Barack Obama Had a Nicer New Years Than You - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Barack Obama Had a Nicer New Years Than You

Actually, I had a pretty nice New Years. I availed myself of a five-course tasting menu at a really fantastic restaurant, some decent cocktails and Midnight Mass. 

But, of course, I didn’t do it in Hawaii. 

The President, who is wrapping up his 17-day vacation on Oahu, spent New Years with the family, getting shave ice at a neighborhood place with his daughters and snorkeling with the family at Hanauma Bay, a huge inland reef and wildlife sanctuary that is great for beginners, but is usually closed to the public over the holidays. Barack and Michelle then ditched the kids and went for a fifteen-course tasting menu of their own at Hawaii’s Vintage Cave, a French-American fine-dining restaurant, “private society” and wine cellar located in a giant shopping mall just down the road from Waikiki beach. The 

The president and first lady treated themselves to a five star dinner on New Year’s Day at renowned Honolulu, Hawaii, restaurant Vintage Cave, where a 15 course, prix fixe meal costs a cool $295 a person, wine pairings add another $130 a head and the total tab often nears $1,000 after taxes and tip.

Formally an Asian cuisine restaurant, Vintage Cave recently began serving contemporary French-American food after Jonathan Mizukami, of Napa Valley’s The French Laundry fame, replaced the restaurant’s founding executive chef, the Pacific Business News reports.

An example menu posted to YELP lists courses that include caviar, cabbage from Hirabara Farm, Jidori egg yolk, foie gras, King Crab, caramelized white chocolate and Candy Cap Cheesecake. 

While the Daily Mail makes a big deal about the price, that’s pretty much what you’d expect a tasting menu to cost, especially if your chefs have graduated from the French Laundry, largely recognized to be one of America’s – if not the world’s – top restaurants. Eating at any restaurant offering a prix fixe on New Years, with a named chef on the bill, will probably run you about the same. The average cost for a prix fixe in Las Vegas for the same night, for example, is $150, without the course-by-course wine pairing. The French Laundry, which offers a menu only sporadically, is $240 per head without wine pairings, and on a random Tuesday (not, for example, New Years Eve). But the meals aren’t mean to be just mealsThey’re meant to be experiences you have maybe once in your lifetime.

The Internet description of the restaurant is, of course, a bit over the top, touting its 150,000 antique bricks and multi-million-dollar art collection alongside its exhorbitant membership fee, which mostly provides access to prime reservations and the more exclusive areas of its wine cellar. The membership fee, which can run you anywhere from $50K to $500K, runs againt the tab you rack up in the restaurant. Hitting a half million seems like no easy feat until you realize that the “eccentric” owner has tried to make his cellar as insanely exclusive as his art collection.  With Obama getting close to the end of his tenure, he only has a few more shots at this sort of thing. Once 2016 rolls around, it’ll be a lot harder to convince a snobbish maitre’d that it really is the President on the other end of the line.

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