Tax Day 2016 Dining Splurges: Where to Spend Your Refund

April showers bring May flowers or if you’re really lucky, the month itself brings a big fat tax refund. Since experiences bring more happiness than possessions, a big splurge dinner on the town seems like the perfect way to spend it. Here are some top picks Tax Day 2016 dining splurges to live and eat large if only for one night. please note that the most exclusive wines are available in extremely limited quantities, so it’s best to inquire ahead of time if you have your heart set on a particularly splurge-y selection.

Daniel, New York, New York
Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant on the Upper East Side just off of Central Park is the epitome of contemporary French extravagance. The seven-course tasting menu clocks in at $234 or $459 with wine pairings and includes signature dishes like velvety Minted Pea Soup with chicken mousse and Louisiana crayfish and garlic pennycress and can include courses of langoustines, beef, and quail with foie gras. The wine list has selections such as Chateau D’Yquem 1918 for $10,000 or Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2009 for $15,000. Or if you’re celebrating with similarly flush-with-cash friends, how about a magnum? You can’t go wrong with the Domaine Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru “Cros Parantoux”1995 for $20,000. Make a reservation at Daniel.

Tax Day 2016 Dining Splurges

Providence, Los Angeles, California
Chef Michael Cimarusti’s 2-Michelin star paean to fine dining in the heart of Los Angeles features the chef’s menu, a 12-course tasting menu with sustainable seafood from the U.S. and beyond, as well as other delicacies like prized A5 wagyu beef. Decadent touches include ossetra caviar and white truffle and black truffle fondue. It’s $220 or $325 with wine pairings. But if you’re really looking to splash out, begin your evening with a bottle of 1998 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay Champagne for $3,500 and then move on to a bottle of 2012 La Tâche Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for $4,000. Finish the evening with a bottle to remember in the way of a 1959 Staatsweingut Kloster Eberbach Riesling Auslese for $3,500. Make a reservation at Providence.

Tax Day 2016 Dining Splurges

Saison, San Francisco, California
Chef Joshua Skenes and sommelier Mark Bright have crafted one of the most unique high-end dining environments at Saison, with its open floor plan encompassing the dining room, bar, lounge, and kitchen — effectively removing all walls. The goal is to bring diners into the chef’s world, in this case, a minimalist redesign of the California Electric Light Company building. Dishes have vague and poetic names such as Fire in the Sky Beet, Bone Marrow Roasted over Coals and Sea Urchin, Liquid Toast. The prix-fixe Discovery menu is a luxe $398 for about 16 courses with an additional $298 for wine pairings. But if you want to really max out the credit cards (assuming you can pay it off with your return dough), you might consider ordering the Domaine Georges Roumier ‘Bonnes-Mares’ Grand Cru 2009 for $15,408 or ending the experience on a truly sweet note with Château D’Yquem Premiere Cru Supérieur, Sauternes 1942 for $6,888. Make a reservation at Saison.

Tax Day 2016 Dining Splurges

StripSteak by Michael Mina, Miami, Florida
Located in the historic Fontainebleau hotel on Collins Avenue in Miami, StripSteak is swank and clubby with its wood tones and rich browns. Start your meal with rare golden osetra caviar service for $295, and then indulge in a beefy entrée like the 50-ounce Australian tomahawk for $150 or the Japanese Miyazaki prefecture A5 striploin for $32 per ounce. Then gild the lily with add-on extras like half a Maine lobster tail or seared foie gras. The restaurant prides itself on having one of the largest pre-embargo Cuban cigar collections in Miami, all dating back to 1962 and earlier with prices generally in the $100-200 range but topping out at $395 for a 6-inch Montecristo. To accompany your stogie, choose a tableside Japanese whisky ceremony or perhaps a glass of 25-year Macallan for $370. Make a reservation at StripSteak by Michael Mina.

Tax Day 2016 Dining Splurges

Grace, Chicago, Illinois
This Michelin three-star restaurant is also one of the biggest splurges in Chicago. Elegant and understated, chef Curtis Duffy’s Windy City gem is upscale without being fussy. The menu offers an 8-12 course tasting menu format at $235. The dishes are described in classic minimalist style such as Alaskan King Crab, sudachi, cucumber, lemon mint or Pig Tail, endive, cauliflower, oxalis. Many dishes have Asian accents and the vegetarian “flora” menu is as captivating as the “fauna” menu, which showcases seafood and protein. The wine list features saves and splurges among 1,400 selections. Teetotalers can splurge on bespoke teas that cost upwards of $20 each. Make a reservation at Grace.

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Local Food More Complicated than You Think; FOOD at Frieze; Priciest Tasting Menus + More News

FOOD in New York’s then-not-so-trendy neighborhood played an important role in the continuing evolution of dining in the U.S.

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* Show me the meaning of eating local. The conversation needs to extend beyond mileage. [The Washingtonian]

* Frieze freezes a moment in food history. An exhibit at Frieze New York pays homage to Soho’s FOOD restaurant of the 1970s. [NY Mag]

* Do you have expensive tastes? Then you won’t suffer sticker shock from the world’s spendiest tasting menus. []

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Counting Courses; Restaurants Fight the Flu; Great Wine by the Glass + More

I like tasting menus, but the last one I did was just four courses at Kajitsu in NYC. This is the citrus fruit pot — vegan and delish!

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* Waste not, want not. That saying has been around for a really long time, and yet half the world’s food supply goes to waste. Join me in a collective “Ugh!” [Los Angeles Times]

* By the numbers. The so-called tyranny of tasting menus in New York, this time broken down by time and number of courses. [GrubStreet NY]

* One flu over the cuckoo’s nest. Either from illness or fear, the flu is making us all a bit crazy, and restaurants are doing their part to fight its spread. Thank you! [CBS Local/DFW]

* The real restaurant wars. The battle for dining supremacy continues to rage between New York and San Francisco. And I’m staying out of it! [The Awl]

* Pour some Ducru-Beaucaillou on me! Abe & Arthur’s restaurant in Manhattan is serving up wines by the glass that are typically too expensive for your average bear. And, you know, me. [Fox News]

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Trash on the Tasting Menu; $2K Dish of Pasta; Deceptive Calorie Counts + More

The only way I could afford to order a $2,000 plate of pasta is if it came with a side of $1,970.

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* One man’s trash is another man’s tasting menu. Ingredients that would have wound up on the compost heap are being heaped onto diners’ plates. [Washington Post]

* A pasta dish that’s seriously rich. And at $2,000 a plate, it ought to be. [NYPost]

* Counting calories? You may not want to count on the posted counts at restaurants. [ABC News]

* Food allergies are nothing to sneeze at. Find out how to dine out without falling ill. []

* Iron man. Salt Lake City chef Viet Pham of Forage defeated Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. []

* Worst. Tip. Ever. A disgruntled taxpayer passes the buck to a server. [Gawker]