The king of luxury foods? Caviar. Traditionally defined as salt-cured wild sturgeon roe, the delicacy—which dates back to the 11th century—holds the title of most expensive edible on the planet. (Its most coveted variant—produced with the eggs of an Iranian Beluga fish and packaged in a 24-karat gold tin—can fetch more than $11,000 per pound.)
For fans of the decadent pearls—typically eaten as a garnish or spread—here are the best places in the city to dine on “black gold.”
Nestled on the second floor above Madison Avenue, this caviar mecca touts a dizzying assortment of caviar in a multitude of ways: Have the extravagant eggs with a crudo of bluefin tuna, diver sea scallop, or California sea urchin, or order them by the “spoonful” (with a side of freshly baked blinis and crème fraîche). A few dishes in the multi-course tasting are also garnished with the luxe ingredient, including a Shigoku oyster with coconut and green apple and a crispy poached egg with smoked salmon, and sorrel.
Petrossian Boutique & Cafe
The international caviar company’s New York outpost boasts its impressive array of decadent roe—from Classic Transmontanus to Special Reserve Alverta caviar. Opt for the restaurant’s $160 “Caviar Creations” tasting (which spotlights Royal Ossetra caviar in a soup, in a lemon tart, in a risotto, and on Wagyu beef with a smoked and pickled quail egg). Or choose from one of the roe-loaded entrees, such as the caviar-stuffed Muscovy duck breast; wild-striped bass (with foie gras, uni, and caviar); and dry-aged New York strip (with beef marrow and caviar).
The high-end Italian seafood spot doles out its four Caviale offerings by the ounce, with prices ranging from $150 for the Petrossian Shassetra Imperial (Amur sturgeon) caviar to $385 for the Petrossian Special Reserve Ossetra (diamond sturgeon) caviar. For a caviar-topped dish, order the branzino crudo (sliced wild-striped bass with mussel vinaigrette).
Russ & Daughters Cafe
The low-key Lower East Side locale offers five kinds of caviar in three different sizes (50, 125, and 250 grams), ranging in price from $70 to $990. (Each serving comes with blini, crème fraîche, and accoutrements.) For a little bit of everything, order one—or both—of the tastings: The $90 Daughters Caviar Flight features a trio of domestic caviars (15 grams each of American Transmontanus, Hackleback, and Paddlefish), while the $130 Russ Caviar Flight highlights the eatery’s three premier varieties, including the Siberian Baerii and Osetra Gueldenstaedtii.
The three-Michelin-starred French restaurant’s regular prix fixe includes four caviar expressions: egg caviar (made with a softly scrambled egg and vodka whipped cream); warm glazed potatoes with caviar and tapioca; Meyer lemon gelée with caviar and crème fraîche; and toasted egg yolk (three yolks sandwiched between two slivers of toast and topped with caviar and herbs). The New Year’s Eve menu also kicks off with Osetra caviar with blinis and crème fraîche.
For a truly over-the-top caviar-centric dish, pay a visit to this family-friendly eatery—home to the $1,000 Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata.
The world’s most expensive omelette, it features a whole lobster combined with eggs, cream, and chives, crowned with 10 ounces of Sevruga (American sturgeon) caviar. Not willing to shell out a whole grand for breakfast? A more modest version—topped with a single ounce—is also available for $100.