4 Cities, 12 Restaurants and 66 Courses — for $10,000

Jan 22, 2018

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The Pretty Fork, a Seattle-based “dining experience” company that throws progressive, destination and hidden dinners, launched an event called Destination Dining America on Friday and it’s a culinary doozy for travel obsessives. Here are the details: Attendees fly first class to four major metropolitan cities in the United States and eat at a dozen restaurants (five of which have Michelin stars) over 13 nights. The cost? $10,000.

So that’s nearly two straight weeks eating some of the best food stateside. For those counting, that’s 66 courses and wine pairings. Bloated yet?

Hotels and round-trip airfare are included. According to The Pretty Fork, current pricing reflects first class rates flying on Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, or equivalent. Ground transportation from airports and hotels is also provided and there’s also a first class rail ticket thrown in for good measure, for travel between Cities 3 and 4. Economy pricing is also an option; accommodations are at Kimpton or W Hotels equivalent. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect — to some people — is the secrecy of the endeavor.

“In normal Pretty Fork fashion you don’t get to know details until they are absolutely needed,” they say. “The cities and restaurants are revealed before each step of the trip with clues along the way to enhance your experience.”

Basically, it’s The Amazing Race for those with bottomless appetites.

Once you book, you do receive confirmation about the first city — you have to know where you’re going, after all. Gastronomes intimately familiar with Michelin stars might be able to guess some of the stops — the website contains clues like, “This kitchen’s footprint is as large as the dining room itself and it is not unusual for the cooks themselves to attend the dinners” and “This restaurant is whimsical, experimental and at times will include scented vapors, smoke and balloons. Very intriguing and modern.” Or how about “This restaurant is like finding the end of the rainbow. Make your way inside and discover a chic farmhouse interior, open kitchen, wood-fired oven and a young, eclectic and well-dressed crowd.”

Oh, and the first city features 400 wineries. Any guesses?

Five of the restaurants are Michelin-starred (four of which were on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017), along with seven “local favorite” restaurants. Three dinners take place at three Michelin-starred restaurants; one dinner is at a one-Michelin-starred restaurant and one lunch is at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant. Apparently, it’s tricky to score reservations at all of these spots.

Afternoons are left free for shopping, sight-seeing or popping antacids.

Joey Manley, co-founder and chief executive officer of The Pretty Fork, said the idea is to remove all expectations from the dining experience.

“Disappointment is only derived through expectation,” he said. “By removing expectation, you create an experience and we have done just that. All destinations, restaurants and menus remain a secret until the precise moment you need to know.”

The trip leaves from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on April 18, 2018 and returns (hopefully with seatbelt expanders onboard) on April 30, 2018.

Anyone who can’t make it — or wants to save up the necessary funds — should consider bookmarking September 2018, when The Pretty Fork’s similar trip to three countries and 12 restaurants around Western Europe takes off for $15,900.

One thing’s for sure: Guests better bring their appetites. For this large purchase, unfortunately it’s not clear if and how it will earn bonus points, so you might be best off using a card that earns a strong return on non-bonus spending, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express.

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