Businessman Joe Lentini was stunned when he saw the receipt after a recent dinner at Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
Lentini notes he only drinks around a glass of wine once a month.
The host of the dinner told Lentini to pick a bottle of wine, Lentini explained.
"I asked the waitress if she could recommend something decent because I don't have experience with wine," Lentini noted. "She pointed to a bottle on the menu. I didn't have my glasses. I asked how much and she said, 'Thirty-seven fifty.'"
The wine drinkers at the table agreed to the price and they ordered their food.
The sommelier brought the corked bottle to the table. Lentini said he was having conversation with his companions and wasn’t paying attention, but he approved the bottle.
He sampled the wine and approved it, he said, and the bottle was brought to the table.
"It was okay. It was good," Lentini commented the wine. "It wasn't great. It wasn't terrible. It was fine."
Then the check arrived. "[The host] was sitting across from me and he handed the bill to person next to him, who handed it to the next person until it got to me," he said. "I showed the gentleman next to me and we were shocked. We couldn't believe it."
The bill came to $4,700.61, including tax. The wine was a Screaming Eagle, Oakville 2011, and was listed for $3,750.
"I thought the wine was $37.50," Lentini stated.
He then called the waitress over and explained that he never would have ordered such expensive wine, and noted when he asked about the price, she said "thirty-seven fifty," not "three-thousand, seven-hundred-and-fifty."
An argument ensued and the maître d'/manager came over.
The maître d'/manager agreed to set up separate bills, so the dinner bill, which wasn't being disputed, was fully paid.
Lentini was then informed the best price the restaurant could offer on the wine was $2,200. Although he couldn't afford that large amount, he and two other diners agreed to split the $2,200 tab for the wine to not get police involved.
The price tag for this bottle of wine is $3,750 not $37.50