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Old 08-20-2008, 07:56 PM   #1
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Single Table Restaurants

Several places are popping up, doing quite the booming business, too. The premise is one table, one meal per evening. Usually the table sits anywhere from 8 to 20, although some restaurants may split that number between two or three tables. All reservations are for the same time. Meals are not served family style, quite the opposite, actually. Much emphasis is placed on presentation, sustainability, wine pairing (for those with liquor lics). Usually, you are served what the chef decides to prepare, no menus.

What are your thoughts? Would you frequent an establishment like this? Why or why not?

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Old 08-20-2008, 08:21 PM   #2
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might be interesting. can't help but think it would be pricy.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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I wouldn't be interested.

Unless I could round up 6-18 friends to go with me, I'd be eating with strangers. SO and I prefer to dine with people we know we are going to have a good time with.

I like the concept and would consider visiting a restaurant that offered one sitting a night where you ate what the chef prepared IF I could get a table for two.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:34 PM   #4
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sounds like disaster waiting to happen.

Trotters=more then one table
Little Washington=more then one
Laundry=more then one
TRU=more then one
Bucheon=more then one
moto=more then one
Boulli=more then one

...
McDons, burger king, wendys, jack in the box, more then one table.

I can not see a single seat restaurant making overhead to support it for more then just a novelty. There has yet to be a chef that can make a name on one seating a night.

For me, just the latest in a soon to be gone trend, or one hit wonder....unless they are doing 40 covers at $400 a head, times 6 nights a week...then laugh all the way to the bank.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:53 PM   #5
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I kinda like the idea myself. We went on a cruise many years back and I was shocked when we were seated with complete strangers for the main meal. But it turned out that we met some of the most intersting people that way. I would feel more comfortable being with at least one person I know, but I would be game for something like that. But I am a little more adverturesome in that way. I have seen something like that on RR's Tasty Travels. Sounds like a neat way to try new food that you may not normally order.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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not for me thanks.... but I'm pretty shy....
I don't think I would enjoy eating with complete strangers very much.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:57 PM   #7
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I'd try it once as long as hubby was with me. That man can talk to anyone.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:09 PM   #8
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i prefer to select my food. if they were serving seafood & i wanted vegetarian, i'd be disappointed with my meal.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:17 PM   #9
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as long as I am not served something I'm allergic to, I'm up for anything!

I love meeting new people over dinner.

I used to say I would love to have a restaurant that was only open on the days I declared, only had about 4 to 6 4-tops (which could be configured anyway depending upon the clients of that day), only one seating, and only serving what I felt like cooking that day.

Done right, I think it could be a REAL money-maker.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
as long as I am not served something I'm allergic to, I'm up for anything!

I love meeting new people over dinner.

I used to say I would love to have a restaurant that was only open on the days I declared, only had about 4 to 6 4-tops (which could be configured anyway depending upon the clients of that day), only one seating, and only serving what I felt like cooking that day.

Done right, I think it could be a REAL money-maker.
You have just described the restaurant I would also like to have. Those are my exact requirements I have said out loud to my husband.

I would go to a place like this - - - I'm not so sure I would like sharing my intimate space with people I didn't know. I don't mind at the Japanese steakhouses but that's different - it's part of the fun. I just can't quite figure out if I would like the one table or not...it would have to be part of the "fun" - and I can't totally wrap my head around it yet.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:37 AM   #11
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I think the idea of going to a restaurant and having an excellent chef wow me with their art would be great. Life, for me, has always been about new experiences and meeting new people.

The success, in my opinion, would hinge on the skill of the chef in making a varried and tantelizing menu. Obviously, the meal would be expensive. It seems that we are talking more of an evening than just a meal. Possibly some music, not dance, just good background music.

I don't think getting people in the first time would be the issue. Repeat business is what sustains.
There was a restaurant near me where we could go and say make us dinner. What we got was great.

As to tables. I would think a small number of tables, not just one. In that way folks that want to dine with friends and those wanting to meet ne friends can be accomodated.

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Old 08-21-2008, 04:42 AM   #12
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Just read an article about such places. One stuck out, Talula's Table in Kennet Square, PA. It's an artisnal cheese shop during the day, and the chef/owners do the one seating during the evening. Currently, they are taking reservations for July, 2009.

I love the idea. I've been to a few degustation places, Vetri in PA being my favourite. You don't sit with strangers, you do get your own table. Only two seatings per evening. You can see the menu, but Chef Vetri makes the selections unless you specify that you want to. It changes every day, and he only does the degustation menu once a week. Each course is paired with a fabulous wine, based on your likes.

I'm seriously considering this concept of a single table...
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:28 AM   #13
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NOW! I think you have an idea. One of my concerns was that rent is for 24/7 and if you were only open at night, you woul dhave to charge so much you would severely limit your cllientell (sp maybe). Say if you had a wine and cheese shop to cover expenses and make some money, then the small venue degustation menu restaurant featuring wine and cheese from your shop, that they could pick up on the way out. How does that sound?

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BTW - If you open it, I will come :)
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:47 AM   #14
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I think it's a neat idea. I'd go.
What's more intimidating, sitting at a table with a few friends and a dozen people you don't know, or sitting in a room with 100 strangers? I've often seated myself with strangers in cafeteria style places/ski lodges.
I think a dinner theme would be nice, so you have some idea what you may be eating. And I think two seatings, so you can keep your staff happy with a decent shift. I think the novelty would allow you to charge more and I think you would get a regular clientele.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
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What are your thoughts? Would you frequent an establishment like this? Why or why not?
I would love to go to a place like that. And if the chef was good...very often.

Having to think about what to prepare at home and make more decisions when we go out, it would be nice to be surprised once.

I like the seating idea too. Reminds me of my favorite Japanese hibachi. After a few glasses of wine everyone mingles.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:40 AM   #16
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Pretty picky with what I eat, but it does seem quite interesting.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:10 AM   #17
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There actually IS a similar place in Jersey City (I have not been there, but have heard quite a bit) called 15 Fox Place, and it is in someone's house! It's only open on Saturday and Sunday, and you pay a set price and eat whatever they are serving. (You can call ahead for the menu) It's a BYO place. I've always said I wanted to try it, but haven't made it yet.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:26 AM   #18
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If I knew what the menu was ahead of time then I would have no problem going. It just seems like an odd thing for a restaurant owner to do though as s/he is limiting the income they can make. There are many hours in a night where people could come in and pay money to eat. Why would you turn that away, especially in an field with such low profit margins to begin with?

sitting at a table with stangers is nothing new. When I was in the Amish country in PA the restaurants were all family style. You sat at a big table with strangers. I was young at the time and thought it was a bit odd at first, but ended up liking it. We met some cool people that way. Japanese tepanaki (sp?) restaurants do that too.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #19
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I've only eaten once like this - a restaurant with a French cuisine. I loved it! Memory tells me we had a table for eight, all of us friends or family. There were about eight courses as well, if not more, each served with a small amount of a variety of wines. No menus. The courses must have been timed because there was no sense of being rushed. It was expensive, but worth it...a memorable evening.
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Old 08-21-2008, 02:52 PM   #20
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.....I would also like a different wine paring with each course. What ever the chef recommended.

When are you opening VB? lol
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