Edit ModuleShow Tags

DeRusha Eats: Admission Tickets for Dinner


When we fly, we all pay different prices for our tickets based on demand. When we book a room in a hotel, the same theory applies. But when you eat at a restaurant, you pay the same for dinner whether you eat on a Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. or at the true Minneapolis dining time—a Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

One of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country, Alinea in Chicago, has come up with a very interesting new concept, which I personally would LOVE.

Next Restaurant will do four menus a year, exploring different world cuisines (Jim Ringo and his St. Louis Park restaurant should think about going to four instead of 11 menus). But here's the thing: Next is selling tickets to dinner.

According to the website, Next will do a five- to six-course meal. Depending on the menu and the time of your visit, food will range from $40 to $75. Wine + drink pairings start at $25.

This is potentially a great bargain, if you pay $65 for dinner in Chicago from the people who designed the Restaurant of the Year.

Look at how they explain it: "Instead of reservations, our bookings will be made more like a theater or a sporting event. Your tickets will be fully inclusive of all charges, including service. Ticket price will depend on which seating you buy—Saturday at 8 p.m. will be more expensive than Wednesday at 9:30 p.m." They'll also offer an annual subscription to all four menus at a discount.

Geoff Roether wrote about this idea at Shefzilla, the blog run by Stewart Woodman (formerly of Heidi's).

To me, this is not that different than the half-price wine nights some places run to try to get you in there on a Tuesday or Wednesday. (I had a fantastic meal at OM last Wednesday, with a delightful $60 bottle of 2007 Steltzner Claret that cost me $30!)

And it takes the idea executed by Ad Hoc in the Napa Valley of a fixed-price menu being the only choice (although Ad Hoc changes daily).

Two questions: Would you support the idea of a flexible pricing system for restaurants based on demand? And what do you think about buying a ticket that includes the entire cost of an evening?

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Classic Minnesota-Style Walleye Sandwich Recipe

Enjoy the ever-popular walleye sandwich even more when you make it yourself—and hopefully with fish freshly caught yourself, too

Celebrating the Daiquiri, New Rums from Bacardi, and Creative Cocktails

Rum drinks conjure thoughts of toes in the sand and refreshing summer cocktails

Lawless Distilling Bartender Named "Most Imaginative"

Minneapolis bartender Brandon Sass won the 12th Annual Most Imaginative Bartender regional competition

Toast the Royal Wedding with British-Gin Cocktails

As Britain’s Prince Harry and U.S.-actress Megan Markle tie the knot, raise a glass to the happy couple—and those close to you—with wedding-themed tipples

Bottoms-Up Cinnamon Caramel Pinwheels Recipe

With this fast version of a sticky bun, baking at home can be no muss, no fuss—and delicious

Leslie Bock's Newest Bar Wants to Save the Future

"We're attempting to show humans as messy and complicated."

Rosé All Day: The Best Tastings (Some Free)

More than 100 different rosé wines available to try—many for free

Wine Clubs: The Perfect Mother's Day Gift

Sip Better figures out your taste for wine and goes deep

Gavin Kaysen Takes Midwest Gold

A quick note on our 2018 James Beard Best Chef: Midwest
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags