Author Topic: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal  (Read 20438 times)

forummm

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ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« on: August 05, 2016, 07:36:50 PM »
It's true. It's the most expensive meal I've ever had. And it wasn't that good.

But I didn't pay for it. (Of course)

It was a gift for DW from her parents. They think that expensive meals are nice. It was a steakhouse that was supposed to be one of the best restaurants in the metro area. But beforehand I predicted that the pork chops that I made the day before would be tastier. My pork chops were about a buck each, and they were much tastier than the $50 steak I had. The best thing about the meal was the $10 grit fritters.

I don't get it. Why do people pay that much for mediocre food? That's as much as we spend each month on groceries. I could also have had 10 meals at cheaper places that I would have enjoyed at least as much for that same cost.

At least it's another validation that I don't need to be that rich to live a really nice enjoyable life. Those luxuries just aren't worth it.

Stachey

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2016, 07:47:39 PM »
I don't get it either.  I'm trying to recall any fancy meals out that were memorable and there has only been one truly wonderful meal that I could not have duplicated at home.

Chris22

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2016, 07:48:53 PM »
Which steakhouse? I cook a better steak than most, but I can't beat Ruth's Chris (most of the time, had an off meal once).  I simply don't have the equipment to flash sear my steaks like they can.

Sylly

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 07:53:00 PM »
Which steakhouse? I cook a better steak than most, but I can't beat Ruth's Chris (most of the time, had an off meal once).  I simply don't have the equipment to flash sear my steaks like they can.

DH and I have heard good things about Ruth's Chris, so we always thought we'd give it a try. But then I found out they slather the steak in butter, so... not on our to do list anymore.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 08:02:46 PM »
Dang! I've never spent that much. I think to some extent you're paying for the atmosphere and the ability to brag about where you ate.

I've been to a number of the steak houses that make those Top 10 lists / ads in the airplane mags, and most of the national chains (Ruth's Chris, Mortons, Capital Grille). Good, yes. Worth it? Not to me. I usually only spend that kind of money on a meal when it's not my money (CME travel).

With Prime steaks at costco, I can make some excellent steak meals for a small fraction of the price of those places.

Cheers!
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yuka

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 08:20:56 PM »
I've never gone nearly that high; the most I've ever paid for a meal was about $75. For me, there are three things that make expensive meals worthwhile:
  • Best of all are the restaurants that have better supply chains than you could figure out without some serious work. I experienced this a lot in San Francisco. If they're using the best tomatoes you've ever eaten, it's not too much of a stretch to say that it may result in the best tomato sauce, and thus pizza, you've ever had.
  • Meal requires expertise or equipment that you neither have nor want to acquire.
  • Meal is a total pain in the ass to prepare.

Lagom

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 10:29:31 PM »
Which steakhouse? I cook a better steak than most, but I can't beat Ruth's Chris (most of the time, had an off meal once).  I simply don't have the equipment to flash sear my steaks like they can.

DH and I have heard good things about Ruth's Chris, so we always thought we'd give it a try. But then I found out they slather the steak in butter, so... not on our to do list anymore.

What's wrong with slathering a steak in butter?

SeaEhm

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 11:30:05 PM »
I've never gone nearly that high; the most I've ever paid for a meal was about $75. For me, there are three things that make expensive meals worthwhile:
  • Best of all are the restaurants that have better supply chains than you could figure out without some serious work. I experienced this a lot in San Francisco. If they're using the best tomatoes you've ever eaten, it's not too much of a stretch to say that it may result in the best tomato sauce, and thus pizza, you've ever had.
  • Meal requires expertise or equipment that you neither have nor want to acquire.
  • Meal is a total pain in the ass to prepare.

Yup!  So true about the quality of ingredients.  It's like going to a tea house that serves quality teas versus lipton.  Yes, I do enjoy lipton, however, a good tea is amazing and you pay the price.

I have an 18 course meal coming up soon and I am pretty sure that buying each of those ingredients individually would be pretty time consuming and costly.  It will be the fanciest dinner I have ever been to so hopefully it lives up to the hype.

