Short of the Robb Report, which is really a magazine for those who aspire to be rich, there's no magazine who has a greater claim on having the pulse of the wealthiest in the world than Forbes. Thanks to a link from Luxist this week, we are treated to Forbes list of the world's most expensive restaurants. But before anyone with cash to burn prints out a list and jumps on a plane, I've got to point out one thing:
The folks at Forbes have no idea what the heck they're talking about.
First of all, and most glaring, the prices that they are quoting are laughable. Take for instance, the most expensive restaurant in the world -- according to Forbes: Aragawa. Now it just so happens that I've actually been to this little restaurant -- a small carpeted, Victorian lounge in Tokyo that is supposed to be the world's best steakhouse. Forbes quotes a price of $277 for this restaurant (presumably without wine). Ignoring the fact that I have had meals more expensive than that in US restaurants that don't even make their list, my meal at Aragawa ended up being $575 per person, and my dining companion and I only ordered half-orders of steak! Granted, that price included a $125 bottle of wine, but even so, it's clear that the folks from Forbes need to brush up on their research, or, God forbid, actually visit these restaurants. (In case you were wondering about that Kobe steak -- it was fantastic, but it wasn't worth the money.)
Secondly, and a failing of any list like this, there are tons of restaurants that they missed, especially in Tokyo and Hong Kong, where bills can be so astronomical they run credit reports at the door (OK, not entirely true, but you get the idea). Also, while I'm not an expert on the Michelin three star restaurants of Paris, from what I've read I don't think that Arpege is actually the priciest of them.
In any case, the list is at least good for a laugh or two, as well as putting a few new restaurants on your mental map (like the ones in Budapest and Mexico City). My advice though ? At least triple the prices.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Holiday Gift Guide for the Wine Lover Who Has Everything I'll Drink to That: Andrew McNamara of The Court of Master Sommeliers Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 22, 2015 I'll Drink to That: Bruce Neyers of Neyers Vineyards Vinography Images: Rows of Gold A Lonely Hillside: The Wines of Alto de la Ballena, Uruguay I'll Drink to That: Karen MacNeil The Most Untrustworthy Wine in the World Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 11/22 I'll Drink to That: CP Lin of Erewhon
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune