Is there a dining experience worth $950? Per person? The answer is yes for gourmands and adventurous diners with wallets that haven’t seen any crypto-like wallet downturn.
There are a plethora of restaurants serving up sublime, savory and so-pretty-you-don’t-want-to-eat-it — but will take photos for Instagram — meals that make the price tag palatable.
Following are the 10 most expensive meals in the U.S. The prices do not include tax or gratuity and note that some of these restaurants require a deposit before the meal and will add an automatic gratuity.
10. o ya, Boston: $250 per person
o ya offers an omakase experience. What is omakase? According to the Michelin Guide, “a form of Japanese dining in which guests leave themselves in the hands of a chef and receive a meal which is seasonal, elegant, artistic and uses the finest ingredients available.”
So if you are winging it with Chef Tim Cushman, your 20-course omakase could offer the nigiri, sashimi and cooked dishes which had Condé Nast Traveler enthusing, “The food is enough to make it a must-try for any serious sushi enthusiast passing through Boston.”
9. Saison, San Francisco: $298 per person
A self-described “modern American restaurant," Saison prides itself on its use of fresh, seasonal ingredients procured through local farmers, fishermen, ranchers and gatherers that are transformed by “the art of fire cooking” (with wood) stated the restaurant website. It was opened in 2008 by Chef Joshua Skenes and wine director Mark Bright and has two Michelin Guide stars (out of five).
8. Minibar by José Andrés, Washington, D.C.: $295 per person
This two-star Michelin restaurant is where Chef José Andrés melds food, art and science to bring something new to a dining experience. An Eater DC writer shared that one of the items they had was a freeze-dried soy chicharron with wasabi guacamole and salmorejo (Spanish tomato soup with skewered eel).
However, you may need to hurry up and get to the restaurant before May 22, as the website stated it will be closing for an “undisclosed period,” because the restaurant group staff will be heading to other restaurants for Andrés, and no doubt, helping him with his relief work in Ukraine and around the world through his World Central Kitchen.
7. Per Se, New York City, $355
Opened in 2004, Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant — which is the New York City outpost of his The French Laundry in Yountville, California — boasts that no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal at the French-inspired restaurant. This three-star Michelin eatery, which boasts an award-winning wine list, offers nine-course Chef’s Tasting and Vegetable Tasting menus.
While the restaurant’s website says it's in the process of redoing the menu, over at the TOCK reservation system, $355 per person is quoted for the two tasting menus. (Psst: Maybe book the five-course tasting menu for $245 per person.)
6. The French Laundry, Yountville, California: $350 per person
Opened in 1994 in the Napa Valley, the menu changes daily at this Thomas Keller restaurant. Like Per Se, this restaurant has three Michelin stars and the Chef’s Tasting and Vegetable Tasting menus. The nine-course Chef’s menu on May 10 featured sweet butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster and a charcoal-grilled Japanese Wagyu, while the vegetarian menu featured Coachella Valley white corn risotto and Chicken and Waffles: buttermilk-fried Hen of the Woods mushrooms, Russet potato “waffle” with pickled garden vegetables and Anthony’s hot honey.
5. Benu, San Francisco: $350 per person
“Please plan three hours for your dinner,” stated Benu for its visitors to truly enjoy the multi-course meal by Chef Corey Lee. (We couldn’t find the exact number of courses but have read anywhere between 15 to 20 courses.) Customers can expect dishes that draw from Korean or Cantonese cuisines, among others. Lee happened to work for Thomas Keller at Per Se and The French Laundry — and Benu also has three Michelin stars.
4. Joël Robuchon, Las Vegas, $445 per person
Located in the MGM Grand, the 16-course degustation French meal can include ingredients such as caviar, foie gras and black truffles at the three-star Michelin restaurant from Chef Joël Robuchon.
3. Alinea, Chicago: $475 per person
Chef Grant Achatz doesn’t just make food at the three-star Michelin restaurant, the Alinea Kitchen Table experience is considered “magic and theatrics, an experience unlike any other,” stated The Millionaire Post YouTube video, where you might see a waiter inflate taffy candy.
If this concept sounds familiar, actress and comedian Ali Wong used it as the inspiration for the restaurant featured in “Always Be My Maybe,” where she meets Keanu Reeves, Randall Park and Vivian Bang for dinner.
2. Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas: $555 per person
The Las Vegas outpost in Caesar’s Palace, owned by Vici Properties VICI, of the famed Parisian restaurant by Chef Guy Savoy is fine French dining at its apex. The six-course tasting menu has in the past featured octopus terrine, artichoke and black truffle soup with toasted mushroom brioche and black truffle butter, as well as roasted lobster with curried lobster head ragout.
1. Masa, New York City: $950 per person
Have the ultimate omakase experience at Chef Masayoshi Takayama’s Masa. The Hinoki Counter Experience guarantees seating at the sushi bar and while it is omakase (chef’s choice), one of the dishes is the restaurant’s signature A5 Wagyu ohmi beef tataki with freshly shaved seasonal truffles. There is also the less expensive omakase at $750 per person that will put you in the main dining room.
"Take one bite of expertly diced, top-grade fatty bluefin tuna tartare cloaked in an equal measure of osetra caviar and discover a central truth: Masa, owned and operated by the chef Masayoshi Takayama, is one of New York’s peak culinary indulgences,” wrote Sam Sifton in a New York Times review.
Sources: The Millionaire Post, Eater, prices from restaurant websites or TOCK
Photo: Courtesy Alinea
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