What’s the most expensive meal you’ve ever had? Perhaps a nice steak at one of America’s best high-end chain steakhouses or a tasting menu at one of the best restaurants in America? No matter how high the bill was, we bet it didn’t come close to what your final tab would be at New York City’s Masa, which very well might be the most expensive restaurant in America.
Just about any restaurant can be super expensive if you sit there for hours and order tons of food and vintage bottles of wine. And likewise, you can have a cheap meal at even one of America’s best steakhouses if you just order an appetizer and water. But only a relatively small number of restaurants charge a flat fee for a set menu, where there’s no way to weasel out of dropping a wad of dough — sometimes several hundred dollars — just for walking in the door.
Masa, which is located in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle neighborhood, is this type of restaurant. Under the purview of master sushi chef Masa Takayama, guests are treated to a two-hour meal in which they’ll be served up to 25 individual courses in a spare, minimalist dining room dominated by a long sushi counter.
The menu changes nightly according to what’s fresh and available, but the meal always starts with a variety of appetizers, which may include Japanese hairy crab with Hokkaido uni and cucumber, Matsutake mushroom soup, braised goldeneye snapper, Ohmi beef tataki with shaved truffle and the signature tuna tartare with a mound of Osetra caviar. Then comes a cavalcade of sushi: striped jack, fluke, sea bream, squid, geoduck, mackerel, scallop, sweet shrimp, fatty tuna with scallion, and sea urchin. Finally comes a palate-cleansing dessert, like grapefruit granita. To drink, a variety of cocktails, wines and sakes are offered, but you can also bring your own wine (for a corkage fee of $150 per bottle with a limit of two bottles).
So what’s this all cost? For one diner, it’ll set you back $595 before drinks and tax. Thankfully, gratuity is included, but with sake pairings and cocktails, a meal can tip the scales at $1,000 per person. It may come as no big shocker that the most expensive restaurant in America is in New York City, but you might be surprised to learn the most expensive restaurant in your state.