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How many calories in that tasting menu?

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  1. Should anyone really be thinking about calories when they splurge on a tasting menu? Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we may diet!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Caroline1

      Well, I know sometimes I am curious ... not from a "weight-loss" or weight-control viewpoint, but just out of (morbid?) curiosity.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I sometimes am morbidly curious as well. All subjects, not just food. I wonder how they know the amount of calories without knowing the specifics.

        Sometimes I say out loud "Ooooh this is gonna cost me" much to the irritation of my table mates. I have learned to zip it otherwise they use it as an excuse to underpour my wine glass... to help me with my calories. Crafty and evil.

    2. I am glad I do not have to hang out with Erin Palinski. She looks sweet, but I suspect otherwise.

      1. I'm actually surprised how few calories there were per number of courses.

        1. Big thumbs down on the article. It's an "estimate" that was guessed at by looking at the menu, ingredients and pictures of the food (if they went that far). It doesn't even come close to resembling good science.

          At the very least, actually GO TO THE RESTAURANT AND SEE/EAT THE FOOD FIRST HAND before giving us estimates. If you want real cred, take the food to a lab and get actual data!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ediblover

            And another thumbs down for them not knowing how to use affect/effect correctly.

          2. The article gives you something to think about and how we over-indulge (even when we mean to). These tasting menus are another example of why American have so many food-related health problems. While you rarely see the obese cheeto-eating man getting a tasting a menu, I bet a lot of the men (and women) in the nice Armani suits who do eat at these places are on lipitor. Just sayin'...

            BTW, the calorie content of what most American is much lower for females, especially for those who are middle-aged and don't participate in hardcore cardio on a daily basis.

            1. Oh gosh. Im glad you posted this.. but I have to roll my eyes.
              This is my personal problem with the current debate re: nutritional information on all restaurant menus.
              For MOST people, a tasting menu is not a usual occurrence... Its a special meal, much like Christmas or Thanksgiving. I would bet that I eat meals with just as many calories at on a holiday, or even if I was dining at a "chain" restaurant where the portions are insane, and everything is deep fried.
              Dining at a place like Per se is an experience, not just a meal... so its about a lot more than fuel. I don't understand the obsession with counting calories for a meal like this. Eat it, enjoy it, and then wake up the next day and eat as usual. Everything will be just fine.

              1. I appreciate your post ipsedixit, but I'm going to have to agree with those who are weighing in on the side of.... this is a special event thing, who cares? Discovering an IHOP omelet has 1250 calories and hidden carbs is important to me. Reading that information, I can choose something else on the menu or a different restaurant. If I'm going to French Laundry for a tasting menu, the very last thing I'm going to care about is calories.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Firegoat

                  Hey, I didn't post this to rant and rave against the caloric content of tasting menus. I personally could care less. It was just an FYI.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I appreciate the information. It's not as if there's any harm or mandate that comes from knowing what you're being served. I thought it was interesting, in a breezy sort of FYI way.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Y'know, it's funny. When I eat out I could care less (generally) about nutrition and calories. Eating out really is about enjoyment. And sweating every calorie, saturated fat gram, etc. makes it sort of pointless. Everything -- no matter how "unhealthy" -- can be part of a balanced diet.

                2. Tasting menus are a treat and normally a wonderful experience. The last thing I want to be thinking of whilst eating at one of these places is how many calories I'm consuming. I am there for the enjoyment, not guilt!

                  1. I don't count calories, but I HATE feeling full or worse, stuffed at the end of a meal. It's rare that I can finish an entree after a salad or appetizer.
                    Just because they *serve* that many calories doesn't mean the diner has to clean every plate to have the total experience of exceptional cooking. The calories on the plate don't have to be destined to end up on your butt and thighs. :-)

                    1. The one thing I noticed it she doesn't note portion sizes. Is she talking close-to-normal portions or the one or two bites you might get in what I would think a tasting menu would be? Quite possibly she is - she noted a 4 oz. serving of white beer ice cream as the tasting menu dessert at WD-50. Now I've never eaten there, but are tasting menu portions that large?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        From what I remember at WD 50, no. Like other high end restaurants, the ice cream is just the size of a spoon, more like 2 oz.

                      2. Neat article, but I'm monumentally skeptical. Unless she's actually seen these menus executed, she has no idea of portion size.

                        No way would you get 3 oz of foie as part of a 16-course menu.
                        I'd imagine that crudo she mentions probably has no more than a tablespoon of oil involved, and it's not like you're going to be licking the plate to catch every last drop. I don't see how that's so devilish.
                        The ice cream thing, too -- you're probably getting a good spoonful of whatever ice cream, no more. 4 oz? Not a chance.

                        I did a quick Google and found this really neat pictorial review of a tasting at Alinea:
                        That's, like, half an ounce of foie... not even.

                        Interesting article, but I doubt its accuracy and, as others have said, if you are worrying about calories while shelling out $200-300 to experience the best of the best of a great chef... you need to reconsider your dinner plans.