Feast: The fixe is in - Page 3

In praise of the set menu ... and where to find some good ones
Photo by Rory McNamara

On the other hand, if you want cioppino, the famous seafood stew, you might end up spending less, since sometimes, even in America, less is more.

Lately one has heard a good deal of crashing and clatter coming not from restaurant kitchens but from Wall Street. The great leviathans of finance seem to be going down like torpedoed battleships, while the press struggles to decide if the nation is — pick your cliché — "drifting," "stumbling," or "sinking" into a recession. Whatever. Are we there yet? I would not be so bold as to suggest that prix-fixes are the answer to the many and large problems afoot in this land, but I do think prix-fixe menus are about value, and value is a value from which we stray at our peril. The last time the economic sky looked quite this ominous was seven years ago, after a terror attack and the popping of the dot-com bubble. We began to take a bit less for granted in that strange autumn, and people seemed to awaken for the first time in years to the understanding that champagne did not, in fact, flow from their taps. It made sense to spend more prudently, to look for deals. That was then and this is now, and suddenly now is looking a lot like then. While the high and mighty ponder their big fixes, the rest of us can once again enjoy our small ones.

>>More Feast: The Guardian Guide to Bay Area Dining and Drinking

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