Sunday, February 12, 2012

How much will you shell out to eat out?

Last night Meg and I went out on another foodie adventure! This time we went to Crave.



I hadn't been to this 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. 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?

Crave Restaurant on Urbanspoon

15 comments:

  1. I love ordering fish at restaurants! Its always perfectly cooked and so flavorful! Everything you guys got looks delicious!

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    1. I always order fish at restaurants too!

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  2. I am exactly the same! I have no problem "forking" out money if I am going to get my worth in terms of quality/taste or experience! I always find Japanese food to live up to the price given the quality of fish used. And also, I don't mind spending money on food that I can't re-create at home..i.e. sushi (at least not as well as they do so in restaurants)!

    That all being said, I am glad the black cod made up for the rest of the dish somewhat!! THe texture sounds phenomenal!

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    1. That's so true! Also I find that whenever I do make sushi at home, it ends up being almost as expensive as getting it at a restaurant because of the cost of the fish! :P

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  3. great post sweetie :) I definitely think Crave is a bit over priced for the portions we got. Like think of when we went to Jambalaya. HUGE portions and cheaper than Crave, right? And the food - it tasted so good, too! I didn't have what you had at Jambalaya, but I know I preferred my meal there over the one I had at Crave (I make better salmon ;) HAHAHA!) Anyways, I AM CURRENTLY looking at The Springs restaurant. And let me say this:

    Next foodie adventure: sushi

    The food adventure AFTER that: THE SPRINGS

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    1. YES! I'm so excited to get sushi again and to try The Springs!!!

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  4. So jealous that you and Meg get to have foodie adventures together. So jealous. I get really frustrated by this actually. Even when I don't pay a lot I get kind of annoyed when the food just isn't thar great because I could do it better and cheaper on my own!

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    1. Come visit us and have foodie adventures with us! <3

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  5. Your dinner looked great! I know what you mean about the price though. When you spend that much you expect perfection!

    On NYE my man and I went to a very exy restaurant (where he proposed!). We got and entree and main each and two drinks each, it came to about $250!! I didn't really want to go to the restaurant because it was "one of those weird ones" (you know, with ingredients I'd never heard of). But it was worth it. It was the best food I have ever eaten!

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    1. Yikes that's pricey! But I agree it's worth it if the food is amazing. :)

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  6. I really only eat out at good restaurants. I don't see the point in wasting money on something I can make at home!

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    1. Me too. I hate going to chain restaurants or roadhouses for that very reason!

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  7. Ohhh, that is a little steep!

    I get frustrated when I go to a chain restaurant and spend an arm and a leg because I want a salad. When it's a real cook creating something unique, I feel like I can pay a bit more. I also will pay for an experience -- if I'm hanging out at a restaurant (usually italian, drinking wine), I just expect a higher bill because it's about spending the evening there and having a dining kind of experience, ya know? I also totally will shell out money if I know there are local, fresh, maybe organic ingredients involved.

    It would appear I have three requirements: wine, quality, and atmosphere!

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  8. I'd only spend that much money if I knew the restaurant was good, by reading reviews on yelp or something! (yelp is amazing btw...use it all the time). I feel like it's not worth it if I'm not full at the end of the meal, or else I just get home and eat some more. I understand it's about the ambiance and experience, but the food is the most important! Usually I don't like to spend more than $20 on dinner, but I guess I'm a cheap college student!

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  9. I am willing to pay a good amount for a great meal AND the experience. Service, creativity, and thoughtful pairings go a long way to impress me. If you can't at least execute on the food prep quality or portion size, I'm not pleased. and I will say something. LOL!

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