Thoughts on restaurant closings

Todd Kliman’s online chat today.
Here was my comment:
Springfield, VA:

Hi Todd, sadly I’ve been hearing about more and more restaurant closings. I’m sure that you’ve heard about Le Paradou closing, so sad. Felix is gone … The Willard room.

What say you? I’ve been to 27 out of the current 100 on the Very Best List. I know that the list changes from year to year, but this is getting out of hand. What can DC foodies do to help, short of going broke ourselves? Thanks – Ld

Todd Kliman:

And the thing is, we’re not done yet. Far from it.

Le Paradou doesn’t surprise me. I never saw the dining room crowded. Or close to crowded. And a restaurant like that — very expensive, very formal — had better bring it every night in an economy like this. And Le Paradou didn’t. It was very uneven. Brilliant, at times. But not often enough.

Actually, i think it was a casualty of the wealth of (interesting, more affordable) possibilities very nearby, in Penn Quarter.

I’m not prepared to say this is the death of formal fine dining, because things go in cycles, and hey, we may lift out of this thing just yet … by 2014.

But even before the bottom fell out, the mood had been relentlessly casual — come as you are, assemble a meal of your choosing, take a sip or a glass or order a bottle, etc., etc.

More and more, those are the kinds of places that you’re going to be seeing.

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