The Seafood Tower At NYC's Balthazar That Celebrity Chefs Love

Have you seen those lavish two- and three-tiered seafood towers on TikTok and Instagram over the years? Then you may have come across one from Balthazar, a popular French-American brassiere located in New York City's Soho neighborhood. It's owned by restauranter Keith McNally, and it's become a celebrity hotspot since it opened in 1997 with famed patrons like Leonardo DiCaprio and Anna Wintour. But out of all of its well-known diners, celebrity chefs like Andrew Zimmern and Eric Ripert are particularly fond of its decadent seafood tower, with Zimmern saying it is the "best" on his website.

If you're wondering what makes these seafood towers so special, it seems to be Balthazar's originality. In fact, Ripert told The Infatuation that he doesn't recall other restaurants serving a seafood tower the way Balthazar does. "You could eat oysters and clams, but nobody was doing those three-tiered towers," he claimed. But of course these days, many restaurants have towers filled with shellfish on ice.

At Balthazar, the seafood tower comes in two sizes: Le Grand, which will set you back $145, and Le Balthazar, which is priced at $195. It's certainly a splurge-worthy appetizer, but you'll also be getting plenty of fresh seafood and stellar service from its waitstaff. 

Balthazar's lavish seafood tower

What seafood is included in the seafood towers? The seafood platters, or plateaux de fruits de mer as it's called in French on its menu, consist of varieties of clams and oysters on the half shell, mussels, crab, shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish. It's garnished with lemon wedges, sauces like pico de gallo, and seaweed to make it as aesthetically pleasing as it tastes delicious. According to photos, Le Grand has two tiers, while Le Balthazar is the three-tiered tower that you might have seen all over your social media feed.

Still not convinced you need to splurge on this when you're in New York City? Ripert also told The Infatuation that he goes to the eatery "two or three times a month" for the iconic seafood tower. And, we think all of us can trust him when it comes to dining out. Meanwhile, Chef Rocco DiSpirito, who has published a dozen cookbooks, told The New York Times last year that having the Balthazar's seafood tower is one of his favorite things to do.

Ready to try it? We recommend you try to land a reservation before you go to dinner at the Spring Street eatery — or you might end up waiting for a table or settling for a seat at the bar.