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Ten small bowls filled with dips and vegetables and salads are arranged around a larger hummus bowl on a shiny, round metal platter. Pita and fries are off to the right side.
Salatim at Laser Wolf.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

21 Splurge-Worthy Restaurants in NYC

Where to go for a long overdue blowout meal

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Salatim at Laser Wolf.
| Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Maybe you got that new job. Maybe you got that paycheck a day early. Maybe you quit that awful job. Or perhaps you’re just excited to be eating out again. Sometimes these occasions call for fiscal prudence — the prevailing ethos for so many people, especially in an era of rampant inflation — but sometimes, these occasions call for a splurge. This list concerns itself with the latter situation.

New York is home to some of the country’s most expensive restaurants, but not all of them are very good restaurants. The venues here are a curated selection of the best blowouts at various price levels; to some, a $120 solo dinner might be as much of a study in excess as a $1,000 meal for two. Over half of these restaurants offer a la carte options; some, however, are tasting menu-only. Many offer indoor dining exclusively, without outdoor or takeout options.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

For more New York dining recommendations, check out the new hotspots in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Hamptons and our guides to brunch, food halls and Michelin-starred restaurants right now.

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Yakitori Torishin

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One of the city’s best yakitori spots. Omakase offerings run $100 at the chef’s counter, or $180 at the select counter. More affordable options are available at the tables. Dinner might involve skewers of chicken thigh, heart, liver, crunchy knee bone, or prized chicken oysters. Meats are grilled directly over binchotan charcoals. Real cost: About $150 per person or more for a full meal after tax, beverage, and tip.

[The counter at Tori Shin]
The counter at Tori Shin.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

This is chef Sungchul Shim’s haute ode to casual Korean kimbap seaweed rice rolls — but served in the style of Japanese temaki hand rolls. Expect oily marinated mackerel, spicy tuna salad with potato chips, and ultra fatty A5 wagyu, all over rice seasoned not with vinegar but with fragrant and nutty sesame oil. Dinner ends with an ultra-concentrated bowl of chicken ramyun — a stunner of a noodle soup. Real cost: About $215 per person after tax and tip and two drinks.

Assorted hand rolls are arranged diagonally as they await pickup
Assorted hand rolls at Mari
Erik Bernstein/Eater NY

Le Bernardin

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Eric Ripert’s three-Michelin-starred temple to French seafood remains one of the top places to dine in New York, which makes Le Bernardin a tough reservation. But the bar and lounge, where the full menu is served, is open to walk-ins. The four-course menu is $195 while the chef’s tasting runs $295. A vegetarian menu is $230, while lunch is $120. Real cost: Over $300 per person after wine, tax, and tip.

A server pours orange Thai shellfish broth onto a white plate, which holds a slide of poached skate covered by a multi-colored dice of papaya and squash
Poached skate at Le Bernardin.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Aquavit

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Chef Emma Bengtsson’s two-Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant is open for indoor dining and takeout. Bar room dishes include herring trios, lojrom roe, gravlax, and Swedish meatballs. The more extravagant tasting menus run $175 and $275. Real cost: About $300 per person or more after drink, tax, and tip for the tastings.

Aquavit grav
Smoked gravlax at Aquavit.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Joomak Banjum

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Pastry chefs Jiho Kim and Kelly Nam serve a series of set menus that dabble in the sugary and more whimsical side of things a touch more markedly than other contemporary tasting menu spots. Or more precisely: Expect a doughnut with that duck leg, a faintly sweet dill mousse with your caviar, raw madai with zingy strawberry fizz, and raclette ice cream with a potato mille feuille. Tasting menus start at $85 — much less expensive than other modern Korean spots — and then jump to $170 or $225. Real cost: At least $160 per person after tax, tip, and two glasses of wine

Light green sweet pea mousse sits over basil meringue with assorted herbs in a large bowl
Sweet pea mousse dessert at Joomak Banjum.
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

Sushi On Me

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New York has no shortage of reverent omakase temples, places where diners can pay upwards of $400 per person for pristine morsels of fatty bluefin served in serene dining rooms. This is not one of those places. Sushi on Me is a $89, cash-only, expletive-laden all-you-can-drink party. It’s a place to enjoy chef Atip “Palm” Tangjantuk’s fun approach to nigiri; he serves about 12 pieces, one at a time, the best of which might be Thai-style chile-garlic sauce over seared white tuna. Real cost: About $120 per person after tax and tip. Beverages are included.

