Who Pays for Dinner?

[YUM!!! Green tea and caramel macaroons at Tateru Yoshino]

Our splurge in Tokyo was a night at Michelin-rated Tateru Yoshino, which is a French restaurant with Japanese influence. We were looking over the menu after being promptly seated (and after I was complimented on how beautiful I looked that night. Sweet, I like this place!)

Him: Ok, which tasting menu do you want to get?
Me: Um...I don't know. Whichever one is cheaper. Which one is that?
Him: The duck course.
Me: Oh...I don't see the price, how come they don't list it on here?
Him: It's at the bottom after the courses.
Me: I don't see it.
Him: Right after the dessert listing.
Me: Still don't see it. Is it in Japanese?
Him: No, it's in English.
[He hands me his menu and points]
Him: See, right here.
[Mo looks at her menu. Then at the boy's. Then at hers again.]

I had to do a double-take, because the boy's menu had prices listed, and mine DIDN'T. Oh em gee, I wonder who they expected to pay for dinner?? Sure enough, when the bill came they gave it to him instead of placing it in the middle. I'd never experienced anything like it.

Has anyone been given a menu without prices?

And while we're on the topic, ever been in an awkward date situation in which you don't know who should pay? I remember our first date in which we sort of split it--he paid for the dinner, I paid for dessert. But we all know whose idea it was to get dessert in the first place.



Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Those macarons look lovely! Yep, the husband gets the bill most of the time and I'll admit I let him pay the first few times. But there was definitely a back and forth later (no free lunch right?)

buhdoop said...

He always pays, he always pays, he always pays was my motto when dating. If he wanted my time then he should treat me to a meal.

Married life is different since it's our money, but even still, he always pays :)

honey my heart said...

i'd never been given a menu without prices. that would be quite weird and surprising. when we go out to eat, the bill is usually placed between us, but he usually pays since i pay for groceries.

Maggie said...

Separate menus for men and women used to be commonplace at nice restaurants in the US, too - isn't that crazy? I think it finally started to go out of fashion in the '70s. So nuts.

ruthy ann said...

I think that's awesome! I'm old fashioned and I think on dates men should pay. I would always get the coffee though.

Mo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mo said...

Thanks so much for everyone's input, I think it's an interesting discussion! I don't think I've ever been on a first date in which the guy has paid for everything.
Nowadays I get treated all the time by the boy, lucky me.

@Chic 'n Cheap: They were so yummy. The caramel one was melt in your mouth good.

@buhdoop: Ha!

@Maggie: Interesting, this I did not know. I wonder if it will go out of style in Japan?

dethbakin said...

You guys look adorable, and the food looks amazing! YUM!

I have to admit to hating the whole men-pay thing, and have always been very insistent on splitting costs on dates. This is not to say my boy doesn't sometimes pay the full tab as a gift -- he does. But I do the same for him when the occasion seems right :-)

I would be pissed about getting a menu without prices, but I wouldn't hold it against them too much. In my experience, servers usually give the bill to my boy when we are together, and it's just a more subtle expression of the same societal norms.

annelise said...

I always think that whoever does the asking out of the date is the one who pays. If I ask someone out, then I pay. But if I get asked out, they pay. After a while though, I think it should settle into a 50/50 type arrangement.

A menu without prices would make me so nervous! I'd be scared of having a lovely meal and then getting a monstrous bill that was way more than expected! :)

PDX Bride said...

It happened to me all the time when I was in Italy with my boyfriend. He was Italian and wouldn't even let me touch the menu! Kinda nice sometimes to experience those old traditional mentalities.

Mo said...

@dethbakin: Thanks!!
Yes, I totally pick up the tab on birthdays and some special occasions (I think we trade off for anniversaries).

@annelise: That seems fair enough, especially if the asker is expecting to go to an uber fancy place.

@PDX Bride: Really?? Ok, I need to at least see the menu so I know what I want to eat! Would he at least describe the food in great detail for you before ordering?

Anonymous said...

Yes! All the time in the top restaurants in Paris. It was pretty cool hahaha :-)


Yum those macarons! Just delish :) I've never really had that problem with the bill sitch. But I was thinking about it while watching Glee the other nite...

Happy Thursday! xoxo

Eva said...

Those macaroons look pretty amazing. And I usually don't even like macaroons.


The Professional Bridesmaid said...

Shut up! NO prices on your menu? That's so interesting!We take turns paying the bill - we figure it's from the same pot anyways. However, for special occasions he usually pays unless it's his birthday!

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