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What is Toronto's most expensive restaurant?

chefhound Sep 13, 2013 04:25 PM

Can anyone name Toronto's most expensive meal these days?

I'm having dinner at Momofuku Shoto in a few weeks and I was just wondering if there are any other restaurants in Toronto in the same price range these days. I think Splendido might be but I can't think of any other restaurants that in the $300+ for 2 people range?

Back in the day, there was Susur, Centro, North 44. I think North 44 is in the $200/2 range today.

  1. chefhound Sep 14, 2013 01:26 PM

    Let me clarify the details of my original question. When I said most expensive meal, I meant for either a tasting menu or a la carte without add-ons or upgrades. And maybe a glass of wine or a cocktail.

    Obviously, as Charles mentions, you can astronomically inflate your bill at a high-end Chinese restaurant with shark's fin, abalone etc. but I'm basing the cost on a basic meal.

    Shoto is $150 per person before a drink or tax and tip. Which means that dinner for 2 with a glass of wine will come to about $430. A 7-course tasting menu at Bero, where I had a fantastic meal last night, would be about $250 for 2 with a glass of wine.

    Is there another place in Toronto where dinner for 2 with a drink would cost more than $450?

    13 Replies
    1. re: chefhound
      justxpete Sep 14, 2013 03:54 PM

      If you're really keen on it, you can have Splendido create a custom tasting menu for you, and they'll charge you somewhere between $125-140pp. Couple of glasses of wine and such, and you'll probably run close to $350.

      But $450? Other than Hashimoto, not really.

      And in my experience, most "mid-range" restos in TO are around $150/2 (including tax and tip).

      1. re: justxpete
        Charles Yu Sep 14, 2013 05:11 PM

        Eigensinn Farm with its $300 pp tasting menu will set you back about $450 after beverages, tax and tips. Tag on the cost of 'Gasoline' and voila!! No problem!!

        1. re: Charles Yu
          justxpete Sep 14, 2013 05:18 PM

          EF isn't in Toronto! And it's BYOW, remember? So it'd still be $300.

          1. re: justxpete
            Charles Yu Sep 14, 2013 05:30 PM

            You forgot about the $8 bottled water and the $5 coffee which are not included in the $300!!
            BTW, using their Free range chicken and fresh buttermilk, may be Stadtlander can produce the best fried chicken in Ontario?! Ha!!

            1. re: Charles Yu
              disgusti Sep 14, 2013 06:47 PM

              Anywhere that's gonna tack on a $5 coffee to a $300 meal immediately loses my business. That's insane

              1. re: disgusti
                justsayn Sep 14, 2013 08:24 PM


                1. re: disgusti
                  Vinnie Vidimangi Sep 14, 2013 08:55 PM

                  Me too. This is just rude and provocative.
                  Now I have an excuse not to take the Ms.

                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                    szw Sep 15, 2013 09:42 AM

                    What about on a coupon?

                  2. re: disgusti
                    justxpete Sep 15, 2013 10:15 AM

                    Stadtlander doesn't charge outrageous prices to get rich. He's a different type of chef and uses the money to teach his under-studies and maintain the "co-op".

                    So $5 is $5. I have no issue with it. It's not like any restaurant that charges that much gives you coffee for free. As a matter of fact, they all charge for it.

                    1. re: justxpete
                      nowai Sep 25, 2013 08:11 PM

                      Per Se charges that much and does not nickel and dime for coffee. In fact my fiance had non-alcoholic beverage pairings for her entire meal free.

                      1. re: nowai
                        justxpete Sep 25, 2013 10:52 PM

                        You must be pretty special. We don't make many of our reservations via OP, and have had the same treatment across Alinea, EMP, Per Se and Grace, among others.

                  3. re: Charles Yu
                    syoung Sep 14, 2013 08:34 PM

                    But as justxpete said, EF is not in Toronto which is one of the criteria stated by the OP.

            2. re: chefhound
              syoung Sep 14, 2013 08:33 PM

              As already mentioned above, Hashimoto fits your criteria. Jacobs mentioned above would not fit your criteria because the likes of Wagyu or Caviar are not "basic" by your definition. I think Hashimoto is the only one.

            3. KhaoSanRoad Sep 13, 2013 11:30 PM

              i will assume you mean food Excluding wine.

              - khao san road

              1 Reply
              1. re: KhaoSanRoad
                KAYLO Sep 14, 2013 08:16 AM

                "Expensive" could just mean highest dollar charge, and that's easy to quantify and prove, but if value is provided for that dollar, I personally don't think of a restaurant as expensive.

                The most "expensive" restaurants for me are the ones that don't cook, the ones that microwave mass-produced industrial entrees and garnish the plate with bottled sauces. Does anyone think , oh, Milestones or P.F. Chang's is good value?

                If nothing in my meal hasn't taken at least a full day to produce, that's an expensive meal. If a restaurant isn't making its own pizza crust and sauce from scratch, then that is a wickedly EXPENSIVE pizza.

