There’s no typo in the headline. New York City, which can lay claim to being home to the world’s most expensive ice cream sundae, is also now home to the world’s most expensive Thanksgiving dinner. The meal, at the Old Homestead Steakhouse, carries a price tag of (wait for it!) $76,000! According to CNBC, that amount is 1,500 times the cost of the average Thanksgiving meal for ten!
Marc Sherry, co-owner of the restaurant, is quoted as saying, “When you spend $76,000 on a Thanksgiving dinner, you’re not just buying dinner, you’re creating memories.” Yes, memories of the poorhouse for most people.
So how does the Old Homestead justify this insane price for a single meal? For my money, they don’t come close.
Dinner begins with $100 imported king oysters with a mignonette sauce made using Opus One. To put this in some perspective, a bottle of 1997 Opus One can be purchased from Sokolin for $495. I’m not sure what the makers of this precious elixir would think of a steakhouse using it to concoct a dipping sauce, but that’s another matter.
Your next course is a platter of inch-thick $225-per-pound smoked bacon slabs taken from a Japanese black boar, accompanied by an $1,800 bottle of special reserve cognac. Why anyone would want to be served bacon in slab form is a mystery, but no more than the puzzling decision to serve cognac this early in the meal, and with bacon yet.
More cognac, this time a $4,800 Louis XIII, is desecrated by being used to deglaze the pan for steak au poivre. The meat itself, $475-per-pound Wagyu, is served as bite-size lollipops.
On to $105-per-pound organic turkey, sourced from a free-range farm upstate, served with mashed sweet potatoes onto which a surfeit of $1,600-per-ounce caviar (the menu helpfully identifies this as “from the Caspian Sea”) has been dumped.
There’s more, but it’s all so much mindless extravagance. “I’m in love with the holiday,” Sherry is quoted as saying. “I’m in love with the creativity of a $76,000 dinner.” But there’s nothing more creative to this meal than procuring the mostly costly ingredients money can buy, then plunking them down unceremoniously in front rich people who don’t know enough to consider the experience an affront to good taste.