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Oct 24, 2007 01:08 PM

Ordering off the menu

Something I want as a diner more than anything is to go to a restaurant and have a chef just cook for me. I don't want to see the menu, nor do I want to know what is being served until it is on the table. Has anyone ever done anything like this is DC? Am I crazy for even thinking this is an option? If anyone has any ideas of chefs willing to do something like this please enlighten me. Thanks in advance

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  1. The only time I've done this personally is at Citronelle, but it was a special occasion and also not my idea, so not sure if this can be done all the time (sorry, not trying to sound like a snob, but I also don't want to tell you they do something if they might not). Otherwise, I think most mid-to-high range sushi places will do "omakase" if you ask, which is basically when you leave it up to the sushi chef to make things for you depending on that day's ingredients and what items they think will be good. Usually there's a better chance of doing this if you're sitting at the sushi bar and/or it's not too crowded.

    1. You know, I have not heard of a restaurant doing this, but I have heard of some personal cooks who will come to your home and do it. This sounds interesting however kind of like a restaurant with a daily special. There is probably not a lot of demand for it since there is the idea of not knowing what you'll get.

      1. Places will do this. Often if you go for a tasting menu just say you don't want to see the menu you just want a 5,7, whatever number of tasting courses, it is like this, or you can probably call ahead at more high end places and ask and get it done (amazing what people will do when asked nicely and price is right). I did get this exact thing at Sushi Kaz I did Chef tasting 009 and it wasn't enough food, but they have one that they will bring you stuff till you say enough or a larger one than I had. It wasn't my favorite sushi place experience, but my sushi was excellent (BF's was another story but he ordered off the menu).

        Also minibar at Cafe Atlantico does this with 30 bite size entrees, but it is hard to get a reservation.

        1. From what I hear that is more or less the deal at Minibar. You sit down and unless you have some dietary needs or concerns the chef just starts cooking for you. No menu to choose from, just little inventive master pieces one after another. That's why a meal there appeals to me so much.

          Since you are asking about this I imagine you have an adventorous dining spirit so perhaps you should check out MiniBar.

          I also have a feeling that if you go into some of the finer restaurants in town (Citronelle, Equinox, Komi, Restaurant Eve etc) they may allow you to do this. You can simply say "Bring me whatever the chefs likes best today" or something along those lines.

          Of course this also only seems to work if money is not an object because then you can have the most fun with it.

          You are more or less looking for the "Omikase" experience in a non-sushi restaurant correct?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Elyssa

            That is correct. I would be looking to try this at a non-sushi restaurant if possible. Thanks!