A Vice Guide To Spending $300,000 On Dinner

Anything is possible if you set your mind on it.

Vice founder Shane Smith, with something that is not caviar. Via twitter.com

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Vice founder Shane Smith recently balled out exceptionally hard on a dinner for a group of 12 at the Prime Steakhouse in Las Vegas, racking up a $300,000 check.

A source at Vice told BuzzFeed News that Smith won a sum “well north of that bill” while gambling during his week at the CES conference in Las Vegas, and paid for the dinner on his personal credit card. (A Financial Times report says Smith won $1 million; both the FT and New York Times say there were about 30 people eating on Smith’s dime.)

Smith himself hasn’t commented on the story, which is a pity, because the world needs to know the answer to a crucial question: How can you spend $300,000 on dinner?

Short of a how-to guide from the man himself, or a member of his $2.5 billion digital media empire, we’re left to speculate. So in that spirit, we checked out the menu at Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Here’s our best guess of how Smith and a party of 12 could have racked up a tab the value of a single-family home.

Here’s your check, whenever you’re ready…

Prime Steakhouse at the Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S, Las Vegas NV 89109
Date: Sometime during CES
Time: Late. Post $100K blackjack victory.
Server: BuzzFeed
*Wine menu not available, prices based on comparable Vegas restaurants

3 Shrimp Cocktails ($24 each)
2 Foie Gras ($32 each)
2 Ribbons of Tuna ($24 each)
2 lbs Siberian Sturgeon Caviar ($2,500 each)
4 bottles 2003 Dom Perignon ($400 each)
4 bottles 1998 Boërl & Kroff ($15,000 each)
12 shots Johnnie Walker Blue ($60 each)
12 shots single malt Glen Ord, 30 yr ($60 each)
Caesar, Romaine & Parmesan ($17)
Roasted Baby Beets, Apple, Ricotta Cheese & Quinoa ($16)
Baby Iceberg Lettuce, Crispy Bacon & Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing ($18)
Market Tomatoes, Burrata Cheese, Mussini Balsamic & Basil ($19)
Steamed Shrimp Salad, Field Greens, Enoki Mushrooms & Tomato ($25)
Fall Vegetables, Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Seeds & Red Wine Vinaigrette ($18)
Warm Asparagus Salad, Hollandaise & Truffle Vinaigrette ($18)
6 bottles 2008 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti ($20,000 each)
6 bottles 2002 Syrah ($5,000 each)
4 28-oz. Bone-In Rib Eyes ($85 each)
6 Porterhouses ($69 each)
2 Pan-Roasted Dover Soles ($66 each)
4 Cold Water Lobster Tail With Lemon Spaetzle ($62 each)
4 bottles 2007 Montrachet, Domaine Romanée-Conti ($9,000 each)
4 Rosemary-Lime Roasted Chickens With Artichokes, Parmesan & Basil ($36 each)
2 Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes ($12 each)
2 Ginger Sweet Potatoes ($12 each)
2 French Fries ($13 each)
2 Smashed Fingerling Potatoes With Chive Crème Fraîche ($12 each)
2 Truffle Mashed Potatoes ($18 each)
2 Chickpea Fries ($12 each)
2 Gratin Dauphinois Comté Cheese ($12 each)
2 Baked Potato ($12 each)
2 Mac & Cheese ($12 each)
2 Crispy Spaetzle With Gruyère & Chive ($12 each)
2 Onion Rings Tempura ($12 each)
2 Creamed Spinach ($12 each)
2 Glazed Green Vegetables With Goat Cheese & Almond Pesto ($12 each)
2 Glazed Carrots With Tarragon & Yuzu ($12 each)
2 Steamed Asparagus ($14 each)
2 Glazed Market Mushrooms ($16 each)
2 Tender Broccoli With Truffle Gouda Fondue ($16)
Artichoke Risotto With Lemon & Parsley ($12)
12 desserts ($14 each)
3 bottles Remy Louis XIII cognac ($300 each)

Subtotal: $257,009
18% Service Charge: $46,261.62
Total: $303,270.62

Prime Steakhouse in the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas offers a wide variety of surf and turf creations from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Via bellagio.com

Prime’s Siberian Sturgeon Caviar with traditional accompaniments was likely a must for Smith’s group. The restaurant lists the item as market price, but Eater Las Vegas has it going for up to $2,500 per pound. A couple pounds of caviar seems reasonable.


