How to Approach a Tasting Menu

Originally published at Whisked Foodie

A tasting menu is a huge commitment. A commitment of time, a commitment of money, and a commitment of appetite. It isn’t something that should be entered into lightly. You need to take the time to prepare and to anticipate. Follow these steps before you undertake a tasting menu:

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Consider the cost

It’s not just the cost of the menu. The cost of alcohol, the cost of menu supplements, and the cost of tip. This isn’t the time that you want to be mentally calculating your budget or praying that your debit card works. This is a wonderful, often once-in-a-lifetime experience and should be savored, not stressful. It is better to wait until you can really enjoy yourself then try to go before you can afford it.

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Will you like the restaurant?

If you hate the scent of curry, then that hot Indian restaurant in town isn’t going to impress you no matter how many James Beard Awards the chef has won. This is a big decision, so don’t base it on popularity or on something your friend liked. Be sure to go somewhere that you will really enjoy.

Give yourself time

The servers certainly can speed up your meal, but why would you want them to do that? Part of the glory of the meal is sitting back, relaxing with a wine pairing, and enjoying conversation with your fellow diners. This isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience.

Ask questions

Don’t know which wine to choose for dessert or what uni is? Just ask! Servers at fine dining restaurants are usually passionate about food and are more than happy to assist you in your choices. It isn’t about upselling you; it’s all about enhancing your experience.

Have an open mind

Who knows when you will get the chance to try frog legs or tomato gelee again? You don’t have to eat everything, but if you don’t at least try everything, you might as well go to McDonald’s for dinner.

Leave the diet at home

This should be totally self-explanatory.