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Jan 14, 2010 12:06 PM

August on a budget

Some rich friends have invited my boyfriend and I to dinner at August next weekend. Is it possible to do it for under 100-120 for the two of us? I have always wanted to try it but have been worried we'd be spending 150 or more after tax and tip. When we go out, we usually share an app, each get an entree and a couple of drinks and can usually stay under 100. Is this possible at August?

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  1. Can you go to lunch instead?

    1. I think you could do it for under $100 with your sharing plan with maybe a glass of wine each. The question is, will it be awkward when the check comes to split it based on what you each actually ate and drank, or will they be likely to just want to split it down the middle?

      Maybe you could suggest a slightly cheaper but still atmospheric and high-end place, like Iris, One, or Coquette?

      11 Replies
      1. re: uptownlibrarian

        both One and Coquette are on:
        for gift certificates at $25 for $2 w/the code word INDULGE thru 1/19/10

        1. re: uptownlibrarian

          I tried to suggest Iris, but the plans have already been made. As far as the check goes, I was planning on telling the waiter when we sat down that we would need separate checks. Is this a faux pas? I have done it before at many other restaurants and it has never been a problem.

          Edible, I have one of those coupons for Coquette and I am waiting for cobia to come back on the menu. It is delicious!

          I wish August's online menu had prices so I could at least have an idea.

          1. re: uptownlibrarian

            This does end up a tough situation. Usually my husband and I are fine with splitting the bill equally when dining with other couples or several people because we all seem to spend about the same thing. During the holidays a group was going out to dinner and we were short on funds. We decided we'd go and split and app and not drink and we'd order the least expensive item on the menu ($18) vs. the most expensive ($38). But when we realized it might be tacky to ask to get separate checks, we decided not to go. I didn't want to split equally knowing our bill would be $60 and other couple's bills would be well over $100.

            1. re: nikinik

              I'm with you. I don't know if it's actually tacky or not (probably not, as long as the restaurant doesn't indicate no separate checks on the menu), but I usually wait to go until I can afford the whole shebang, soup to nuts (to wine). But that doesn't help the OP.

              1. re: uptownlibrarian

                We've decided to wait and meet them after dinner. We agree that it won't be as much fun if we can't get the full experience. And knowing us, we would get one glass of wine in us and throw the whole budget out the window. We're going to play it safe, do a cheap date at Slice uptown, and then head downtown to meet them for drinks and partying. I hope I can convince them to go to some bars that aren't on Bourbon St. (They are only from BR but seem to want to do the tourist thing every damn time they come visit.)

                I'll be doing a review of Slice on my blog soon - - if anyone cares!

                Thanks for the replies everyone. Have a great weekend! Who Dat!

                1. re: lawstudent

                  I was actually kind of wondering if you were cheesedip. Already a reader!

                  Whenever my pals and BF's family from Lafayette come in, they always want to go to the Old Absinthe House. What is with that?

                  I would do the same thing - if I went, I would have some wine and lose what little self control I had to begin with. Safer not to risk it.

                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                    It's my experience, having been born and raised in NOLA and having my fill of the FQ by the time I was 17, that people who don't get to see that sort of stuff, even if they are just up the road in BR, love to drink in the FQ, not that there are not bars there that I like, but I guess because I know about the other places outside the FQ, and I know the bartenders I prefer to go places outside the FQ when I visit, and see the folks I used to hang out with.
                    I will say that I appreciate the FQ much more now than I did when my sole purpose of going there was to get drunk, I wake up early and walk around before it gets too busy and carry the camera and take tons of photos of all the buildings.

                    1. re: roro1831

                      I'm not talking about the whole Quarter, just those first five or six blocks of Bourbon Street. I work in the Quarter and go out there all the time. Last night was the Hermes Bar and the Chart Room.

                    2. re: uptownlibrarian

                      Shutup! There is someone reading my blog!!! That is just wonderful. I guess I better get some new things posted! Thanks.

                      1. re: lawstudent

                        i read it too haha
                        i know that's super weird and awkward, but I actually used your candied pecan recipe for a romaine, cranberry, and goat cheese salad I served at my family's Christmas party! The balsamic was great addition to a recipe I've always enjoyed.

                        p.s. are you still in law school? I'm a student at Loyola

                      2. re: uptownlibrarian

                        Old Absinthe House is wonderful for one reason: the ice crushing machine they use to make their absinthe frappes. It creates the perfect crushed ice. PERFECT.

              2. I know this problem has already been solved, but I was thinking....if I was out with someone and my bill was higher (which should be obvious) I would never -dream- of splitting the check 50/50. That is insane! How tacky! Do people really do that?

                4 Replies
                1. re: Southerbelle

                  Um, yes. I'd say, in social settings (as opposed to business meals), most people split the check down the middle. Do you really spend 10 minutes itemizing who ate what at the end of the meal? What happens when you share an appetizer around the whole table? Do you split the cost 5 ways if everyone has a bite of dessert? About the only time I experience unequal check splits are when some folks are drinking alcohol/wine and others aren't. My rule of thumb: if I don't like you enough to not mind an unequal check split, then why the hell am I having dinner with you?

                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                    +1 HC.

                    when im dining out w/ friends, the rule of thumb is -- get what you want, enjoy yourself, dont sweat the bill. cuz to me dining out is a reprieve from the analytics of normal life... imo haggling over who ate what is more tacky.

                    sure its Pinko-Commie-Socialist style, and sometimes you "lose" out, but should all work out in the end, long term.

                  2. re: Southerbelle

                    I don't see how being willing to split a check makes you like someone more. I'm living on a budget and if I buy the 16 dollar chicken and my friend buys the 30 dollar steak I am not about to pay their share. I only ordered the damn chicken because I can't afford the steak.

                    I find that if you tell the waiter at the beginning, when everyone is sitting down, It is no trouble at all to provide separate checks. If we share apps, put one on my bill, one on my friends. It's not that complicated.

                    I may feel differently when I am in a higher tax bracket.

                    1. re: lawstudent

                      I have to agree with Celeste.

                      If you have doubts, just call the restaurant ahead. If we invite others out to eat, we pick up the check. But we are not struggling students, we are retired. When I was struggling, I would invite friends over for a meal and could feed 6 - 8 for less than the price of one meal at a nice restaurant. I have people that still drive 6 hours to my house for the gumbo or fried shrimp.

                  3. I don't think it's possible. Went there yesterday for lunch. Lunch for 2 was $110, not including tip. Lunch can be more reasonable using the 20.10 pre fix price. I ordered from this selection and the other diner did not and we each had one drink. I would think dinner would be more $$$.