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The chef's tasting menu is it worth it?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
The chef's tasting menu is it worth it?

It seems that is often way more expensive then ordering an appetizer, first course, main course, and desert, plus another $60 or so if you want matched wines with it.

Is it worth it?

Also is it always a seperate menu?

For instance, at Copper Blue, near Navy Peir, an excellent restaurant, they don't specify the items on the chef's tasting menu:
copperblue farm menu
post #2 of 10
Personally I'd say nope. But that's just me. I don't like eating like that. To me it seems like there's no highlight of the evening. Some people can't get enough of new flavors again and again. It's like hitting a small jackpot with every course.
post #3 of 10
I had the 9 course degustation menu at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Vegas...and IMO there were many highlights. I can still feel the oysters dancing on my tongue, the incredibly strong flavor of chantrelles in the foam on the egg cocote, and how smooth and buttery the potatoes were next to the magnificent hanger steak with carmalized onions.......and I had this meal two years ago. That said I feel it is worth it. I only had one glass of wine and a bottle of still water.....but all in all, would do it again.
post #4 of 10
The first time I visited the Fat Duck (Heston Blumenthal's place), I had his degustation menu. It had the (in)famous snail porridge on the menu. Although some of the 'tastes' were amazing, I wouldn't do it again at the FD!

I've also had a degustation menu at a great hotel in Lisbon, prepared by the Portugese Chef of the Year - and that was absolutely GREAT. There wasn't a taster that I didn't enjoy.

I'm not really a fan of the trend, but if the menu looks good, then I'm game to try it.:D
post #5 of 10
If the contents of a tasting menu aren't pre-set, and that concerns you, don't order it. The whole idea of an off menu flight is to surprise the customer. If you don't like to be surprised , don't order it. Pre-set tasting menus (from my experience) generally equal out to the cost of ordering your basic three course meal. If your main concern is getting a "main", again, don't order it.

In terms of value, a taster is only advised at place that you trust. A quality resto. will either offer you a selection of their most tried and true dishes or items the kitchens knows are good but are a hard sell sell in the conventional app./main/dessert mode of eating. Best case is a combination of the two.

No matter what I would advise that the best time times to order a taster are on slow or off nights. A busy Saturday will not be the best experience. A slow Tuesday where you might be the only one or two tables will ensure that a brigade cooling their boots will ensure that you get the extra special treatment.

post #6 of 10
depends. I just recently dined at a great NJ restaurant, at the chefs table, and my fiance and I both were presented with 2 individual "chefs" tasting menus......7 courses (+ an amuse and some cheese, and some other "tidbits")

I love eating this way.
post #7 of 10
Allan - I heartily agree about doing it at somehwere you know.

My brother & sister-in-law from interstate were over for just one evening to see us. Stupidly, we took them to a restaurant we didn't know and had never been to before, but had heard it recommended locally. We took the Chef's taster menu. D'OH. I'll only do that ever again when I know the establishment well.

The night was good because we hadn't seen them in ages, but the food was.....mediocre. It wasn't a busy night, but welllll... it may as well have been. I thnk we got the regular food, just in smaller bowls. Not that size matters :)

I shall think twice before doing it again. Bit of a case of once bitten, twice shy.

I'm sure there are some great ones out there.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #8 of 10
It's funny. My initial thoughts regarding a chef's tasting menu is that I'm all for it. Yet I've only been pleased with the results once.

I've gotten the tasting menu at Topolobampo, Le Francais among a few others. The tasting at Le Francais was truly a treat I will always hold dear to my heart.

Every other tasting was decent...but really fell short of what I was hoping for. So I suppose I haven't really had that great of an experience with chef's tasting menu's, except the one tat was so extraordinary.

I really do have to thank you for the post though. After looking at the menu for Copper Blue I'll be visiting there sometime in the future. Looks like a hidden gem!

good luck,
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I just ate a Copper Blue the other day. They've been open about a year and a half. I had the fish, it was cooked perfectly, very fresh, and as a free amuse they gave a scallop. I highly recommend dining there. They had a lot of other items that looked good too, that I will be back to try.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Was matched wines and option with that tasting menu?
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