Beth Landman takes a look at the state of fine dining, and its far from pretty. Among other indicators, Le Bernardin hasnt decided whether to renew its lease, Nello and Harry Cipriani have dropped prices, and a recent visitor to Masa reported fewer than twenty diners in the room. We get the usual bellyaching from Sirio Maccioni, but perhaps the most sobering quote comes from Lois Freeman of Jean Georges (who, much as he may be hurting here, is soon opening a place in Mexico City, per a Craigslist ad). Says Freeman: If you are three or four stars, you have to use crystal and silver and linen, and now you have to lower your prices. A three-star review is the kiss of death these days. I have been trying to find creative ways to in-source; I am now doing the restaurants flowers myself.
In a Fixe [NYM]