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Nov 5, 2008 12:16 PM

Small plates: Tia Pol, Casa Mono or Degustation..

The first two seem more casual, whereas Degustation seems like a formal tasting menu. Are they all equal or do people feel that one stands out. Or are they just too different to say?
The 10 course menu at Degustation sounds great, has anyone had it recently? Were you really full afterwards?

Glad to hear any thoughts on these places or any other small plate places. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I've not been to the other two, but I do love the food at Casa Mono - having been going for lunch pretty regularly over the last couple of years. If you do a search for title:mono, you'll find a lot of suggestions for specific dishes.

    1. I ate at Degustation about two weeks ago. (Have been several times prior to that) If you choose one of the tasting menus, everyone in your party must do the same. However, they are very flexible about making changes so that not everyone gets the same dishes. I have never had the 10-course Tasting, but I was full after the 5-course one, as were my dining partners.

      I like both CM and Degustation very, very much. And yes, they are very different from one another..

      1. All three are really different restaurants and I love all three. You don't need to do a formal tasting menu at Degustation -- you can just pick from a bunch of small plates. And I did do the 10 course but wasn't overstuffed as each course was literally 1/2 the size of the 5 course menu.

          1. re: laurenc37

            Is it really better than Casa Mono? My husband and I keep meaning to try it, but have been put off by the no reservation policy so far.

            1. re: MMRuth

              It's different... I'd say Tia Pol is probably a bit more authentic and more basic in cooking style. I like both, although I think I like Casa Mono better. That all said, the original chef at Tia Pol left a few months ago, and I haven't been back since then.

              1. re: Lucia

                That's a good description of Tia Pol. Overall, the food is also a bit more lighter and not as bold as Casa Mono. My preference is also for Casa Mono but Tia Pol is good for a change.

                So I think the OP really needs to pick by what his/her preferences are. You're really comparing apples to oranges to bananas here.

                Bold, hearty Spanish tapas, largest portions -- Casa Mono
                Traditional Spanish tapas, medium-sized portions -- Tia Pol
                More stylized, French-influenced Spanish tapas, smallest portions -- Degustation

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  You both captured how I feel about the Tia Pol and Casa Mono comparison. I like both for what they are, but my comments are based on my last visits to Tia Pol with the previous chef.

                  I've been to Degustation once and still feel that I get more value for my bucks at TP and CM. I'll be re-visiting Degustation soon again.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Lucia and Miss Needle have articulated the comparison perfectly. Personally, I'd go to Casa Mono.

              2. re: laurenc37

                I completely agree. Tia Pol all the way.

              3. rekha,
                I had the 10 course tasting at Degustation on Monday 11/3. It was wonderful! I purposefully ate very light all day so that I would be hungry for my 8pm dinner. I was full, but not overly. I have had 10 course at other restaurants (such as momofuko ko) and was much more full. The meal I had at Degustation was really well balanced. But, I think if you eat lunch that day, 10 courses might be a lot.

                And if it's in your budget, splurge for the wine pairing. It was really worth it!

                3 Replies
                1. re: piegirl74

                  I think that Casa Mono sounds really tasty, I just wish I had more time then I could go to all of them! Managed to get a res at Babbo another Batali place. They are different enough to go to both?

                  1. re: rekha

                    They are definitely different - Babbo is Italian and Casa Mono is decidely Spanish. While Batali is an investor there, I don't think he has much if anything to do with the menu, etc.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Agree. Completely different experience from food type to atmosphere to size, etc. I don't see a problem w/booking both, even in a short trip.