According to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission, campaign contributors have footed the bill for more than $24,000 worth of meals for Long during the past six months, including $15,650.14 during the three months ended September 30.
The meals range from $4,476 September 9 at the Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield to $7.85 at Hebrews Coffee in Springfield on August 28.
While in New York on August 2 and 5, Long enjoyed two meals, worth more than $2,000 at Ruth's Chris Steak House, which promotes itself in this fashion:
Ruth’s Chris Steak House in New York City is sumptuously decorated in deep tones complemented by beautiful modern art and rich, mahogany-paneled walls. Art deco sconces throughout the restaurant dining room provide perfect ambience. Whether it’s a romantic steak dinner for two, an important business luncheon or a private party, Ruth’s Chris Steak House can accommodate your needs. Our Manhattan steakhouse provides guests with a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
Long also enjoyed $643.85 worth of "fine Northern Italian cuisine" at Alberto Trattoria in Washington July 25 and two meals, one for $1,322.67 and one for $234.10, both on September 23 at Bobby Van's Grill, which is described this way on its website:
Remaining a personal favorite on Billy Long's fine dining list is the Capitol Hill Club, where Long had two meals on July 17, one for $452.67 and the other for $188.24.
In August, the congressman had a $183.64 meal at the Capitol Hill Club on August 12 and another for $337.51 on the same day.
On Sept. 18, Long's Capitol Hill Club meal only cost $181.47.
As noted in the April 13, 2011, Turner Report, one of the first things Long did when he reached Washington was to spend $1,133 from his campaign account to buy a membership in the Capitol Hill Club.
"The club is described on its website as "a national social club for Republicans. The stately second floor Presidential Dining Room offers splendid cuisine prepared by our renowned chefs. This room is a favorite place for Senators, Representatives and their guests to dine and discuss the day’s political agenda. The dining room is open for lunch and dinner and is a superb venue for your most memorable weekend events.
"On our lower level, members enjoy the informal atmosphere of the Auchincloss Grill for breakfast, lunch, afternoon drinks and dinner. Always a popular spot, the Grill is especially busy after a late-night session of Congress.
"Named after the Club’s earlier address on C Street, the 75 Room feels like your own living room, with its sofas and nooks. The room offers wireless internet service to members for additional convenience.
"The third and fourth levels include a variety of dining and meeting rooms appropriate for all types of business and social occasions. The newly renovated fourth flour suites are an elegant setting for all events, whether a lunch meeting or evening reception. Groups from 10 to 400 can be accommodated with ease. High speed internet access is available in all our rooms.
"The third floor Bolton Room with its graceful furnishings is the perfect setting for distinctive banquets and receptions."
Of course, membership in the club might be a good thing if Long was using the access to conduct people's business, but club laws do not allow that to happen:
No member shall carry on or transact any business or indulge in the practice of any profession in the Club at any time.
The club has a strict dress code, according to the website:
Gentlemen will please wear coats and ties in the Main Dining Room. Coats with sport shirts will be acceptable throughout the other areas of the Club. Current trends dictate the acceptability of ladies’ high-fashion attire.
Long's meals during the last quarter also included visits to the Tortilla Coast and Prime Rib in the nation's capitol, as well as stops at such local spots as Jim's Steakhouse and the Village Inn in Springfield and Smith's Restaurant in Bolivar.