Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) landing spots for the whales in Philly, and GM Richie Furino has seen just about everything there is to see. While the whales are known to show off in front of dates, they also enjoy doing so in front of each other without ever saying a word. Furina was kind enough to dish on some of the more extravagant happenings that have gone down in Del Frisco's over the last few years.
So, you see lots of whales at Del Frisco's. Can you talk about any recent whale activity that's happened at the restaurant?
Actually, just a few days ago these two guys walked into the bar, looked like every day type guys. And then they ordered two shots of Louis XIII cognac, which we sell for $225 for an ounce. About ten minutes later they ordered another two shots. And then another, and then another. When last call happened, they ordered another two. But, no food. So, in about 45 minutes, they rang up a bill around $3,600 and tipped the bartender another $500 without eating anything at all.
You have a seriously top-heavy wine list. Do you have any great stories about people purchasing lots of high-end vino?
Funny enough, there were two whales sitting near one another at the restaurant once. One of them ordered a bottle of Screaming Eagle, which is a cult wine that's very expensive. Usually retails around $4,000 and up. Well after he ordered it, the other guy decided to order some 1982 Bordeaux to make sure they saw it. Then it went back and forth. They stopped reading the wine list and just started requested bottles based solely on price. It was pretty ridiculous. But, definitely memorable.
Wow, that's crazy. Do you see lots of celebs or athletes that end up being regulars?
Yeah, we see most of the local athletes in here at one time or another. Most consistently the Pittsburgh Penguins come by every time they're in town, as we have a good relationship with the traveling secretary. But, they didn't have a lot of luck against the Flyers recently, so they were actually thinking about changing it up. But, ultimately they came back again this season, and ended up winning, so maybe their luck changed.
Your menu is full of big time cuts of meat, of course. So, did you ever have someone order like three Kobe steaks or something?
We have one regular called Malik, I actually don't know his last name, but he comes in all the time. But, every time he comes in, whether it's with a group or by himself, he orders all of our blade bone-in steaks. And we've got quite a few.
He gets them all sliced carefully and rests them back against the bone so he knows which beef comes from which bone. And then he eats his way around the plate. He'll have a bite of Kobe, then a bite of Porterhouse. Then he'll eat some ribeye. You get the picture. But he always orders one of each. That's pretty extravagant.
What's the biggest check you've ever seen?
Hm, I think it was over $57,000, actually. It was a big group, but the guy in charge told them all to order whatever they wanted, and they each got a bottle of wine, too, so it was a pretty amazing check. I think that's the biggest I've ever come across.
Any other exciting stories that you pass around among your fellow GMs of insane whale-ness?
Well here's one of generosity, actually. We had a fundraiser dinner here for our charity partner BreastCancer.org, which sold out, and we had hoped to raise a few dollars for the cause. We had my mother, Claire Furino, here along with other chefs to do Italian cuisine for the guests. Mark Mednansky, the CEO of Del Frisco's Restaurant Group, was part of the evening, as well.
We ended up raising $3,500 in proceeds, which Del Frisco's matched for a total of $7,000. Gary Johnson, a regular of Del Frisco's, a whale, and a friend of mine, matched the $7,000, and so did Mr. Medansky, bringing our total to $21,000. And then an anonymous donor added another 7 grand to the pot, and we were able to write a check to the organization for $28,000. The event was capped off when Del Frisco's waitstaff working the party pulled their tips from the evening and donated them as well.
Wow, that's a great story. Good to hear about the whales being generous with charitable efforts, too.
Absolutely. It was a special night.