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Most you have ever paid for a restaurant meal


Smarmotron
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For me, It was a very lengthy personalized tasting at Michael Mina in SF a few years ago. At the time I was at TFL and new to the west coast. Since I was alone on Christmas, the then TFL Sous Chef got me a reservation for X-mas eve.

Total came to about $600. One of the most incredible dining experiences of my life. Nearly 20 courses with paired wine + cocktails + champagne + a .375 of Chateau D'Yquem Sauternes (my only weakness in life).

Im eating at a Michelin 2 star in Frankfurt next week and this one could top Mina.

-Chef Johnny

Edited by ChefJohnny (log)

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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Those of you sick of hearng about my French Laundry meal bear with me....

And this will cross reference the whole tipping thing in Dark Tales From the Recession.....

French Laundry, total bill after wine and 18% grat. ( a service charge added to the bill), 944.    I added, or tried to add the 56 extra to make it a perfect 1000.00.  But as Thomas Keller was making his way to my table to meet me I slipped up when doing the addition and added 66.  They ran my card based on my over-pay and the final bill ended up costing 1010.00--a nomial expense compared to the experience I'm left remembering.

A new high, or low depending on your point of view, for me was my first (and possibly only??) trip to The French Laundry. When my wife and I finally got in there (took us 8 years to get there, over four trips to CA (we live in MD)), I wasn't going to limit myself on the wine list. So our tab, with everything, including the extra gratuity I threw in, was $900 (for two of us). Probably some of the best money I have ever spent. The wine was a Peter Michael Le Moulin Rouge Pinot (which was outstanding!).

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The most I've ever spent was $140 (all-inclusive, with a goodly tip for a consummate professional) at Bouchon in Las Vegas when I was there visiting at my family's timeshare. Pernod, two glasses of wine, water, salmon rillettes, trout with green beans and almonds, creme brulee, a little tray of subtle, tasty mignardises from the kitchen (very kind of them), coffee, and phenomenal service from Michael. What a treat for a West Philly waitress!

I ate there by myself, since my mom, dad, brother and sister unanimously refused to join me. They thought I'd back down if I had to go alone. They did not know the extent of my Keller worship, and now they do. They were generous in hearing me go on and on about it when we regrouped. (They had eaten at the Nascar Cafe.)

I brought my notebook, of course. I wrote about everything! I was so blissed-out in my little corner, watching all the people having such a great time, making drawings of dishes as they came out, impressed at how the room could be so mesmerizingly alive and the staff so laid-back yet professional. I aspire to such excellence for a living, but not until I went out to eat for what was My First Real Fancy Meal did I realize how much the hard work that goes into crafting a chill vibe can show! It made me feel awesome. I didn't want to leave!

Someday, I want to go to the French Laundry, too, among so many others. Until then, I'll keep living in my cookbooks and daydreaming. Keep the stories coming!

"What was good enough yesterday may not be good enough today." - Thomas Keller

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  • 2 weeks later...

$900 for two at Guy Savoy Las Vegas

wife was on meds and did not drink wine. I had five glasses. The food alone was $600

until recently you could get three star places for $200-250 each including wine and service. Now it seems like it is 400-500 each..Ouch!!

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  • 1 month later...

On my own tab? Around 200 EUR / person seem to be the standard tasting menu rate including wine in Europe.

Not on my own tab? A 6 person dinner at Babilonia/Olivia Valere in Marbella which took a wrong turn after the maincourse, when somebody ordered in a jeroboam sized Grey Goose and 3 magnum Cristal... The total tab was close to 7.000 EUR, but luckily I was not in the line of fire in terms of paying for it...

Though, come to think of it, I did actually pay for it - with the greatest hangover in the history of mankind... :wacko:

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On my own tab? Around 200 EUR / person seem to be the standard tasting menu rate including wine in Europe.

Not on my own tab? A 6 person dinner at Babilonia/Olivia Valere in Marbella which took a wrong turn after the maincourse, when somebody ordered in a jeroboam sized Grey Goose and 3 magnum Cristal... The total tab was close to 7.000 EUR, but luckily I was not in the line of fire in terms of paying for it...

Though, come to think of it, I did actually pay for it - with the greatest hangover in the history of mankind...  :wacko:

As one of my friends said "it's when you realize after you sober up that you'd also chartered a helicopter that evening....."

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I seriously doubt that we have ever spent more than $70 per person for dinner with wine (and spending that much is quite rare). Super-expensive meals are like cocaine - if it is that good, I would rather remain ignorant. :rolleyes:

And those are some of the wisest words I've read in a long time.

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Probably Taillevent or Guy Savoy in Paris many years ago. Recently, Guy Savoy in Las Vegas. After wine and tip, it was probably a bit above $1000 for 2 people--it was worth every penny (at least that is what I am telling myself :wink: ).

Edited by The Blissful Glutton (log)
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$400 excluding tax, tip and wine @ Everest, Chicago. Valentines day many years ago. Perk my boss gave me. I remember at the time I thought I would rather have the money. Afterwards I thought worth every penny. Been back twice.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

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$766 at Guy Savoy LV for one. One tasting, one glass of champagne, two half bottles of wine, one espresso, tax, and a 22% tip. Ouch.

That's a lot for a poor HRMA college student, but fortunately the 'rents picked up part of the tab in the pursuit of my 'research.'

