You can’t put a price tag on good company—or can you? While some might shell out for an entrée laden with gold flake and white truffle, foie gras or a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Mouton Rothschild, patrons of the world’s most expensive lunches are there for one thing—the company of billionaire investor, industrialist and philanthropist Warren Buffett.
For the last decade, Mr. Buffett has hosted these Power Lunches to benefit the Glide Foundation, a San Francisco community-based charity organization. The lunches are auctioned on eBay and, at $2.63 million, this year’s Power Lunch beat the 2008 record of $2.11 million. The winner and up to seven guests may dine with Mr. Buffett at Smith & Wollensky in Manhattan.
This year’s record-setting lunch is particularly auspicious as demand for the nonprofit’s services has increased by thirty percent during the recession, while donations have fallen by twenty percent.
Another expensive lunch was had by Roman Abramovich in 2009. The Russian billionaire and nine other guests dined in at Nello’s restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for $52,000. That lunch included three bottles of La Tache, two bottles of Chateau Petrus and two magnums of Cristal Rose—each wine being $5,000 per bottle. Other highlights of the lunch include three plates of truffle tagliolini at $195 each and two plates of truffle carpaccio for $100 each. The group was apparently feeling generous, as they supplemented the over-$7,000 automatic gratuity with an additional $5,000.
Roman Abramovich Lunch $52,000