Famous Chef Just Invented a $19 'Happy Meal'

french friesKids' menus are typically known for two things: simple, often less-than-stellar, dishes (think bland buttered noodles and rubbery chicken nuggets) and low prices. One new kids' menu in Beverly Hills, however, is getting notice for neither of those things -- quite the opposite, in fact!

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Renowned chef Thomas Keller, owner of the culinary hot spots French Laundry and Per Se, has created a kids' menu for his Beverly Hills eatery Bouchon that rivals the options available to adults at most restaurants -- and the prices certainly suggest as much! Standing in for such typical fare as the aforementioned chicken nuggets, fish sticks, and grilled cheese are chicken paillard with French fries cooked in peanut oil, salmon with spinach, and croque monsieur (with a side of fries or seasonal vegetables). Sounds amazing, right? Except that while the standard deep-fried stuff on kids' menus usually costs less than 10 bucks, these meals cost upward of $15 (the salmon and chicken are $19). 

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Expensive? Yup. But before you get all outraged over the concept of shelling out $19 for a child's dinner, consider the sort of restaurant we're talking about here: Bouchon -- which, did we mention, is in Beverly Hills -- is famous for its amazing food, all of which is a lot more pricey than the stuff on the kids' menu. (Steak Bouchon? $59. Roasted leg of lamb? $35.) So I'm not sure why, exactly, this kids' menu is getting so much buzz. Why anyone would expect to see a plate of subpar macaroni and cheese coming out of that kitchen is beyond me (even if it was headed to the table of a patron under 12). Of course, it is sort of crazy when you consider that most of that salmon and chicken paillard is going to end up on the floor and smashed into the crevices of booster seats, but still. If money were no object, would I order that for my kid for lunch? Sure I would. It would be to rude to make him watch me eat my $59 steak with no fabulous meal of his own, after all.

Maybe someday a famous chef will invent great food at great prices for all ages! Or maybe it's grilled cheese for us peasants for the foreseeable future. Oh well.

 

Image via Barn Images/Flickr

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