Edited by stetson99 (log)
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I'd have to say the most expensive meal I've ever had was $1200 for two people at Le Troquet in Boston about 4 years ago that I paid for. :blink:

I was with a buddy in the wine business and we absolutely pillaged their wine list, sharing wine with the owner, the chef, and a table of cuties. Needless to say, about $100 of that bill was food. The rest was wine.

We went out afterwards with the cuties until very late, and let's just say the next day waking up was a rather terrible idea. :wacko:

Cheers! :cool:

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Wow, what a self-indulgent thread... Love it. I offer three categories:

The most expensive meal I've ever had:

A $9 plate of nachos in a basement bar somewhere outside of Boston, 1991, shared with a pretty young hellcat who liked my hat. A decade later, divorced, a year's salary in legal fees, and an ill-crafted settlement behind me, turned out to be the MOST expensive meal of my life... what a ride.

The second-most expensive non-expense account meal I've had was:

$1400 USD for 2, with wine, at L'Espadon at Paris Ritz. Followed by a mind-numbing night at the Hemingway bar, where I'm I sure set the record for most expensive martini (I still owe my friend Frank the $300 that I was light). And still the only bar who ever required me to put on a tie.

The most expensive non-expense account meal that was free:

$750 for 2, with wine, in the restaurant adjoining the private Ritz Club & Casino in London a few years back. An explosion of taste, as they have chefs from a number of regions resident there. We mixed and matched, far beyond our server's comfort zone, and ate and ate, far beyond ours...

The surprise of the night is that, since it was our first visit there as members (and before we even laid down our first bet), they comp'd the entire meal as a "welcome present".

The second surprise of the night was the complementary Cuban Montecristo's that the "cigar girl" was bringing around. Unfortunately, they soon after banned smoking in the club.

Between my companion and I, we only gambled away about $400 that night. But still came out ahead.

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Lunch - $300 at A'telier Robuchon in NYC. An experience not to forget, but probably a one time thing unless someone else foots the bill.

Dinner - Babbo. $700. There were 5 of us, two bottles of wine, and two and a half courses each, sin dessert. Once again, a bit of a disappointment, however, I've heard it can be over the top good, or over the top bad at Babbo, depending on your evening of choice.

Ryan Jaronik

Executive Chef

Monkey Town

NYC

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The last year Hialeah was open I had a horse win a good race there. I won stupid money on it and so I took the crew out for dinner. 15 guys, let loose at a good steak house with the beer flowing.

I had to swallow hard when I paid the bill but it was worth every penny to see my guys who'd worked so hard with me really have a good meal and a good time.

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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My most expensive meal to date was a ticket for four that was $2,000.00 at the French Laundry. We restrained ourselves over the wine list or it could have been much worse. It was my third trip there. The first time with no alcohol the bill was $500.00 for two and the second time there it was $900.00 for three. I am afraid to go for the fourth time....

The second all time wallet wrencher was just last month at Michael Mina in San Francisco, $1,600.00 for four people; again we showed restraint with the wine list. My boyfriend owns a vineyard in Napa so he is knowledgable about wine and likes the good stuff; if we let ourselves go we could break the national debt.

The third place finisher was Gary Danko, with a $1,200.00 tab for four, this was with the wine tasting menu and no bottles.

Every single one of these experiences was worth EVERY PENNY. If you are in San Francisco save up those dollars and go to any one of these restaurants and spend them. My first experience at the French Laundry made me realize what it means to taste someting so unique and sublime that tears came to my eyes. I put the food in my mouth and tears came out, not clicheville, but naturally. How embarrasing, yes, but just to have that experience is worth it. I am not rich and cannot spend money frivolously so I set aside $30.00 or $40.00 a month and once a year I splurge. The French Laundry is an experience that everyone should have but the service and the experience is very, I want to say formal but that is not it; it is intimidating. At Gary Danko the staff goes out of their way to make the time you spend there elegant but not intimidating. Michael Mina is in-between, formal but we could laugh and just be silly and we were.

I have gone to Emeril's and several others in Las Vegas and quite frankly rivaled

the dollars spent above but bang for the buck has been at the "original" restaurants listed above.

By the way the BEST cocktail I have ever had was a Basil Gimlet at Michael Mina's. Vodka, fresh lime juice, and muddled basil, strained, refreshing and very tasty.

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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.

One of the most expensive meals I didn't pay for was courtesy of Gordon, a few years ago in Rochester. I remember that freezing night, his hospitality, and the chefs and waiters practically genuflecting before him. Thank you, Gordon.

The most expensive meal I've paid for was at Le Baccarat in the Casino de Hull, now the Casino de Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec. I took my parents. Three martinis, a bottle of wine, superb service and one of the five best restaurant meals of my life. Four hundred CDN.

But I can discount that, I suppose. On the way out, my mother fell into a chat with the maitre d'. She said she loved the Egyptian cotton towels in the Ladies. He disappeared for a few seconds and returned with eight, which he gave to Madame with his compliments. I'd mentioned the beauty of the orchids on the tables. He snapped his fingers, talked to a waiter, and I left with a spray worthy of the Queen on a ceremonial visit.

Some enchanted evening.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I just recently dropped $612 on a meal for 2 at Daniels in NYC.

That was for 2 tasting menus (one vegetarian), one wine tasting, several other cocktails and apperitifs as well as the tip.

The experience was worth every penny and the food was so amazing, I ate with my eyes closed so I could let the flavors wash over me.

Really, truly amazing.

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