                And a boo-out to the ones that charge real money for dishes I can easily better prepare at home for a 10th of the price. I find BRUNCH expensive. Ridiculous. I go to them with friends as a social event, not as a food event. Expensive to the point of stupid.

              2. justsayn Sep 13, 2013 06:10 PM

                Very easy at Jacobs. I've seen Sotto Sotto go off the rails without trying too hard.

                5 Replies
                1. re: justsayn
                  chefhound Sep 14, 2013 01:35 PM

                  Wow, I had no idea that Jacobs was so expensive. I just checked out the menu. It must be the most expensive steakhouse in town.

                  1. re: chefhound
                    justxpete Sep 14, 2013 10:17 PM

                    Although Jacob's has more expensive options and you can spend a fair amount of money there, Harbour 60 is more expensive on average (the food is much, much better at Jacob's).

                    1. re: justxpete
                      justsayn Sep 14, 2013 11:25 PM

                      Harbour Sixty offers a much superior rib steak, dollar for dollar, pound for pound over Jacobs. When ordering on a budget, Harbour Sixty is the better value. If you have no budget, they are both very expensive but Jacobs offers many more excellent steak choices over Harbour. You may not know the cow's name at Harbour, but you know he died to a skilled hand!

                      While I have had disappointing steaks at Jacobs (dry, bland, grainy), I have never had a less than stellar rib steak at Harbour.

                      1. re: justsayn
                        justxpete Sep 15, 2013 12:00 AM

                        Lol. Harbour 60s rib steak is a steaming pile of shit compared to Jacobs & Co's. There is no value at H60. That's the problem. It's expensive, pretentious crap. Anyone who knows anything about steak knows it. And $36 for a shrimp cocktail? lol.

                        1. re: justxpete
                          justsayn Sep 15, 2013 11:48 AM

                          That's funny!

                2. Charles Yu Sep 13, 2013 05:38 PM

                  It all depends on cuisine!!

                  For Japanese: The $300 pp Kaiseki course of Hashimoto

                  For Western: Jacobs Steakhouse. They have both Wagyu and Cavair. If one order 'Beluga' caviar to start with at $250 a pop and then follow by the Australian Oakleigh Range Wagyu Striploin at $110, the two alone will set you back $360+

                  For Chinese: If order a la carte, sky is the limit!!
                  Judy's kitchen, for example, offers Tiger shark shark's fin, which the owner has collected from years ago, at only $2700+ a dish! Similarly Golden Court, John's BBQ, the Casa's ...etc all have their own in-house collectibles! Again, depending on size, price could costs even more...way more!
                  In addition some establishments also have Japanese dried abalone which they offered braised in Shang Tong Broth and Oyster sauce. Depending on sizes, one 10 'head' Yoshihama can easily make a $2500 dent in your wallet. However, the more common size are the 16 - 20 head ones. Price ranges from $500 each and up. If you don't want to spurge, the common dried Japanese Abalone can still cost you around $80-$100 pp for a morsel the size of an Oreal cookie.
                  Add to that some Sea Cucumbers, Bloodied Bird's nest, fish Maw...etc and you are looking at the price of a compact car for a meal for 4!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Charles Yu
                    disgusti Sep 14, 2013 05:52 AM

                    Wow, I honestly had no idea stuff like that was going on in Toronto, kinda blowing my mind

                  2. c
                    Cat123 Sep 13, 2013 05:13 PM

                    Hashimoto is $300 pp not including drinks, taxes and tip. I'm guessing you could also do a significant amount of damage at a steakhouse like Jacobs or Harbour 60 if you tried.

                    1. b
                      bytepusher Sep 13, 2013 05:11 PM

                      Hashimoto is I think in the same price range as Shoto if you have the wine pairing at Shoto

                      You can get into the $300/2 price range at Kaji if you make a dent in the Sake and Shochu list

                      1. d
                        Dean Tudor Sep 13, 2013 04:41 PM

                        Scaramouche, if you order a full meal with wine, tip and taxes...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Dean Tudor
                          thebutcher Sep 13, 2013 06:23 PM

                          Agree - was at Scaramouche last month. 366 for the 2 of us.

                          1. re: Dean Tudor
                            Charles Yu Sep 13, 2013 06:55 PM

                            I think one should remove 'wine' from the equation!! Since the value can distort the bill tremendously!

                            Just for argument sake, if one would pick an ordinary Bistro or Trattoria with a great wine list like Le Select or Paese. Order a simple dish like Steak Frite but pair it with a 1949 Chateau Margaux or 1985 Sassicaia for around $2700 per bottle. Then, to kick it up a notch even more, order a bottle of say 1947 Chateau D'Yquem to go with the $10 Creme Brulee. That 4-5 figure bill can trump any meal at any restaurant any day?!!! No?!!

                            1. re: Charles Yu
                              syoung Sep 14, 2013 08:24 PM

                              However, you mentioned below about special dishes like Shark's Fin and Abalone which is akin to a ordering a Premier Cru Bordeaux, so you're not being consistent here.

                              In fact, I would sooner order a 1985 Sassicaia for $2,700 with the rest of my meal than the Tiger Shark's Fin you mentioned below for $2,700+.

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