USA Today’s recently compiled list of the world’s most expensive restaurants provides a glimpse at how the other one percent does dinner.
The “winner” is Kitcho, in Kyoto, Japan, where chef Kunio Tokuoka prepares $600-a-head meals; bringing up the rear is the three-Michelin-star Schloss Schauenstein in Switzerland, a bargain at $269. Alain Ducasse properties show up twice—Restaurant Le Meurice in Paris, where patrons enjoy dinner in Versailles-inspired splendor for just over $509; and his eponymous eatery at The Dorchester in London, where a seasonal tasting menu runs about $289. Only one U.S. establishment, Masa in NYC, made the top 10 at about $450 a person. Still, seats at that temple to Japanese cuisine remain so dear that management can get away with charging a $200 penalty just for a canceled reservation.
Most of those average check figures don’t factor in beverages, either. One spot that fell short of the top 10 was San Francisco’s Saison, where a Bloomberg BusinessWeek reporter recently shelled out $248 a head for a 17-course tasting meal, the only option available. Wine pairings, tip and tax nudged the tab over the $500 mark.
By the way, the reporter who dined at Saison was still a little hungry at the end of the marathon dinner.