There are many meals that I cannot cook at home that I love to eat because the amount of ingredients necessary to replicate it means that my household of two would have to each that meal multiple times per day for a week, haha.

marty998

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2016, 12:04:44 AM »
I've never gone nearly that high; the most I've ever paid for a meal was about $75. For me, there are three things that make expensive meals worthwhile:
  • Best of all are the restaurants that have better supply chains than you could figure out without some serious work. I experienced this a lot in San Francisco. If they're using the best tomatoes you've ever eaten, it's not too much of a stretch to say that it may result in the best tomato sauce, and thus pizza, you've ever had.
  • Meal requires expertise or equipment that you neither have nor want to acquire.
  • Meal is a total pain in the ass to prepare.

Yup!  So true about the quality of ingredients.  It's like going to a tea house that serves quality teas versus lipton.  Yes, I do enjoy lipton, however, a good tea is amazing and you pay the price.

I have an 18 course meal coming up soon and I am pretty sure that buying each of those ingredients individually would be pretty time consuming and costly.  It will be the fanciest dinner I have ever been to so hopefully it lives up to the hype.

There are many meals that I cannot cook at home that I love to eat because the amount of ingredients necessary to replicate it means that my household of two would have to each that meal multiple times per day for a week, haha.

Do you need to see a surgeon beforehand to install a stomach extension?

obstinate

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2016, 01:26:34 AM »
Steakhouses are honestly the worst deal of all. I'm not saying I make a steak quite as well as one of those places. But I'm reasonably close. It's not that hard. Salt, pepper, don't overcook.

If I go out to eat, it's to eat something I don't know how to make well. Indian food, chinese food. Even in these spaces, I'm trying, but these recipes are often secrets and when I try to do what's on the web it doesn't come out tasting as good.

mathjak107

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2016, 01:56:51 AM »
we went to the most expensive  restaurant ever 2 weeks ago . a flat 550.00 bucks for dinner for 2 with no drinks .  you can add wine paring for 850.00 .

it is a famous restaurant in upstate ny  on what was once part of  the Rockefeller estate .

it is an old stone barn and everything is grown or slaughtered that day .

the dinner at the stone barn was quite amazing    .  each table got something slightly different since whatever they kill or pick that day is not enough to feed everyone ,
 
you get maybe 20 different courses  all brought out one after another .  it spans almost 3 hours of eating .
.
 
you have no menu or choice other then when you book to tell them anything you are allergic to or may not like and they will plan accordingly . but you have no idea what you will be getting .
master chefs create not only amazing sauces and visually stunning stuff but you get to eat things you would never try .
 
we had incredible pig heart pastrami and a giant beef bone with the center hollowed out and filled with beef heart , marrow , seasoning and hot peppers ..
 
everything is from their farm or local . 
 
the coolest was they give you this  salad  and then give you a candle made of not wax but seasoned beef tallow and you drizzle the hot seasoned oil on your salad .
 
the dressing was to die for .
 
even the bread is so good and you get a tray of fresh creamery butter  , some lard with honey  and some carrot salt .
 
we were selected to eat part of our dinner in the kitchen .
 
that was a sight to see . 25 chefs , each responsible for only 1 thing  work their culinary magic as you watch .   while we were eating they brought in a freshly killed duck by the neck .
 
one of the desserts you get was a long honey comb from a bee hive with berries and grapes on top ..
 
 
what is the most amazing part is we had to wait 7 months for a reservation . they only take a certain amount a night for the experience  and we had to take mid week at 5pm  or else on a weekend you can wait a year .
 
at almost 600 bucks a couple for dinner it is insane the business they have ..
 
we managed to get a few shots in
 
https://mm-photography.smugmug.com/PLACES-UPSTATE-NY/Stone-barn-dinner/

pancakes

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2016, 02:22:37 AM »
Most expensive meal I've had would be a super fancy place in Tokyo for my birthday. I would never do it regularly but it was a lot of fun.

I don't know what the bill was as it was a gift. There were only 8 other diners and the food was delicious, nothing I could recreate at home. I don't mind spending so much while on a holiday and treating it like a one off experience. I figure we went with low end accomodation and ate most meals very cheap.

