Decadent and Delectable Dining
Whether you're a high roller or a normally frugal foodie, these over-the-top dining experiences are worth every penny. Check out Travel Channel's picks for appetizing adventures full of enchanting entrees and the best ingredients around.
The Cupola, Three on the Bund
The Cupola, located in Shanghai's swanky shopping and cultural center, Three on the Bund, is the epitome of intimacy. This unique dining space has a private room for up to 8 guests or an even more secluded table for 2. The restaurant sits in a historic bell tower high above the city's bustling harbor and downtown area. The Cupola does not have its own menu; instead, diners customize their meal by choosing dishes from any of the menus for the 3 restaurants housed in Three on the Bund including the Whampoa Club, Laris and Jean Georges. Mix and match flavors and cuisines with dishes like foie gras brule, wagyu beef and mouthwatering chocolate deserts.
Private Meal by Chef Louis Pous
Little Palm Island, a ritzy resort tucked away between Key West and Miami, is known for its decadent meals. If you can't make it to the resort's beachside dining room, Chef Luis Pous makes house calls to bring a taste of Little Palm home. Chef Pous will bring his staff and equipment to your house to prepare the best of his French, South American and Caribbean fusion culinary creations. Signature dishes include ceviche and a sakimi sandwich with foie gras and bananas. This meal for 10 runs for $10,000 in addition to wine and travel expenses to bring the crew to town.
L'Espadon's Chef's Table
The Ritz Carlton in Paris is the créme de la créme of French refinement. At the hotel's restaurant, L'Espadon, curious diners can experience culinary magic at a private chef's table. Situated smack-dab in the middle of the busy kitchen, guests might pick up some secrets to the success behind the restaurant's 2 Michelin stars. There's no set menu. Instead, Chef Michael Roth takes requests or lets his inspiration guide these lucky diners through each course. Reservations are hard to come by and should be scheduled weeks in advance.
Picnic on Macaroni Beach
Located at the northern end of the Grenadines, Mustique promises privacy, unspoiled beaches and great Caribbean food. Visitors renting one of the island's $55,000-a-week villas can indulge in an exclusive Caribbean picnic that puts the soggy sandwiches of a typical picnic to shame. Each villa has its own kitchen staff to whip up delicacies that prove foodies never need to compromise high culinary standards even when dining al fresco. The ideal picnic basket would include seasonal salads, local seafood and the best bubbly to wash it all down.
Dinner in the Sky
David Ghysels has created a true moveable feast with his unusual Dinner in the Sky that dangles from a crane 165 feet above the ground. It's one of the few fine dining establishments that requires guests to fasten their seat belts before diving into a gourmet meal. Groups can host a dinner party for up to 22 people almost anywhere in the world, from the Las Vegas Strip to London to India. A catering company or private chef does most of the cooking on the ground, though there is electricity and a gas grill available for high-flying cooking. And live music is available but will cost extra as the performers are raised on a separate platform that hangs in the air alongside the restaurant. Plan for a trip to the powder room before you get on board -- bathroom facilities are available on the ground but require the entire group to descend for a potty break.
Nino's Bellissima Pizza
New York, New York
Craving pizza? You'll need 24-hour advance notification and a deposit to indulge in a slice of the pricy Nino's Bellissima Pizza at Manhattan's Nino's Positano. This $1,000 pie is piled high with extravagant toppings including fresh Maine rock lobster, 4 types of caviar and salmon roe topped with wasabi. To truly appreciate this luxury pie, enjoy with Nino's finest champagne.
Fleur Burger 5000
Las Vegas, Nevada
Just about everything is over-the-top in Vegas, including the pricy Fleur Burger at Fleur De Lys. You don't need to be a guest at the Mandalay Bay Hotel to dig in, but you will need some serious cash to indulge in this $5,000 burger. Chef Hubert Keller is the man behind this masterpiece made of Kobe beef, foie gras and black truffles. It's served with a rare bottle of Bordeaux, a 1995 Chateau Petrus, that complements the burger's rich flavors.
Les Amis White Truffles
Singapore's acclaimed Les Amis restaurant is delicious any time of year, but foodies swoon for one seasonal specialty -- the white truffle. Every fall, the chef pays tribute to this elusive and expensive delicacy with exquisite dishes like mushroom cappuccino with shaved truffles and scalloped carpaccio topped with truffles. If diners can take their eyes away from their fancy plates, they can feast their eyes on the gorgeous dining room filled with Parisian chandeliers and Kristoff silver.
Once the home of the sultan, Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul is a hotel rich with history and style. You can dine like royalty at the hotel's Tugra Restaurant, which features original recipes handed down from the Ottoman Empire. Top off the meal with a scrumptious slice of bedazzled cake. The Sultan's Golden Cake costs $1,000 and is covered in 24 carat gold leaf. The cake is made with rare vanilla imported from French Polynesia and filled with pears, apricots, quince and figs that have been marinating in Jamaican rum for 2 years.
The French Laundry
People wait for months for a reservation at Napa's French Laundry, so there's no need to rush the meal. Culinary master Thomas Keller's concept is simple -- farm-to-table cooking using the region's freshest ingredients, many of which are grown on-site. The menu changes daily with 9 courses of perfectly sized plates in the chef's tasting or vegetable tasting. And no ingredient is repeated in the same meal providing a diverse and delicious dining experience.
New York, New York
Daniel Boulud is a culinary icon with 10 restaurants around the world. His Upper East Side treasure Daniel is considered one of New York's finest restaurants. The prix fixe tasting menus at Daniel are divine on their own, but the dishes are downright decadent when you add on the caviar supplement. The only thing that can make Boulud's linguine with lemon or slow-baked salmon even tastier is a pricy dollop of the finest and most delicate Golden Osetra caviar eggs.