Gabriel Kreuther

Gabriel Kreuther

Worse Than Fast Food? The Unhealthiest Dishes at America's Best Restaurants

All that cream and foie gras really adds up

A meal at one of America’s leading fine-dining restaurants can be an experience to remember. From the bread service to the mignardises, a well-executed multi-course prix-fixe meal is a special occasion unto itself. But you might not want to partake in this kind of eating too regularly, because all those calories can quickly add inches to your waistline. We tracked down the unhealthiest dishes at America’s 10 best restaurants.

Worse Than Fast Food? The Unhealthiest Dishes at America's Best Restaurants (Slideshow)

The gold standard for unhealthy fast food has long been the Big Mac, but in reality, by modern standards, it’s not too bad for you. It only contains 563 calories and 33 grams of fat, making it essentially the equivalent of eating a roast beef and cheese sandwich with mayo for lunch. The issue with the Big Mac is that there’s very little nutritional value to be had; the only component with any vitamins is the lettuce.

Recently, New York Magazine looked at this exact issue, attempting to calculate how many Big Macs a meal at Thomas Keller’s Per Se was equivalent to. The article is a good read, but the end result is pretty surprising: The nine-course tasting menu (along with the amuse-bouche, wine, dinner rolls with butter, and candies) added up to a whopping 2,416 calories and 108 grams of fat for one meal, far exceeding the 2,000-calorie recommended daily intake. 

The most high-calorie dish on the menu was foie gras torchon, clocking in at 435 calories. Foie gras, which is essentially pure fat, pops up on nearly every high-end tasting menu, and other luxury items like wagyu beef also make occasional appearances. Read on to learn which menu items are the unhealthiest at the top 10 restaurants from our recent ranking of the 101 Best Restaurants in America; the next time you partake in a mega-tasting menu like the ones offered by these restaurants, you may not want to clear every plate. 

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