National: Keller, Achatz Offer Body Blow To Bank Account

News of a special, very expensive dinner offered by wallet-reaming tag-team Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz has been percolating around the internets, to no little controversy.

We first heard about the $1,500 bonanza on MenuPages: Chicago, which followed the story of a very pissed-off Catherine of Food and Other Musings, who promised to boycott the chefs’ restaurants. Though she later took back the threat after Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas put the cost into perspective (expensive wines, signed cookbooks, tax, tip, and airfare for chefs built into the cost).

But really, while the bill is large, it’s definitely not without precedent. Just last year, Bangkok’s Dome restaurant offered a $30,000 dinner, which didn’t include tax or tip in the bill. Hell, way back in 1976, Craig Claiborne apparently gobbled up a $4,000 feast at Paris’s Chez Denis. By comparison, a $1,500 tab at Per Se seems like a bargain, especially with those cookbooks thrown in. Hey, if you’re lucky, your 401k might just cover the check!

Alinea Defends A $1500 Dinner Bill [MP: Chicago]
The reason to boycott French Laundry forever [Food And Other Musings]
Alinea [Official Site]
Per Se [MenuPages]
Per Se [Official Site]

[Photo: Foie Gras at Per Se, via New York Magazine]

National: Keller, Achatz Offer Body Blow To Bank Account