We’re told that Fiamma has sprung into action, using all the powers of the B.R. Guest machine, to try to ferret out what went so catastrophically wrong with Nick Paumgarten’s meal. “We are all disappointed in the service. We take this very seriously and have everyone looking into the problems,” B.R. Guest chieftain Steve Hanson tells us. But all the negative attention Fiamma has gotten over the last day or so obscures a larger, thornier question about the restaurant: What has happened to the sprawling, lavish, ambitious menu that Fabio Trabocchi launched his administration with?
The original Trabocchi menu had eight pastas and risotto and eight seafood and meat dishes, including such opulent ingredients as Four Story Hill Farm veal, Scottish langoustines, Grimaud Farm duck, and Santa Barbara spiny lobster. Now all those things are gone, and the number of both pasta and protein options has been halved. And, as critics have noted, this has happened as the prix fixe menu has gone from $75 to $95. We think Paumgarten’s bad meal was a fluke — Fiamma is one of those places where you can take great cooking and impeccable service more or less for granted. But what is going on with the menu? There are rumors that Trabocchi has chafed against B.R. Guest’s famously stringent cost-cutting measures, one of the reasons Michael White left the restaurant to begin with. If you want to discuss the menu changes, please do so in the comments.
Related: ’The New Yorker’ Hits Fiamma Hard