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Is going out to eat at 5 star restaurants worth the money?

Is going out to eat at 5 star restaurants worth the money?

Mar 13th, 2002, 02:07 PM
  #1  
Tamara
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Is going out to eat at 5 star restaurants worth the money?

Do you feel that eating out at 5 star restaurants is worth the money?

In the last ten years there has been a boom in very expensive eating establishments. I was looking at the Mobil Travel Guide and saw that the typical 5 star restaurant costs about $100.00 for dinner- if you eat a full meal (without wine). That is alot of money!

Most of my fine dinning has been at TGIF (Fridays) and Ruby Tuesdays. Every once in a while we may splurge and eat at Houstons where a full meal costs about $30.00.

Do the people on this travel board actually spend their own money for these 5 star ($100 a meal) eating establishments (many which are French). And if so, which ones are worth the money, or do you feel cheated after you pay the bill? Your feedback please!
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 02:21 PM
  #2  
Larry
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No the food is just not worth it unless it is part of an expense account.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 02:42 PM
  #3  
Kunta
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No, McDonald's is just as good. I used to like Sambo's but they changed the name due to political correctness. Great pancakes.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 03:31 PM
  #4  
cd
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Tamara
We eat out often. We pay $10.00 to $20.00 pp not including wine. This is what is acceptable to us. Anything more and it has to be really recommended and something special.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 04:16 PM
  #5  
Mae
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Depends on the restraunt & occasion. Unfortunately we can not afford to blow $200. plus weekly, but a few times a year we like to try special place that cost a few $. The only time I have been unhappy was when I felt rushed. Usually everything is wonderful-We usually research the place & get feedback from others prior to making reservations. What the heck you only live once. Splurge occassionally
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 04:19 PM
  #6  
SJW
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I find it to be a dining experience when you eat ate a 5* place. Everything from the ambiance, food and the creativity of it, service, linens, wine list, decor are part of it. I wish we could do it more often but it is always memorable when we do.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 04:24 PM
  #7  
Leslie
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I have never thought of TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesdays, Applebys, Chili's, Olive Garden, Berkshire Grille, Red Lobster, etc. as fine dining, and that is probably because they are all chain restaurants. In some of these restaurants the food is very good, but it is not fine dining.

For special occasions, of course its worth the money to dine in a 5 star restaurant. Besides the gourmet food, you also have atmosphere, excellent service and a view.

I think there's a big difference between dining and eating. When I have lunch or dinner at the local TGI Fridays, when I look at the window, I see a major highway. When I have dinner at the Bay Tower Room, I have a view of the Boston skyline.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 06:26 PM
  #8  
fancy
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It's mostly about the food and the food at these places is amazing. I repeat, it's really, REALLY, good. I've eaten at Le Bernardin, Aureole, Lespinasse, etc... and never felt cheated.

I feel cheated when friends or workmates choose the drab, overpriced Hooligans for lunch when there are much better choices that cost the same.

Go for it!
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 06:36 PM
  #9  
Jim Rosenberg
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My views are in line with Leslie and fancy, above. There is a time to treat yourself right and have the white linen, wine, outstanding cuisine and ambiance of a fine dining experience. It should NEVER be rushed! One of the truly wonderful things about France: a greater percentage of the population there "gets it" and puts priority on high standards in this respect.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 06:59 PM
  #10  
toofat
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I regularly have to turn down business dinners at these 5 star restaurants. At very few would I dine without an expense account. The irony is good, simple food and an informal and unpretentious atmosphere is what I crave when dining on my own.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 07:01 PM
  #11  
charles
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Sometimes the $100 places are worth it. SOmetimes they aren't. Often you can get excellent food for $40 a person. Sometimes you can get excellent food at $5 a person. But you can never get food thats any good at Ruby Tuesdays or TGI Fridays. Blech! And no, Houstons isn't any better, it just has better decor.

I don't know which is worse, the food in those places or the fact that I've eaten often enough in the 3 above to know how awful they consistently are. I would rather go to Burger King or Taco Bell on the rare occasions I couldn't find some place with better food than the above for less money.

I know this is a bit of an overreaction, but I love food and the restaurants listed in Leslie's list and their like drive out the good places with frozen nuked garbage.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 07:10 PM
  #12  
foodie
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5 star places also get some very good but expensive, not found everywhere, food items - like fois gras, wild game, black angus beef, and most items are not only perfectly cooked but also cooked inovativly (sp?). Chefs take their time and do not skimp on ingredients.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 07:53 PM
  #13  
TANI
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Tamara, if you find the food at ?TGI Fridays, No, you won't find 5 star restaraunts "worth it". If you will be worrying about the bill, you truly won't enjoy it. On the other hand, once you eat there a few times, you may get hooked, and find it worth every penny. I love a Taco Bell taco Salad, but also find a great 5 star "worth it".
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #14  
John
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I've never really thought whether expensive restaurants were worth the money. Perhaps it's because I grew up in NYC, but expensive restaurants just seem par for the course to me.

