smart spending

Attention, singles: the true price of love

Dinner out on the town
2 of 9

Nothing says love like a romantic dinner for two. The candles. The elegantly presented meal. Spotless white tablecloths and dishes you won't have to wash. But then there's the bill, tax and a 20 percent tip.

We checked the menu at Delmonico's, which opened in New York in 1837 as America's first fine dining restaurant. Here's the damage:

You start with the market salad for $10, but your date opts for the shellfish chateau for $26. Next, your date orders the double porterhouse for $90. You gulp and order the chicken a la Keene for a relatively inexpensive $28.

Add in a side dish, desserts (baked Alaska!) and wine, and you're running up a serious bill before the cheese tray wheels by.

Estimated cost: Just under $300, including tax and tip. You'll pay less -- or more -- depending on your locale, restaurant and the choices you make once inside.




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