Like fashion before it, the fancy food industry needs to change its rules a bit to get your business. Starbucks is doing McDonald's-style value meals, while Tom Colicchio's swanky steak house is halving prices.
Tom Colicchio, the bald but decidedly un-jolly chef and Top Chef TV judge has turned the front half of his new-ish, poorly-received Craftsteak (he owns a whole chain of branded "Craft" restaurants), appropriately located in the Meatpacking District, into something cleverly called Halfsteak. There you can get a variety of meats and other small plates, all for under $15. Plus you can get half a beer for $4! A steal! And there's the added benefit of feeling smug and thrifty compared to those at the back of the restaurant, while they get to feel smug and wealthy as they lazily look at you teetering on a bar stool.
Colicchio has employed other measures to get butts in seats of late, from special prix fixe tasting room meals to Pay-What-You-Weigh. (That second one might not have actually happened.) Our relatively uniformed guess about this Halfsteak is that it'll be affordable, sure, but pretty cut-rate food not worth fighting the crowds and the long journey to 10th avenue. I mean, doesn't that mean that it's basically a couple of booths floating on the Hudson? Surely there can't be ten avenues!
If you're dying to go, you'd better get in line, as they don't take reservations. But, once there, you can show the hostess your Padma Lakshmi zombie bite for a free order of Craftsouthwestern Crafteggrolls.