Incredible shrinking restaurant portions, and other sneaky tricks

Dining out in New York is often a heady experience -- especially when you get the check. You can't stop going back for more, however, because it's just too convenient, and fun, and part of the joy of living in a big city. But after reading about how some high-end eateries are coping with the economic downturn in the New York Times, I'm starting to get inclined to just stay home and cook my own over-priced food.

The Times talks to restaurant owners who are finding ways to stretch a buck, mostly by serving cheaper ingredients and smaller portions. At fancy places, that means smaller lobsters at some exorbitant price and hanger steak instead of strip steaks. Some places are offering early bird specials and bar specials. Some are considering no-show fees. Like airlines that keep tacking on fees for things that used to be free, that's probably going to be the last straw for casual diners. Freelance writer Carol Vinzant covered 10 restaurant tricks, for WalletPop back in May.

Coping With the Economy