The Hype-Heavy Caviar Restaurant Exposed For Serving Cheap Toast

Caviar is one of those foods that seems impossibly chic and luxurious to the average person. In popular culture, caviar typically denotes extreme wealth and decadence, conjuring images of an elegant lady reposed on a chaise lounge sipping champagne while domestic staff bustles around her. Like most stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth to this perception of your basic caviar connoisseur. As far as snacks go, caviar is undoubtedly a league above standard party fares like chips and dip, especially when it comes to high-grade stuff.

Caviar is a type of roe (fish eggs) sourced from saltwater fish called sturgeon and is available in varieties such as osetra, beluga, kaluga, and sevruga. It should not be confused with other types of fish roe, which commonly accompany various sushi preparations. While the exact taste and texture depend on the variety of sturgeon that roe is taken from, the best caviar will have a firm texture and uniform egg shape while offering a combination of sweet and nutty flavors. In terms of cost, prepare your pocketbook, as rare varieties of caviar can cost as much as $249 per ounce. Given the high price, it's understandable that a lackluster experience at a world-famous caviar restaurant would cause much frustration.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned (by Wonder Bread toast)

First opening in Paris in 1927, Caviar Kaspia is a world-renowned dining establishment that made its way to New York City in 2022. As you might imagine, the restaurant focuses exclusively on caviar preparations, including caviar-laden twice-baked potatoes, caviar pasta, and other opulent dishes. The original Paris location was a significant draw for celebrities like Jay-Z and Rihanna, and the Upper East Side spot is expected to have the same air of exclusivity.

However, one person's experience was anything but impressive according to a video uploaded to TikTok. The diner quickly labels the establishment "a joke," thanks to the presumed Wonder Bread toast that accompanied one of the early courses. As for the ensuing accouterment spread, a few sad blinis (a type of small pancake made with yeast dough) surrounding a ramekin of gelatinous white goo inspires the diner to claim she could have done better at Walmart. The patron also proclaims that Caviar Kaspia's royal osetra was the worst she's ever had, certainly not worth the whopping $1,500 tab for the meal. While it appears this diner is quite knowledgeable about caviar, how can a less-experienced person determine quality?

Caviar: the good, the bad, and the fishy

Daniel Boulud is a French chef notable for his many amazing dining establishments that span the globe. Chef Boulud is also well-known for developing the Three Ts caviar grading system alongside Rod Mitchell, head of a notable caviar supplier in the Northeastern area of the U.S. According to the grading system, taste, texture, and tone are of paramount importance when enjoying caviar.

When it comes to taste, great caviar will be completely free of brininess and bitterness. The best textures are firm and fully intact, as each egg should be distinguishable when it comes to mouthfeel. As for tone, this aspect refers to color, as eggs should appear shiny and vibrant. And like other types of fish and seafood, fresh caviar will not have a fishy flavor or aroma. These characteristics indicate that the caviar is not fresh, which will greatly degrade the dining experience. Once you understand the difference between good and bad caviar, you can confidently enjoy this fancy dish.