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

Jan. 22, 2018
4 min read
4 Cities, 12 Restaurants and 66 Courses — for $10,000
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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.

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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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more