Mercifully for Smith, Prime doesn’t put its wine list online. But just down the strip at Mario Batali’s Carnevino in the Wynn, a few bottles of Dom Perignon (2003) will run guests $400 each.

Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times / MCT

But what are we, farmers? Any respectable internet baron is going to spring for a couple of bottles of the best champagne in the house. At Batali’s joint, a 1.5-liter bottle of Boërl & Kroff 1998 will set you back $15,000 each.


Obviously white wine accompanies any good foodie’s fish course. Smith’s crew could have grabbed a couple bottles of the $9,000 Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from 2007. An average year, but sometimes compromise is necessary.


For the reds, perhaps a couple of vintages on the more reasonable side, like the $5,000 per bottle Sine Qua Non “Just for the Love of It” 2002 Syrah.


Join us next week, for the Vice Guide To Surviving Private Jet Rental!

@WarrenBuffett your company @NetJets should be shut down such is the terrible level of service and lies instead of customer service.

— shanesmith30 (@shane smith)

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mariahsummers/a-vice-guide-to-spending-300000-on-dinner

Wisconsin board investigates 11 more anti-Walker doctors in fake medical note scandal

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

The doctors are not among the nine the state sanctioned last year. The additional doctors were named in records the Madison School District released to the State Journal and other media in December after a lawsuit by the newspaper.

A screening panel of the medical board decided Tuesday to investigate the additional doctors, said Katie Koschnick, spokeswoman for the state Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Koschnick said the doctors are: James Bigham, Susan Carson, Meaghan Combs, Jessica Dalby, Jennifer Edgoose, Laurel Mark, Dipesh Navsaria, Jacqueline Redmer, Richard Schmelzer, Srivani Sridhar and Melissa Stiles.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/03/21/wisconsin-medical-examining-board-investigates-11-more-doctors-for-writing-bogus-sick-notes-during-last-years-anti-walker-demos/

State assemblyman joins Tahmooressi protest outside governor’s mansion

As promised, California state assemblyman Tim Donnelly joined protesters outside of the California governor’s mansion Tuesday afternoon, where Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was being honored at a luncheon hosted by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Donnelly was invited to attend the luncheon but chose instead to protest the ongoing captivity of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi. In a letter to the governor declining the invitation, Donnelly wrote:

I know that my absence may distress you, but it may comfort you to know that I’ll be standing outside leading a protest, doing the job you should have done as the highest elected official in California; demanding the release of one of our own, our Marine, Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.

You are welcome to join us if your conscience bothers you.

The Mexican president had human rights on his mind, but not those of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.


Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/08/26/free-our-marine-state-assemblyman-joins-tahmooressi-protest-outside-governors-mansion/

Tweet round-up: Unemployment numbers

U.S. unemployment figures were released today. The jobless rate didn’t move: 8.3 percent. Economy watchers on Twitter weighed in swiftly. Here’s a sample:

Encouraging some jobs are being created, but unemployment remains far too high http://t.co/5d4y7A2n

— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) March 9, 2012

February jobless rate for whites dropped to 7.3% (down 0.1), but black unemployment rose to 14.1% (up 0.5). Hispanic at 10.7% (up 0.2)

— Sudeep Reddy (@Reddy) March 9, 2012

Why Didn't Unemployment Rate Drop? http://t.co/NSU2FjV7

— Real Time Economics (@WSJecon) March 9, 2012

The Part-Time Economy (Redux) http://t.co/zQPgCbMD

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 9, 2012

Although unemployment is unchanged @8.3%, Obama will still say it's good news…I SAY: wasn't stimulus going to keep unemployment below 8%?

— Joyce Pemsley (@pecansdownsouth) March 9, 2012

10.8%: the unemployment rate if labor force participation was the same as when Obama took office

— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) March 9, 2012

And even if you factor out aging issue and normal cyclical LFP decline, jobless rate is 9.6%, via the CBO

— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) March 9, 2012

8.3% unemployment extends longest streak of 8.0%+ unemployment rate since Great Depression

— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) March 9, 2012

Why a rising unemployment rate could mean a real recovery: http://t.co/PKa5FYlW

— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) March 9, 2012

Everyone's looking at the unemployment numbers like the guys on Apollo 13 looked at the CO2 reading. Just breathe normal.

