Gold, goose fat and truffles: Serendipity3's $200 fries a 'celebration' of NYC's comeback

·Producer
·3 min read

Upscale New York City eatery Serendipity3 created the world's most expensive french fry — and it has a Guinness World Record title to prove it. 

Yahoo Finance had the chance to taste test the rich dish, which costs a whopping $200, and features decadent ingredients like truffle shavings, edible gold dust, and goose fat from France.

"We get a lot of reactions. People think it's outrageous, but a lot of people really want to try them," Serendipity3 Chef and creative director Joe Calderone said about the viral menu item. 

So far, the restaurant has sold about 50 orders — with customers ranging from couples to groups of friends. But don't expect to walk into Serendipity3 and immediately revel in the pricey creation. There's currently an eight to ten-week waitlist. 

"It's really a celebration — a celebration of life and a celebration of New York coming back," Calderone added. 

Supply chain headwinds 'a real issue'

World's Most Expensive French Fry (Courtesy: Serendpity3)
World's Most Expensive French Fry (Courtesy: Serendpity3)

As New York City restaurants continue to grapple with pandemic headwinds, the inspiration behind the dish stemmed from Serendipity3's 18-month shutdown. 

"We re-opened the restaurant on July 9 and National French Fry Day was July 13 so we said: 'Hey, what can we do to make some noise and let people know we're back?'" Calderon explained. "And that's when we came up with the world's most expensive french fries."

But despite a strong reopening, supply chain headwinds have made it difficult for the restaurant to fully bounce back as basic items — from bottled water caps to cardboard — remain scarce. Even the goose fat used to create the decadent fries has been a challenge to obtain. 

"The supply issue has been a real issue for us...there's a lot of kinks in the supply chain that are causing a lot of problems for restaurants in New York City, and really around the country," the chef said. 

"It's a lot of extra steps sourcing things out. We have to be ten steps ahead of everything to be able to make sure that we can serve everybody Serendipity style," he added. 

Coupled with supply chain bottlenecks, inflationary pressures have also weighed on the costs of raw ingredients and labor — with menu prices increasing as a result. 

"Thats what we have to do to survive," Calderone stated. 

Serendipity3 restaurant (Courtesy: Serendipity3)
Serendipity3 restaurant (Courtesy: Serendipity3)

Fortunately, the restaurant said it has not suffered the side effects of the industry's wide-ranging labor crunch, citing the brand's reputation, as well as an increase in hourly wages.

Overall, the restaurant said it has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, although COVID-19 vaccine mandates have challenged its comeback. 

Calderone noted how mandates negatively impacted business at first, explaining, "in the beginning, a lot of people shied away, but now more people are getting vaccinated." 

He added: "Everybody has been willing to comply. We've really had no kickback or people complaining about it...People know that if they want to go out, they must get vaccinated." 

Restaurants grapple with New York City vaccine requirements
Restaurants grapple with New York City vaccine requirements

As restaurants continue to learn and operate within this new pandemic normal, menu innovation has been key for growth. 

In addition to the $200 fries, Serendipity3 recently introduced a new Selena Gomez sundae (Gomez is part owner and investor of the restaurant), along with a reimagined frozen hot chocolate to celebrate the iconic eatery's 67th birthday.

"We created these new items to really entice people to come back, and it's working because people are really responding to what we're putting out there," Calderone concluded. 

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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