I eat out more than I'd like to admit here. Generally midrange places and we get out for well under $50 each including a drink or two, much less if we don't drink.

mathjak107

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2016, 02:33:27 AM »
We love eating out and being retired and in to photography has us going somewhere  almost daily . part of the fun is going to areas we have never been to and trying new things .

unfortunately i am on a diabetic diet and i am on no meds so i have to be careful of what i eat . but even so i still find more than enough things to eat . one of our biggest parts of our budget seems to be eating . if we are not eating out alone  then we are with the kids and grand kids every week at some point taking them out for lunch or whatever .

one thing we find  is time can cost money and the one thing we have plenty of being retired is time . our budget for early retirement is higher then when we were working since we are out every day .

« Last Edit: August 06, 2016, 02:35:36 AM by mathjak107 »

pbkmaine

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2016, 04:49:57 AM »
Last week I was in Rockland, Maine and ate at Primo with 3 friends. Two of them used to be chefs, so they ordered. We got an assortment of small plates off the bar menu, pizza and wine. It was one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. Highly recommended. $250 for 4, including drinks and tip. My preference in eating out is a place like this once a year rather than a mediocre restaurant once a month.

forummm

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 10:54:18 AM »
The $230 was for DW and me. It was a non-chain restaurant with very high Zagat ratings (top steakhouse in the metro). I know people pay for atmosphere. But I didn't find anything too special about the atmosphere there. They greeted us by name (after checking in) and as we left. Which I found more slightly creepy than nice. But I can see how some people would find it special.

I got a mixed grill (filet mignon, sausage, and maybe lamb chops). DW had something else (can't remember what exactly). The sausage was the most enjoyable of the 4 meat items. The others were just mediocre. My pork chops were still better even after the 3rd day of having them as leftovers.

I tried the foie gras, which I've never had before. It made me gag a little. I imagine that's just because I don't like foie gras, and isn't because of their preparation.

So the foie gras appetizer, the mixed grill, DW's entree, sides of hash browns and grit fritters (because the entrees don't come with sides), 2 glasses of their cheapest wine, and some ice cream--> $230 total.

mathjak107

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2016, 11:14:44 AM »
we live in nyc ( not manhattan )  and 200 bucks for a steak house is pretty average . we were amazed at the 550.00 for the meal we had at the farm .  that does include tax and tips .

steviesterno

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2016, 11:36:14 AM »
I had a $120 steak last week and I actually forgot about it until just now. It was good (Kobe Tomahawk) and since it was split with my brother (his bachelors party, no money spent on strippers) and it came with 2 salads, 2 good appetizers and desserts, and most of their other mediocre steaks were $50 it wasn't a terrible deal.

It wasn't life changing. I make a damn fine steak on a cast iron pan in my driveway, but this was pretty good. I won't be back there any time soon, and he's moving to Hong Kong for 2 years, so won't have dinner with him again in a long while. Plus I didn't pay. I did get to share the leftovers with my wife and brother in law, so that bought some value to it.


Cycling Stache

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2016, 02:22:16 PM »
I've paid over $300 twice (for two people).  I don't recall the food at either place.  BUT I do remember what happened after, and one time was great.

For what that's worth.

Of course, I haven't eaten lunch out 5 times in the last 2 years, so that's a thing of the past.  I'm happier this way.

Kronen

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2016, 06:55:31 AM »
I did have one meal at that price point that was worth the cost.  We had an early dinner at a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Hong Kong.  The food was absolutely mind-blowing....  Bar none, the best prepared steak I've ever experienced, really interesting ideas for the first several courses, and then the desserts were the full foo-foo particlized liquid nitrogen fanciness next to the work of a true pastry genius.  I highly suggest an experience similar to this maybe once or twice a lifetime. 

But...as always, never order drinks at the restaurant :D.  My wife is a massive foodie so this was a big dream of hers for which we budgeted.  Full disclosure, we do eat out to the tune of 50/mo, so food is a big entertainment expense for (the royal) "us".

Sylly

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2016, 02:44:15 PM »
What's wrong with slathering a steak in butter?

One of us believes a good steak stands on its own, but primarily because it makes it deadly to that someone with extreme dairy allergy.

