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What is the most you have paid for dinner?


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Were there many diners there Lee? I read a Lake District Magazine interview with Simon Rogan who complained the locals were snubbing his restaurant but that things were picking up. It's always my concern that somewhere so good as L'Enclume would end up reloacting because of poor business when I feel so lucky for having such a place on my doorstep but I always fear QUIET restaurants - makes somewhere like that way better value when the place is buzzing.

Mmm 1 1/2 months till I can visit L'Enclume.

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Were there many diners there Lee? I read a Lake District Magazine interview with Simon Rogan who complained the locals were snubbing his restaurant but that things were picking up. It's always my concern that somewhere so good as L'Enclume would end up reloacting because of poor business when I feel so lucky for having such a place on my doorstep but I always fear QUIET restaurants - makes somewhere like that way better value when the place is buzzing.

Mmm 1 1/2 months till I can visit L'Enclume.

It was about 90% full when I went, which isn't bad for a Wednesday. Certainly wasn't deathly quiet, in fact quite jolly. The staff were friendly and chatty, keen to get feedback on the dishes.

Lee

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  • 2 weeks later...

excellent thread...

last week I managed €1800 at el bulli for four which is going to get a cuffing when I try to stick it through expenses. I think we managed 8 bottles of wine, none of which was dear.

In terms of bar bills I once notched up a wallet busting €560 on the terrace of the carlton in Cannes... and the waiter was still arsey!

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Ok so my most expensive meal ever was lunch at Alaine Ducasse in Paris at £300 for two (10 years ago)

Recently 700 Euros for three + child at Duomo in Sicily was fairly painful- especially as we had really cheap wine. Eeven more so when we failed to get past 160 euros anywhere else (and believe me we tried).

Just back from our trip to Sicily.

Went to Duomo in Ragusa and plumped for the tasting menu, 11 courses in total if you include ameuses and petits fours etc. We went for the "mixed" i.e. with a bit of meat thrown in towards the end. It's still mostly fish though and even the tuna that preceded the pork - the only meat course - was done as if it was a fillet steak with a red wine and meat stock reduction. Very clever cross over dish I thought. We paid 340 Euros for two inc the wine matching - Billecart salmon, two whites, two reds and a pudding wine.

Erica, I've got to ask. Does your child have the most enormous appetite?

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excellent thread...

last week I managed €1800 at el bulli for four which is going to get a cuffing when I try to stick it through expenses.  I think we managed 8 bottles of wine, none of which was dear.

In terms of bar bills I once notched up a wallet busting €560 on the terrace of the carlton in Cannes... and the waiter was still arsey!

I think last week at el Bulli we also managed to set ourselves a new record, but since it was Judy's birthday treat I shan't post the exact number here. Suffice it to say that it was significantly less per head than you managed.

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excellent thread...

last week I managed €1800 at el bulli for four which is going to get a cuffing when I try to stick it through expenses.  I think we managed 8 bottles of wine, none of which was dear.

In terms of bar bills I once notched up a wallet busting €560 on the terrace of the carlton in Cannes... and the waiter was still arsey!

I think last week at el Bulli we also managed to set ourselves a new record, but since it was Judy's birthday treat I shan't post the exact number here. Suffice it to say that it was significantly less per head than you managed.

but did you think it was worth it?

you don't win friends with salad

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I always seem to remember the cheap meals rather than the expensive ones - must be my tight scottish roots. But one of the most expensive ones has to be when I took my friend to Paris for the day on Eurostar to eat at Le Cinq - can't remember the exact figure but I think it was around £700 all in. If you're wondering "Why Le Cinq", well there aren't many top class restaurants in Paris open Saturday lunchtime.

I would prefer to remember the great value meals like £15 a head 3 course lunch at Roellinger's place a long time ago - still lives in the memory. Unfortunately, I also seem to remember the poor value ones like my recent trip to L'Enclume - hey I like cutting edge food along with the best of them, but this was just awful and more to the point lacking in flavour...I really can't understand people who like this place..... :-(

Gav

"A man tired of London..should move to Essex!"

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years ago - roughly 1998/9 three of us were in Paris for a few days and we booked ourselves into Taillevent at last minute. the father of one of my friends was a regular there - after champagne, a fantastic meal, the best cheese cart ever, superb wines, cognac and cigars...i decided to invite them - $900.

to this day it is the most expensive dinner invitation and the one with not an ounce of regret for what i spent. looking back over the years i realise i would today feel happy having spent twice that much...everything about that evening was sensational.

-che

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550 euro for two at Pierre Gagnaire's a couple of years ago - sublime

Something like 800 euro's at Michel Bras but that included a room - it takes somewhere very special to charge you that and you come away thinking its a bargain.

