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Old 01-13-2015, 02:58 PM   #101
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This thread has been just amazing to me. The most expensive meal I've ever had was probably around $60-70 and that was a rare occasion. Simple tastes, and DW is the same way.

I am also struck (happily) by my great good fortune in enjoying beer far more than wine. In fact, it has been probably 40 years since I've ordered a bottle of wine at a restaurant.
Except that I bought a $28 bottle of beer once.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:35 PM   #102
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Some of my favorite places are dives. One special place is in a bad area, but they have the best chicken gizzards in the world.

The one security gaurd was my best buddy, I'd tell her I was going and she'd ask if I'd pick her some up. I'd never accept any money from her, a 75 yo woman still working. Made my last OMY more enjoyable, she was a sweet lady.
Some of my favorite places don't have menus in English (if they have menus at all). Half naked women advertising budweiser on the wall. The sound of futbol on the television. Maybe another English speaking person in the restaurant, maybe not. It's hard to spend more than $10 at this kind of place unless you're getting a second to go plate. Just don't order the lengua, mejilla, or sesos and you'll be kosher.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:41 PM   #103
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Restaurants in TX are cheap. And even cheaper in The Valley. You can get a great meal for two under $50 even at Pappadeaux, which is the most expensive restaurant we frequent.
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:54 PM   #104
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This thread has been just amazing to me. The most expensive meal I've ever had was probably around $60-70 and that was a rare occasion. Simple tastes, and DW is the same way.
Well, the original question was "what was the most you've ever spent?". For us the answer is ~$150 but we only did that once. Once or twice a year we'll spend ~$80-~$90 at a fancy place but that's not the norm.

The place we go to most often is either RubyTuesdays (don't ask, DW likes it and sometimes ya just gotta go with the flow) but more often a Mom 'n Pop diner-like blue collar place. Lunch or dinner for two with normally fat tip I leave there is ~$20-$25. All told we probably go out for meals about 15 times a year so it's not a big part of the budget.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:27 PM   #105
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It's almost impossible for us to have an expensive dinner as she much prefers light, simple meals. She has such a small appetite she would be done halfway through an elaborate multi-course mealapalooza and feels an expensive fancy dinner would just be a waste of money for her. A compromise for us is Outback, out the door for about $50 with tip. They have a tiny steak she likes.

Our most expensive ever was probably an anniversary dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for about $125.
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:44 PM   #106
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The most expensive restaurant tab I paid was $1,700.00 for 4 at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. My husband's relatives from England were visiting the U.S. for the first time, and I wondered if they would like to visit a very special restaurant during their visit. I suggested they look the restaurant up on the internet. It was a very enthusiastic yes! It required a reservation made one year in advance. The food bill was $350.00 per person. The champagne and wine menu was enormous and intimidating (in price!) with some wine bottles exceeding $2,000. To keep the bill from getting too far over my head, I asked my husband's relatives if it was okay if I ordered for everyone a glass of the French Laundry's house champagne to start, and a single glass of red or white wine during the entire 10 course meal. They graciously accepted this alcohol limitation. So the food bill was $1,400 and the alcohol bill was $300.

I felt lucky they appeared to understand.

Oh yes, the meal was a truly special experience.
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:49 PM   #107
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The most expensive restaurant tab I paid was $1,700.00 for 4 at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. My husband's relatives from England were visiting the U.S. for the first time, and I wondered if they would like to visit a very special restaurant during their visit. I suggested they look the restaurant up on the internet. It was a very enthusiastic yes! It required a reservation made one year in advance. The food bill was $350.00 per person. The champagne and wine menu was enormous and intimidating (in price!) with some wine bottles exceeding $2,000. To keep the bill from getting too far over my head, I asked my husband's relatives if it was okay if I ordered for everyone a glass of the French Laundry's house champagne to start, and a single glass of red or white wine during the entire 10 course meal. They graciously accepted this alcohol limitation. So the food bill was $1,400 and the alcohol bill was $300.

