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Thread: WAITER! The Restaurant Scene, a Thread for Restaurants and Eateries

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  1. #11
    This made for very interesting reading, and since this is the restaurant thread...

    http://awareness-time.com/17-dining-...-knew-about/4/

    To help us all out when dining, especially in public, and most especially on very important occasions.

  2. #12

  3. #13

  4. #14
    Foie gras Ferrero Rocher, bone marrow smoked over a bowl of black rice and charcoal–Black Sheep raises the bar

    CHEF JORDY NAVARRA STRADDLES THE LINE BETWEEN FINE DINING AND FUN DINING

    Tracey Paska

    @inquirerdotnet

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    5:01 AM | Thursday, February 26th, 2015

    Since it opened at The Penthouse at W Fifth Avenue in November 2013, Black Sheep has risen above the flock of trendy eateries at Bonifacio Global City by offering unparalleled city views and imaginative food that deftly straddles the line between fine dining and fun dining.

    From the theatrical open kitchen, chef Jordy Navarra and his brigade produced an original menu featuring such highlights as foie gras Ferrero Rocher, a bonbon of duck liver purée rolled in white chocolate and candied nuts, and an unusual savory ice cream infused with smoked longganisa that captivated diners.

    A year later, the restaurant has unveiled a new repertoire demonstrating a more refined focus on its original vision of playfully innovative food.

    Simplified to two prix fixe menus pivoting around locally-sourced traditional ingredients, the new dishes draw their inspiration from five environs of Philippine food culture—the streets, sea and river, garden, farm, and sweets—with the aim of evoking nostalgic memories through taste.

    The comprehensive seven-course set kicks off with a duo of amuse bouche, beginning with a creamy tartare of Bukidnon lamb on squid ink flatbread and topped with cashews, grated tuna roe from General Santos and kabayawa (a citrus akin to dayap) zest.

    Street food

    A pork blood meringue follows, a cascade of distinct flavors from preserved tomatoes, coconut milk, green mango, pork, squid ink to kabayawa, that eventually merges into the familiar taste of Bicol Express.

    Representing street food, a “dirty ice cream” slider of warm tocino bread filled with a chilled chicken liver parfait and finished with grated durian and crisp onions provide wonderful contrasts in flavors and textures.

    Next, a bottle of “Kwatro Kantos”—a pleasantly salty libation of gin and preserved calamansi—is served as palate cleanser and a tambay-style companion to pulutan of kwek kwek-inspired smoked quail egg, cooked sous-vide so that it dissolves on the tongue like velvet smoke, and a chicken meatball served in a shell with a Mandarin orange foam and salmon roe.

    18 vegetables

    From Philippine waters comes grilled grouper, its skin flash-fried to delicate crispness, resting on an islet of wakame in a clear broth of kamias and guava, while creamy goto is reinterpreted with finely diced cauliflower providing the texture of rice in a rich coconut cream and fatty crab roe sauce surrounding crabmeat, enhanced with shaved black truffle.

    Back on terra firma, the bounty of the native garden is recreated in “Bahay Kubo,” a dish that incorporates all 18 vegetables mentioned in the classic folk song.

    In chef Jordy’s edible version, dehydrated and sweetened upo (bottle gourd) sprouts from “soil” made of finely ground mani (peanuts) and talong (eggplant) and covering a buried treasure of buko (young coconut), sitaw (winged beans), kamatis (tomato), candied kundol (winter melon), puréed kalabasa (squash) and a dozen other produce.

    Further afield on the farm comes Kitayama smoked beef brisket lightly soured with batuan and accompanied by a shank of bone marrow smoked over a bowl of palay, black rice and charcoal. Rich without being unctuous, the marrow is scraped onto heirloom Cordilleras rice and mixed into the grains like a smooth sauce.

    To herald the end of the meal, a tart green mango sorbet is served with cool cucumber over a gravel bed of nitrogen-frozen wood sorrel that dissipates into perfumed vapor on the taste buds.

    The sweet finale arrives as a napoleones of scrumptious mango, white chocolate and cream ganache piped between homemade sheets of filo pastry and nestled over spiced mango compote with sweet honeycomb candy and a mango film.

    At once familiar and strange, these dishes are the creations of chef Jordy, whose culinary approach reflects the influence of an unconventional pair of Michelin-starred role models. His interest in professional cooking was sparked by a show starring acclaimed English chef Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck Restaurant in Bray, England.

    “It was almost like chemistry—a different approach to food I didn’t think was possible,” he recalled.