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Short term - El Bulli cost £350 and was a bargin, think we got off a bit lightly as they were giving us free Cava for a while as the waiter was delighted Barca had one the champions league the day before and was trying to cheer me up as Arsenal had lost it

Long term - Blind Lemon Alley in Brighton - I got a bit drunk at the meal and proposed shortly afterwards - Still paying for that one financially and emotionally

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excellent thread...

last week I managed €1800 at el bulli for four which is going to get a cuffing when I try to stick it through expenses.  I think we managed 8 bottles of wine, none of which was dear.

In terms of bar bills I once notched up a wallet busting €560 on the terrace of the carlton in Cannes... and the waiter was still arsey!

I think last week at el Bulli we also managed to set ourselves a new record, but since it was Judy's birthday treat I shan't post the exact number here. Suffice it to say that it was significantly less per head than you managed.

but did you think it was worth it?

On the whole I think yes. We enjoyed most of it, some of it was really outstanding. There were though a few courses we didn't like and unfortunately they came as a bit of a run together.

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most expensive was at RHR 10 years ago, I think about 120 per head. One of the most enjoyable and better valued was at Locatelli,130 for two with a decent 30 quid wine. We might have shared the dessert though...

I am lucky myself and the missus do not drink much, hence we can get away with a decent 30 quid wine (if any actually...) I can see that it is the wines that send the bill to the roof, no?

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Most I have ever paid was £430.25 (for 2)at sketch just after it opened, saddest thing was we walked out sober as judges.

a year later, tasting menu with wines at the fat duck came to £398 (2 again), but at least this time when I went to see Ashley to thank him for the meal, I could barely walk.

best value I have had at a fine dining level was WD-50, which came to $145 a head (£70-80 then) which was with the matching wines and again could barely make it to the door at the end.

I tend to find that most high end food is worth the money (as a chef, knowing the cost of the food and production helps absorb the shock) but the cost of matching wines in this country is appaling. ie. Fat duck £90, WD-50 $45. both great pairings but the end result was identical, basically embarrasment in front of my fellow diners. but much fun was had by all.

Alex

after all these years in a kitchen, I would have thought it would become 'just a job'

but not so, spending my time playing not working

www.e-senses.co.uk

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Most I have ever paid was £430.25 (for 2)at sketch just after it opened, saddest thing was we walked out sober as judges.

It's a shame I don't seem to have time to regularly check egullet these days, this is a very interesting thread.

£750 for two at Sketch Library room when it first opened. My dining partner described the crustacia she had as 'chewy', but possibly dodgy shellfish was the least of our worries. We nearly had to call an ambulance the next day when I told her the bill total. We had a couple of bottles of Pommery Louise at £95 each (ISTR 1995), and a half bottle of a decent Bordeaux, but it was a long time ago and I don't remember exactly what that was. I'd give it 3/5.

£1,300 for three at Aubergine. I think my most memorable meal ever for all the right reasons was back around 2002/2003 when we chose the wine a few days before we arrived (including a 1990 Ch d'Yquem and a 1995 Pichon Baron). Maitre d'/Sommelier and Chef selected and prepared the menu around the wine. We had pan fried foie gras with apricot, rack of lamb, Roquefort, and tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream. A perfect 5/5.

I do dine alone on occasion as I find it up among the most hedonistic pleasures you can do without the possibility of being locked up, once you can get over any hangups you may have about dining by yourself.

My most memorable 'dining alone' experiences price-wise are:

£450 at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, Dec 2007; well accomplished, but no cheeseboard only a cheese plate, an awful desert, grapefruit citrus seemingly everywhere in the menu, and a terrible wine list unless you want to spend £250+ per bottle. 2/5.

£480 at The Capital, ~Mar 2008; my favourite dishes of Assiette Landaise followed by Saddle of Rabbit, and a big lump of Roquefort followed by a popcorn/banana/vanilla desert. Washed down with a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, a glass of off dry Alsace Gerwurtz, a bottle of Sonoma Valley Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir, and a bottle of Ch Fargues '89. Table next to me were delighted to help me finish off the Fargues. A perfect 5/5.

£750 at Ramsay at Claridges, ~2003; tasting menu with a half bottle of Billecart Salmon, half bottle of Ch d'Yquem 1990, half bottle of Cos d'Estournel 1985. I was given a two hour slot at the beginning of service but they were 15 mins late seating me. I had to specifically ask for the tasting menu. I shovelled the food down with what little time I had, only to have to wait over half an hour for the bill. Lady who showed me to the table asked what I'd like for an apperitif, but didn't know what a Bombay Sapphire was. 1/5.

