Years ago, I twice received as thank you's for taking on special projects AmEx gift certificates for dinner for two, no price limit. I chose Four Seasons and Le Bernardin. I didn't want to be too excessive, so we kept each meal around $350 including wine. For a young professional on a budget, and a foodie even then, it was like a ticket to heaven.
My current drink of choice:
We buy Matua Sauvignon Blanc by the case
My "Go-to" dinner party dish:
Pasta with mixed shellfish, in a light tomato/wine broth - 1/2 clove garlic MAX.
My favorite comfort food:
Fried clams (it's a New England thing...)
My most tattered cookbooks:
A 1970's Joy Of Cooking, James Beard, and a box of index cards mostly w/NY Times recipes stapled on them (pre-web)