    Little did he know that, after graduating from culinary school, he would find himself in the United Kingdom under the tutelage of the alchemist-chef himself.

    From there, chef Jordy parlayed a memorable meal at Hong Kong’s Bo Innovation into a spot in the kitchen, cooking alongside the wickedly inventive and self-described “Demon Chef” Alvin Leung and his brand of “X-Treme Chinese” cuisine.

    “It was a bit like what Heston was doing, but with Asian flavors and Chinese ingredients. That was eye-opening for me—the fun part of food made with what you find [locally],” he marveled.

    With such stellar training, he returned to the Philippines to helm Black Sheep, where guests can watch from the Chef’s Table that runs along the front of the specially designed open kitchen. Rather than feel pressured by having an audience, chef Jordy is drawn to the theatricality.

    “I love that part—it’s an interactive, tableside experience. There’s more to it than just sitting down to have a meal,” he said.

    And fun, above all, is the main objective of his menu for Black Sheep.

    Like Blumenthal and Leung, chef Jordy revels in playing with food and with diners’ expectations. “I want to surprise, but I don’t want to challenge. It shouldn’t taste too weird,” explained the pony-tailed cuisinier. “The best way to go about it is to capture everything and not alienate anyone. Just make it fun.”

    As new concepts for dishes continue to flow, the fare at Black Sheep continues to evolve. Staying constant, however, are myriad thoughtful details, from the specially made pottery ware by artists Ugu Bigyan, Mia Casal and Joey de Castro, to guests’ names printed on eco-friendly vegetable paper, that have become part of the restaurant’s hallmark.

    With such details both small and large gilding a menu focused on local ingredients and familiar flavors transformed into haute cuisine, Black Sheep continues to shepherd a lofty level of dining experience in Manila.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  5. #15
    7 Chefs and Restaurant Owners Tell Us Where to Eat After Hours

    By Mikka Wee/February 26, 2015

    After a long day of bussing tables, taking shit from unreasonable customers, toiling over pots of boiling soup, and getting body parts sliced from the most unfortunate of knife-related encounters, all chefs and restaurant owners (and their staff) want to do is to sit down and gorge on a hearty, satisfying meal—at least, this is what we gather after interviewing several of the local industry’s most creative culinary minds. Something we noticed is that these folks like going for the cheap stuff, edging closely on Ghetto Grub, which we totally dig.

    1. JP Anglo, Sarsa Kitchen + Bar

    “I can think of three places at the moment. The ultimate favorite go-to is Hap Chan along Makati Avenue. It solves everything—all the stress and hangover. I order their beef and broccoli with a bowl of jasmine rice. If not that, I order the fish and tofu hot pot (just to go a bit healthy). I also love their kai-lan (Chinese broccoli) with garlic. They top it off with a bit of oil from the wok so you smell it as you eat. It’s so good.”

    “Another is Sweet Ecstasy along Jupiter Street. I’ve never tried In N’ Out and Shake Shack, but their burgers are packed with this old school flavor. It’s a straightforward good burger—bread, mayo, ketchup, cheese—straight up and no fancy stuff; just really good beef that’s not from the freezer. I remember the first time I tried it and oh my god, napamura talaga ako sa sarap. I was like, ‘Putangina, sarap nito solid talaga.’ I love those kinds of restaurants where you can feel the love. I hope they don’t expand, and the way they cook is well-principled and you can tell it’s not trying hard. They menu is on a board, and you instantly know that it’s going to be a good meal. I heard their chicken is also great, but I’m a sucker for their normal burger or cheeseburger. And their onion rings—some of the best I’ve tried!”

    “Lastly, Ziggurat. It’s an institution even though it could be hit or miss—on a good day, it’s really good. When they get it right—it’s bull’s eye! Good food, beer, and the red light environment make it perfect when maximizing my cheat days. I order kebabs, curries, and basmati rice. It’s also the best place to get drunk especially when you’re surrounded with all this good food, and it makes my cheat days worth it.”

    2. Jonathan Choi, Magnum Opus

    “There’s this place by Army Navy called Coco Hut Chicken & Fish, and they’re open 24 hours, which my staff and I like to go to after service, or even when I’m alone, haha. I like their chicken, their laing, and they have this house chili-garlic sauce that’s similar to the ones they serve at Chinese restaurants.”

