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Earlton, New York

Basement Bistro

This one-man homegrown eatery may be the world's most exclusive restaurant with its five-year waiting list  

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Damon Baehrel, the singular chef, owner, and creator of the ultra-exclusive Basement Bistro in upstate New York has managed to rack up a waiting list half a decade long. 

Located in the basement of his personal home Baehrel's handcrafted restaurant has been serving up personally grown, harvested, and invented dishes at a premium price for 25 years. Each of the ingredients used on each evening's unique tasting menu is grown on Baehrel's personal garden farm including flour he makes from acorns and oils extracted on site. The dining room can seat up to twenty people at a time who must arrive at a predetermined time to take part in the often five hour dining experience. The rustic eating experience has become such a hit that Baehrel has gotten as many as 10,000 reservation requests in just a week. Baehrel tries to act fairly in terms of reservations, taking into account traveling distance and allergic restrictions which can bump people forward or back on the wait list according to what the chef feels he can provide and when.

The cost of a meal (not including the anxiety of waiting) runs over $200 a plate not including wine, but anyone with the funds and a mere five years of planning can set up a truly one-of-a-kind date.       

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