JR

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2016, 02:51:01 PM »
I once had a $20 margarita called the "Millionaire Margarita". It didn't taste any different than what I can make at home. At least the vendor was paying for our dinner.

chesebert

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2016, 05:23:06 PM »
Had dinner at a Michelin 2 star in Paris. It averaged out to $280 per person after tips and taxes. Best meal I have had in my life. I was impressed from the first all the way to last course (11 courses). Every dish had depth, was well balanced and was  impressively presented. That was a pretty sweet experience. Totally worth it.

In comprion I had lunch at a 3 star in NYC that was not as impressive. i was also impressed by the meals at a few 1 star restaurants. But those did not compare to the 2 star in Paris.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 05:29:18 PM by chesebert »

protostache

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2016, 06:33:00 PM »
My employer bought out The French Laundry for the whole company a few years ago (CEO lost a bet made when the company was significantly smaller). We had the tasting menu plus a wine flight. I'm pretty sure it was ~$500 per person and it was entirely worth it. Not every course was amazing, but probably half were outstanding and the other half were at least very well prepared.

Also the wine was great.

Spork

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2016, 06:41:25 PM »
Which steakhouse? I cook a better steak than most, but I can't beat Ruth's Chris (most of the time, had an off meal once).  I simply don't have the equipment to flash sear my steaks like they can.

I've been 5-6 times to Ruth's Chris.  It was hit or miss.  For the price, fuck them.

As has been mentioned: steak houses are the pinnacle of stupid.  A choice steak with salt/pepper/heat tastes damn good.  A prime steak... a tiny bit better.  A steak house is just a prime steak with someone else adding the heat.

I like them rare.  I have never had a steak house steak that wasn't over cooked.  A restaurant "rare" is my "medium rare" or "medium".  For $50, I can cook them myself.

Metric Mouse

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2016, 08:57:11 PM »
Sounds like your experience matched your expectations. This should be unsurprising.

clarkfan1979

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2016, 09:27:47 PM »
I think the most I've spent on dinner was $100/person, not including tip. However, I have spent more than $200 on a night of drinking. However, that was 15 years ago.

Reynold

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2016, 10:07:05 AM »
If I go out to eat, it's to eat something I don't know how to make well. Indian food, chinese food. Even in these spaces, I'm trying, but these recipes are often secrets and when I try to do what's on the web it doesn't come out tasting as good.

Ditto.  Sushi, for example, is hard to do at home if you want a wide variety, so we get that out.  There is a vegan restaurant called "Vedge" in Philadelphia that uses ingredients you can't find in grocery stores, expensive but very interesting combos.  We've experimented with making things like Ethiopian, but it is time consuming to make one dish, and we like the variety of the "sampler" platters you can get at a restaurant.  Steak, lobster, there isn't THAT much a restaurant does to them that we can't do ourselves.  Basically, the issue is my DW likes a meal that has many different interesting, fresh, flavors, so she can get ideas for things to make, for a reasonable price, and that is hard enough to find that we don't end up eating out THAT often.  :) 

The nicest places we have eaten out tend to be at my company Christmas parties, the people in charge of it have high end tastes so they are very good restaurants.  We went back to one for a special occasion, and it was ~$120/person with tax and tip, but a very interesting series of dishes, a tasting meal with wine pairing.   We are considering doing again for another special occasion. 

onehair

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2016, 11:29:42 AM »
What are grit fritters?  Can't deal with foie gras I have an aversion to liver from any species...

acroy

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2016, 11:38:36 AM »
It's quite a racket. I read somewhere that something like 80% of mid to high end restaurant business is corporate. No way 'ordinary every day Americans' are blowing that kind of money routinely. Special occasion, sure. But I betcha, any given day in Ruth Chris, 80%+ is corporate. I know the 1 time I went it sure was :) Shoot, we have 2 local mid-grade restaurants I bet my employer keeps open all by themselves!

Chris22

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2016, 11:47:06 AM »
It's quite a racket. I read somewhere that something like 80% of mid to high end restaurant business is corporate. No way 'ordinary every day Americans' are blowing that kind of money routinely. Special occasion, sure. But I betcha, any given day in Ruth Chris, 80%+ is corporate. I know the 1 time I went it sure was :) Shoot, we have 2 local mid-grade restaurants I bet my employer keeps open all by themselves!

