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Private dining at Canlis -- leftover $$ and other advice?

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We are booking the private Executive Dining Room at Canlis for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We will be a small group -- only family, only five of us -- so the requirements of our contract with them is a minimum charge of $1500 for food/wine.

I think that if we dine sumptuously and order some very fine wine, we will easily be able to spend the great majority of that amount. However, for the remainder, do you think it would be tacky to order a few bottles of wine to take with us? Wouldn't any wine lover especially whose tastes go beyond his/her budget would understand, yes? I think my sister is concerned that this would look gauche -- thought I'd check in for opinions from all of you.

Besides this arcane question, does anyone have any advice on how to plan for our time in the private dining room -- any advice on what to order, or what to do to make the event a success?

Thanks so much.....

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  1. You need to check with the restaurant. Many states (I think WA is one) do not allow you to take wine with you. It has to do with the different regulations between a liquor store, a retail outlet, and a restaurant.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lgphil

      Drat. You're correct. I phoned the Liquor Control Board. Restaurants must have a separate endorsement for off-premises sales, and restaurants cannot get this endorsement if they sell spirits. Shot down by the blue laws again.

      Any experiences/advice about private dining at Canlis will still be welcome --- thanks again.

      1. re: lgphil

        From http://www.liq.wa.gov/enforcement/enf... :

        "59. Can a partially consumed bottle of wine which was purchased with a meal in a restaurant, hotel or club be taken home?

        ANSWER: Yes. The remaining portion of any wine purchased for consumption with a meal may be taken home, provided it is recorked or recapped in its original container."

        You can't order unopened wine to-go, but you can take home any bottles you crack but don't finish.

        1. re: terrier

          yesss......hmmm........gets me thinking about a glass of 1920-something port I had the pleasure of sampling at Place Pigalle some years ago.....Maybe we should seek something like that out on their 2000+ wine list. Thx.

      2. champagne and caviar, foie gras and lobster, truffles and cognac - it should not be difficult to spend your budget. if it appears that you just cannot manage to do so at table, perhaps the chef can prepare a wonderful pate or grand dessert to go home with you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: howard 1st

          $300/person with wine is VERY easy to spend at Canlis. The Wagyu alone is a $90 entrée, and it's the best food item on the menu. Add cocktails, apps, every dessert Neil makes, and 2-3 bottles of mid level wine and you're probably over $1500. If you're not quite there by dessert, just ask to see the list of Chateau D'Yquem Sauternes. That's what I would want to be drinking on my 50th anniversary with dessert.

          1. re: hhlodesign

            Thanks so much howard_1st and hhlodesign -- the menu is more limited for private dining (no foie gras to select) but yes the wagyu beef does make an appearance, as does the caviar. And oh, a list of Sauternes -- now that really makes me happy at the thought.... Thanks for the rec. on selecting the Wagyu beef, too....