After a quiet couple of weeks for closures, a little slew of restaurants have shuttered over the last few days. Most recently, Bauer broke the news that Cortez shuttered yesterday, and Pres a Vi closed its doors over the weekend. Also, Pasta Pomodoro shuttered its Irving Street location yesterday. In the Richmond, Philippe Gardelle has closed Chapeau! and moved the operation (including the name) to Clementine, which he bought last year. That means that Chapeau is not closing, but Clementine is out of the picture. By our count, that makes some 57 restaurants that have shuttered in the city since the first of the year. Not all have gone under — some are closed for long-term renovations or, as in the case of Brick, revamped by their owners — but most of these places simply failed.View image
Despite Michael Bauer’s claim in his blog today that fine dining is “under siege,” it seems only a small handful of these now-dark places were actually fine dining establishments. In a quick look back at defunct menus, we found only eight or so that came in above the four dollar-sign mark. The rest of the 49 casualties this year fell somewhere in the middle — or maybe even the low end — of the price spectrum. Bauer’s got a point, that the only places that seem to be opening are in the middle range. Even Michelin-star fancy pants Daniel Patterson is moving into rustic sandwiches with Il Cane Rosso and Bracina. The problem is, while mid-range food may be exploding, it seems to be pulling as much energy away from the low end as the high. A sandwich and soda at Cane Rosso cost us about $15 which, when you’re just grabbing something to take on the ferry, makes one’s wallet feel a bit under siege.