Rest assured, dear reader, that it is rare that I choose to dine alone with such extravagance. With a low hit rate such as that above, I'm sure that you can understand why.

Cheers, Howard

Edited by howardlong (log)
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£480 at The Capital, ~Mar 2008; my favourite dishes of Assiette Landaise followed by Saddle of Rabbit, and a big lump of Roquefort followed by a popcorn/banana/vanilla desert. Washed down with a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, a glass of off dry Alsace Gerwurtz, a bottle of Sonoma Valley Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir, and a bottle of Ch Fargues '89. Table next to me were delighted to help me finish off the Fargues. A perfect 5/5.

Howard,

when planning your next solo visit to The Capital, can you make an advance announcement on here?

I'll make sure that I'm at the next table.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The most I spent was £250 a head at Le Meurice in Paris where I proposed to my girlfriend. The setting was incredible, but the food was NOT worth it. It had just gained it's 3rd star, and though my main course of veal sweetbreads was spectacular, the starter and dessert was quite underwhelming. My girlfriend had a similar experience.

Having dined at Le Bristol in Paris the year before (still the best meal of my life), and having dined at both The Capital (best in London for me) and Petrus (closely behind The capital in terms of food) here in London, Le Meurice stands out as the most expensive and anti-climactic meal I've ever had!

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The most I spent was £250 a head at Le Meurice in Paris where I proposed to my girlfriend. The setting was incredible, but the food was NOT worth it. It had just gained it's 3rd star, and though my main course of veal sweetbreads was spectacular, the starter and dessert was quite underwhelming. My girlfriend had a similar experience.

Having dined at Le Bristol in Paris the year before (still the best meal of my life), and having dined at both The Capital (best in London for me) and Petrus (closely behind The capital in terms of food) here in London, Le Meurice stands out as the most expensive and anti-climactic meal I've ever had!

The best service I have ever experienced was at Le Bristol, quite perfect.

I have no idea what is the most I have spent. I tend to remember more those meals were I actually spent little and got quite a lot ( experientially not quantity).

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$3600 for 6 at the french laundry. well worth it with some excellent wines, but a $75 supplement for a white truffle gnocchi that didnt live up to expectations. i think truffles alba or perigord really shouldnt be eaten in the us, my experience has consistently been that they are older and therefore less memorable than almost anywhere in europe.

i was part of a group that paid almost $850 a head at Per Se in new york, but it was partially the fault of 3 no shows that the restaurant charged for anyway since we had booked up the private room. i thought that was totally unreasonable since we spend over $4000 on food and wine for the seven who did make it, and we still had to pay almost $1200 extra to cover the no shows.

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I am not sure it is wise to contribute to this thread as I am in denial in regard how much I have spent over the years- but £ 676 for four lunching at the Waterside Inn springs to mind, as does a recent Hibiscus meal at £650. I won't mention the two night stay at Manoir, entailing lunch and dinner both days, as that really will make me cry.

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i was part of a group that paid almost $850 a head at Per Se in  new york, but it was partially the fault of 3 no shows that the restaurant charged for anyway since we had booked up the private room. i thought that was totally unreasonable since we spend over $4000 on food and wine for the seven who did make it, and we still had to pay almost $1200 extra to cover the no shows.

Was there any American legal reason not to just pay the $4,000 and tell them to pursue the no-shows-ers for the $1,200? What would they have done, refused to serve you the $4,000 meal and lost this?

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i was part of a group that paid almost $850 a head at Per Se in  new york, but it was partially the fault of 3 no shows that the restaurant charged for anyway since we had booked up the private room. i thought that was totally unreasonable since we spend over $4000 on food and wine for the seven who did make it, and we still had to pay almost $1200 extra to cover the no shows.

Was there any American legal reason not to just pay the $4,000 and tell them to pursue the no-shows-ers for the $1,200? What would they have done, refused to serve you the $4,000 meal and lost this?

I'm guessing, if it's anything like the places in London that charge no-show fees, that they pre-authorised their credit cards so if they'd all had left whoever's card it was would have been stung for $2000.

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I've been lucky enough to have been taken to restaurants that didn't have any prices for the lady- so apart from a sneak peak (which often showed in the high hundreds) I didn't have to worry about it. I used to live with a very extremely wealthy Italian food & drink snob (in Italy) and we would go to THE places that were famous for whatever particular dish he wanted me to try - in the whole of Italy. I don't think the expensive ones we go to now are in the other range. That said one of my favourite meals was in Singapore at about $4.50 . haha.

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