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Apr 25, 2012 03:03 PM

Tasting Menus: Mandatory Participation of Whole Table?

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone could shed some light on whether the participation of the entire table is required for the tasting menus at Sage and Michael Mina. There is nothing written on the tasting menus available online regarding this and I would love to do the tasting menu at both, but the people I will be dining with will probably not be as enthusiastic.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I was inquiring into this myself recently for an upcoming trip as well. There are no requirements for full table participation when ordering tasting menus. You can mix and match ordering a la carte and prix-fixe menus too. Las Vegas fine dining is very lenient when it comes to these situations, a plus in my mind.

    1 Reply
    1. I'm responding to the title of this thread...not the content. I personally would never find myself going to a restaurant where the participation of the entire table is required for a tasting menu. This requirement is sometimes imposed, but only because the kitchen/chef is lazy and doesn't want to take the time/trouble to coordinate or invent dishes to accommodate different palates at the same table. I have had, while dining alone, tasting menus at some of America's finest (including the French Laundry) and have had tasting menus including everything offered for me, while dining with a vegetarian, at others (including Eleven Madison Park in NYC) and everything was perfectly coordinated. This same feat was accomplished with aplomb and without question at the three star La Pyramide (Fernand Point's famous restaurant in Vienne, France) and at Joel Robuchon's Jamin in Paris many years ago. Certainly it takes extra effort on the part of the chef and kitchen staff to accomplish this, but any fine restaurant should be able to do this without batting an eyelash.

      1. When I dined at Sage in March, they required that the entire table do the same tasting menu (though people could take different choices off of it). No one could do a la carte, or a different tasting menu. We were underwhelmed in general.

        2 Replies
        1. re: randomthoughts

          Perhaps you were dining with a large group? That's when I often see a set menu because the kitchen needs to be able to put food out simultaneously for the table.

          1. re: zack

            Agree, that for a large group it may be necessary for all to order off a set menu...otherwise proper timing may not be possible.