Likely corporate keeps them afloat Mon-Thurs, and Fri-Sat-Sun are the special occasions crowd. 

I've eaten more B+ $100+/person Generic Steakhouse Dinners on a random Tuesday with work than I can count.  Memorable one was when we went out with one group, I picked the place, and the VP told me "keep it somewhat reasonable, not Morton's".  So I went 1 step down from Mortons.  VP sat down and the first thing he did was order 4 $200 "seafood sampler" appetizer platters (~25 people).  Think the total bill that night was upwards of $4k.  A lot of money, but at the same point, when you're managing a budget of 250 people and ~$15M, you can slide $4k in here and there on occasion as a perk for people. 

chesebert

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2016, 12:36:41 PM »
My employer bought out The French Laundry for the whole company a few years ago (CEO lost a bet made when the company was significantly smaller). We had the tasting menu plus a wine flight. I'm pretty sure it was ~$500 per person and it was entirely worth it. Not every course was amazing, but probably half were outstanding and the other half were at least very well prepared.

Also the wine was great.
That sounded amazing. 3 stars are out of my price range for the time being unfortunately, especially in the US, where you are also charged a high sales tax and have to pay 15-20% extra in tips on top of your $300 meal.

 

brute

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2016, 12:40:14 PM »
$450 for my wife and I at Katsu in Chicago for sushi during our honeymoon. Worth every cent.

MgoSam

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2016, 12:51:45 PM »
It's quite a racket. I read somewhere that something like 80% of mid to high end restaurant business is corporate. No way 'ordinary every day Americans' are blowing that kind of money routinely. Special occasion, sure. But I betcha, any given day in Ruth Chris, 80%+ is corporate. I know the 1 time I went it sure was :) Shoot, we have 2 local mid-grade restaurants I bet my employer keeps open all by themselves!

Likely corporate keeps them afloat Mon-Thurs, and Fri-Sat-Sun are the special occasions crowd. 

I've eaten more B+ $100+/person Generic Steakhouse Dinners on a random Tuesday with work than I can count.  Memorable one was when we went out with one group, I picked the place, and the VP told me "keep it somewhat reasonable, not Morton's".  So I went 1 step down from Mortons.  VP sat down and the first thing he did was order 4 $200 "seafood sampler" appetizer platters (~25 people).  Think the total bill that night was upwards of $4k.  A lot of money, but at the same point, when you're managing a budget of 250 people and ~$15M, you can slide $4k in here and there on occasion as a perk for people.

I'm in the wrong business :).

When my company was doing insanely well I recall us taking people out to eat and spending a few grand on their orders, nowadays the few times we take a customer out it's at a trade show and we'll take them either to a local Thai or Indian restaurant in Vegas. As you can imagine, the volume we move is considerably smaller than in the 90s.

engineermom21

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2016, 12:53:02 PM »
My husband and I have been to Ruth's Chris 4-5 times over the years (always on a mystery shop, so no actual cost to us.)  Every time we go, we are always shocked at how mediocre the food is.  Really nothing to write home about - not sure what the big hype is over them.  I can cook a much better steak at home for a fraction of the cost ($25 on good fillets from the grocery store...cooked following a Barefoot Contessa recipe...best. steak. ever.  My husband agrees, and I now cook all steaks in our house).  If I had ever gone on my own dime, I would have been severely disappointed.  Going on someone else's dime...sure, why not.  It's a paid-for date night for us about once a year.

Chris22

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2016, 12:53:31 PM »
It's quite a racket. I read somewhere that something like 80% of mid to high end restaurant business is corporate. No way 'ordinary every day Americans' are blowing that kind of money routinely. Special occasion, sure. But I betcha, any given day in Ruth Chris, 80%+ is corporate. I know the 1 time I went it sure was :) Shoot, we have 2 local mid-grade restaurants I bet my employer keeps open all by themselves!

Likely corporate keeps them afloat Mon-Thurs, and Fri-Sat-Sun are the special occasions crowd. 

