The most expensive food is rarely the best food — unless you’re dealing with sushi!! So here are the prices at some of America’s finest raw fish joints! Click through to the full interactive graph over at Eater and tell me what you think; I hope to do more of these!
Gaonnuri: $165 (Veuve Clicquot)
Gaonnuri: $160 (Moet Chandon)
Per Se: $135 (Pol Roger)
Brooklyn Fare: $115 (Maire-Noelle)*
Craft: $105 (Saint-Chamant)
Masa: $95 (La Caravelle)
Marea: $93 (La Caravelle)
Eleven Madison Park: $90 (Pierre Gimonnet)
Del Posto: $90 (Doyard or La Caravelle)
Daniel: $85 (Pierre Brigandat & Fils)
Corton: $80 (Duc de Romet)
Easy question: Would you prefer to dine at Corton, one of New York’s most envelope-pushing French restaurants, and order an intruging bottle of Champagne, say, Duc de Romet for $80? Or would you rather go to Gaonnuri, the subject of my one-star Bloomberg News review, where the cheapest Champagne, a very un-intriguing bottle of Moet & Chandon, is $160? That’s a 300% markup over the $40 retail price at Astor Wines.*
As Eater celebrates “Whale Week,” documenting the high-rolling gastronomic enclaves that dot our fruited plain, we’ve been reminded that Masa is still our most expensive restaurant. Dinner for two, after tax and tip, starts at $1,160. Wine and cocktails, of course, are extra. But how much extra? Good question.
So here, The Price Hike presents Masa & Bar Masa’s cocktail list, which is certainly one of America’s spendiest cocktail lists; you’d expect anything less from America’s spendiest restaurant?
Now here’s the problem: If you’re sourcing your bitters from artisanally bearded Brooklyn men who fly in rare herbs and panaceas from the Himalayas, and you use those ingredients to serve cocktails you can’t get elsewhere, you can charge as much as you want. But if you’re working at Masa, serving a $25 watermelon martini with Ketel One, you should ask yourself a whole variety of questions, starting with why the [bleep] you’re serving a watermelon martini at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant.
These prices are less about serving “the best”, and more about a high end restaurant leveraging it’s “brand” and menu price to justify exorbitant cocktail prices. Yep, we’ll rate this list as STRONG SELL.
On the heels our report
documenting a series of PRICE HIKES at Jean Georges & Le Bernardin, we thought we’d remind you of the current dinner prices at all of New York’s three-Michelin starred restaurants. The results below are ranked by the least expensive offering at each of the haute-establishments.
Masa: $450, $600 (the latter price includes a kobe/truffle course)
Per Se: $295-$685 (depending on supplements, service included)
Brooklyn Fare: $225
Eleven Madison Park: $195
Le Bernardin: $127 prix-fixe, $147 tasting, $194 chef’s tasting
- Jean Georges: $118 prix-fixe, $168 tasting
Daniel: $108 prix-fixe, $195 six-courses, $220 eight-courses
One interesting note: While we were investigating the price increases at Jean Georges, a spokesperson for the restaurant mentioned that it’s “still the lowest priced three star Michelin and four star New York Times prix-fixe in NYC.”
Is that an accurate statement?
Now that The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare has published its wine list, all but two of New York’s top Michelin-rated restaurants have their selection of vino available to peruse online. Le Bernardin and Jean Georges are the two holdouts. We’re hoping they’ll join the club soon, especially since wine can cost as much as (or more than) dinner at these excellent, high-end venues.
Think of it this way: If Le Bernardin’s $190 tasting menu is unlikely to be an “impulse purchase,” then a $190 bottle of bubbly at that restaurant is also unlikely to be an impromptu decision. High-end wine, like high-end food, is something you plan in advance. It requires thought. As such, here are the wine lists for New York’s three Michelin-starred restaurants. Minus two.
- Per Se
- Eleven Madison Park
- The Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
See more Price Hike coverage of Brooklyn Fare’s wine list and corkage fees at New York City’s three Michelin-starred restaurants. Our check out my four-star review of Le Bernardin for Bloomberg News.