— Nick Morgan (@NickBMorgan) March 9, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/03/09/10-tweets-unemployment-numbers/

President Ted Cruz? Report calls his 2016 interest ‘undeniable’

With many conservatives soured on frequently mentioned 2016 GOP presidential contenders like Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Chris Christie, National Review’s Robert Costa reports that freshman Sen. Ted Cruz is seriously considering a bid.

Cruz is cagey about what he says in public and private, but his interest is undeniable, according to people who’ve spoken with him

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

I hear from several sources that Cruz is privately (and seriously) considering a bid nationalreview.com/article/347052…

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Read the whole thing.

On Wednesday morning, Costa tweeted highlights from his interviews with Republican insiders and Cruz associates.

Top conservative insiders, with decades+ experience, tell me that the boomlet for Cruz within the movement is very real

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

“If you don’t think this is real, then you’re not paying attention,” says a Republican insider nationalreview.com/article/347052…

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

The buzz that Cruz may actually do this causes heartburn within other camps. They fear his candidacy would become a cause for activists

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

GOP heartburn? Go on. We’re listening.

Most interesting things I found out over last few days… 1) Republicans who are close to Cruz, especially atty pals, think ’16 talk serious

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

2) Cruz’s wife, Heidi, seems open and supportive at this early stage of consideration, according to folks who know her

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

3) Cruz doesn’t have much of a political team/staff, but he has a wide network and several conservative leaders ready to pitch in

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

4) Movement players who are mixed on Paul, sour on Christie, anti-Jeb, and disappointed in Rubio are actively looking for a new candidate

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

5) His rapid rise has only accelerated things. No one in Cruz World saying “slow down.” Mix of confidence and wooing is a potent brew

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

6) Ted Cruz is his own Svengali. Keeps tight counsel, builds relationships mostly on his own. Constantly huddling w/ movement players

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

7) Sources who know Cruz are pretty frank about his interest in WH. Says it’s not a secret to those who know him. Part of the “plan.”

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

8) Cruz is supposedly an expert, per his friends, at winning over big $ guys. Thiel, other financiers cld fuel ’16 run, Adelson-style

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

9) Cruz allies laugh at the idea that Canadian birth will be a prob. Say he’s brilliant atty, knows how to explain how he’s “natural born”

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

The big drama in press always seems to be collapse of the GOP. But on Right, real simmering drama is how the movement feels alienated

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

This is why movement is quietly wooing Cruz. They see Dole-Bush-Bush-McCain-Romney, and say, “now, it’s our turn, and we’ll pick our guy”

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

When you bring up Cain/Bachmann w/ Cruz allies, they scoff. Say his resume, education, and skills make him a first-class contender

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Cruz’s bet is that tho media says GOP wants to “reform” or change, his gut tells him that party wants spirit of 2010 in ’16, not RNC autopsy

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

People who know Cruz say he’s out-studied, out-hustled people his entire life, from HS to Harvard, law firm to TX. Wld relish ’16 challenge

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Friends told me to look at how his speaking style has changed since beginning of Senate race. Less doom and gloom now, more smiles, loose

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Part of reason for increased Cruz chatter within Right circles: Rubio, Ryan, and Paul have irked many cons for their takes on immigration

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Cruz’s friends say he has never had fealty to the GOP as an institution. Insider pedigree, but outsider perspective. Ideological atty

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Another thing to consider: Cruz’s personal & professional alliance with Palin. Some may roll eyes, but that base-and email list-is powerful

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Cruz is giving commencent address at Hillsdale College this month, which is considered the citadel of conservatism blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2013…

— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) May 1, 2013

Thank you, Robert Costa! This gives us the perfect excuse to post the awesome animated GIF of Sen. John McCain doing the Shamnesty Shake for Obama while Ted Cruz shows off his unimpressed face.



Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/05/01/president-ted-cruz-report-calls-his-2016-interest-undeniable/