    “Another place we frequent after service is Eros Inasal along Tropical Avenue, which is just behind Aguirre. It used to be a tiny shop that tricycle drives used to frequent, but now they’ve expanded! We go there for the pares, ramen, lechon kawali (which comes in huuuge slabs), and of course, some Red Horse. ”

    3. Nicco Santos, Your Local

    “As much as possible, I have ‘family meals’ with my team after dinner service. If I eat out it would usually be at Behrouz or at Hap Chan because they’re both on my way home. But if I’m really tired, it would have to be McDonald’s and KFC Drive-Thru.”

    “If I could, though, I would have some hot soup. I enjoy a piping-hot bowl of bah kut teh, laksa, or ramen. I love the soothing silence it brings as it also calms my mind. I can enjoy a bowl alone or with friends since it takes me back to the kitchens of the aunties and uncles who’ve taught me how to cook.”

    4. Allen Buhay, Wildflour Bakery + Café

    “Hap Chan on Makati Avenue because I love Chinese food! I’ll always order some siomai, congee, and some crispy squid. Hap Chan, for me, is also closest to a ‘California Chinatown restaurant’ here in Metro Manila, so I can feel at home having it.”

    “Also, Sarsa—after shift or any time of the day, really. I love their inasal, garlic rice, and crispy dilis! Sarsa never ever fails.”

    5. Ed Bugia, Pino/Pipino/Pi Breakfast and Pies

    “Chefs usually finish work late, so they want something cheap, fast, and…dirty! We usually go to pares joints, but personally, I go to the one near my house in Commonwealth. I order a beef pares with an extra fried egg and lots of chili sauce!

    Another option nowadays is El Chupacabra—really good and cheap street tacos. I love how they cook their lengua there! And a few steps away is Tambai. Get their beef rib fingers and ice cold single serve sake.”

    “Finally, probably my most-frequented late night destination is Countryside along Katipunan Avenue. I get the goat papaitan, beef kaldereta, and chicken ass!”

    6. Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera, The Girl + The Bull & 12/10

    “Since we always end late, our options are always limited. On nights that we’re in The Girl + The Bull, and we’re lucky enough to leave before 11, we usually try to catch Ramen Yushoken for our usuals—Tantanmen for myself and Tokusei + Gyoza for Thea.

    “But before 11pm is a different story, haha. Otherwise…

    “Nihonbashitei! It’s not the best Japanese restaurant, but it is our go-to spot after midnight. Our usuals would be the spicy toro maki, salmon head yaki, ebi tempura, or the bacon enoki. I guess we always go here because it’s one of the few good and quiet options past midnight—plus it’s close to the Skyway! I never get sick of Japanese food. (It sucks that Kikufuji closes the same time we do!)”

    “Also, Family Mart! JOHNSONVILLE HOTDOGS —because JOHNSONVILLE HOTDOGS!!! It’s clean, and that snap…. To be the honest, it’s the only place I know where I can get a properly snappy dog.

    “Beni’s Falafel—although you’re sure to smell like Beni’s Falafel for the rest of the night, their falafels with hummus are bomb.”

    “Others are Uncle Moe’s and SSC—our go-to places when we crave for Persian! Kebabs with margarine, rice, ox brains, hummus, and a shit ton of garlic sauce. Army Navy is the classic The Girl + The Bull go-to. Their Freedom Fries are the best; Thea and I always get their steak/chicken quesadillas. North Park, too! Lemon chicken, salt and pepper squid, lechon macau, sweet and sour pork, and congee never fail. If Thea is in the mood to drink, Blind Pig! And if we can sneak out of service, Your Local. Man, I can give you a longer list, but these would have to be our usuals, I guess, haha!”
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  6. #16
    Is Locavore in Kapitolyo as Good as Everyone Says It Is?

    By Pamela Cortez/Today

    Everyone’s been talking about Locavore. Since it opened last December, people have been flocking to Brixton, Pasig, to get a hold of their modern, hip take on Filipino food that will remind one of what JP Anglo does at Sarsa.

    The menu reads pretty easy, with almost everything sounding appetizing–there’s fried chicken, tapa, longganisa, crispy pata, and the prices are affordable, too. Around this area, there are a lot of hungry office workers willing to share a meal or two during their lunch break. The place is smart, too, separated in two sections, designed with no-frills, but still comfortable enough to hang out in. But we’re here for the food, and everyone’s praise for the restaurant might just be well-deserved.

