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July 2007

I was just reading the corriere della sera and they were reporting that Forbes published the list of the top 12 most expensive restaurants in the world.

The list looks very impressing and unfortunately I have not been to any of them :(.  So, I added them to my wishpot wishlist!

  • La Pergola – This is an Italian joint in Rome
  • Tetsuya – a Japanese restaurant in Sydney
  • The French Laundry – The Napa Valley Destination (note the capital N!).  I tried to go to this one, but we could not get a table
  • Masa – THE sushi place in NYC
  • Joel Robuchon – In Vegas.  I actually went to the “cafe” version.  That was one of the the most “upscale” cafe I have been, so the real thing must be really good.
  • Alinea – in Chicago.  I’d never heard of it.  I guess it’s in my todo list for when I go to Chicago.
  • Toque – in Montreal
  • El Bulli – I really want to go to this place.  It’s a the top of my restaurant wishlist! Ferran Adrià has achieved a god-status chef level and I really want to check it out.  Hope that it’s worth the $300/person (without wine!).
  • l’Arpege – in Paris
  • Restaurant Gordon Ramsay – In London.  After seeing Gordon Ramsey on kitchen nightmare (not the Fox version…the BBC one is much better) he has really become one of my favorite chefs.  Too bad it’s almost impossible to get a reservation.
  • Aragawa – In Tokyo.  The rumor has it that they have one of those nice $400 steaks.
  • Bukhara – in Delhi.

The one thing that seems to be clear is that (1) wine is not included in any of the prices mentioned in the Forbes article.  Anyone should know that makes or break both the meal and the bank! (2) It seems that the rank is based solely on the “standard preset meal” – of course you could spend lots more if you ordered off the menu or you went for special menu.    There was also a good post about this sometime ago on thevinography blog and they recommended to triple the prices.

Anyway…it seems there is some good place to go, regardless from where you are.

I dined at the 3rd Floor Third Cafe many times for business. It’s a great place to take partners that are visiting us for a few days.

Last night we went for the 25 for $25 dinner with friends.

Bottom line: the Fish Cafe has a “special” 30$ menu most of the year. I would highly recommend to go for that one and not the 25$ one. Don’t get me wrong, the 25$ is still pretty good…it’s just not as good as the other one. The major difference is that the 30$ menu is a subset of the regular menu and the 25$ has different dishes (and no…that’s not a good thing).

One thing I really liked is that the special menu is easy to “discover”. The Fish Cafe gives you the 25$ menu along with the regular menu. That’s very good.

Appetizers – I would give it a 6/10. There’s really nothing special (shrimp cocktail, gyoza or a salad). Yeah…they are good, but I could just have it at home!

Main – I would give it a 7/10. The selection is limited to pasta with seafood creme sauce, lamb shank and something else. We had the lamb and the pasta. The lamb was tasty and tender. My friends me told me that the pasta was good (I am anti-seafood-with-creme so I could not taste it).

Dessert – 8.5/10. I would highly recommend the creme brulee. It’s actually really good. The other desserts are good as well.

Overall it’s an ok deal. At the very end we ended up spending 45$/person (we had wine and coffee). If you have never been there and you want to check out the place then this is a good opportunity. But I would rather wait for the 30$ menu to be abck. The food is much better and definity worth the money.

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I had never been to Oceanaire and it was not in my list of “to go places”. But, last night a friend of mine reserved a table and I had the chance to go. I had actually heard good things about this restaurant, so I was looking forward to try it.

Let’s put it this way. I strongly discourage anyone from going there for the 25 for $25 and based on what I saw last night I will definitely not go back anytime soon.

You would expect that these special deals are to get you to try something nice that would make you go back for more. This was not the case.

For 25$ (+ tip + tax + plus glass of wine = 40$) this is what I got:

Appetizer – three mini oysters with corn and a sauce. The sauce was overpowering and you could not taste the oysters much.
Main – sole cooked in butter with capers. Come on…I can make this at home and it does have some taste! The alternative was a gnocchi with crab meat and broccolini. Two of my friend tried it and they thought it was an “interesting” dish.
Dessert – a small very blend keylime pie.
Couple of other considerations:

25$ menu is visible right away. Although in a little corner of the main menu.
Plating was very underwhelming. I felt there was no love put there.
At the end of the meal we agreed that the overall dinner was at most a 4 out 10. Not recommended.

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