Every so often, a gimmicky dish comes along that commands a massive price tag but doesn’t actually taste very good. You can take anything and slap foie gras, truffles, caviar, and gold leaf on it, call up the press, and make some news, but luxury ingredients alone do not a great dish make. These items tend to come and go, but very few of them are actual permanent menu items because of the relative scarcity of the ingredients. In that vein, there’s one restaurant in New York that serves the most expensive pasta dish in America, but only when its star ingredient is available: white truffle.
At notoriously expensive Italian restaurant Nello, there’s an off-menu item that every waiter mentions among the daily specials while white truffles are in season: white truffle pasta. That’s all the detail that customers are given about the dish, but should they decide to order it, they’ll receive a bowl of fresh egg pasta in a simple butter sauce, heaped with shavings of white truffles. It’s simple and undoubtedly one of the finest ways to experience one of the most luxurious products on earth — but it’s also outrageously expensive, clocking in at $275 (when black truffles are in season, a version topped with those goes for $150).
This is actually one of the most infamous dishes in all of New York, primarily because it’s pitched with no mention of price and the sticker shock has led to many complaints, and even a critical article in the New York Times.
But hey, if you can spare the expense, at least you can say that you’ve eaten America’s most expensive pasta dish!