Puttin’ on the Ritz….for less

Because I’m a frugal person who enjoys luxury in moderation, it’s been a while sine The Beard and I dined out gourmet style. Sure, we’ve dropped $20 – $40 on a brunch or sensible dinner out every now and then but we haven’t eaten a four course meal cooked by a gourmet chef since Valentines Day 2011 when we found a sweet deal at a swanky restaurant.

But last week, a family friend said they had a door prize about to expire: a free four course meal for two at one of the ritziest historical restaurants in Kansas City, MO. She asked if we wanted it and warned us that it had to be used within two days. We jumped at the opportunity. Now let me share the lovely meal and the delightful check with you:

I was too overcome with hunger to snap a photo of the first course: a plate of escargot. Here’s the second course: a Savannah style crab cake with an artichoke purée gastrique and fried green tomatoes with a sweet red tomato chutney. Yes, fried green tomatoes, when done right, deserve a place on the gourmet menu.


And yes, I took full advantage of the free warm pretzel rolls with fresh whipped butter.

Now for the entrées:


I had the Chilean sea bass with sweet potato gnocchi in a cream saffron sauce.


The Beard had a medium rare veal with glazed asparagus, buttered blue crab, and fingerling potatoes with a bearnaise sauce.


That was all that was left of the chai tea crème brûlée when I recovered from a state of absolute bliss and realized I had not yet taken a photo.

The check arrives!


Out of a $142.35 bill, we were only responsible for $39.35 (wine and tax) plus tip. So we paid only $69.35 for a meal over twice that cost. It was lovely to enjoy a delicious meal out without any concern over the prices on the menu.

Food tastes better when it’s a great deal and paid for in cash. I’m glad we held off treating ourselves until the opportunity knocked.

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