    The infamous Sizzling Sinigang is every bit as good as the hype. It’s an ingenious idea, the kind so simple that you wonder why no one has done it before. Tender, falling-off-the-bone pieces of unctuous meat are doused in a thick gravy that is just as sour as sinigang should be. I appreciate the careful construction of it as well, with the vegetables separated from the lot so that none of the crisp beans, roasted onions, and tomatoes lose their integrity. It’s pretty stellar stuff. Oyster sisig is the kind of dish that anyone on a drunken night out will appreciate; juicy local oysters covered in a tempura-like batter will surely soak up your alcohol intake back to sobriety. My only issue is that there is too much of this aioli/mayonnaise combo that if you get a bite doused in some, the flavor of the fried oysters gets a tad lost. But that is merely a little fault.

    Liempo buns were an inventive take on the bao craze that everyone is into these days, with sweet pork incased in soft fluffy bread, topped with pickles and coleslaw. It’s decent stuff especially for what you’re paying, with just a few flaws–too much mayo, bread a little too thin–that you’re willing to overlook because essentially, it still delivers a good bite.

    Ensaladang pakwan was the only dish we had that presented any sort of real let-down; individually each component was too much. Tapa was too salty, dressing was too sour–there was too much of it, that even the watermelon’s sweetness couldn’t really balance things out. In its essence however, there were good intentions, and careful thought in putting together the dishes on their menu.

    Locavore is one of those places that will have a steady following for a long time. It is approachable food, that is sometimes novel, but never delves into territory that is too outrageous for its clientele. The service may be a little bit stilted and inattentive, and their food a few mistakes from perfect, but that stuff doesn’t detract from what you come here for. It’s perfect for a meal with your barkada, or drinks and grub after work, and a welcome new spot to the ever-growing Kapitolyo food scene. We give it a 7/10.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  7. #17
    Michelin-starred French chef closes Moscow restaurant

    Agence France-Presse 6:32 AM |

    Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

    MOSCOW–Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire is to close his restaurant in a Moscow luxury hotel, a spokeswoman said Monday, with Russian media blaming the economic crisis and the embargo on many Western foods for the decision.

    “After five years of fruitful cooperation with Pierre Gagnaire, Les Menus restaurant is closing because of the agreement running out at the end of March,” a spokeswoman for Lotte Hotel, which houses the restaurant, said.

    Business daily Vedomosti suggested the reason for the closure was the difficulty in obtaining many Western food products due to the embargo imposed by Russia in retaliation for Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

    The report also said the economic crisis, which has seen inflation soar as the ruble plunged in value was to blame–most luxury foods have to be imported to Russia.

    Alexei Zimin, the editor of Afisha-Yeda food magazine, told Vedomosti that haute cuisine failed to see growth in Moscow even during the years of economic stability.

    “Now when business activity is falling, the demand is shrinking all the more,” he said.

    Zimin also pointed to Russia’s embargo on food imports, saying restaurants like Gagnaire’s simply cannot find local equivalents of ingredients.

    Gagnaire, one of France’s superstar chiefs, is known for his innovative molecular cuisine. His Paris restaurant gained three Michelin stars in 1998 and has retained them ever since. He has 11 restaurants in cities across the world from Dubai to Las Vegas.

    He is among a number of top chefs to have opened restaurants in Russia during the years of economic prosperity fueled by high oil prices.

    French chef Helene Darroze, whose restaurant “Helen Darroze” in Paris has gained one Michelin star and whose London restaurant in the prestigious Connaught Hotel has two stars, opened a Moscow restaurant in 2012.

    Numerous attempts to transplant Michelin-starred chefs to Moscow have ended in failure in recent years, however.

    Jeroboam restaurant, which opened in the Ritz Carlton hotel under German chef Heinz Winkler closed in 2009. Koumir restaurant, a franchise of the Maison Troisgros restaurant in Roanne, central France, launched in 2006 but closed its doors after a year.

    Lotte Hotel’s spokeswoman said it would open a new restaurant with a “chef renowned worldwide” offering “modern European cuisine.”

    The current economic crisis in Russia has led to rampant inflation, particularly of food prices, amid falling spending power.

    It has already led to the closure of hundreds of restaurants in Moscow and fueled a trend for restaurants using high-quality fresh local produce.

  8. #18
    Michelin-starred French chef closes Moscow restaurant

    Agence France-Presse 6:32 AM |

    Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

    MOSCOW–Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire is to close his restaurant in a Moscow luxury hotel, a spokeswoman said Monday, with Russian media blaming the economic crisis and the embargo on many Western foods for the decision.