A row of patrons seated on one side of the sushi bar are show toasting and drinking sake with chefs, who are standing on the opposite side of the counter.
Patrons toasting at Sushi on Me.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Chef Philippe Massoud continues to run one of the city’s top Middle Eastern restaurants at Ilili in Flatiron. Expect silky kibbeh nayeh steak tartare with mint and bulgur, duck shawarma with fig jam, and generous mixed grill platters with beef kebab, kofta, lamb chops and other assorted treats. Real cost: About $100 per person after drink, tax, and tip.

Cote Korean Steakhouse

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Simon Kim and David Shim’s Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse offers indoor and outdoor dining, where diners can enjoy the $64 or $185 set menus, with extensive a la carte beef, shellfish, and caviar selections as well. Note that most bookings are for parties of four or more; smaller parties of two or three are accommodated only for the first and last seating times. Real cost: Expect to spend at least $125 per person or more after tax, tip, drinks, and extras.

A circular beef-filled tabletop grill sits at the center; around that gold-rimmed grill are small banchan, including kimchi and egg omelet
An assortment of grilled meats and sides at Cote.
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Enrique Olvera’s chic and very expensive Flatiron spot remains one of the city’s top Mexican restaurants. Try the rich and oily kampachi pastrami sope, the tataki al pastor, the milpa tamal, and the tomato-topped halibut meztlapique. Keep in mind that the best item — the large format lamb barbacoa — is only available at brunch. Real cost: About $150 per person after tax, tip, and drinks.

Cosme’s lamb barbacoa in a cast iron pan, next to a glass of wine and a plate with avocado.
Lamb barbacoa at Cosme.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Rezdôra

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Chef Stefano Secchi, an alum of famed Italy restaurant Osteria Francescana, has gifted New York with one of its most breathtaking pasta spots in years, serving up hearty (but rarely heavy) a la carte specialties from the butter-and-cheese-loving region of Emilia-Romagna. Try the strozzapreti with lobster and basil, or a tagliatelle Bolognese packing a profound meatiness. Also consider the $95 pasta tasting, a solid deal that doesn’t go too heavy on portion sizing. Indoor or outdoor seating is available. Real cost: At least $125 per person a la carte.

The tagliolini al ragu, held up by a fork, at Rezdora
Tagliolini al ragu at Rezdora.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Masa alums Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, two of the city’s best and most innovative sushi chefs (think: torched toro sinew with Thai bird chiles), have reopened for indoor dining. Dinner is $270 per person for a series of small plates plus sushi sushi. Supplemental items like toro with uni and caviar are also available. Real cost: $400 per person or more after drinks, tax, and tip.

A slice of pink fatty tuna, marbled with fat, sits over a small mound of rice
Bluefin tuna nigiri.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Llama San

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Erik Ramirez’s creative take on Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei fare initially made Llama San one of the city’s toughest-to-get-into restaurants with tables for two regularly booking up a month out. Amid the COVID-19 era, however, reservations are easier to come by. Diners will encounter visually striking and delicious compositions like scallops with wasabi, wagyu nigiri with banana, and Iberico pork tonkotsu with green udon. Real cost: At least $125 per person before for a four-course a la carte meal with wine.

A chef uses tweezers to place purple borage flowers over a bowl of scallop ceviche with cherimoya
A chef prepares scallop ceviche at Llama San.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Ambitious seafood restaurants that don’t cost a fortune are a relative rarity in New York, which is what makes this jewel box of a British-leaning spot by Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard such a gift. Make a reservation — not an easy task — and order anything off the concise and frequently changing menu. Expect dishes like squid and scallion skewers, cucumber salad with mussels, cured trout with gooseberries and smoked broth, and an absolutely epic fish and chips. Real cost: About $125 per person after drinks, tax, and tip.

A colorful spread of dishes and cocktails laid out on a table
Fish & chips and other dishes at Dame.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Estela easily ranks as the most creative — and expensive — establishment in the Ignacio Mattos empire, serving up some of the city’s best small and medium-sized plates. Take a seat at the bar and build your meal out of a collection of European-leaning dishes. Mattos hides rich ricotta dumplings under a layer of mandolin-thin mushrooms. He grills foie gras like no one else, wrapping the fatty liver in a grape leaf. And he still offers his famous arroz negro, with almost every grain of rice magically crisped up like a paella-style socarrat. Real cost: At least $125 or more per person for about three plates and two drinks each.

