Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What's Too Simple?

I'm all for local. I'm all for simple. I'm all for tasting the ingredients as fresh as they can be and as natural as they can be. But this? At a fine dining restaurant? Maybe too much...

A few days ago, Eater SF broke news that a guest had ordered the nectarine dessert at Zuni Cafe. And what did they get? Well, for $8, they got a Blossom Bluff Orchards nectarine on a plate.

The Nectarine in Question

The comments to the initial posting were the best. A few days later, Zuni responded (as posted on EaterSF):

Yikes! If the customer who posted this photo was charged $8.00 for the nectarine it was definitely an error. We would love the customer to contact us with their receipt and we would be more than happy to refund the entire amount for the fruit. Checking our menus, the Blossom Bluff Summer Grand nectarine was on our dessert menu from July 29-31st for $4.50. The only $8.00 item on the menu was a pot de crème, listed directly above it. Our computers were programmed with those prices so we are not sure how it happened, but the customer should not have been charged $8.

For what it’s worth, we have many customers who ask for plain fruit instead of a prepared dessert. We try to offer something ripe and delicious, at a price which covers our food cost plus overhead (and overhead actually dwarfs food costs). If the guest would like the fruit cut up or sweetened, we are happy to do so.

We are sorry this happened but we are glad to have found out about it. We agree an $8.00 nectarine is ridiculous!

What are your thoughts? An innocent error? Something they're self correcting now? Either would you feel about getting just a plain nectarine at a restaurant? Isn't part of the fun of going out to eat is ordering food that isn't easily made at home? Simple is still always welcome in my mind, but this might be crossing the line to too simple.

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