Originally Posted by Manton
This was a common topic back when SField used to post. I eventually came around to his view.
The point I think is that it's no longer so hard to get top end beef, whereas it used to be that you had to go to a restaurant. Now you can get dry-aged prime at retail without much difficultly. Second, the markup for cooking it (and for staff, facilities, overhead, etc.) may be justified on a strict cost basis (what it costs them to do all that). However, I can pretty easily replicate what they do at home. In fact, two weeks ago, I did: dry aged porterhouse, tasted just as good as any steakhouse. Except my sauce was way better.
So, it's not like they're cheating you. It's just that I can do that myself, just as well if not better, for way less. When I eat out, I prefer to get something I couldn't do, or not as well, or wouldn't have thought of.
For me, it comes down to intangibles. The chef is using an expertise I don't have to select the menu and prepare the dishes. They are being attractively/artistically presented. At a steakhouse, some guy is grilling a steak and slapping it on a plate.
I am, I suppose, aware that the 20 dollar appetizer I just ate probably consisted of 20 cents worth of ingredients. Yet it doesn't really bother me because it is not something I am capable of reproducing. What I am really paying for is the skill with which it conceived and produced. A baked potato, not so much.
Originally Posted by Piobaire
And now that everyone has a sous vide it's pretty easy to get that steak perfect every time.
Sadly, I am disappointed with sous vide steaks. While sous vide does allow for incredible consistency, they are much better properly grilled.