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Aug 23, 2012 11:13 AM

Prix Fixe or ALC

When l contemplate going to a restaurant, new to me or an old standard, l always check the menu either on line or call to find out. If there is nothing that attracts me to the menu l will pass on the restaurant and check periodically in the future to see if some menu item(s) attract me.
As a result of my menu issues l try to avoid Prix Fixe with little or no choice menus as invariably some if not many of the courses do not interest me, and either l eat them not happily or it just goes back to kitchen little touched.
What are your thoughts, or really votes.
ALC or limited prix fixe, if ONLY one way which would it be ?

l think due to financial issues, most 'fine-dining' spots will be prix fixe in the future.

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  1. Definitely ALC. There are too many things I don't like to be forced to eat a set menu. I avoid tasting menus for theis reason as well. Somehow I acn always fnd something to order on an ALC menu.

    I don't object to Prix Fixe when it is offered as choose one app, one main and dessert for X dollars and I have the range of the menu to select from.

    1. is that when you're home, or when you're over here in my neck of the woods?

      2 Replies
      1. re: sunshine842

        As your neck is my neck half the year, l have way more trouble lately in the states than in Europe. When l go to the new 'chef-inspired' restaurants as Saturne in Paris, l accept it, but l certainly don't go as often to that style as normal ALC.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I figured there would be a difference.

          I usually find that the PF is also what's really good and/or fresh I usually go for that. If there's a choice I don't like, then I'll go ALC.

      2. I'm an a la carte guy. I like to compose a meal myself. I'm not always thrilled with prix fixe menus. There always seems to be one choice I don't like or seems forced.

        1. A local (Phila) restaurant, Matyson, develops a special prix fixe menu every week and e-mails notice of the menu. If the menu sounds like dishes I want to try, I go; if not, I don't.

          I've never been "forced" to eat anything since I have to order it first.

          I have responded without your parameter of either/or since that is not my experience. While they may exist somewhere, all of the restaurants from whom I havbe ordered prix fixe have at the same time offered a full "carte".

          So in my view, "l think due to financial issues, most 'fine-dining' spots will be prix fixe in the future" is an unrealistic view of the future of fine dining.

          1 Reply
          1. re: FrankJBN

            Didn't both Vetri and Lacroix both recently convert to prix fixe only? It seems to me there is a trend towards this in Philly. In fact, I think the OP spends some time dining in our fair city (and is pretty active on the Philly board).

            ETA: I prefer ALC myself.

          2. There are some restaurants I go to specifically for their prix fixe menu (e.g. Saison, Alinea, French Laundry, etc.), and for those restaurants I couldn't imagine going there and ordering a la carte.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Those restaurants do not offer the option of a la carte.

              1. re: pamf

                Exactly, had a super meal at both Per Se and Alinea, but at both would have preferred many courses to have 'disappeared' and have had more of the ones l liked. Would l have recognized them before eating the whole menu l doubt it, however.