Why This Frittata Costs $2,000

We tried the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata at Norma’s in New York City, which costs $2,000. It contains 10 oz. of caviar, a full lobster, potatoes, eggs, and cheese. Norma’s makes $38,000 a year on the dish. Chef Emile Castillo has been serving the high-priced dish for over 15 years.


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Why This Frittata Costs $2,000

Following is a transcript of the video:

Abby Narishkin: Keep your $14 avocado toast, we’ve got something even better. Over at Norma’s at the Le Parker 
Meridien in New York City, they’re taking Sunday brunch to the next level, for those willing to dish out a couple grand that is. This is the Zillion Dollar Frittata. The six egg omelet with lobster and caviar will set you back a whopping $2,000.

Devan: $2,000? Okay!

Abby Narishkin: Norma’s has put inventive twists on breakfast classics since 2004.

Emile Castillo: Because most of people, they concentrate on lunch and dinner menus, and nobody really at the time was focusing on breakfast.

Abby Narishkin: Most customers order the Crunchy French Toast, or the Wowza Waffle, stuffed with fruit and topped with berry jam and crackly brûlée. But, if you’re willing to pay $2,000, you can eat the frittata Chef Castillo spent nearly a month developing.

Emile Castillo: I had to study, what is it that will go together with the eggs and with the lobster. And lobster is one that everybody has. So I have to come up with something different to make it out of this world.

Abby Narishkin: But why is it so expensive? Well, the base of eggs, cream, and grilled potatoes is pretty standard for a frittata. But, the lobster is where things start adding up. The omelet is stuffed with, and topped with, a whole bunch of blanched and roasted lobster tail.

Chef Castillo takes a tin ring and circles the bottom with those grilled potatoes. Then he balances the omelet on top and smothers it all with lobster tail and lobster sauce. Then comes 10 ounces of caviar scooped on top. Chef Castillo slides off the tin ring and the Zillion Dollar Frittata is ready for delivery out to the table, where I got to try it out.

I’ve never had caviar before. The chef said that it’s something that you have to like in order to like this dish. So, I’m gonna be interested to see if this is something that I enjoy. Succulent is the word that comes to mind. Not exactly something I thought it would, but it’s rich, it’s earthy, I think I like caviar. This is not a habit that I should keep up though. I loved it, so I brought it back to the office to have some coworkers try it too.

Devan: I’m gonna take my first bite to see if this is worth what, a $1,000?

Abby Narishkin: It’s actually 2,000.

Devan: $2,000? Okay.

Michelle: Mmm, wow.

Noah: It does taste really good, but the lobster’s a bit overpowering for the rest of it, so that’s mainly what I got a taste of.

Chia-Yi: Besides the caviar, I feel like I could have made this myself.

Devan: Um, so is it worth $2,000? No. Does it taste good? Yes.

Abby Narishkin: After seeing my coworkers reaction to the steep price tag, I wondered, do people actually order the dish? Well, Norma’s sells two versions of the Zillion Dollar Frittata. There’s the super-sized one that we tried, and a smaller version that comes with one ounce of caviar, and costs a reasonable $200. Each year, Norma’s serves up about 10 of the giant frittatas, and around 40 of the smaller ones. All combined, that’s almost $30,000 from an egg dish.

Emile Castillo: I have one order for six of them in one table.

Abby Narishkin: People love it so much, the frittata has sat squarely on the menu since Norma’s beginning, even jumping in price from $1,000 to $2,000 last year.

Emile Castillo: It has been in the menu since 2004. And it’s amazing because there are people who are still interested after 14 years, still come in, we want me to make this. Because it’s good, it’s unusual. Nobody has it. A lot of people have tried, but it’s, it’s nothing to compare with this. I was the original.

Abby Narishkin: Just in case you’re like us and think, I can make that at home, well, you can try. Chef Castillo has a cookbook with all the steps for the pricey plate. But with 10 ounces of caviar and a whole lot of fresh lobster, I think I’ll leave this one to the chefs. And the few lucky enough to afford the bill.

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Noisia Radio S01E08

Even though Omnivore, the fourth track from the Dead Limit EP fits any season, we suggest you play this episode of Noisia Radio while enjoying a nice barbecue, as we did while making it!

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