10 of the Boston area’s greatest food splurges

Tastebud-pleasing, wallet-slimming delights.

Somerville, MA., 10/08/15, This is the cured hake, avocado, grapefruit, smoked sea salt. Dining Out on Tasting Counter, a restaurant located inside Aeronaut Brewery, just outside Union Square.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Cured hake, avocado, grapefruit, and smoked sea salt at Tasting Counter. –Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

For a city built on Yankee thrift and Puritan self-denial, Boston provides no lack of incentives to spend freely and joyously. Below are some of the city’s more rarified edible delights, from a 20-course omakase to a three-figure lobster roll.

Caviar service at Waypoint ($195)

Waypoint’s Israeli Royal Osetra caviar service. —Waypoint

Recent trends have seen caviar trickle down to dinner menus across town, but Waypoint pulls out all the stops for its own. Its Israeli Royal Osetra caviar — priced at $195 for the largest portion of 50 grams — is accompanied by plankton and white corn blinis, buttermilk crema, and doughnut holes. (1030 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge)

Chef’s tasting menu at L’Espalier ($118-265, plus $152 for a wine pairing)

The white-tablecloth, jacket-and-tie-encouraged L’Espalier has established itself as Back Bay’s de facto French fine dining experience. While the eight-course, $118 tasting menu is nothing to sneeze at, true francophiles can up the ante with a 12-course, $208 (plus $152 for wine pairings) chef’s tasting menu. For $265 plus wine costs, the latter experience can be enjoyed at a private table or at a four-person table within the kitchen itself. (744 Boylston St., Boston)

Dinner service at Tasting Counter ($195/210)

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Nevermind that it’s located within a vast indie brewery in Somerville — when it comes to upscale dining, 20-seat Tasting Counter is one of the hottest tickets in town. Speaking of tickets, you’ll need to purchase one ahead of time. For $195 on a weeknight, $210 on a weekend, it will cover a nine-course tasting menu, gratuity, and beverage pairings that range from natural wines to sakes to, yes, beer. (14 Tyler St., Somerville)

Grand omakase at O Ya ($285, plus $150 for a beverage pairing)

A dish from the grand tasting menu at O Ya. —Brian Samuels Photography

Tim and Nancy Cushman’s storied izakaya elevates the Japanese concept of omakase — essentially, leaving it up to the chef — to maximalist ends with a 20-course grand omakase priced at $285 per person, gratuity and tax excluded. Beverage pairings of sake and wine can be added for an additional $150. While some courses change daily based on availability, you can expect dishes like foie gras nigiri and a “faberge” onsen egg made with caviar and gold leaf. (9 East St., Boston)

The Hemingway Plateaux at Select Oyster Bar ($325)

The sheer scale of Select Oyster Bar’s Hemingway Plateaux is hard to swallow. The $325 feast consists of two dozen oysters, a one-dozen shrimp cocktail, dayboat scallop ceviche, blue crab salad, dressed Maine lobster, salmon crudo, yellowfin tuna tartare, avocado toast, octopus, sauteed clams, mussels, and blue prawns. Papa would be proud. (50 Gloucester St., Boston)

Japanese A5 wagyu at Moo…. ($185)

The Japanese A5 wagyu sirloin at Mooo…. —Mooo....
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There’s more than one way to score wagyu at this Beacon Hill steakhouse. While Japan’s famous red meat appears as a dumpling filling on the appetizer menu, you’ll find it in a more concentrated form as a six-ounce Japanese A5 wagyu sirloin that runs $185. It comes with herb and bone marrow butter — please don’t ask for steak sauce. (15 Beacon St., Boston)

Luxury sashimi platter at Pabu ($249)

Pabu, an izakaya within Downtown Crossing’s Millennium Tower, serves a limited-availability dish with a rather transparent name. The contents of the $249 luxury sashimi platter change daily based on the haul at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, but reliably include such uncooked treats as fatty bluefin tuna, sea urchin, and osetra caviar. On the rare-and-exotic side, you may find yourself facing Japanese barracuda, Pacific flying fish, and golden eye snapper. (3 Franklin St., Boston)

The Monstah at Lobstah on a Roll (around $750)

Chef Kenny Dupree builds a 5-foot “Monstah” roll at Lobstah on a Roll. —Craig F. Walker/Globe staff

South End’s casual Lobstah on a Roll seems to be just another lobster-rolls-and-sandwiches-joint — unless you dare order “The Monstah.” The mother of all lobster rolls is five feet long, about 10 inches wide, and feeds 40-60 people. Scoring it requires two days advance notice, and dishing out a cool $750-ish, based on the market price. (537 Columbus Ave., Boston)

Sunday brunch at The Bristol, Four Seasons Boston ($75)

The brunch buffet may be a middling experience at most establishments, but one location where it’s taken dead seriously is The Bristol at Boston’s Four Seasons. $75 grants access to breakfast items like corned beef hash and roasted new potatoes with scallions and caramelized shallots, a raw bar stocked with oysters and jumbo shrimp,  and a carving station that hosts herb-crusted prime rib. If there is somehow room for dessert after all of that, a selection of house-made cakes, tartlets, and other desserts are on hand. (200 Boylston St., Boston)

Uni Spoon at Uni ($17)

The Uni Spoon. —Andrea Merrill
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For a spoonful that goes all the way, opt for the Uni Spoon at Ken Oringer and Tony Messina’s upscale izakaya. For $17, this blissful one-hitter layers smoky uni, osetra caviar, yuzu, and a quail egg yolk into one unforgettable bite. (370A Commonwealth Ave., Boston)

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