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Jan 7, 2007 07:34 PM

Best upscale options for 4-course meal (not tasting menu)

Many upscale restaurants let you choose between a 3-course prix fixe and more elaborate tasting menus (smaller portions, 5+ courses). What I'm really looking for is four courses--appetizer, fish, meat, dessert--that are larger than tasting sized, but would not be quite as large as an app + two full mains+ dessert. (And I'm not looking to do the Italian version, where you split a pasta mid course.)

I see that Eleven Madison Park's menu is designed for this kind of 4-course dining (adding a 4th course is only $12 more), as is the menu at Alain Ducasse. And I see that Cafe Boulud's menu organization would probably make ordering this way easy. Any other ideas for places that best accomodate this kind of ordering?


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  1. At Telepan, you can pick one course from each category for a 4-course meal at $59.00. You choose from each category, so you could pick fish for one and meat for another.

    1. Jean George for lunch is basically $12 a dish. The menu runs the gamut, so you should be able to hit each of the fooed groups. The size is a little larger than tasting, but not much.

      1. Telepan is an excellent suggestion for what you are looking for. While David W is correct about the 4 course tasting for $59 (or 5 courses at $69). Your post specifically states you don't want a tasting menu. Telepan has three menu columns (apps, mids, entrees) and you can choose to go a la carte from them rather than choose the pre-fixe tasting. This will result in larger portion sizes (and a bigger bill). The food is top-notch.

        2 Replies
        1. re: deepyarn

          The 4-course option allows just that-you pick one from each column-it's not a set tasting menu-you choose each course from the regular menu (the 5-course includes a cheese selection.) It's my experience that the size of each course is not substantially smaller than the regular course served if you order it al la carte. My wife frequently takes home a portion of the 3rd course.

          1. re: David W

            While I love Telepan and have been several times, I disagree. The a la carte for certain items is a significantly larger portion than the 4-course option. We ordered the 4 course and saw the a la carte portion of the same dish in front of the table adjacent to us and it was almost double the size. That being said, I do find the portions on the 4-course more than sufficient, but I am not an extremely large eater, at one sitting anyhow.

        2. Cru lets you add on courses to their 3 course prix fix meal. Excellent food and service.