The Valentine's Day guides are already starting to emerge, restaurants are coming out with their prix fixes, and thus, we have our first Black Saturday complaint, in which we realize that many restaurants are going to have full "Valentine's Weekends" this year:
"My wife and I decided that for Valentine's Day this year, we wanted to try Convivio. In hopes of avoiding V-Day amateur night nonsense, I called to book for the 13th instead (yes, I know - the traditional 'mistress night').
The restaurant informed me that they were doing the Valentine's Day menu that night, too. Not ideal, but on the other hand, I generally don't get that upset about being forced to do a tasting menu, as we order tasting menus at new restaurants sometimes anyway and they can be a good way to showcase the chef's cuisine...
In any event, it turns out they are offering a $110, four course tasting menu. Now, I realize V-Day is a big day for restaurant business and places are trying to make money where they can. I wouldn't even take issue with a $110 menu, except that they are charging $110 for a menu that is the same number of courses as their regular, $59 tasting menu. Maybe this magical $110 menu will be laden with shaved truffles, rare shellfish, caviar and other price-inflating items, but they do not provide the menu to you at the time of reservation - so you're paying nearly double at your own risk...If it's any consolation, the folks at Convivio tell us the special $110 will include a glass of champagne. They'll also have a three course seating from 5- 6:30 for $75.
So, as if it hasn't been said enough: Unless you're with the kind of significant other who forces you to throw down for these things, cook dinner at home on V-Day and take your restaurant business to less ridiculous nights of the year."
UPDATE: Funnily enough, in the last two hours the restaurant the powers that be at the restaurant have changed their minds. They will now only serve the $110 menu on Valentines Day, not on the night before.
Any other Black Saturday warnings? Send them in.
· All Black Thursday Coverage From Last Year [~E~]
· All Convivio Coverage [~E~]