Recovery Is on the Menu

At David Burke Townhouse, the average bottle of red wine has crept back up over $100. At Delmonico’s, diners ordered nearly twice as many white truffles compared to last year’s season. And at Aldea, the new lobster gazpacho appetizer is selling briskly at $16 a pop.

New York City’s restaurant industry is showing signs of recovery, digging itself out of an economic downturn that forced the business to dial back the luxury and amp up the discounts.

Some white-tablecloth restaurants have seen sales rise around 10% this year, and restaurateurs are expressing renewed, albeit cautious, optimism.

“A lot of my higher-priced items on the menu are selling without hesitation,” said George Mendes, partner/chef at Aldea. “I put a lobster gazpacho on the menu last week for $16, and it’s selling. That gives us hope. Things might not be completely recovered, but I think I can safely say that we’re on the road to recovery.”

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