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Subject: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Southern Image on 07/05/06 at 2:35 pm

I used to go out with my Ex-Boss and his whole family for dinner. There was usually 12 of us in a party. The food bills were notorious for being anywheres from $300-$1,000, depending on which restaurant in Los Angeles we ate at.  He never flinched on paying the bill.

My sisters , sister-n-law just came back from a b-day dinner which costed $300 per couple. She thought nothing of it.

I scream when I have to pay $35 bucks for a family of 4 at a cheap mexican restaurant ;D

So whats the highest you ever paid for dinner?

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: nally on 07/05/06 at 3:11 pm

As far as I can remember...somewhere around $100+.

There have been times when my order has been part of a bill amounting to over $200...but that's when I've been out with my Diner's Club and there are more than 20 people.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: CatwomanofV on 07/05/06 at 3:14 pm

Right before we left to go to Puerto Rico in Feb. we stayed with my step-daughter and step-son the night before. We decided to take them out to dinner. My step-son's (then) girlfriend came with us. Since we were not too familiar with the local resteraunts, we let them pick-actually the girlfriend picked it-which was on the high end. Then she proceeded to order TWO bottles of wine and some liquour for everyone (except the 2 year old). Not too sure what the final tally was but it was A LOT!!! We just thought it was very rude knowing that someone else was footing the bill and ordering some of the most expensive wine.  ::) She did buy us a drink after we left the resteraunt and I think she bought us dessert (and of course that second place was much cheaper than the first place). 


Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Sister Morphine on 07/05/06 at 3:31 pm

I personally have never paid more than $200 for a dinner (there was a whole group of us), but for my graduation dinner, my friends (there were 9 of us) paid for a $400 bill (including drinks and dinner).  I offered to chip in, but they wouldn't hear of it. 

I did leave the tip though, and it was substantial because our waitress had to do a lot of running around, what with 9 people at the table.  She more than earned the tip.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Tanya1976 on 07/05/06 at 4:17 pm

Depends on where I am and the occasion. Per plate, no more than $35.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: whistledog on 07/05/06 at 5:06 pm

The most I've ever paid for a meal is around $25.00

The fanciest restaurant I've ever been to is Swiss Chalet, where meals are no more than like 10 bucks each (depending on what you get).  I hate eating at fancy restaurants.  Good food doesn't need to cost alot 8)

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 07/05/06 at 6:59 pm

we don't eat at fancy the most we've paid is maybe around $50.00 or so.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: velvetoneo on 07/05/06 at 8:07 pm

The most I will pay for dinner when out with my parents is like, $50.00 at a good Italian restaurant for two (including drinks, dinner, appetizers, not including tip.) There was once a $180-200 dinner for one of my birthdays awhile back at a really nice Italian-Continental place, but my grandma footed the bill as a present.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Foo Bar on 07/05/06 at 8:21 pm

Wine markups are the restaurant industry's dirty little secret.  Most of the wines they're charging you $100/bottle for can probably be found for $25-30 in your local wine shop.  Most of wines they charge $30-50 for is the $10-20/bottle stuff you can find in the grocery store.  If you're ordering wine, it's very easy to go over $100/plate, especially when you're at the $50-100/plate level with appetizer, main course, and desserts. 

Better to look up the website and/or call ahead and ask about corkage.  If I'm paying someone $50-100 for a main course (preferably one that I can't cook myself!), I'll gladly pay $25 to bring in a bottle of $50-100 wine that'll do the meal justice, and even with the corkage fee, I'm probably saving $200-400/bottle at the restaurant. The sommelier gets a taste of something he probably hasn't tried, and although the restaurant doesn't get their 300-400% markup, they also don't have to worry about their customer sending it back if it's corked or otherwise inadequate.

General rule of etiquette on corkage:  Always offer the sommelier a taste.  Never bring in a bottle of anything already on the house's wine list.  Never complain about a corkage fee -- it's a courtesy the house offers you.  If the fee's too high for the wine you're bringing in, don't bring in the wine.  And always call ahead or look on the website to be sure they permit corkage.

Personal rule of etiquette on corkage:  Never bring in a bottle of anything that cost you less than $50 (i.e. that the house would charge you more than $200 for). You're telling the chef that you think his food is worthy of "the good stuff", even if you can't afford the house's markup.  A chef doesn't care whether you can afford the house's markup -- and he'd much rather hear that you're cutting corners on the wine expenses (which he didn't make) to make sure that you get the most out of the food (in which he is personally involved.)

I don't go out to eat very often on account of I'm a cheap bastard at heart. But once or twice a year, I'll drop $100 on foie gras, duck confit, or some other sort of meal that I can't prepare myself (due to lack of skills, unavailability of ingredients, or both). When the filet mignon comes from Kobe beef, you don't just eat the filet, you eat the hell out of it!

Spend a few months/years cooking for yourself, and learn what works and what doesn't work, before asking for suggestions.  A good cook can usually figure out the missing links.  The chef usually gives just enough information that a good cook can come up with a reasonable facsimile of his meal at home, and that even a poor cook will end up with something better than what he or she started with.

When I splurge, which isn't very often, it usually comes to $15-20 for appetizers, $40-80 for the meal, $30 for dessert with port, $50-100 for whatever wine I bring in, $25 for corkage, and... well, it ends up around $200/plate.

But I leave satisfied, and I usually  leave with some ideas to try at home.  One never asks for a recipe, but one can always ask for a few hints. The steak you buy at the butcher's shop may not be prime beef, and it may not be aged the same way a properly-aged steak is, but you can easily turn a $10-15 homebrew steak into a $50 steak by simply raving about a sauce that strikes your fancy and asking the server if there's anything the chef feels free to divulge.  You never know what ideas might leak out. 

As others have pointed out, good doesn't have to cost a lot. The "top 10 restaurants in the world" are no doubt great, and I've only eaten in one of 'em.  But much of the time, the little place half a block away is just as good at half the price.  All it lacks is name recognition.  Which is fine by me, because it means I can always get reservations without having to wait six months.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: SpaceHog on 07/05/06 at 9:30 pm

$55 for three large pizzas from Steamboat wharf. Luckily, my boss paid for it,'cuz it was pizza day.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: DJ Midas on 07/05/06 at 9:36 pm

Where I've had to pay, probably around $100-$120 for dinner for two.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Trimac20 on 07/06/06 at 11:36 am

Me personally? Probably like $16 for a fancy hamburger or something  ;D...

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Umbrella Weather on 07/06/06 at 11:59 am

4 dollars. I can't afford anything fancy.

Subject: Re: The most you ever paid for dinner

Written By: Stompgal on 07/07/06 at 5:03 am

Two years ago I spent over

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