Wikipedia defines price gouging as a "pejorative term referring to a situation in which a
seller prices goods or commodities much higher than is considered
reasonable or fair." Sounds like New Year's Eve in Miami, when local restaurants dig deep into the pockets of tourists determined to pay for the right to party. Suddenly your favorite spots offer uninspired menus, peddle cheap Prosecco masquerading as champagne, and charge $300 for the extreme pleasure of dining in their establishments on the big night.
The nightlife scene, meanwhile, offers zero value factor, charging $2,000 for a table of six people. That bottle of Grey Goose did not cost the club even 10 percent of what it's charging you for it. At least if you blow your wad at a restaurant, you will leave the premises with a full belly.
Still, it's painful to fork over the cash and not even be allowed to order the usual menu items that drive diners to these places on a regular basis. New Year's seems to provide the ideal excuse to increase the food margin and make some money off the top. Or did the price of beef tenderloin suddenly rise to $200 per pound?
So, where can you have a good time without emptying your wallet? Want to spend the holiday somewhere without the prix fixe or the credit card aftershock? Here's a list of some of our favorite destinations that offer a New Year's Eve experience that doesn't include getting bent over (financially speaking, of course; what you do after midnight is none of our business).
A Fish Called Avalon: Offering à la carte pricing and a champagne toast at midnight.
Brickell Irish Pub: Charging only $40 for a three-hour open bar, the usual pub food, and a live band.
Joey's: Wynwood's tiny trattoria is making cotechino with lentils (a traditional Italian New Year's dish) as well as offering all regular dinner menu items.
Mare Nostrum: Brickell's newest restaurant is offering its regular dinner menu.
Mercadito: Offering the regular menu until 8:30 p.m. (changes to a five-course menu for $55 after that time).
Michael's Genuine Food & Drink: From crispy pig ears to whole roasted chicken, all regular menu items will be available.
Quattro Gastronomia Italiana: The dinner menu remains the same, and some specialty dishes will also be offered.
Sosta: This pizzeria on Lincoln Road is offering a free glass of Prosecco, and kids drink soda for free.
Sra. Martinez: Offering the regular menu in addition to holiday specials.
Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill: From duck and waffles to bone marrow, order what you want at regular menu prices.
Sushi Samba Dromo: Offering regular favorites like the Samba roll, "seviches," and tiraditos, all with à la carte pricing.
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Sustain: Offering the regular menu and NYE specials, in addition to a champagne toast and chocolate-covered strawberries at midnight.
The Dutch: Offering their regular dinner menu, truffle shavings tableside, shellfish towers galore, and a champagne toast at midnight.