What do you think of this review of The 4th Base?
There’s only one place in town with a concept so audacious, so galling.
4th Base doesn’t have a menu you can hold in your hands or a list of prices to stop you from going overboard. You face a cooler full of food, choose the ingredients that grab you (meat, fish, pasta, et cetera), have the chef whip up a dish of your design and then wait till the plates are cleared to assess the damage to your bottom line. Anyone who agrees to such a meal knows the risks upfront.
That said, we’ve heard stories from resentful diners lured in by reports of four-star “gourmet” bar food. Their grudge was a $400 dinner for four or a $170 lunch for two. “Go once and you’ll never return,” says one Base basher. In the other corner, defenders are just as vocal: “Don’t say you weren’t warned. If they don’t tell you the prices, expect anything.”
Before the server even leaves the bill, we’ve been preparing ourselves with hypothetical prices that seem at least comparable to other restaurants. The entrées could run in the upper $10s/low $20s, we theorize, but strictly because of the size and quality of the filets, not because either dish was made by an “artist.” Both are cooked as asked – the beef tenderloins to dark-pink medium, tuna to sashimi-grade medium rare – yet despite their sauces (lemon-butter béarnaise and soy sesame), there’s no pizzazz to them. Most of the prices are in line – tuna $18, beef filets $24. The salad is $5, the two veggie sides are $6; they even charge a few bucks for the sesame sauce. The bill for two amounts to almost $100, bar tab included. The bread is free, as far as we can tell, but get a load of the stuffed mushrooms – $20! Maybe a $400 dinner for four is plausible if you order lobster tail and keep the bartender busy, but sheesh! Fans of this place call it a once-a-year splurge, and yet would you want to spend that hard-earned cash at a bar?
Fair/unfair? Did you feel ripped off? Are they right on the money here? I’d be interested in your opinion. Mine: I think they serve really good food. The price is steep for a bar, but you get to eat exactly what you want and the service and food quality are excellent. Don’t want to pay that much? Head over to Prime Quarter and burn yourself a NY Strip.