The pandemic ushered in a new level of dining, from revamped drive-through options to family packs of comfort food to home-cooked meals. So did it kill off fine dining? Experts say the white tablecloth experience is not dead yet — but it has been forced to evolve.
With the three-martini lunch crowd still on hiatus and international jet-setting gourmands mostly unable to travel, many higher-end establishments have had to reconfigure their offerings. Facing higher costs for everything from lobster to labor, restaurants have pulled back on their hours, stopping lunch service and remaining closed on both Monday and Tuesday.
Some famous names closed for good. Others are in “hibernation.” Many have “pivoted,” investing heavily in open-air and sidewalk dining structures, beefing up their to-go and delivery options, experimenting with pantry-style boxes and offering online cooking classes to bring the experience home.
The pullback on the higher end comes as a