Caviar is one of those foods that has been around for a long time because the people that like it really, really love it. Chances are, however, that it’s not a staple in your diet. There’s even a chance you’ve never tasted it. That has to stop. It’s true that many caviar services cost as much as an entire meal and give you, oh, say, one ounce or so of food. But there are some bargains in this city for those who want to see what all the fuss is about.
To get a taste of the straight stuff or to try a dish that features caviar heavily, your best bet is to head to Tsar Nicoulai Caviar Cafe in the Ferry Building. There, you can get a large assortment of dishes that feature fish eggs or just buy some in a jar at a pretty wide range of prices.
Probably the single cheapest serving of caviar in the city is the Russian tea egg with caviar for $6 at the Samovar Tea Lounge
Shanghai 1930 has a seafood custard appetizer that comes with a “dollop” of Ostera caviar. That’s probably not nearly as much as you’d get at, say, Myth, but then the whole dish only costs $12. And if you don’t like the caviar, then you can scrape it off and enjoy your eggshell full of “seafood essence” a la carte.
The Grand Cafe features a “Caviar et Salmon Tartine,” which would likely do as lunch and goes for $14.
Soluna doesn’t have a caviar service, per se, but there are two options in its $31.95 prix fixe menu that include it: “Mini caviar shooters” and, for $3 extra, a dish of caviar and scallops. The shooters are available a la carte for $15.
So there you go, a quintet of options to ease you into the habit. And if you like it, it may just happen that the next time you see a caviar service for $70, that won’t seem like such a bad deal.