
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