Last night I met up with a friend at Crave restaurant for dinner.
I hadn’t been to Crave restaurant in a few years, and the last time I went was the night I learned about my mussels allergy, so it wasn’t the greatest experience for me. I was excited to try it again after reading the description on its website:
Londoners crave this upscale, urban casual dining environment. Our high quality and innovative cuisine and extensive wine list promise to deliver a memorable dining experience. We at Crave commit ourselves to being an “ambassador for the region,” using local producers and organic ingredients. Our goal is to offer all of our guests the opportunity to savour their dining experience and crave their next.
Our waiter brought us out some bread to start – and this was good bread. It was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, and best of all, it was warm!
At first I really wanted to order a stuffed pepper for my entree, but when I asked about the sablefish and our waiter informed me that’s just another name for black cod, I was sold on that dish! It sounded amazing:
Pan roasted sablefish Fished from the deep north pacific waters, our sablefish is complemented with a ruby orange reduction. Served with citrus infused basmati rice and local seasonal vegetables.
I was surprised how small the portion was when it came out. I expected more rice and vegetables! But the fish was fantastic – so buttery soft and perfectly cooked! I was a bit disappointed with the flavours in the dish though. I expected more oomph, but it was really just all one flavour. Even though it was good, I don’t think I’d pay $30 for this meal again.
Meals aside, we both still had a great night and some good chats!
After we parted ways, I started thinking about things on my drive home. This experience really got me thinking about the cost of restaurant food – and how much I’m willing to pay. To be perfectly honest, I don’t often let price be a factor in my decisions about which restaurant to go to or what dish to order. But something about tonight – and paying $30 for a dish that didn’t blow my mind – ruffled my feathers a bit. For $30, I would want either a really good meal with a good portion size or a smaller portion of an absolutely life-changing dynamite meal.
The former is the case with all you can eat sushi – it’s always predictably delicious and I know I’m getting a good value!
The latter is the case with Blacktree in Burlington. The appetizers run between $18-20 and the entrees from $38-44. So when you add in wine and dessert, it can easily come to more than $100 per person. But I’m okay with that because Matteo’s dishes aren’t just a meal, they’re an experience. The combination of flavours, textures and colours on his plates make you excited to take every bite! That is what I want out of an expensive meal!
What are your thoughts? How much are you willing to pay for a restaurant meal? What factors play a role?