Only once have I ever sworn to return to a restaurant only on an expense account - Il Mulino in NYC. THe food was only average and horribly overpriced. I can't believe that everybody at law firms and investment banks wants to go there. I think perhaps they've never had decent Italian and think it must be great because it's expensive.
 
Mar 13th, 2002, 09:51 PM
  #15  
xxx
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This is so stupid. Anyone who calls eating at TGI Friday's "fine dining" and considers Houston's a splurge will not find eating at a 5 star restaurant "worth the money". Period. Anyone who enjoys driving a Ford Escort will not find a Porsche worth the money. Anyone who likes the clothes they buy at Walmart would not find designer dresses worth the money. Anyone happy staying at a Motel 6 would not find a Ritz Carlton worth the money. Do you need more examples?
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 05:37 AM
  #16  
FineDiner
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Everyone has their own "splurge" thing. I can't imagine spending $30,000 on a car, but we spend alot of disposable income traveling and eating at good restaurants. Not all expensive restaurants are good, that's for sure. I would rather skip Red Lobster, eat PB&J sandwiches at home, and save up the money for less frequent, quality meals at an expensive restaurant. One tip for getting great food without spending alot of money is going to small ethnic places. A good way to enjoy something different, and they are usually privately owned little "hole in the wall" places where they take pride in what they serve you.
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 06:11 AM
  #17  
nina
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I don't think it's such a stupid question and xxx, I really disagree with your reasoning. I never go to fast food places or stay in a Motel six, but lately my husband and I have been very dissatisfied when dining out and yes, feel cheated. I cook a lot, and I cook well, so it's very difficult to eat better food out.

If we spend $ 200 on a meal out and it's not really, really yummy, I am very dissapointed and we won't go back. It's not easy to find restaurants that are worth the money. Just last week we ate at a restaurant recommended by quite a few people. Not 5 star but it was $140 for 2 of us, which is average for the area where we live (no appetizer for me, no desserts for either of us, no drinks but 1 bottle of moderately priced wine). The food was barely average. This was not worth the money and we really felt that we should have just cooked at home and had a really good bottle of wine! This has been a more and more common experience for us. Whenever we go out it's at least $ 100 meal and it is almost never worth it.

xxx, I will agree with you that fine dining at TGIF and Ruby Tuesdays is an oxymoron, though!
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 06:16 AM
  #18  
Cheryl
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I have had the opportunity to dine at fine restaurants on business, and also occasionally splurge for dinners with my husband at 5-star restaurants, especially if we are on vacation someplace that is known for great restaurants (i.e., New York, New Orleans). Sometimes you get a meal that wasn't worth it, but for the most part, it was a great meal and dining experience. I live in a medium-sized city that has plenty of chain restaurants like TGIFs, Ruby Tuesdays, Applebees, etc. There is no comparison to the types of meals we have had compared to nice "fine dining" restaurants. My husband and I would rather eat more often at home than frequent the chain restaurants, and then use our "eating out" budgeted money for occasional meals at nicer restaurants.
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 06:35 AM
  #19  
Danna
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Assuming this post was not a joke.....

Tamara should not let people make her feel bad about considering $30pp a splurge. Everybody has their own budget.

Tamara may live in a restaurant-Sahara like I do. In Greenville, SC, the number of good restaurants rounds to zero. However, we have a booming economy and the number of repulsive chain restaurants like those mentioned approaches infinity. There are NO casual restaurants with quality food at bargain prices like you can find in so many other areas. Thus, people who grow up here and don't travel alot or head directly for the familiar chains when they do travel have NO IDEA how bad that kind of food really is.

Another note to Tamara, if you do decide to try the "5 stars" don't pick your restaurant out of a travel guide. Often they will direct you to past-their-prime, continental, clubbish restaurants that are expensive and fancy, but have mediocre, boring food. Flip through Gourmet, Food & Wine, etc. and become familiar with what the critics think. Then go somewhere like Daniel in NYC, or Charlie Trotter in Chicago, think of it as an evening's entertainment, and decide for yourself.

Bon Appetit!
 
Mar 14th, 2002, 06:38 AM
  #20  
it
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It all depends. If you are very practical and feel you are paying a certain price in return for a plate of food, then no, don't go to a 5 star restaurant. It won't be worth it.

If, on the other, you enjoy an over-the-top experience, with waiters who have been working at that restaurant for 40 years, a menu that is updated daily by the chef based on what is fresh, and excellent atmosphere and people watching, then a 5-star restaurant can be a great experience. You are paying for much more than just the plate in front of you.

It all depends on what you value.
 

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