I felt lucky they appeared to understand.

Oh yes, the meal was a truly special experience.
This is our type of experience. I agree in advance with everyone who will say that no food can justify the cost--but the experience and the food is what makes it a worthwhile splurge for us. As I noted earlier, we eat at home all but 2 or 3 times a month, and white castle is our most frequently chosen restaurant--but we do not hesitate to hit the Laundry, or its ilk in various cities (including our favorite local restaurant). Not for everyone--my inlaws, who could easily afford it, would choke at the thought; my mom would be so intimidated as to not enjoy it, even in the unlikely event that the food on the menu met her tastes.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:21 PM   #108
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The most expensive restaurant tab I paid was $1,700.00 for 4 at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. My husband's relatives from England were visiting the U.S. for the first time, and I wondered if they would like to visit a very special restaurant during their visit. I suggested they look the restaurant up on the internet. It was a very enthusiastic yes! It required a reservation made one year in advance. The food bill was $350.00 per person. The champagne and wine menu was enormous and intimidating (in price!) with some wine bottles exceeding $2,000. To keep the bill from getting too far over my head, I asked my husband's relatives if it was okay if I ordered for everyone a glass of the French Laundry's house champagne to start, and a single glass of red or white wine during the entire 10 course meal. They graciously accepted this alcohol limitation. So the food bill was $1,400 and the alcohol bill was $300.

I felt lucky they appeared to understand.

Oh yes, the meal was a truly special experience.
I'm glad you and your relatives enjoyed this meal. Honestly, I could not. If I were paying for the meal, I would be calculating how many weeks of groceries this represented, or months' rent for the average family, or hours worked to earn the after tax cost, or some other financial proxy. If someone else was paying, I would be thinking paranoid thoughts about what they might expect in return. Such ruminations would lead to stress and would definitely impair my enjoyment of the experience.
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:47 PM   #109
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I'm glad you and your relatives enjoyed this meal. Honestly, I could not. If I were paying for the meal, I would be calculating how many weeks of groceries this represented, or months' rent for the average family, or hours worked to earn the after tax cost, or some other financial proxy. If someone else was paying, I would be thinking paranoid thoughts about what they might expect in return. Such ruminations would lead to stress and would definitely impair my enjoyment of the experience.

Well, $1700 would cover most of one month's expenses for me...

I think the most I've ever spent was maybe $200 for two. Wasn't really "worth it" to me, but to each their own. I have no doubt that I could be more extravagant if I had the funds to support it, though I'm not sure foofy restaurants would ever be very high on my priority list.

Last year I took a lady friend out for her birthday. Spent maybe $150, and in return got a few molecules of lobster, a quarter cup of mac-n-cheese, and a $12 bottle of wine...


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Old 01-17-2015, 11:11 PM   #110
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Skip the meal,. go straight to Craig's List.

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Old 01-18-2015, 09:00 AM   #111
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I believe that my wife and I have only gone over $200 one time. It was an anniversary dinner on the island of St. Martin (10 years ago). It included a bottle of wine and the Euro was very unfavorable to the US dollar at that time.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:25 AM   #112
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The most expensive restaurant tab I paid was $1,700.00 for 4 at The French Laundry in Yountville, California. My husband's relatives from England were visiting the U.S. for the first time, and I wondered if they would like to visit a very special restaurant during their visit. I suggested they look the restaurant up on the internet. It was a very enthusiastic yes! It required a reservation made one year in advance. The food bill was $350.00 per person. The champagne and wine menu was enormous and intimidating (in price!) with some wine bottles exceeding $2,000. To keep the bill from getting too far over my head, I asked my husband's relatives if it was okay if I ordered for everyone a glass of the French Laundry's house champagne to start, and a single glass of red or white wine during the entire 10 course meal. They graciously accepted this alcohol limitation. So the food bill was $1,400 and the alcohol bill was $300.