I've eaten more B+ $100+/person Generic Steakhouse Dinners on a random Tuesday with work than I can count.  Memorable one was when we went out with one group, I picked the place, and the VP told me "keep it somewhat reasonable, not Morton's".  So I went 1 step down from Mortons.  VP sat down and the first thing he did was order 4 $200 "seafood sampler" appetizer platters (~25 people).  Think the total bill that night was upwards of $4k.  A lot of money, but at the same point, when you're managing a budget of 250 people and ~$15M, you can slide $4k in here and there on occasion as a perk for people.

I'm in the wrong business :).

When my company was doing insanely well I recall us taking people out to eat and spending a few grand on their orders, nowadays the few times we take a customer out it's at a trade show and we'll take them either to a local Thai or Indian restaurant in Vegas. As you can imagine, the volume we move is considerably smaller than in the 90s.

We're a F100 company, we still have enough size to "hide" these sorts of things.

Chris22

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2016, 12:54:38 PM »
My husband and I have been to Ruth's Chris 4-5 times over the years (always on a mystery shop, so no actual cost to us.)  Every time we go, we are always shocked at how mediocre the food is.  Really nothing to write home about - not sure what the big hype is over them.  I can cook a much better steak at home for a fraction of the cost ($25 on good fillets from the grocery store...cooked following a Barefoot Contessa recipe...best. steak. ever.  My husband agrees, and I now cook all steaks in our house).  If I had ever gone on my own dime, I would have been severely disappointed.  Going on someone else's dime...sure, why not.  It's a paid-for date night for us about once a year.

Like I said, I cook a good steak, but I can't cook it at 1200* like they do, I don't have that sort of equipment.  And I like the butter thing.  Also the lobster bisque is delicious. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2016, 12:58:30 PM »
Morton's is a pretty good perk. They took us out for drinks first, too.

...I ordered pork at Morton's because I felt bad about how much it was costing (can't turn it off) and my wife doesn't like pork so I eat it when I go out. It was delicious.

MgoSam

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2016, 01:02:31 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

I rarely eat out anywhere that nice, but can imagine doing so once a long while. I'm just wondering how frequent is too frequent? I remember last November eating sushi at a place in Phoenix that was around $60 each before tax and tip, my cousin paid for me (despite my protests) and I still remember it fondly.

I wonder though if you go out to a decadent establishment too often you risk not really enjoying it? The more often we imbibe in enjoyable experiences, the less remarkable the memory was. Going out for ice cream after a game was a rare occurrence for me, but now that I'm an adult, I can get ice cream for dinner if I want...and some of the novelty has definitely worn off. Drinking a beer while in high school was something my parents occasionally allowed and it really felt awesome, now a beer is nothing special.

Chris22

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #38 on: August 08, 2016, 01:37:35 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

I rarely eat out anywhere that nice, but can imagine doing so once a long while. I'm just wondering how frequent is too frequent? I remember last November eating sushi at a place in Phoenix that was around $60 each before tax and tip, my cousin paid for me (despite my protests) and I still remember it fondly.

I wonder though if you go out to a decadent establishment too often you risk not really enjoying it? The more often we imbibe in enjoyable experiences, the less remarkable the memory was. Going out for ice cream after a game was a rare occurrence for me, but now that I'm an adult, I can get ice cream for dinner if I want...and some of the novelty has definitely worn off. Drinking a beer while in high school was something my parents occasionally allowed and it really felt awesome, now a beer is nothing special.

Per meal or per person?  For my wife and I, eating at a "normal" (nicer than Chili's type) restaurant usually is at least $75, maybe more.  Gets you 2 $20 entrees, a couple glasses of wine, and then 30% tax/gratuity.  Real easy to hit $100 so no, it's not always "special" or "worth it".  Might do this 2-3x a month.

Per person is a different story, we generally do that 3-4x a year, and those we try harder to make count, go to favorites or well-recommended places, etc.  These also usually align with birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

MgoSam

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #39 on: August 08, 2016, 01:49:14 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

I rarely eat out anywhere that nice, but can imagine doing so once a long while. I'm just wondering how frequent is too frequent? I remember last November eating sushi at a place in Phoenix that was around $60 each before tax and tip, my cousin paid for me (despite my protests) and I still remember it fondly.

