Despite the economic downturn still holding on, it seems many eateries in the US have decided the best way to get by is to simply to ignore it and, instead of lowering their prices and taking fancy dishes off the menu, they are producing very expensive dishes that are – apparently – recession proof.
Some are innovative takes on delicacies, others classic pricy meals, or others just straight up gimmicks.
Restaurant website Zagat has published a list of the top eight most expensive dishes currently on sale in the U.S. – and we couldn’t resist sharing their write up of them with you.
1, Fleur: The FleurBurger 5000, $5,000
Fans of Top Chef Masters know Hubert Keller as the French-accented chef with mean knife skills and a calm demeanor.
They may also know that he makes the most expensive hamburger in the world. At Fleur, Chef Keller’s burger joint in Las Vegas, the eponymous FleurBurger 5000 clocks in at a whopping five grand.
And what does that “pocket change” get you? A Kobe beef patty with a cube of seared foie gras, shaved black truffles and truffle-spiked “special sauce” all sandwiched into a buttery brioche bun.
And bonus, it comes with a bottle of 1990 Chateau Petrus. Technically, the burger is a steal compared to the hospital fees associated with a FleurBurger-induced heart attack.
2, Norma’s: Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata, $1,000
Norma’s, an all-day breakfast restaurant in New York’s Le Parker Meridien Hotel, boasts an egg dish that’s all about the Benjamins.
Ten of them, to be exact.
The menu dares you to put the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata on your expense account, which we guess means the menu was created pre-2008. Regardless, this dish contains six eggs and Maine lobster tail, all of which is topped with 10 grams of caviar. Baller.
3, Serendipity 3: Grand Opulence Sundae, $1,000
If you’ve already spent $1,000 on breakfast at Norma’s, why not walk a few blocks to Serendipity 3 to double down on your fancy feast?
Make an appointment beforehand for the Grand Opulence Sundae, a doozy of a concoction that puts your average banana split with the works to shame.
Madagascar vanilla beans flavor the ice cream while chocolate chips are replaced by cocoa chunks from the Venezualan coast.
Toppings include candy from Paris-based Fauchon and a trio of infused caviars: passion fruit, orange, Armagnac and plenty of 23K gold leaf.
The whole thing is presented in a Baccarat bowl with a gold spoon.
4. Nino’s Bellisima: Luxury Pizza, $1,000
Cheese, bread, sauce. Maybe a topping or two? How could that get so expensive?
Try introducing chunks of lobster tail, crème fraîche and four types of caviar to the mix.
Oh, and it’s not even an eight-slice monster.
Manhattan’s Nino’s Bellisima is the merchant hawking the Luxury Pizza, an order-ahead item.
This personal-size pizza clocks in at approximately $33 per bite, but unfortunately this pie doesn’t make our plebeian mouths water in the same way that a regular street slice does.
5, Bar Masa/Shaboo: Hot Pot, $500
Traditionally a pretty informal affair, hot pot (or shabu-shabu) is a dunk-and-dine feast and an exercise in one-pot cookery.
Not at Shaboo, a Masa restaurant sibling in Las Vegas’ Aria Resort and Casino. Just-flown-in ingredients including items like bluefin tuna belly, abalone, yellowtail, crab and, of course, beef are made for dunking into your bubbling, custom-made pot as you count the dollars trickling out of your wallet.
Add another $95 on to the tab with a scoop of white truffle ice cream for dessert.
6, Barclay Prime: Cheesesteak, $100
Philadelphia is famous for its cheesesteaks but one restaurant is actually upping the ante on the sliced meat sammy.
Barclay Prime is the daring resto with the nerve to charge $100 for the dish. So what makes it worth all those pennies?
There’s foie gras, of course, Kobe beef and truffles thrown into the hoagie roll.
Add in some oozing Taleggio cheese and a half bottle of Perrier-Jouët, Grand Brut served alongside and you’ve got a retooled comfort food fit for a high roller.
7. Tocqueville: Golden Araucana Egg, $100
Sure, eggs are pretty incredible and many a chef has become obsessed with perfecting the art of cooking them (ahem, Wylie Dufresne).
But a hundred dollars for an egg dish? That’s pretty steep.
Manhattan’s Toqueville utiizes a prehistoric-looking Araucana (a Chilean chicken) egg in a dish that would make Mr. WD-50 drool.
It’s poached, crisped and plated with gnocchi, risotto or tagliatelli before getting a layer of shaved Perigord truffle.
8. Serendipity 3: Haute Dog, $69
Known as much for its long lines as it is for its ice cream sundae, Serendipity 3 gets a second spot on this list for its Haute Dog.
Now, this is no two-dollar street cart dirty water dog.
Replacing the squishy bun is pretzel bread, that’s flown in from Germany and spread with white truffle butter and sea salt from Malta.
Then, there’s the beef, which is basted with white truffle oil.
And if that doesn’t sound rich enough, throw in some black truffle-foie gras pate, black truffle mustard and heirloom tomato ketchup. Does Heinz not pair well with truffles and foie?