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Picholine, Dealmaker: The Evolution of a Recession Special

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Upper West Side: This week, Terrance Brennan's restaurant Picholine widely circulated a press release announcing their newest deal:

"Inspired by the popular Menu d'Economie that Picholine introduced in December, Chef-Proprietor Terrance Brennan is pleased to announce Tastes of Picholine, a new three-course tasting menu for $58. Each additional plate is $12."
Great, but isn't this the 20th special deal they've introduced? And was it inspired by the idea that these specials actually get bodies into the restaurant, or did the Menu d'Economie not perform the way they expected?

A lot of restaurants these days have been announcing deal upon deal upon deal of varying degree of value (see Allen & Delancey, Eighty One, Jean Georges, The Smith, Del Posto) as the times get more dire. Let's look at how the situation at Picholine has evolved:

December 3: Picholine launches their Menu d'Economie, featuring Tasting Flights, Tasting Plates ($20 for half portions) and 60 wines under $60, in the cheese and wine bar.

January 12: Picholine expands the Menu d'Economie so it's available in the dining room after 9 p.m., in addition to being offered in the wine and cheese bar.

February 23: Picholine announces a "value tasting menu", Tastes of Picholine. The menus feature Brennan's favorites, will run you $58 for three courses, and are available Mon - Thurs from 5 - 10 p.m. At the same time, the restaurant said it would add dishes to its Menu d'Economie but has gone back to offering it only in the cheese and wine bar.

The prediction for March: some sort of all you can eat special, extending both "value menus" to the dining room at all times, free wine with every order of celery leaf tempura—anything to ensure they won't be the next three star restaurant to go down.
· EaterWire: Picholine Turns 15 [~E~]

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