New Year’s Eve in Times Square: simultaneously iconic and the last place any New Yorker would be caught dead, unless they are literally dead and the body was dumped in Times Square. But leave it up to the chains that populate the whirling maelstrom that is Times Square to find a way to capitalize on the influx of out-of-towners: namely, by charging an arm, and possibly a shank, for the pleasure of dining near the ball drop on Dec. 31.
As the New York Post reports, gone are the salad day when unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks cost you a measly $6.99 for lunch at the Olive Garden. They’re not gone forever, mind you, but merely much more expensive for one night. Dinner at the Times Square Olive Garden will set you back a cool $400 on New Year’s Eve. For those four Benjamins, you’ll get an open bar, dinner buffet, a DJ, and a champagne toast at midnight. That’s up from $350 last year, according to the Huffington Post. And still considerably more than the most expensive item on the menu, the Steak Toscano, which costs $29.79.
While the restaurant doesn’t guarantee a view of the ball drop, last year, according to one reveler, it did take patrons out back to a cordoned off section of the street where ticket holders were able to witness the iconic ringing in of the New Year.