I wonder though if you go out to a decadent establishment too often you risk not really enjoying it? The more often we imbibe in enjoyable experiences, the less remarkable the memory was. Going out for ice cream after a game was a rare occurrence for me, but now that I'm an adult, I can get ice cream for dinner if I want...and some of the novelty has definitely worn off. Drinking a beer while in high school was something my parents occasionally allowed and it really felt awesome, now a beer is nothing special.

Per meal or per person?  For my wife and I, eating at a "normal" (nicer than Chili's type) restaurant usually is at least $75, maybe more.  Gets you 2 $20 entrees, a couple glasses of wine, and then 30% tax/gratuity.  Real easy to hit $100 so no, it's not always "special" or "worth it".  Might do this 2-3x a month.

Per person is a different story, we generally do that 3-4x a year, and those we try harder to make count, go to favorites or well-recommended places, etc.  These also usually align with birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

I meant per person, and I should specificy that I mean $100 per person for just the food (maybe including the tax). I don't drink all that often, though I might get some wine or a cocktail at a restaurant...I usually don't order drinks when eating out.

kitkat

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #40 on: August 08, 2016, 02:16:25 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

I rarely eat out anywhere that nice, but can imagine doing so once a long while. I'm just wondering how frequent is too frequent? I remember last November eating sushi at a place in Phoenix that was around $60 each before tax and tip, my cousin paid for me (despite my protests) and I still remember it fondly.

I wonder though if you go out to a decadent establishment too often you risk not really enjoying it? The more often we imbibe in enjoyable experiences, the less remarkable the memory was. Going out for ice cream after a game was a rare occurrence for me, but now that I'm an adult, I can get ice cream for dinner if I want...and some of the novelty has definitely worn off. Drinking a beer while in high school was something my parents occasionally allowed and it really felt awesome, now a beer is nothing special.

We've done a handful of these over the past year (before finding MMM). We always use a special occasion as an excuse so that it is a celebration and not just a meal.. This really helps it be more "worth it". I think over the past year we did each of our birthdays, "Valentines day", and anniversary. San Francisco is the best food city in the world and we always go somewhere new and are extremely pleased. As others have commented, interesting techniques, rare ingredients, and thoughtful preparation/service all really make the difference vs a steak or something you could do yourself. I will say that I can walk away equally mind-blown after a $65 (per person, food only) meal as a $100-$120 meal. There are a few $300-400 restaurants (per person, everything included) we would love to try, but I'm not sure that we ever will.

Another note about the steak thing, went with some family to Peter Luger in NYC on a vacation and apparently there really is something amazingly special about the way they do steak (not sure, I'm pescetarian). That meal was $100 per person with an appetizer, sides, 1-2 drinks per person, an absolutely absurd amount of steak (salmon for me, was great but nothing special), and tax/tip.

meghan88

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #41 on: August 08, 2016, 02:33:17 PM »
Here in Southwestern Ontario, the restaurants here are generally awful and overpriced.  I personally don't like the tendency to add sweet things to savory dishes and they do that all the time here as a misguided attempt at haute cuisine:  e.g., duck with glazed apricots, salads with vinaigrette, granola and dried cranberries.

And the mark-up on wine here is insane.  I'm talking $45 plus 13% tax plus 15-20% tip on a bottle that costs $15 at the LCBO and is STILL overpriced as compared with what you'd pay for the same bottle in its country of origin.  The local wines mostly suck and are just as overpriced as everything else.

On a positive note, there are loads of Amish-run farms in the region.  The raw ingredients can be really, really good when sourced from heritage growers.  So the only way to get a good meal at a decent price is to cook at home.

Lunasol

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #42 on: August 08, 2016, 02:43:42 PM »
and I felt bad for spending $40 for two people at Buffalo Wild Wings and Din Tai Fung...

I'm not sure if I'd ever spend $100p/p :O that would make my stomach literally hurt

Bicycle_B

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2016, 03:20:28 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

I rarely eat out anywhere that nice, but can imagine doing so once a long while. I'm just wondering how frequent is too frequent? I remember last November eating sushi at a place in Phoenix that was around $60 each before tax and tip, my cousin paid for me (despite my protests) and I still remember it fondly.

