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Menus without prices?

lscanlon Dec 8, 2012 02:43 PM

Back in the '60s, some fancy restaurants had two versions of their menu: one with prices (for the men) and another without prices (for the women). Does any place still do this, do you know?

Leo in Maryland

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  1. roxlet RE: lscanlon Dec 8, 2012 02:54 PM

    The club we belong to does. Only the host, whether it's me or my husband, gets the menu with prices.

    1. r
      rasputina RE: lscanlon Dec 8, 2012 04:20 PM

      I went to a Persian restaurant a few years ago that had menus like that.

      1. h
        Harters RE: lscanlon Dec 9, 2012 03:47 AM

        Michelin 2* restaurant in Rome - Il Pagliaccio.

        Hadnt even heard of it happening in decades, let alone seen it.

        Was funny, as it was my wife who had the credit card and was paying.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Harters
          roxlet RE: Harters Dec 9, 2012 06:10 AM

          Yes, I find it funny when it's just my husband and me. Obviously this tradition arose so that your guests would feel free to order whatever they wanted, irrespective of price. There's a certain graciousness about that, but when it's a husband and wife, it's just silly.

        2. bagelman01 RE: lscanlon Dec 9, 2012 11:14 AM

          This has been discussed in earlier threads on the Not About Food board.
          I live in CT and members at my country club and my in city club receive menus with prices, guest menus do not have prices. Guests can not pay the check anyway, all checks are posted to the members' accounts and billed monthly.
          Until the late 70s, women did not receive menus with prices, either. BUT, until that tome women could not be members, they could be the wife or daughter or widow of a member and could sign the checks. Although the federal Equal Rights Amendement failed, our state constitution did get an Equal Rights Amendment and since then women could become members, and even tee off at the same tome as men on weekends and Wednesday afternoons.

          I'm showing my age, but remember separate grill rooms for women and men, and by law a woman coukld not be wiothin three feet of a bar in CT, they had to be seated at a table to get an alcoholic drink. "You've come a long way, baby" <VBG>

          1 Reply
          1. re: bagelman01
            redfish62 RE: bagelman01 Dec 9, 2012 11:43 AM

            Those were good times.

          2. l
            LikestoEatout RE: lscanlon Dec 9, 2012 01:03 PM

            Yes, in a private club I was invited to recently with my boss (boss male me female) The club member got the menu with prices. No money was exchanged, just a signature of the member. Forty five plus years ago I experienced this in a very ritzy NYC restaurant. I was a very young lady dining with a older male colleague and this was kind of a given in that era that the man would pay.

            1. melpy RE: lscanlon Dec 9, 2012 01:05 PM

              There are some in France but not off the top if my head.

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                AussieBeth RE: lscanlon Dec 9, 2012 08:32 PM

                Le Cinq in Paris has a ladies menu with no prices. I thought it was pretty strange that I recevied the no-price menu, even though I had made the reservation, and announced our presence to the front of house when we arrived, while my husband (who had no involvement with reservations) got the menu with the prices. We spent quite a lot of time giggling about it as my husband whispered the prices across the table!

                1 Reply
                1. re: AussieBeth
                  biondanonima RE: AussieBeth Dec 12, 2012 11:08 AM

                  Funny you should mention Le Cinq - I went there with my parents this spring and I (a woman in her 30s) received the menu with the prices, rather than my father. I assumed it was because I had made the reservation, but perhaps they assumed I was treating my parents!

                2. l
                  Linda VH RE: lscanlon Dec 10, 2012 07:05 AM

                  La Pergola in Rome at top of Hilton! Very expensive and very glad I didn't see the prices - but they did give me the water menu with prices. Cheapest was 10 Euros and that was a number of years ago!

                  1. l
                    lacemaker RE: lscanlon Dec 10, 2012 07:12 AM

                    Spondi, a two star in Athens. It was very strange for me and my wife.

                    1. Bill Hunt RE: lscanlon Dec 10, 2012 07:48 PM

                      I have seen a few, like Victoria & Albert's at the Grand Floridian at Disney World. I also just saw such in Paris, at two 3-star restaurants.

                      Probably not so common nowadays.


                      1. p
                        Puffin3 RE: lscanlon Dec 11, 2012 10:53 AM

                        'Mamma's' restaurant in Calgary many years ago in the eighties/nineties: We had reservations. We were seated and I'd always say: "whatever the chef wishes". No menus. The appropriate wine/s would be served at the appropriate times. Desert served when appropriate. This always exquisite meal never cost more than about a hundred and fifty bucks including gratuity.
                        Of course had there been any 'food issues' things would have been different.
                        Mamma's is gone now.

                        1. KaimukiMan RE: lscanlon Dec 13, 2012 08:46 PM

                          I know of two private clubs in Honolulu that only give the priced menu to the members. As a non-member I get the task of trying to guess if there is a secret ingredient that boosts the price of the cheeseburger higher than the filet mignon or trying to guess the price of the opakapaka that morning at the fish market.

                          Unpriced menu's are a wonderful concept, I wonder if they work in practice anywhere. Thank goodness the sommelier at one of the clubs is my neighbor, he has been a great help to me once or twice when I was asked to select a wine for the table. Talk about a crapshoot.

                          1. g
                            GH1618 RE: lscanlon Dec 13, 2012 09:48 PM

                            When I hosted a dinner for a large group some years ago, I asked the restaurant to provide an unpriced menu with a specified subset of choices from the regular menu. They did this without any question. Nowadays, it's easy to print special menus.

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