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Most you have ever paid for a restaurant meal


Smarmotron
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Myself: French Laundry 12 people@ 160/person +wine&gratuity, estimated around 325.

Danko was nice to me, so probably only around 150.

I had a meal in France that rivaled and surpassed both of them though, for 50 per person, and I can't tell you where it is.

Still, I'm only 22. I've got alot of company dollar to spend.

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I'd rather pay Thomas Keller $400 to roam freely in his kitchen for a day than pay for a meal.

It's actually $1,100 to $1,400 for two days. I have an article in the New York Times from September 4, 2002 in the dining out section titled, How to Boil Four-Star Water. It might be on their Web site but I don't like subscribing to online newspapers so I don't know. The article focuses on how ametuer cooks can intern at a four- or five-star restaurant anywhere between two and five days.

If you want to intern at The French Laundry (Chef Thomas Keller) , Daniels in NY (Chef Daniel Boulud), L'orangerie in L.A. (Chef Ludovic Lefebvre), L'Arpege in Paris (Chef Alain Passard), Restaurant Guy Savoy (Chef Guy Savoy), Gary Danko in S.F. (Chef Gary Danko), Charlie Trotter's in Chicago (Chef Charlie Trotter), etc., etc., etc., you can find more information at here or call, 212 856 0115.

A five day internship costs $1,900 to $2,600 and a two-day program costs $1,100 to $1,400. Cost does not include your transportation to and fro, nor lodging while there. You also need to bring your own chef's uniform (including the proper shoes) and a knife kit that includes tweezers, scissors, saucing spoons, and a variety of knives.

FYI, the following U.S. restaurants are booked through the end of 2003: The French Laundry, Daniel, Jean Georges, and The Inn at Little Washington. The site says to check back after November 1, 2003 at which time the new calendar for 2004 will be open for booking.

From the Web site:

Have you ever dreamed of watching a world-renowned chef in action?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cook in a famous kitchen?

Now, for the first time ever, there is a way to realize this dream. Through an innovative one-on-one internship program known as L'École des Chefs Relais Gourmands, many of the world's greatest chefs have opened their doors to amateur cooks with a desire to learn and a true passion for fine food.

Don't waste your money interning at Daniel. Cafe Boulod did a guy from my program for free last summer for a month, AND gave him a comp'ed ten course meal as thanks.

And although Gary Danko is a hell of a nice guy, the kitchen's not the best for working. Rather awkward and staggered, but the wine cellar alone is enough to merit such a fancylad type expense, if you're into that sort of thing.

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I have a question.  Let's suppose I pay 500$ for one plate.  And let's say it's 300$ without wine.  Where does that money go?  How much goes to the chef?  How much goes to the ingredients, and where might I find some of these uber-expensive ingreidnents??  How much is profit?  Utilities and rent are the same for a fancy restaurant as they are for McDonalds.  So where does the money go?

So food costs for fine dinning can run anywher from 32 to 36 %, higher than that, close the restaurant or fire the chef. Semi edible fast food will run 22 to 28% and unconfirmed rumours indicate that McDonalds runs in the high teens. Therefore, for your dollar, it's always best to go eat out in a high end restaurant. Also, here's a little known fact, the cheapest item on the menu usually has the lowest food cost (bad for you, good for restaurant) and the priciest will probaly be the best bang for your buck.

As for meals, Ledoyen in Paris was 900 for three, something to do with Lievre a la Royale. Otherwise, Nobu and Sushisay are always an easy 200 per person.

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What is the most you have ever paid (averaged per person) for a meal in a restaurant?

$800 for 2 at Charlie Trotter's. $250 was for a different glass of wine for each of 9 courses. I don't efel bad because I would have paid double.

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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I was the lucky recipient of the highest guest check -- the payee and not the payer. I was treated to a $525 dessert course at Marlin's (now closed, I wonder what Chef Marlin is doing these days....). We had creme brulee and a bowl of fresh berries with an ancient Warre's vintage port. OMG! I did forget the year, but it was in the 75+ year old range and our gracious chef owner himself poured it for us. What a birthday present and an amazing combination. Too bad it wasn't love -- that is the poor schmuck who footed the bill. (hee hee)

I forgot what the bill came to for the dinner and wine at Morton's before we left and went to Marlin's.

