When it comes to restaurants, there’s expensive and then there’s expensive. If we’re celebrating a special occasion or have some cash to burn, most of us can spend a couple hundred bucks on a meal for two every so often. But what about meals that cost over a thousand bucks for a party of two? Those are served at the most expensive restaurants in America, and we’ve tracked down 20 of them.
Chef Dave Beran, late of Chicago’s acclaimed Alinea and Next, struck out on his own last year to open one of the country’s most ambitious new restaurants, a tiny 18-seater that serves ambitious and artful seasonal tasting menus. A meal there costs $195 per person, plus $22 in taxes and fees; if you want to add a beverage pairing, that’ll tack on an additional $125.
An offshoot of the legendary Roberta’s Pizza, Blanca is a spare white room with a handful of chairs around a bustling kitchen counter, where set tasting menus are served four nights a week. To join in on the excitement, you’ll need to fork over $195 per person, before tax, tip, and drinks.
The Inn at Little Washington/Yelp
Patrick O'Connell, a self-taught chef, opened this restaurant in 1978 in what was originally a garage in a little town about an hour's drive from D.C. He formed alliances with local farmers and artisanal producers long before it was fashionable, and developed into a sophisticated modern American chef of the highest order. The restaurant offers three different tasting menus, each with four courses, and they’ll each cost you $218 to experience — or $343 if you want to pair your meal with wine.
At Grant Achatz’s newly-renovated three-Michelin-star flagship, a handful of different prix fixe menus are available, and they’re all exorbitantly expensive. The 10- to 12-course Salon Menu costs from $175 to $225 per person, the 16- to 18-course Gallery Menu ranges from $285 to $345, and a meal at the exclusive Kitchen Table costs $385 plus beverages, tax, and tip.
Located just outside of Seattle, Herbfarm offers a seasonally inspired dining experience that celebrates the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Each unique meal features the freshest ingredients from forest, farm, and sea and is paired with five or six wines; the menus, with themes such as Truffle Treasure and Chambers of the Sea, change about every two weeks as different ingredients become seasonally available. The cost of your meal varies day to day, but expect to pay anywhere from $225 to $285 per person.
Using carefully sourced ingredients, Coi chef Matthey Kirkley — who took over from founding chef Daniel Patterson in 2016 — serves thoughtful Northern California cuisine, balancing classical methods with modern techniques to create unusual and evocative dishes like citron marshmallow with oxtails and red radish and Dungeness crab with citrus leaves and black sesame. The 11-course prix fixe costs $250 per person.
One of the most confounding and inscrutable new restaurants in America, Vespertine is also one of its most expensive. “The convergence of food, art, architecture, music, and sculpture is woven throughout to create an immersive, multi-sensory event” courtesy of chef Jordan Kahn, and a meal there will cost you $250 per person.
Hidden next to the famed Spanish chef’s casual tapas spot Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, é by José Andrés is an eight-seat tasting counter where his avant-garde approach has free reign. If you want to experience all that Andrés has to offer when money is no object, money will need to be no object on your end as well: A meal there starts at $250 per person, before supplements, wine, tax, and tip.
Chef José Andrés’ two-Michelin-star masterpiece is the jewel in the crown of the D.C. dining scene, and a must-visit for those interested in avant-garde cooking. Only six guests are served at a time, and the price tag for just the food is $275 per person. You can add beverage pairings for $115, $195, or $500.
Chef Chris Kostow's widely acclaimed Napa Valley dining spot creates food custom-suited to each guest based on a conversation with every diner. The tasting menu coats $275 per person (before drinks and tip), and a meal at the kitchen counter costs $500 per person.
Eleven Madison Park is an event all its own. The recently-renovated restaurant has, among its credits, four stars from The New York Times, where the reviewer hailed the imaginative presentation, and three stars from the Michelin Guide. The average meal at this tasting menu-only restaurant includes eight to 10 courses, and the prices runs from $295 to $315 per person.
Benu is located in a historic building in the heart of San Francisco’s SOMA district, and is the brainchild of James Beard Award-winning chef Corey Lee. The tasting menu-only restaurant offers “a wide variety of seafood and vegetables, a few meat courses, and some sweets.” A meal there will last about three hours, and it’ll cost you $295 per person plus 20 percent gratuity.
The French Laundry/Yelp
Chef Thomas Keller approaches French cuisine with classical technique, and his restaurant The French Laundry established new standards for fine dining in this country. If you want to dine there, however, it’s going to set you back: A meal in the dining room costs $310 per person, and dinner in the private Board Room or courtyard costs $400 a head, before wine.
Upholding the standards of excellent cuisine and customer service set by Thomas Keller’s restaurant empire, Per Se remains a must-visit dining experience in New York. But as you might expect from a restaurant of this caliber, it’s very expensive. The tasting menu will set you back $340 per person, before wine and supplements.
At the top of his profession, with a well-deserved three Michelin stars at his Parisian flagship, Savoy has translated the best in contemporary ingredient-based French cooking to the world’s most famous gambling mecca without missing a beat. Several menus are available, and they’re all exorbitantly expensive: The Prestige menu costs $345 (plus $200 or $275 for wine), the Krug Chef’s Table costs $500 per person, and if you care to dine à la carte, entrées average around $110.
An open wood flame is the focal point of this astonishingly expensive restaurant, where each meal is tailored to the diner’s individual culinary preferences and ingredients are sourced from “a small group of fisherman, hunters, gatherers, ranchers, and farmers to find and follow microclimates that produce specific tastes from wild foods.” Dinner there will set you back $398 per person.
The legendary Urasawa is one of America’s finest Japanese restaurants, with two Michelin stars to its name, and it’s also not just the most expensive restaurant in California, but in the whole country. It boasts a daily-changing omakase menu of 25 or more courses, which will set you back $400 before tax, tip, and beverages. The average check costs more than $1,000 per person.
Located inside the MGM Grand, French master chef Joël Robuchon’s eponymous restaurant is serving the most expensive meal in a city that’s chock-full of them. The restaurant offers several tasting menus, all of them astronomically expensive, but the crème de la crème, the 18-course degustation, costs $445 per person before wine, tax, and tip.
In order to be the most expensive restaurant in New York, you need to be really expensive, and chef Masayoshi Takayama’s Time Warner Center flagship is without a doubt really, really expensive. Should you decide to blow your next paycheck on his (admittedly incredible) creations, plan on dropping a flat fee of $595 per person, before drinks and tax. At least gratuity is included.
Unless gratuity is included, you should always throw down to support your server no matter how much you shelled out for your meal — failing to tip 20 percent is one of the 20 things you should never do in a fancy restaurant.
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