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

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Michael Solomonov’s Williamsburg spinoff of the Philadelphia set-menu skewer spot easily ranks as one of the city’s most enjoyable (yet non-exorbitant) rooftop restaurants. Dinner begins with salatim, a seemingly never ending array of Israeli pickled and marinated vegetables with warm pita and hummus, then moves onto a succulent protein — perhaps grilled short rib, spiced cauliflower, or lamb and beef koobideh kebabs. The best part, of course, is the panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline; watch the Empire State Building glow as you finish off dinner with a brown sugar soft-serve sundae. Real cost: About $100 per person after tax and tip with two drinks each.

A round, shiny metal plate filled with grilled meats with three cups of salatim arranged to the left of the plate.
Grilled meats at Laser Wolf.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Dhamaka

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The $210 Rajasthani rabbit, which can be quite difficult to reserve, might be the one literal splurge item at Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar’s breathtakingly spicy Indian spot, but the other more affordable preparations are so unique and expertly prepared it would be remiss not to include this venue on a special occasion map. Expect fiery gurda kapoora (goat testicles and kidneys), a flaky fish fry, and fragrant goat neck biriyani. Real cost: About $75 or more per person after beverage, tax, and tip.

An overview shot of various Indian dishes in colorful plates at the restaurant Dhamaka.
A spread of dishes at Dhamaka.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

This Williamsburg Italian restaurant from chef Missy Robbins and partner Sean Feeney remains one of the city’s best and toughest-to-get-into pasta spots; reservations often book up a month out. In exchange for these efforts, however, diners are treated to spectacular baked clams with Calabrian chiles, ruffled malfadini pasta with pink peppercorns, and heady lamb steaks. Real cost: About $100 or more per person.

A corner of Lilia’s dining room with lights that hang over the tables
The light-filled dining room at Lilia.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

Fredrik Berselius’s Williamsburg restaurant is quite expensive — dinner runs $295 before service charge and wine — but it’s an expense worth considering for diners seeking thoughtful and creative New Nordic fare. Expect dishes like trout belly with albino caviar or buttermilk ice cream with honey and strawberries. Real cost: About $450 or more per person after wine, tax, and service charge. Bookings are for a minimum of two people and are fully prepaid and nonrefundable.

Aska
A mushroom dish at Aska.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

With Aldama, Christopher Reyes and Gerardo Alcaraz have given New York one of its best and most ambitious Mexican restaurants since Cosme opened in 2014. Highlights include stellar al pastor tacos made with modernist pineapple-serrano gel, carrot-daikon tostadas laced with electric levels of acidity, and a breathtaking vegan mole negro that you mop up with aromatic corn tortillas. Real cost: About $100 or more per person for a full meal plus drink, tax, and tip.

Rolled ribbons of daikon and radish sit over slices of avocado on a tostada
A daikon and radish tostada at Aldama.
Gary He/Eater NY

Chef James Kent is the force behind this sky-high tasting menu sequel to Crown Shy, located on the 63rd floor of the Art Deco 70 Pine building. The $295 menu earns you some quality pre-dinner cocktail time on a terrace with stunning nighttime views. Then you move inside for a modern European meal with occasional Japanese, Latin-American, and North African influences. Expect dishes like king crab and sun gold bisque, and a large format duck with harissa aioli and m’smen flatbread. Real cost: About $450 or more per person after drinks, tax, and tip. Bookings are for a minimum of two people and are fully prepaid and nonrefundable.

Assorted fluke preparations, in green shiso wrappers, in scallop shells, and in pastry shells, sit on a two-tiered platter
Fluke six-ways at Saga.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

La Vara

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Tucked into a tree-lined residential street in Cobble Hill, La Vara is one of the city’s best Iberian spots. Chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero pay homage to the Moorish and Sephardic traditions of Spain, serving up beef jowl terrine with pistachio and mustard oil, toasted fideos with squid, shrimp, and aioli; and roast suckling pig with tximitxurri. Real cost: About $100 or more per person for a full meal with multiple plates, drinks, and dessert.

Chef Alex Raij stands in front of La Vara in a white-and-black-striped search with her hand on her hip
Chef Alex Raij stands in front of La Vara.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

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Yakitori Torishin

One of the city’s best yakitori spots. Omakase offerings run $100 at the chef’s counter, or $180 at the select counter. More affordable options are available at the tables. Dinner might involve skewers of chicken thigh, heart, liver, crunchy knee bone, or prized chicken oysters. Meats are grilled directly over binchotan charcoals. Real cost: About $150 per person or more for a full meal after tax, beverage, and tip.