Edited by beans (log)
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Replying to Most you have ever paid for a restaurant meal

its going to be this Friday at Charlie Trotters. I havent been out in so long and havent enjoyed anything in so long that i'm going nuts come Friday.

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What is the most you have ever paid (averaged per person) for a meal in a restaurant?

$800 for 2 at Charlie Trotter's. $250 was for a different glass of wine for each of 9 courses. I don't feel bad because I would have paid double.

You'll have a great time, enjoy the goody bag everyone gets!

Lisa

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

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  • 4 years later...

Wow, after reading these, I feel better about some of my more expensive meals.

$700 at Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA. We had four people though and brought two of our own bottles. Add another buck fifty for those.

On our honeymoon, my wife and I dropped $550 at Topper's on Nantucket and another $400 at the John Hancock Inn in Hancock, New Hampshire. The food wasn't that expensive at the Hancock, but we had a bottle of d'Ychem waiting for us in the room after dinner.

My parents would fall over dead if they knew that...

Edited by Morgan_Weber (log)
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The most expensive meal I ever ate was in Kyoto, at this tiny and very, very old sushi place when I was 16-years-old. I didn't pay, of course, but someone told me later that the bill ended up being somewhere around US$200 per person, which included lots and lots of sake. It was the single most exciting and challenging meal I have ever eaten.

The most I have ever spent was $75 per person at Musashino in Austin back in the Tyson Cole era before there was ever an Uchi.

Interesting that both of mine were sushi. I am saving up for a trip to the wine country, though, so both of these may be eclipsed in a couple years' time!

Honestly, I don't have a problem spending money on a really great meal one in a great while. To me, it's a great luxury and very enjoyable. I don't understand why no one takes issue with paying $80-$100 for concert tickets, yet when I mention that I have spent that much on a meal they flip their lids. I don't get it. Isn't it basically the same principle, ie, spending a lot of money for a few hours of entertainment?

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I spend around $425 at Alinea for one last summer. tasting menu $225, wine pairings were about $125. worth every penny.

I've been at a couple celebratory work dinners where the per-person cost was definitely much higher (including one of about 100 people that was probably in the $75-100K range).

I've had a couple girlfriends take me on dates in the $600 for two range. (Jean-Georges and a charity dinner)

I can't say that I've spent that much on a date...(nor could I)...although a night of just cocktails and a little music in NY can easily run $300 for two.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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Hmm, it's really not a good sign that the numbers in this thread are way lower than I anticipated. Even a cheapy local place for dinner on a Tuesday will easily run to $100 for 2 here. Of course, that's partly due to the current exchange rates, but even still.

I think I'll decline from admitting the most I've spent, but it was in Louis XV in Monaco, the day I got engaged, and I don't regret one cent!

Si

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I'd say our recent meal at Alain Ducasse in Paris. It was 750 Euros - for lunch! I think that translates into almost $1,000 CDN, but I'm not sure. :blink:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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650 pounds for dinner at Sketch in London. Worth it? It depends on the mood I am in when you ask. It was memorable, but the sheer gluttony makes me think the money could have been put to better use.

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Hmm, it's really not a good sign that the numbers in this thread are way lower than I anticipated. Even a cheapy local place for dinner on a Tuesday will easily run to $100 for 2 here. Of course, that's partly due to the current exchange rates, but even still.

I think I'll decline from admitting the most I've spent, but it was in Louis XV in Monaco, the day I got engaged, and I don't regret one cent!

Si

in NYC that's about right....but in most of the U.S. the average check is significantly lower.

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What is the most you have ever paid (averaged per person) for a meal in a restaurant?

French Laundry

447 USD per person with wine

Susur in Toronto

275 CAD for a five course tasting menu with foie gras and wine.

Masa's in San Francisco

265 USD each for me and my wife for a 9 course tasting menu with wine, foie and cheese trolley.

Toque! in Montreal

220 CAD each of us for a tasting menu with foie gras and wine pairing.

I'd rather live in a world without truffles than in a world without onions.

