Counting Calories in America's Best Restaurants Slideshow

By
Arthur Bovino

Thomas Keller’s signature dish at the famed French Laundry, oysters with pearl tapioca and caviar, contains 349 calories per serving. That’s a lot for a small dish, but seems small considering the amount of cream and butter. Here's how calories were portioned in the recipe for Oysters and Pearls published in The French Laundry Cookbook.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Pearl tapioca: 5 calories
Milk: 260 calories
Oysters: 50 calories
Cream: 1026 calories
Crème fraîche: 220 calories
Egg yolk: 219 calories
Shallots: 11 calories
Vinegar: 4 calories
Butter: 815 calories
Caviar: 75 calories
Chives: 1 calories

 

Total = 349 (divided by eight servings)

Thomas Keller’s Oysters and Pearls

Arthur Bovino

Thomas Keller’s signature dish at the famed French Laundry, oysters with pearl tapioca and caviar, contains 349 calories per serving. That’s a lot for a small dish, but seems small considering the amount of cream and butter. Here's how calories were portioned in the recipe for Oysters and Pearls published in The French Laundry Cookbook.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Pearl tapioca: 5 calories
Milk: 260 calories
Oysters: 50 calories
Cream: 1026 calories
Crème fraîche: 220 calories
Egg yolk: 219 calories
Shallots: 11 calories
Vinegar: 4 calories
Butter: 815 calories
Caviar: 75 calories
Chives: 1 calories

 

Total = 349 (divided by eight servings)

José Andrés’ Olive Oil Pancakes

Yelp/Catherine P.

José Andrés’s menu at The Bazaar in Los Angeles contains a mixture of both simple and gourmet takes on Spanish tapas-inspired dishes. He has been acclaimed for his olive oil pancakes, which use olive oil instead of butter, and have a generous dose of dark chocolate. After examining the ingredients noted in Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen, by José Andrés with Richard Wolffe, calculations reveal that the dish contains approximately 569 calories per serving.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Flour: 796 calories
Sugar: 98 calories
Baking powder: 10 calories
Egg: 63 calories
Buttermilk: 147 calories
Olive oil: 495 calories
Chocolate: 407 calories
Honey: 258 calories

Total =  568.5

Mario Batali’s Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage

Batali’s iconic pasta dish at New York City’s Babbo restaurant consists of delicate pasta envelopes filled with peas, cream, and mint, stewed in a hearty tomato and lamb sausage sauce. Examining Mario Batali’s recipe for Mint Love Letters with Spicy Lamb Sausage as contributed to Food & Wine, reveals that the dish weighs in at 578 calories.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Peas: 53 calories
Mint: 1 calories
Parmesan: 431 calories
Cream: 411 calories
(Merguez: 110 per serving)
Cheese: 400 calories
Flour: 1,820 calories
Eggs: 420 calories
Oil: 31 calories
Oil: 60 calories
Onion: 28 calories
Carrot: 20 calories
Tomato: 70 calories

 

Total = 578 (after dividing by eight servings)

Eric Ripert’s Ultra Rare Scallops

This dish at Le Bernardin helped showcase Ripert’s mastery with seafood. Having analyzed Ripert's recipe for the dish as published on Delish, the barely-cooked scallops, served on mounds of rare mushrooms weigh in at approximately 215 calories.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Butter: 305 calories
Mushroom: 130 calories
Garlic etc.: 18 calories
Vinegar: 7 calories
Crème fraîche: 55 calories
Oil: 248 calories
Scallops: 83 calories
Butter: 15 calories

 

Total = 215 calories (divided by four servings)

Wylie Dufresne’s Fried Eggs Benedict

How Dufresne managed to turn a traditional brunch dish into a masterpiece of molecular gastronomy is still beyond comprehension, but his Fried Eggs Benedict at WD-50 is just that. The dish is unhealthy (though amazing) as it sounds, and at least after analyzing his recipe for the dish as published on Starchefs, weighs in at a whopping 1,477 calories.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Weirdness: 10, 35, 3.5 calories
Egg yolk: 547 calories
Citric acid: 148 calories
Butter: 4,589 calories
Egg yolk: 320 calories
Flour: 100 calories
Bacon: 157 calories

 

Total = 1,477 calories (after dividing by four servings)

Daniel Boulud’s Sea Bass in Syrah Sauce

Yelp/Tiffany T.

At Daniel Boulud's eponymous restaurant in New York, the showcases his French creds with this Sea Bass in Syrah Sauce, whose recipe is on his site. As it reveals, in typical French gastronomic fashion, there’s plenty of cream and butter to go around. That may explain the dish’s 863 calories.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Sea bass: 501 calories
Potatoes: 658 calories
Butter: 407 calories
Oil: 124 calories
Mushrooms: 11 calories
Chicken stock: 86 calories
Wine: 488 calories
Cream: 52 calories
Butter: 204 calories
Leeks: 109 calories

 

Total = 863 calories (after being divided by four servings)

Grant Achatz’s Black Truffle Explosion

It's still hard to wrap your head around this dish at Chicago’s Alinea. The ravioli filled with black truffle juice plays with the boundaries between liquid and solid. Using the recipe for Achatz’s signature dish on Alineaphile, the total calorie count totals approximately 509 calories. Think about the damage done by one bite, and what an extra order of the dish for the table can do.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Truffle: 150 calories
Butter: 1,076 calories
Truffle oil: 126 calories
Parmesan: 235 calories
Cornmeal: 1,231 calories
Oil: 10 calories
Milk: 6 calories
Whole egg: 189, 328 calories
Flour: 728 calories
 

 

Total = 509 calories (divided by 8 servings)

Dan Barber’s Brussels Sprouts

Arthur Bovino

Barber’s iconic farm-to-table restaurant, Blue Hill, made vegetables the star of the meal, which explains the popularity of his simple yet legendary Brussels sprouts dish, roasted and deglazed in balsamic vinegar and adding up to 250 calories, at least according to analysis of his recipe for the dish as published on Serious Eats.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Brussels sprouts: 76 calories
Oil: 371 calories
Vinegar: 56 calories

 

Total = 251.5 calories (after dividing by two servings)

 

Alice Waters’ Baked Sonoma Goat Cheese with Garden Lettuces

Alice Waters’ signature dish embodies the key features of the cuisine that made Chez Panisse famous: simple, seasonal, and fresh. You may or may not find this 475-calorie dish on the daily-changing menu, but it still has people talking.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Oil: 371 calories
Vinegar: 3 calories
Shallot: 20 calories
Oil: 150 calories
Goat cheese: 304 calories
Greens: 54 calories
Bread: 1,000 calories

 

Total = 475 (after dividing by four servings)

Commander’s Palace Turtle Soup

The signature dish at this New Orleans institution may or may not have fed everyone from Jefferson Davis to Mark Twain. Wonder whether its 982 calories were there from the beginning.

 

Calorie Breakdown
Turtle: 979 calories
Butter: 1,215 calories
Onion: 88 calories
Celery: 38 calories
Garlic: 134 calories
Peppers: 71 calories
Veal stock: 60 calories
Flour: 455 calories
Sherry: 1,166 calories
Hot sauce: 2 calories
Worcestershire sauce: 54 calories
Lemon juice: 21 calories
Tomatoes: 97 calories
Spinach: 65 calories
Eggs: 465 calories

 

Total = 982 calories (after dividing by five servings)