Washington boasts its fair share of pricey patties, from the $30 lobster burger at Central to BLT Steak‘s $27 Kobe-beef-and-pastrami behemoth. Topping them all: the venison-and-foie gras burger masterminded by chef Sébastien Rondier at Decanter, the luxe St. Regis hotel’s dining room. The deer-duck concoction clocks in at $39—the priciest à-la-carte item on the menu—making it the monetary heavyweight* of Washington’s haute burger bracket.
The venison burger has been on the menu since the weather turned cool in October, replacing the equally unusual “calamari burger,” made from ground squid, capers, and herbs. Rondier took inspiration from one of his favorite dishes, tournedos rossini—filet mignon topped with foie gras. Instead of beef, Decanter’s six-ounce patty is fashioned from ground venison and Pennsylvania deer saddle that the kitchen cuts to a thicker consistency. The meat is then cooked to the guest’s preferred temperature—rare to medium-rare is recommended—glazed with black-truffle jam, and decked with a two-ounce slice of seared Hudson Valley foie. All arrives atop an olive oil bun, alongside twice-fried potato wedges and quince chutney for spreading.
So does the expense scare off customers? Rondier says orders were slow to start, but in general the price is expected at the St. Regis; orders have risen to 25 to 35 burgers per week.
“It’s a celebration burger,” says Rondier. “It’s something original.”
Look at it this way: It’s cheaper than celebrating with some of America’s most expensive burgers (like the $5,000 Kobe beef Fleur Burger served with a bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus), most of which live appropriately in Vegas.
*Certain BGR locations serve a $100,9 nine-pound burger designed for competitive eaters. But that one is free for anyone who finishes “without going to the bathroom,” according to one employee, which disqualifies it in our eyes.