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Ginza Sushi-Ko in L.A., before Masa moved to NY and opened Masa's. The 'food' portion of the bill for two was $600. We only spent another about $60 on sake. Add tax and tip, though, and it starts getting up into the $450/person zone.

I was part of a group of 6 that probably spent nearly that much per person for a rather disappointing meal at Flur de Lys in San Francisco -- I wasn't paying for the wine, and we drank some extremely nice, well-aged bottles (including a superb Haut Brion) , that were in fact reasonably priced for what they were. The food wasn't a big part of the final bill, which was just as well, because it wasn't all that good, either.

My first trip to the French Laundry, many years ago now, was in fact under $200 per person, with the tasting menu and some very nice wines. But prices have gone up a bit since then :wink:

jk

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I agree that eating out can be a bit like going out to the theater or a musical performance. One-time shot, but the memories can last long afterward.....

That being said, I haven't spent (relative) big bucks dining out. The most expensive meal I've had out was $60 per person for a customized multi-course meal that included tax and a big tip. It was a celebratory dinner for an anniversary with a significant other (both of us in grad school) at a restaurant in Raleigh, NC called Enoteca Vin. My then-boyfriend's meal included wine pairings, but I don't drink (I suspect that often keeps my bill low).

I can't imagine it could have been more memorable if it cost 5 times as much. The food was delicious, the service was incredible and it was one of the most special evenings I've ever had dining out.

Edited by Sony (log)
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recently ran up a 880GBP($1,750) for a meal in London at Sketch for 4 people. This was only slightly more expensive than the meal i had at Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, 1300euro($1,700) for 4 persons, and i think its because we ate lunch in Paris versus eating dinner at Sketch... I would pay it over and over and over again for both of those restaurants.

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I saw this thread and went to my little office to look at my little dining scrap book and re-live some great meals.

The normal NY lineup

All for 2 peeps incl wine (lots of wine)

Le Cirque 2000 – 850.00

L’Espinasse – 700.00

Le Bernadin – 750.00

Bouley - 600.00

Daniel - 650.00

Matsuri – 400.00 – mostly Sake bombs

Aureole – 550.00

Veritas – 850.00

Danube – 700.00

Cello – 750.00

Russian Tea Room – 650.00

Gotham – 675.00

Jean Georges – 650.00

JoJo – 400.00

Nobu – 500.00

Union Pacific – 650.00

Union Square Café – 450.00

Bang for the Buck

Otto – 250.00 for lunch

Aquavit – 200.00 for lunch

Asst

Brassiere Perrier – 300.00 lunch

Le Bec Fin – 650.00

(same day)

Morimoto – 350.00

No. 9 Park – 600.00

Blue Ginger – 400.00

Olives – 500.00

Kingfish Hall – 900.00 (4 people, mostly booze)

Charlie Trotters - 575.00 (10+ years ago)

Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton – 550.

BlackBird – 450.00

Everest - 400.00

Jean Louis at the Watergate – 400.00 (1992!)

The Wild Boar in Nashvlle – 600.00 (some tremendous wine values)

The most??

Susur – 950.00 (Vega Sicilia among others)

There is a reason my ex-wife made up a notebook with menus and receipts of meals we shared. It’s funny how she used to bring that notebook up after she went shoe shopping. After about an hour of reading – I realized I should have much more money in my 401K than I do.

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I'll clearly break all my records when I eat at Alinea this weekend.  The question is, how do I keep that amount from Mrs. Varmint?!

If she's eating with you, make arrangements beforehand with the restaurant. A few years ago I took my mother and aunt to Steirereck in Vienna, and I mentioned when I made the reservation that it was a special occasion. I was taking care of the check, and I would appreciate it if they could find a way to keep the total from the rest of my party. They kindly provided us with menus that had the prices removed, and I took care of the payment away from table.

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Oh, no, she won't be eating with me.  I'm on a business trip, but one where I can't really justify expensing the cost of this meal.  Oh, well, I'll just have to resort to honesty and candor.

Hand over a check with the equivalent amount and tell her to go shopping. :laugh:

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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