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What to do if someone takes you out to an expensive (?) dinner...???

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Okay, here is the situation. My husband and I recently got married and one of our guests who did not come to the wedding is coming to visit us. They live very far away so they asked if we suggest the restaurant for the four of us to celebrate the nupitals. What is appropriate? I don't want to break their bank but at the same time, I think they want to take us out for a "nice" meal? Is $30 per entree too much? How expensive is too expensive?

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  1. How about giving them a list of places you like in different price ranges and let them decide?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      With some menu info off their web pages.

      1. re: yayadave

        Assuming one of them is not Pizzetta 211.

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        I think that this is the gracious way to do it.

      3. I think it all depends on the couple taking you out. Do they often dine at high end places, or is Olive Garden where they go for Valentine's Day? If they're used to high dollar dining and expect good food with good atmosphere for a special occasion then go somewhere nice and don't worry much about the price. If Denny's and Bob Evans is their normal out to eat type places, then I'd try to show a lot of restrain with the prices. Maybe give them a call and ask what type of foods they enjoy and maybe try to feel them out for the price range. The last thing you want to do is pick a nice sushi place when they don't eat fish.

        1. I had a similar situation recently. Some friends wanted to take me to dinner and asked me to choose the restaurant. I picked a few places from a small, inexpensive ethnic eatery to a high-end restaurant in Phoenix which had websites where I could copy a menu with prices. When they arrived, I said I wasn't sure which would be the best because I liked them all and asked for their input. They picked the high-end restaurant, but I would have been completely satisfied if they had picked one of my favorite Mexican joints.

          Good luck and I hope you have a great meal!

          1. I think Robert's idea about giving them a selection to choose from is a great idea. Takes some of the pressure off you...

            I had the exact same experience about two years ago--friend who didn't come to our wedding took us out to dinner. He picked a very expensive place in London which wasn't terribly good. Funny thing is that several months later we had a falling out over something completely unrelated, and he actually demanded that I reimburse him for that meal!

            I do hope that your experience is altogether happier than mine!

            1. I was just treated to the same situation! Congrats!
              My relatives were traveling a good distance and asked me to pick the place. I didn't want to throw the decision back on them.
              I went for overall experience and one of a kind place. I picked a little hole-in-the-wall Italian seafood place that is generally missed by Boston tourists. It has extremely fresh seafood, no frills (at all), but it is in a very lively and fun area and allowed us to walk down the street after a pleasant meal and buy the dessert and coffee!
              It was a great meal that centered on the people at the table and it was a unique experience for my relatives as well. By the way, they came to visit me so I wanted to give them a little glimpse into my life and the places that I frequent without the focus on a major fancy night out.

              1. My mom and dad would say to name only relatively inexpensive restaurants. That's just the way I was taught. Not the cheapest hole in the wall, so as not to insult your hosts, but not pricey places either, to be modest and unassuming. I think giving your hosts a selection of restaurants of various price-levels would put your hosts in an awkward position: how could they choose from the lower price-levels on your lists without some embarrassment? I don't know how close you are to these people, but I'd say that if you are not close enough that you can talk about how much you paid for your respective houses, then you are not close enough to name an expensive restaurant without being presumptuous.