    “After five years of fruitful cooperation with Pierre Gagnaire, Les Menus restaurant is closing because of the agreement running out at the end of March,” a spokeswoman for Lotte Hotel, which houses the restaurant, said.

    Business daily Vedomosti suggested the reason for the closure was the difficulty in obtaining many Western food products due to the embargo imposed by Russia in retaliation for Western sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.

    The report also said the economic crisis, which has seen inflation soar as the ruble plunged in value was to blame–most luxury foods have to be imported to Russia.

    Alexei Zimin, the editor of Afisha-Yeda food magazine, told Vedomosti that haute cuisine failed to see growth in Moscow even during the years of economic stability.

    “Now when business activity is falling, the demand is shrinking all the more,” he said.

    Zimin also pointed to Russia’s embargo on food imports, saying restaurants like Gagnaire’s simply cannot find local equivalents of ingredients.

    Gagnaire, one of France’s superstar chiefs, is known for his innovative molecular cuisine. His Paris restaurant gained three Michelin stars in 1998 and has retained them ever since. He has 11 restaurants in cities across the world from Dubai to Las Vegas.

    He is among a number of top chefs to have opened restaurants in Russia during the years of economic prosperity fueled by high oil prices.

    French chef Helene Darroze, whose restaurant “Helen Darroze” in Paris has gained one Michelin star and whose London restaurant in the prestigious Connaught Hotel has two stars, opened a Moscow restaurant in 2012.

    Numerous attempts to transplant Michelin-starred chefs to Moscow have ended in failure in recent years, however.

    Jeroboam restaurant, which opened in the Ritz Carlton hotel under German chef Heinz Winkler closed in 2009. Koumir restaurant, a franchise of the Maison Troisgros restaurant in Roanne, central France, launched in 2006 but closed its doors after a year.

    Lotte Hotel’s spokeswoman said it would open a new restaurant with a “chef renowned worldwide” offering “modern European cuisine.”

    The current economic crisis in Russia has led to rampant inflation, particularly of food prices, amid falling spending power.

    It has already led to the closure of hundreds of restaurants in Moscow and fueled a trend for restaurants using high-quality fresh local produce.

  9. #19
    Why many restaurants don’t actually want you to order dessert

    By Roberto A. Ferdman

    February 10

    If you think you're doing a restaurant any favors by ordering dessert, you might want to think again.

    Dessert can be delicious. And it can be profitable, too. But generally speaking, when diners extend their meal with slices of chocolate cake, cups of ice cream, and servings of crème brûlée, it can come at restaurants' expense.

    "It's hard to make money on desserts in the restaurant business today," said Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University who has written extensively about the economics of eating out. "I don't think many [restaurants] benefit when people order them anymore."

    There are many problems with dessert, but it all starts with one pretty simple truth: The restaurant industry is a place of razor thin margins, and dessert tends to offer one of the thinnest.

    Food in general is tough to make money on. Restaurants have long relied on the mark-up they tack onto drinks, not grub, to boost profits. As food costs soar, that reality has only become more true, because there's a limit to how much people are willing to pay for different parts of their meal. For many mid-scale restaurants, that limit is $30 for entrees, no matter the ingredients, Todd Kliman noted recently in the Washingtonian. For desserts the ceiling is much lower, and much less flexible, says Cowen.

    "Dessert needs good ingredients to taste good, but you can't psychologically convince people to pay even $20 for dessert," Cowen said. "You can't really go cheap on it, but you really can't charge extra either."

    Forbes, for that very reason, noted in 2011 that dessert is often a great deal — for diners.

    But it's also made serving it a growing pain for many restaurants. The cost of serving a house-prepared line of desserts includes employing a pastry chef and dedicated space in the kitchen to the craft. Some restaurants, instead of using pastry chefs, have opted to serve simpler desserts made by line cooks, while others "have given up entirely" and outsourced their sweets, according to Kliman.

    Dessert is also problematic for restaurants because the course creates a bottleneck at the end of meals. At restaurants serving food in some of the country's busier cities, turnover is essential to their bottom line. Time is quite literally money.

    "The more people they serve, the more revenue they get," Cowen said. "A lot of restaurant costs are fixed. Being able to serve more people, to sell them food, drinks, and especially expensive wine, is what varies."

    Parties that might have finished their dinner in a little over an hour instead linger for closer to two when they opt for dessert. And they stay the extra 30 minutes while consuming only a fraction of what they did during the first part of the meal. It would be different if people ordered drinks more often alongside cake, but they often don't. It would change things if dessert wines were more popular, finer and more expensive, but they aren't, Cowen said.