[The counter at Tori Shin]
The counter at Tori Shin.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Mari

This is chef Sungchul Shim’s haute ode to casual Korean kimbap seaweed rice rolls — but served in the style of Japanese temaki hand rolls. Expect oily marinated mackerel, spicy tuna salad with potato chips, and ultra fatty A5 wagyu, all over rice seasoned not with vinegar but with fragrant and nutty sesame oil. Dinner ends with an ultra-concentrated bowl of chicken ramyun — a stunner of a noodle soup. Real cost: About $215 per person after tax and tip and two drinks.

Assorted hand rolls are arranged diagonally as they await pickup
Assorted hand rolls at Mari
Erik Bernstein/Eater NY

Le Bernardin

Eric Ripert’s three-Michelin-starred temple to French seafood remains one of the top places to dine in New York, which makes Le Bernardin a tough reservation. But the bar and lounge, where the full menu is served, is open to walk-ins. The four-course menu is $195 while the chef’s tasting runs $295. A vegetarian menu is $230, while lunch is $120. Real cost: Over $300 per person after wine, tax, and tip.

A server pours orange Thai shellfish broth onto a white plate, which holds a slide of poached skate covered by a multi-colored dice of papaya and squash
Poached skate at Le Bernardin.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Aquavit

Chef Emma Bengtsson’s two-Michelin-starred Scandinavian restaurant is open for indoor dining and takeout. Bar room dishes include herring trios, lojrom roe, gravlax, and Swedish meatballs. The more extravagant tasting menus run $175 and $275. Real cost: About $300 per person or more after drink, tax, and tip for the tastings.

Aquavit grav
Smoked gravlax at Aquavit.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Joomak Banjum

Pastry chefs Jiho Kim and Kelly Nam serve a series of set menus that dabble in the sugary and more whimsical side of things a touch more markedly than other contemporary tasting menu spots. Or more precisely: Expect a doughnut with that duck leg, a faintly sweet dill mousse with your caviar, raw madai with zingy strawberry fizz, and raclette ice cream with a potato mille feuille. Tasting menus start at $85 — much less expensive than other modern Korean spots — and then jump to $170 or $225. Real cost: At least $160 per person after tax, tip, and two glasses of wine

Light green sweet pea mousse sits over basil meringue with assorted herbs in a large bowl
Sweet pea mousse dessert at Joomak Banjum.
Ryan Sutton/Eater NY

Sushi On Me

New York has no shortage of reverent omakase temples, places where diners can pay upwards of $400 per person for pristine morsels of fatty bluefin served in serene dining rooms. This is not one of those places. Sushi on Me is a $89, cash-only, expletive-laden all-you-can-drink party. It’s a place to enjoy chef Atip “Palm” Tangjantuk’s fun approach to nigiri; he serves about 12 pieces, one at a time, the best of which might be Thai-style chile-garlic sauce over seared white tuna. Real cost: About $120 per person after tax and tip. Beverages are included.

A row of patrons seated on one side of the sushi bar are show toasting and drinking sake with chefs, who are standing on the opposite side of the counter.
Patrons toasting at Sushi on Me.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Ilili

Chef Philippe Massoud continues to run one of the city’s top Middle Eastern restaurants at Ilili in Flatiron. Expect silky kibbeh nayeh steak tartare with mint and bulgur, duck shawarma with fig jam, and generous mixed grill platters with beef kebab, kofta, lamb chops and other assorted treats. Real cost: About $100 per person after drink, tax, and tip.

Cote Korean Steakhouse

Simon Kim and David Shim’s Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse offers indoor and outdoor dining, where diners can enjoy the $64 or $185 set menus, with extensive a la carte beef, shellfish, and caviar selections as well. Note that most bookings are for parties of four or more; smaller parties of two or three are accommodated only for the first and last seating times. Real cost: Expect to spend at least $125 per person or more after tax, tip, drinks, and extras.

A circular beef-filled tabletop grill sits at the center; around that gold-rimmed grill are small banchan, including kimchi and egg omelet
An assortment of grilled meats and sides at Cote.
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Cosme

Enrique Olvera’s chic and very expensive Flatiron spot remains one of the city’s top Mexican restaurants. Try the rich and oily kampachi pastrami sope, the tataki al pastor, the milpa tamal, and the tomato-topped halibut meztlapique. Keep in mind that the best item — the large format lamb barbacoa — is only available at brunch. Real cost: About $150 per person after tax, tip, and drinks.

