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January 17-23, 2007

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The Price of Love: $10,000

By Stett Holbrook


ROSES and chocolate? Please. You don't think you're going to get lucky on Valentine's Day with tired old gifts like that, do you? Alexander's Steakhouse has come up with the ultimate Valentine's dinner that is guaranteed to make any heart melt. And at $10,000, it could melt your credit card, too.

To start the evening, Alexander's will offer door-to-door limo service and a big bouquet of flowers upon entering the Cupertino restaurant. Once inside, you will be ushered upstairs to the restaurant's private VIP room, complete with a romantic table set for two and curtains to enclose the couple. Rawwrr.

Once ensconced in your lover's nest, sommelier Eric Entrikin will saber open a bottle of vintage Cristal champagne, and from there chef Jeffrey Stout will prepare a custom-tailored, multicourse tasting menu featuring panty-loosening ingredients like beluga caviar, foie gras and Japanese Kobe beef. Each course will be paired with wines selected from Alexander's 2,500-bottle list.

The over-the-top night will end with a "jewels and dessert" course. Alexander's pastry chef will create a menu of desserts paired with a piece of jewelry, such as crème brûlée garnished with a pair of diamond earrings, or a chocolate soufflé served with a diamond ring. (Be sure to chew carefully lest you swallow a jewel.) Then it's back in the limo for the trip home. What's happens then is up to you.

The decadent dinner is the idea of Alexander's co-owner and general manager James Chen. If you think about it, the idea is a stroke of public relations genius. If some lucky chick (or guy) gets the $10,000 dinner package, it's sure to make news and raise Alexander's profile.

Even in this valley of absurd wealth, a 10 grand dinner is certain to turn a few heads. But even if no one bites and the dinner goes unsold (only one dinner for two is available), Alexander's will probably still get press as that exciting place that was offering the over-the-top luxury meal. But I'm betting someone goes all out and makes the pricey reservation. After all, if love is blind, it probably won't miss $10,000 from the bank account.


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