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Where are you getting a $1000 price tag for Aska? If you went with the abbreviated menu that's $185pp without booze, plus I believe they're still a no-tipping establishment.

 

full menu with wine pairing is about 1,000 dollars..  abbreviated menu is 400 before drinks. 

 

Has the pairing price gone up? Last I looked it was $115, so a little over $800 for two after tax. Still a huge splurge, of course. 

 

You can definitely get out for under $1,000, though. Just pass on the wine pairing and get a couple bottles. Or if you're a beer fan (which I think goes better with Scandinavian flavors, personally) you could spend $30-$60 on drinks per person, getting the price down under $700 for two, even. 

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So next Tuesday I'm taking some Gullible Young Woman to see Karol Armitage at the Joyce.   For dinner after, I'm thinking of two places: Aldea and La Luncheonette.   Aldea, obviously, is one of t

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when I was there their beer list had three things on it that weren’t interesting.

Only three? I thought I recalled seeing a picture of the drinks menu that had about a dozen - about half drafts and half bottles, and a couple larger-format ones. Not a huge list, but enough variation to pair a meal with.

 

With all the great brewing going on in the Nordic countries these days, it's a shame they don't have a more expansive list. Though now that I think of it, the original Aska had a shitty beer list - mostly Bud, Modelo, etc.

 

I have noticed at some higher-end places the beverage choices seem designed to steer one towards the pairing. A few obligatory beers, and wine lists where anything decent by the bottle would cost more than a pairing. Or by-the-glass prices so high the pairing seems like a bargain in comparison.

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Looking for a Japanese place for a friend. $250/beverage included ceiling. Shoji looks booked. Thoughts?

I think Shoji would break $250 before beverages. As would Uchu.

 

I guess it depends on if they want a tasting/kaiseki or a la carte.

 

For kaiseki - maybe one of the newer midtown places? Mifune or Suzuki? Or go with a classic like Kyo Ya in the East Village. Mifune has tastings for $85 and $125, the other two $150 - the latter price point doesn't leave a ton of wiggle room for fancy drinks after tax and tip, but certainly they're doable with a few Sapporos or bottle of house sake.

 

Other options might be EN Japanese Brasserie ($120) - a bit scene-ier, if they're into that. Or Hakubai (various price points... the splurge menus with the Miyazaki A5 may not be doable.)

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Not sure what that's a propos, but those restaurants aren't competing with Hearth--except in the broad sense that all restaurants in a neighborhood are competing.  They're all straight Italian-American restaurants, including a number of red sauce places. Hearth certainly isn't that.

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Not that it matters in this context, but Cacio e Vino is not your typical red sauce place. It's more or less Sicilian rather than Neapolitan or "Italian-American."

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