Please Stop Adding Inedible Things To Novelty Menu Items Just To Make Them Super Expensive

Bagatelle's $470 sundae and $530 ring.

Bagatelle’s $470 sundae and $530 ring.

We get it — your sandwich/burger/dessert isn’t exciting enough, so what do you do, as a restaurant owner who wants to create a buzz? You add precious metals that you otherwise wouldn’t eat to a grilled cheese or a piece of jewelry to a sundae, crank the price up, call it a Super Expensive Food Item and get everyone talking about it. But listen, if I can’t eat it and/or it doesn’t taste good on its own, don’t include it with my food.

While sure, I can eat cheddar infused with flakes of 24K gold (that’s not even a challenge, show me a piece of cheese and I will likely eat it regardless), I’d rather have $100 worth of delicious ingredients that are wholly edible all on their own if I’m going to diverge from a homemade $2 basic sandwich.

So the fact that there’s now a $1,000 ice cream sundae on the menu of a trendy Meatpacking District restaurant in New York City made me immediately skeptical. What kind of cows produce such pricy milk? Is this sundae filling a swimming pool and if so can I swim in it while a bearded Ryan Gosling fans me with a palm leaf and sings sweet songs about my Wisconsin homeland?

But no, explains Eater NY, Bagatelle’s pricy dessert is really only half as expensive as it purports to be when you take away the part of the menu item YOU CAN’T EAT.

The “Mauboussin Mega Sundae” has scoops of vanilla ice cream and Dom Perignon Rose sorbet, with a topping of chocolate truffles, macarons, whipped cream, chocolate vodka sauce, and “gilded brownies,” and of course, more gold leaf because that’s how you jack the price on anything.

But $530 of that sundae can be chalked up to a ring made of black steel and white gold which isn’t even the cherry on top or placed in the food (choking hazards probably, you know how it goes) but instead is served alongside.

Which makes it much like the $70 grilled cheese with its $30 side of mac and cheese.

I can chuckle over your priciness, expensive foods that are really masquerading as joint food + inedible offerings, but that doesn’t mean I respect you. Next time show me $1,000 worth of ice cream and toppings and leave that crunchy ring where it belongs, in a jewelry store.

Bagatelle’s $1K Sundae Includes Dom Sorbet and Jewelry [Eater NY]

You can follow MBQ on Twitter if you also eschew eating precious metals with your dairy: @marybethquirk

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  1. SingleMaltGeek says:

    “I’d rather have $100 worth of delicious ingredients that are wholly edible all on their own if I’m going to diverge from a homemade $2 basic sandwich.”

    Yes! I’ve tried a few expensive food items, mostly because I like being adventurous and trying almost anything that sounds tasty…and my definition of tasty is pretty broad. But crap like gold leaf makes me feel about food the way designer labels make me feel about clothes. I don’t mind spending more for quality at times, even for luxury quality on occasion, but to make something expensive simply as a way of making it seem more desirable has the complete opposite effect on me.