Cosme’s lamb barbacoa in a cast iron pan, next to a glass of wine and a plate with avocado.
Lamb barbacoa at Cosme.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Rezdôra

Chef Stefano Secchi, an alum of famed Italy restaurant Osteria Francescana, has gifted New York with one of its most breathtaking pasta spots in years, serving up hearty (but rarely heavy) a la carte specialties from the butter-and-cheese-loving region of Emilia-Romagna. Try the strozzapreti with lobster and basil, or a tagliatelle Bolognese packing a profound meatiness. Also consider the $95 pasta tasting, a solid deal that doesn’t go too heavy on portion sizing. Indoor or outdoor seating is available. Real cost: At least $125 per person a la carte.

The tagliolini al ragu, held up by a fork, at Rezdora
Tagliolini al ragu at Rezdora.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Shuko

Masa alums Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, two of the city’s best and most innovative sushi chefs (think: torched toro sinew with Thai bird chiles), have reopened for indoor dining. Dinner is $270 per person for a series of small plates plus sushi sushi. Supplemental items like toro with uni and caviar are also available. Real cost: $400 per person or more after drinks, tax, and tip.

A slice of pink fatty tuna, marbled with fat, sits over a small mound of rice
Bluefin tuna nigiri.
Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Llama San

Erik Ramirez’s creative take on Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei fare initially made Llama San one of the city’s toughest-to-get-into restaurants with tables for two regularly booking up a month out. Amid the COVID-19 era, however, reservations are easier to come by. Diners will encounter visually striking and delicious compositions like scallops with wasabi, wagyu nigiri with banana, and Iberico pork tonkotsu with green udon. Real cost: At least $125 per person before for a four-course a la carte meal with wine.

A chef uses tweezers to place purple borage flowers over a bowl of scallop ceviche with cherimoya
A chef prepares scallop ceviche at Llama San.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Dame

Ambitious seafood restaurants that don’t cost a fortune are a relative rarity in New York, which is what makes this jewel box of a British-leaning spot by Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard such a gift. Make a reservation — not an easy task — and order anything off the concise and frequently changing menu. Expect dishes like squid and scallion skewers, cucumber salad with mussels, cured trout with gooseberries and smoked broth, and an absolutely epic fish and chips. Real cost: About $125 per person after drinks, tax, and tip.

A colorful spread of dishes and cocktails laid out on a table
Fish & chips and other dishes at Dame.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Estela

Estela easily ranks as the most creative — and expensive — establishment in the Ignacio Mattos empire, serving up some of the city’s best small and medium-sized plates. Take a seat at the bar and build your meal out of a collection of European-leaning dishes. Mattos hides rich ricotta dumplings under a layer of mandolin-thin mushrooms. He grills foie gras like no one else, wrapping the fatty liver in a grape leaf. And he still offers his famous arroz negro, with almost every grain of rice magically crisped up like a paella-style socarrat. Real cost: At least $125 or more per person for about three plates and two drinks each.

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

Michael Solomonov’s Williamsburg spinoff of the Philadelphia set-menu skewer spot easily ranks as one of the city’s most enjoyable (yet non-exorbitant) rooftop restaurants. Dinner begins with salatim, a seemingly never ending array of Israeli pickled and marinated vegetables with warm pita and hummus, then moves onto a succulent protein — perhaps grilled short rib, spiced cauliflower, or lamb and beef koobideh kebabs. The best part, of course, is the panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline; watch the Empire State Building glow as you finish off dinner with a brown sugar soft-serve sundae. Real cost: About $100 per person after tax and tip with two drinks each.

A round, shiny metal plate filled with grilled meats with three cups of salatim arranged to the left of the plate.
Grilled meats at Laser Wolf.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

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Dhamaka

The $210 Rajasthani rabbit, which can be quite difficult to reserve, might be the one literal splurge item at Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar’s breathtakingly spicy Indian spot, but the other more affordable preparations are so unique and expertly prepared it would be remiss not to include this venue on a special occasion map. Expect fiery gurda kapoora (goat testicles and kidneys), a flaky fish fry, and fragrant goat neck biriyani. Real cost: About $75 or more per person after beverage, tax, and tip.

An overview shot of various Indian dishes in colorful plates at the restaurant Dhamaka.
A spread of dishes at Dhamaka.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Lilia

This Williamsburg Italian restaurant from chef Missy Robbins and partner Sean Feeney remains one of the city’s best and toughest-to-get-into pasta spots; reservations often book up a month out. In exchange for these efforts, however, diners are treated to spectacular baked clams with Calabrian chiles, ruffled malfadini pasta with pink peppercorns, and heady lamb steaks. Real cost: About $100 or more per person.