I wonder though if you go out to a decadent establishment too often you risk not really enjoying it? The more often we imbibe in enjoyable experiences, the less remarkable the memory was. Going out for ice cream after a game was a rare occurrence for me, but now that I'm an adult, I can get ice cream for dinner if I want...and some of the novelty has definitely worn off. Drinking a beer while in high school was something my parents occasionally allowed and it really felt awesome, now a beer is nothing special.

Never paid $100/person ever, but was shocked at the recognizable value in a $175 meal for three people, including one drink apiece (mine was tea or water, can't remember).  Lost the fight over who had the privilege of paying, wanted to but didn't get to. The restaurant appears sometimes in "Top 10 of America" lists.  Their specialty is creative takes on Japanese cuisine.  Spectacularly delicious.  As a rare (once in a year, once in a decade thing) thing it had both uniqueness and innate excellence.  I expect to pay for a few such meals in the future.

chesebert

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2016, 03:31:22 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

This is complicated. Yes, at the time of meal, no, when I review the CC bill, yes, when the market goes up and no, when the market goes down :) As you can see, I am quite conflicted ...




Spork

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2016, 04:47:10 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

I rarely eat out anywhere that nice, but can imagine doing so once a long while. I'm just wondering how frequent is too frequent? I remember last November eating sushi at a place in Phoenix that was around $60 each before tax and tip, my cousin paid for me (despite my protests) and I still remember it fondly.

I wonder though if you go out to a decadent establishment too often you risk not really enjoying it? The more often we imbibe in enjoyable experiences, the less remarkable the memory was. Going out for ice cream after a game was a rare occurrence for me, but now that I'm an adult, I can get ice cream for dinner if I want...and some of the novelty has definitely worn off. Drinking a beer while in high school was something my parents occasionally allowed and it really felt awesome, now a beer is nothing special.

My wife and I will do a $100 a meal (for 2 people, including wine) for birthdays/anniversaries/etc.  It *is* the birthday gift... there isn't any other gift in the wings.  If we were to do it every month... no, it wouldn't be worth it.  4 times a year: A relaxing night with the wife, a glass of wine and something complicated that is hard to make at home -- sure.  Worth it.

meghan88

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2016, 05:42:45 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

This is complicated. Yes, at the time of meal, no, when I review the CC bill, yes, when the market goes up and no, when the market goes down :) As you can see, I am quite conflicted ...
+1 on this one.  The test of time helps:  if you have a fabulous memory of the meal after all is said and done, then YES it was worth it. 

It's especially true for spectacular meals enjoyed at certain places and times.  We recall splurging on dinner at Au Trou Gascon (run by a 2* Michelin chef) in Paris in the early 2000's.  We lived in Paris for just over a year and this dinner was a last hurrah before leaving.  I recall that the food was to die for ... and the service was incredible.  We knew enough about wine to ask about three Saint-Julien wines on the list (same producer, different years) and ... lo and behold, the sommelier recommended the most reasonable one on the list.  When does that ever happen??

In all, it was a very special meal, in a very special place.  Have I kicked myself for lesser meals in lesser places at lesser times?  OH yes.  The trouble is, it's hard to tell until after whether you'll rue it or love it.  As with anything else:  only do it if (i) you really want to; (ii) you can afford it.

Bicycle_B

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2016, 11:51:02 PM »
For people here that have spent $100+ for a meal out of their own pocket (not work comped), was it worth it?

This is complicated. Yes, at the time of meal, no, when I review the CC bill, yes, when the market goes up and no, when the market goes down :) As you can see, I am quite conflicted ...

Ha ha ha ha!  Great comment.

MandalayVA

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2016, 12:57:11 AM »
About ten years ago Mr. Mandalay and I splurged at the French Laundry after I lucked out in getting reservations--back then, as I was told politely, one usually had to call a year in advance; I called three months in advance.  With wine and everything it was about $800 for the two of us.  WORTH.  EVERY.  PENNY.  The food was exquisite and the service impeccable.  It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I refuse to be sorry about it!  :D

Making Cookies

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Re: ForuMMM eats a $230 meal
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2016, 07:54:08 AM »
One way to stay out of $800 a meal restaurants is to lack the wardrobe to visit places like that... ;) I'd have to go shopping before we went out to eat.