Last week we blogged about the cost of steaks at Marcel, Ford Fry’s newest restaurant on the Westside. It’s a fact of fine dining that steakhouses will run you a pretty Benjamin, but after comparing Marcel’s steaks with other competitors, it was clear that Fry had entered a new price stratosphere. His 30-oz. porterhouse, for example, was tagged at $142—a whopping $44 more than the one at Bone’s.
I saw Fry over the weekend at the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, where he acknowledged that we were right to call him out on his steaks, particularly the porterhouse. He has since reduced prices on two cuts. The 16-oz. New York strip is now $67.95, down from $72.95, and the 30-oz. Porterhouse is now $124.95, down from $142. They’re still the most expensive around, but at least now Marcel’s New York strip is within arms reach of its closest competitor, Kevin Rathbun Steak ($62).
Over the phone Fry said that he was able to shave off a few dollars because the price of beef for those cuts had gone down. “There are times when beef prices fluctuate, and we did our first order around July 4. I didn’t think about [the timing] … [and recently] wondered if prices were spiked.”
Fry also said that the New York strip is now a bone-in cut, which means an ounce or two less of meat (although bone-in cuts tend to pack more flavor). As for the porterhouse, Fry said that customers have been opting for other cuts, which enables him to tinker with the price. “If we don’t sell as many of them, we can bring the price down. But the more you sell at a lower margin, the harder it is to survive.”