My Most Expensive Meal Ever

Last weekend we splurged to celebrate Lorette’s first step toward retirement: going from full time to four days a week. We ate at Cafe Juanita in Seattle and opted for the chef’s tasting menu along with the select wine pairings. If you are wondering what a REALLY expensive meal looks like, take a gander at the following photos. Then be sure to read my comment at the end.

The first course wasn't even on the menu but those are salmon eggs with an edible flower on top

The first course wasn’t even on the menu but those are salmon eggs with an edible flower on top and Prosciutto in the background

This would have been an interesting photo of the bread... if it had been in focus

This would have been an interesting photo of the bread… if it had been in focus

Australian +7 Wagyu Carne Cruda with Lardo Crostini

Australian +7 Wagyu Carne Cruda with Lardo Crostini

Octopus with Chickpea, Salsa Verde, and Smoked Bone Marrow

Octopus with Chickpea, Salsa Verde, and Smoked Bone Marrow

Local Porcini: Roasted with Thyme, Raw with 30 month Aged Parmigiano Reggiano, and Cream Porcini Soup

Sylvia's Spot Prawns with Favas, Fennel and Smoked Salad Onions

Sylvia’s Spot Prawns with Favas, Fennel and Smoked Salad Onions

Risotto Manteca with Carmelized Strawberry and Reduced Brodo topped with a 36 year old Balsamic Vinegar

Risotto Manteca with Carmelized Strawberry and Reduced Brodo topped with a 36 year old Balsamic Vinegar

Guinea Hen with Seared Foie Gras, Crisp Veal Sweetbreads, English Pea Crema, Morels and Pickled Turnip

Guinea Hen with Seared Foie Gras, Crisp Veal Sweetbreads, English Pea Crema, Morels and Pickled Turnip

Not pictured is the before-dinner cocktail of a rare Sweet Vermouth with a twist of orange peal and generous pours of wine to perfectly pair with each course. Maybe that’s why I missed taking photos of dessert which was:

* Vanilla Panna Cotta with Cardon Blossom Honey and Vanilla Salt

…. and ….

* Chocolate Bonêt with Coca Crumb, Rose Langues de Chat and Blue Elderflower Cordial.

As I said at the beginning, this turned out to be the most expensive dinner that I have ever had. The service was knowledgable and professional without being stuffy. The chef was obviously talented in selecting, preparing and presenting the dishes. As I think back on the experience, I’m glad I took some photos in order to retain the memory of a remarkable meal.

However, I can’t help but think about a term I remember from economics, Marginal Utility, which is defined as the additional satisfaction or benefit (utility) that one derives from buying an additional unit of a commodity or service. In this case, how much more satisfaction did I receive from enjoying this very expensive meal than I would from a meal at half the price? Or even from my own homemade Mac and Cheese straight out of The Joy of Cooking?

I’m not sure where the answer lies but since this meal was to mark the end of a full-time paycheck, I guess I will be looking for satisfaction in a lower stratosphere from now on!

Comments

My Most Expensive Meal Ever — 1 Comment

  1. My guess is that you topped my $100 bill (for one) at Tony’s in St. Louis. Sue, who is an eat-to-live person, beat me. P.S. What do you have in mind when she fully retires.