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Times Like These: Brunster on the Recession Beat

New York's most famous diner, Mr. Franktastic Bruninski, gets in on the recession action and pens yet another piece discussing how much restaurants are hurting in this crap economy and how it has changed our collective dining experience. Much of this we've heard before: Fiamma's former chef Fabio Trabocchi is in there with some doomsday predictions, Jean-Georges' company-wide $35 prix fixe and his bonkers deal at Matsugen are trotted out, the '21' Club dress down is cited, and every restaurant from Del Posto to wd~50 to Damon: Frugal Fridays gets a plug for its recession specials.

While anyone familiar with the Dealfeed won't find too much surprising here, it is interesting to hear how the Bruni has been noticing the desperation in the voices of the reservationists he deals with daily, the upgrade in service that was once condescending. Another compelling, and perhaps disturbing, part of the piece—the section on 30 year-old Tribeca staple Chanterelle:

“'There’s a tenuous quality to everything that doesn’t give you a feeling of standing on solid ground,' she said, referring to herself and other restaurateurs. 'We’re all looking around and saying: ‘What is going on here?'...Chanterelle hasn’t instituted bargain menus or price reductions because, Ms. Waltuck said, the restaurant has always operated on a slim profit margin and tried to keep prices in check."
The takeaway here: it's one of the worst times to be a restaurant owner, one of the best times to be a diner. Take advantage while you can.
· Restaurants Stop Playing Hard to Get [NYT]
· Eater Dealfeed [~E~]

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