    "A cocktail brings in twice as much money as a dessert, and it doesn't hold up a table at the end of the meal. You have to turn the tables," Mark Bucher, who owns D.C. restaurant Medium Rare, told Kliman.

    Dessert isn't, of course, problematic for all establishments. Restaurants with slower traffic, where open tables are less of a rarity, would obviously prefer to sell more food than sell no food. Higher-end restaurants, where prices are less elastic and people are willing to spend well over $20 for a dessert, aren't as affected either. It's the popular, mid-priced restaurants that don't benefit as much.

    Desserts aren't going to disappear from restaurant menus. Too many people like them (rightfully so, I would say, though Cowen begs to differ). People also expect them, which makes eliminating them a risky endeavor. The price of alienating people is probably too great, especially in the age of Yelp reviews.

    But the next time a waiter is being coy about showing you the dessert menu, know why: He probably would prefer it if you and your party asked for the check instead. Unless, that is, you might be interested in another round of drinks.

  10. #20
    Why many restaurants don’t actually want you to order dessert

    By Roberto A. Ferdman

    February 10

    If you think you're doing a restaurant any favors by ordering dessert, you might want to think again.

    Dessert can be delicious. And it can be profitable, too. But generally speaking, when diners extend their meal with slices of chocolate cake, cups of ice cream, and servings of crème brûlée, it can come at restaurants' expense.

    "It's hard to make money on desserts in the restaurant business today," said Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University who has written extensively about the economics of eating out. "I don't think many [restaurants] benefit when people order them anymore."

    There are many problems with dessert, but it all starts with one pretty simple truth: The restaurant industry is a place of razor thin margins, and dessert tends to offer one of the thinnest.

    Food in general is tough to make money on. Restaurants have long relied on the mark-up they tack onto drinks, not grub, to boost profits. As food costs soar, that reality has only become more true, because there's a limit to how much people are willing to pay for different parts of their meal. For many mid-scale restaurants, that limit is $30 for entrees, no matter the ingredients, Todd Kliman noted recently in the Washingtonian. For desserts the ceiling is much lower, and much less flexible, says Cowen.

    "Dessert needs good ingredients to taste good, but you can't psychologically convince people to pay even $20 for dessert," Cowen said. "You can't really go cheap on it, but you really can't charge extra either."

    Forbes, for that very reason, noted in 2011 that dessert is often a great deal — for diners.

    But it's also made serving it a growing pain for many restaurants. The cost of serving a house-prepared line of desserts includes employing a pastry chef and dedicated space in the kitchen to the craft. Some restaurants, instead of using pastry chefs, have opted to serve simpler desserts made by line cooks, while others "have given up entirely" and outsourced their sweets, according to Kliman.

    Dessert is also problematic for restaurants because the course creates a bottleneck at the end of meals. At restaurants serving food in some of the country's busier cities, turnover is essential to their bottom line. Time is quite literally money.

    "The more people they serve, the more revenue they get," Cowen said. "A lot of restaurant costs are fixed. Being able to serve more people, to sell them food, drinks, and especially expensive wine, is what varies."

    Parties that might have finished their dinner in a little over an hour instead linger for closer to two when they opt for dessert. And they stay the extra 30 minutes while consuming only a fraction of what they did during the first part of the meal. It would be different if people ordered drinks more often alongside cake, but they often don't. It would change things if dessert wines were more popular, finer and more expensive, but they aren't, Cowen said.

    "A cocktail brings in twice as much money as a dessert, and it doesn't hold up a table at the end of the meal. You have to turn the tables," Mark Bucher, who owns D.C. restaurant Medium Rare, told Kliman.

    Dessert isn't, of course, problematic for all establishments. Restaurants with slower traffic, where open tables are less of a rarity, would obviously prefer to sell more food than sell no food. Higher-end restaurants, where prices are less elastic and people are willing to spend well over $20 for a dessert, aren't as affected either. It's the popular, mid-priced restaurants that don't benefit as much.

    Desserts aren't going to disappear from restaurant menus. Too many people like them (rightfully so, I would say, though Cowen begs to differ). People also expect them, which makes eliminating them a risky endeavor. The price of alienating people is probably too great, especially in the age of Yelp reviews.

    But the next time a waiter is being coy about showing you the dessert menu, know why: He probably would prefer it if you and your party asked for the check instead. Unless, that is, you might be interested in another round of drinks.


 
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