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Expensive restaurants: French Laundry tops priciest-eatery list

August 15, 2011 | 12:27 pm

French laundry The French cuisine at Melisse in Santa Monica has won an impressive two Michelin stars, four and a half stars on Yelp and, now, a spot among the country’s priciest restaurants.

Melisse ranks sixth on a list of haute dining establishments burning through patrons' pockets. Diners at the restaurant spend, on average, $576 per check, according to Bundle, a database of spending and saving trends.

At the top of the heap is Thomas Keller’s French Laundry near Napa, where the average check runs $957. Keller’s New York restaurant Per Se is next, where patrons shell out an average of $883 per table.

San Francisco’s Michael Mina eatery, with its $844 average check, is third. Chicago restaurants Alinea and Charlie Trotter’s round out the top five.    

Many of the luxurious destinations, where prix fixe menus with wine pairings can run hundreds of dollars, serve French or American Nouveau dishes. Nine of the 25 most expensive restaurants are in California, eight are in New York City and six are in Chicago.

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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Thomas Keller garnishes sauteed foie gras at French Laundry. Credit: Perry C. Riddle/Los Angeles Times

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