Hey Folks, here’s a JOINT POST with our sister site, The Bad Deal, about the importance of menu transparency in the mobile world. Enjoy!
The iPhone was born in 2007. Paul Bocuse was born in 1926. And because Bocuse is an adaptable guy, not to mention a reasonably famous chef with a global culinary competition named after him (The Bocuse D’Or), one can view the website for his three-Michelin starred Lyons restaurant on the iPhone or iPad without too much hassle. It’s all quite convenient.
Thomas Keller, the great American chef who literally wrote the go-to book on modern sous-vide techniques, and who’s the president of The Bocuse D’Or USA foundation (see above), does not have iPhone compatible websites at his two high-end restaurants, Per Se and The French Laundry, a five years after the debut of the iPhone. It’s all quite inconvenient.
Yes, yes, Chef Keller does have a pretty cool iPad wine app, which we’ll discuss in a little bit. And Keller, of course, isn’t alone in all this.
Here’s a list of some of the world’s great chefs and restaurants, some of the world’s most famous restaurants, one very good neighborhood restaurant, and STK, none of which appear to have iOS-friendly sites. Try out the links below on your iPhone or iPad and see what happens. It ain’t pretty.
- Masa & Bar Masa
- Per Se
- The French Laundry
- The Fat Duck (click on “menu” and Flash icon pops up)
- Jean Georges
- Del Posto
- Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
- Pierre Gagnaire
- Le Cirque
- The Brooklyn Star (I like this place)
- STK (whatever)
Earlier today The Price Hike reported that Eleven Madison Park has started levying cancellation fees for no-shows and other delinquents. Here’s what EMP and the rest of New York’s high-end dining community will charge if you don’t cancel with the appropriate prior notice:
- Brooklyn Fare: $225 per person charge, the full price of dinner, if reservation isn’t cancelled seven days prior. Quite frankly, $225 is getting off easy if you no show to Brooklyn Fare you deserve to go to jail.
- Masa: $200 per person, 48 hours prior.
- Per Se: $175 per person, 72 hours prior.
- Momfuku Ko: $150 per person, 24 hours prior.
- Torrisi: $125 per person for tasting, 24 hours prior, $60 per person for classic prix-fixe if not cancelled by 4pm.
- Gordon Ramsay: $75 per person, 24 hours prior.
- Eleven Madison Park: $75 per person, 48 hours prior.
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns: $50 per person, 48 hours prior.
- Le Bernardin: $50 per person, 48 hours prior.
- Jean Georges: $50 per person, 24 hours prior.
- Corton: $50 per person if not cancelled 48 hours prior to weekend reservations. No fee for weekday reservations. Kinda like business class right? Fully refundable on the weekday baby.
- Del Posto: If reservation is made online, then $50 per person if not cancelled 24 hours prior. Receptionist says restaurant doesn’t take credit cards for parties of two if reservation is made via phone.
- Romera: No fee for parties under four.
- Kurumazushi: No fee for parties under seven.
- Daniel: No fees for parties under five.
NOTE: Most good restaurants don’t actually charge these cancellation fees if they find someone to take your place. The purpose of these fines is to incentivize you to show up to the restaurant when you said you would, and so that if you don’t, the restaurant doesn’t lose too much revenue.
“Spending habits changed in post-recession Manhattan. Until Romera debuted this fall with a $245 menu, no new establishment came close to rivaling the prices at Masa or Per Se, the standard bearers at Columbus Circle. Romera soon cut its entry- level price to $125.”
Writes Bloomberg critic and Price Hike/Bad Deal editor Ryan Sutton (that’s me) in his year-end roundup of New York’s best new(ish) restaurants
. Romera, of course, still offers its $245 menu, which after optional 20% tip comes to $294, a dollar less than Per Se’s $295 service-included menu. That’s BOLD.
Transparency is the word of the day. So as a supplement to my Real Cost Dining Index published on Bloomberg.com today, here are ten suggestions that restaurants, particularly tasting-menu joints, can adopt to give diners a better idea of how much money they’ll spend.