I felt lucky they appeared to understand.

Oh yes, the meal was a truly special experience.
And I thought our $350 anniversary dinner for two was extravagant...
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:19 AM   #113
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I think the most we ever spent is around $200 for 2, three times in Las Vegas.


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Old 01-19-2015, 08:44 AM   #114
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I'm not a fan of the buffet style Chinese restaurants in this part of the world. They look great, but way too often show up on the "I'm NOT eating there!" list on the local news "Behind The Kitchen" door expose of health inspection scores. No thanks.
Way too many restaurants (plain and fancy) show up on the news "Restaurant Reports"). Our own experiences, and the fact that years ago both of us worked in restaurants and country clubs in the past also make us hesitant to eat out. We both have a number of kitchen horror stories. On the few occasions that we do eat out for a birthday or anniversary the cost is usually no more than about $25/person at the most. My wife doesn't drink, I refuse to pay $6-8 for a domestic beer that cost that for a 6 pack, and on the rare chance that we have a dessert it is usually shared.

However, if we were at a recommended roadside Maine lobster pound where everything is visible we would probably stop, spend a few dollars and go through a dozen or so lobsters.
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Old 01-20-2015, 03:50 AM   #115
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..........However, if we were at a recommended roadside Maine lobster pound where everything is visible we would probably stop, spend a few dollars and go through a dozen or so lobsters.
Wow, what's the name of the restaurant. I don't know of any place where you can spend a few dollars for lobster.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:31 AM   #116
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Wow, what's the name of the restaurant. I don't know of any place where you can spend a few dollars for lobster.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:39 AM   #117
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Gulp. Hard to type this.

$2,400 for a dinner for two, 30th wedding anniversary at the French Laundry in Yountville. It was an incredible, truly once-in-a-lifetime 5 hour dining experience with the best wine I have ever had (or will ever have) in my life. They have an extensive collection of half bottles of wine so that you can do pairings with the multiple (about a dozen as I recall) courses. I was having a very good year at work, so this was not a very high % of my take home pay, but still, even my eyebrows were raised when I got the bill.

My wife still does not know what it cost, and never will.

Normal high water mark for us for a very fancy dinner is about $100 per person.
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:10 AM   #118
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I have two reactions reading this thread. The first is one of a little guilt. My DH loves to eat out and loves food. I would much rather get take-out and enjoy it in the comfort of my own home. My second reaction is that I need to re-read this thread and take notes of some of the restaurants' names, so that I do not ever accidentally step foot in them! I have to admit, that some of you seem to really enjoy yourselves!
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:11 AM   #119
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Some of my favorite places are dives. One special place is in a bad area, but they have the best chicken gizzards in the world.

The one security gaurd was my best buddy, I'd tell her I was going and she'd ask if I'd pick her some up. I'd never accept any money from her, a 75 yo woman still working. Made my last OMY more enjoyable, she was a sweet lady.

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Love this story and bet that you are really missed by this sweet lady. You, sir, sound like a sweet man!
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:28 AM   #120
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That's obscene [16-course meal]. Did you have to throw up time to time to taste more food?
In the late 1970s a friend and I were invited to the wedding of a Chinese coworker, which included a wedding banquet at a place called The Ultimate Lotus in NYC. It was a 13-course dinner. Neither he nor I were all-you-can-eat types but this was perfectly paced. Everything was served family style so you could take whatever portion you felt like eating. Other than the sea cucumber, it was all delicious and we left comfortably full but not overstuffed. (One Chinese couple at our table said that the sea cucumber had been well-prepared; it just wasn't to our taste.)

It was also the first and last time I've eaten shark fin soup. The implications of killing a whole shark to harvest the fins didn't occur to me at the time.

I probably wouldn't go for a meal of that type on my own dime. I'd rather be up and moving around than sitting for 3+ hours sampling food, no matter how exquisite it is.
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