Should we splurge on a $100 baked potato at 10 p.m. on a Monday night? It’s a question I ask my friend as we settle into a back banquette at New York’s scene-iest piano bar, The Nines. Despite the less-than-prime reservation time, the red-hued bar is packed. A table crowded with Gen Zers sings “Happy Birthday” to a friend, while at a nearby two-top, much older men work their way through the bar’s complimentary snacks: potato chips, olives and nuts, served in a caddy of crystal bowls. A pianist at the back of the room sets the sultry yet playful tone, seamlessly transitioning among jazz standards, classic rock and popular TikTok anthems, like Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets.”
Browsing the menu by flickering candlelight, there’s no question that we’ll be ordering the No. 9 Martini, the bar’s signature stirred combo of gin, vermouth and manzanilla served with a chilled sidecar to keep us going. We skipped the three-figure baked potato topped with caviar. Maybe next time.In a pandemic-changed world of nightlife, where disco balls hang from nearly every ceiling, cocktails lean into nostalgia and every reservation is an opportunity to showcase an OOTD, the drink-and-a-show evening has also found an audience. “[It’s] transportive and brings guests to a time when going out was more of a celebration,” says Jon Neidich, chief executive of Golden Age Hospitality, which opened The Nines in 2021. “I think about café society culture, when going out was a big deal, people got dressed up a little more, it was an occasion.” The idea of a drink theater is nothing new. But unlike the previous generation of drink theater venues known to attract tourists, these new venues place food and beverage at their core, with the entertainment acting as a bonus. The genre’s revival also comes as we’re more eager to turn a night out into an event, and to order cocktails worth their inflation price tags.
Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to get the cost of living under control, prices just keep climbing — and the uptick is especially brutal at the supermarket.
The cost of food overall climbed 11.2% in September from the year before, according to the latest consumer price index data released Thursday. Prices of “food at home,” aka groceries, soared 13% from the same time in 2021.
Many of the hardest-hit items are ones most families can’t do without: Eggs are up 30.5% from a year ago, while poultry is up 17.2% and milk 15.2%.
Still, there are a number of strategies you can use to reduce your food costs, experts say. Here are some of them.
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Americans may be getting some relief at the gas pump, but they are not finding that relief at the grocery store.
Gasoline prices nationwide are down 10.6% from their record high of $5 a gallon in June. According to the American Automobile Association, the national average is now $3.70 for a gallon of regular, but food prices continue to soar.
The August Consumer Price Index found inflation rose 8.3%, down slightly from July’s reading of 8.5%, but still near a 40-year high. Those falling gas prices were more than offset by higher prices for rent, food, health care and electricity.
The Federal Reserve’s series of interest rate hikes designed to beat back high inflation has had little impact on food prices. Economists say that is because a number of factors influence the cost of food, including the geopolitical landscape and weather.
Food is a hugely important aspect of Italian culture, and eating in the bel paese has its own set of customs. Deviate, if you dare, but you risk being called out online or accosted by a wildly gesturing torch and pitchfork bearing mob (okay, maybe not quite, but you’ll probably be judged, teased, or even refused by your server).
If you come from a country where anything goes, these customs can be a bit puzzling, but in Italy, milk is for breakfast and babies, pineapple is for dessert (not pizza), and pasta shapes are deliberately paired with certain sauces—and that’s just three rules of many! If you want to eat like a local on your trip to Italy—or simply avoid rejection and ridicule—read on.
After the United States saw record gas prices last month, consumers can also expect to pay more at the grocery store and dining out as food costs are expected to rise, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts.
The USDA’s Food Price Outlook 2022, the agency’s Consumer Price Index for food which measures inflation, is up 7.9% from February 2021, the largest increase since May 1981.
In total, food prices at grocery stores and supermarkets are expected to increase 3%-4% this year after already seeing a 6.8% jump from January 2021.
Restaurant purchases are also 8.6% higher than in February 2021 and are expected to jump by 5.5%-6.5%.
The United States Department of Agriculture released an update to its Food Price Outlook for 2022 and found that nearly everything one might ingest – whether it comes from the grocery store or restaurant – is going up in price.
And yes, that’s on top of the price increases consumers have already been forced to endure in the last year.
“All food prices are now predicted to increase between 4.5 and 5.5%,” the USDA’s Economic Research Service explained in the March report.