How to order at Pardes
I like to go with four people, order 10 dishes, and share them all. 20-somethings with big appetites might order more, but for most adults, 10 dishes for 4 people comes to about the right amount of food. And you will have room to share 1 or 2 desserts among the 4 of you.
Two people can do 5 dishes and 1 dessert.
They are very accommodating about bringing four little plates, and you just pass each new dish around and each take your share onto your personal plate.
The chef often helps out by - for example - pre-cutting a toast base into 4 slices. A few dishes (lamb chop) don't work so well for sharing, but most do.
I like to start with one or two fish dishes, they will take away the fish plates and bring fresh plates & flatware for the meat dishes.
My other tip is: don't sweat the ordering thing too much. Reason is: lots of the dishes are surprisingly different from how they sound. Just pick 5 (or 10 for a group of 4) that strike your fancy.
GO WITH THE BEER LIST. Reason is: Lots of restaurants have great wine lists. Pardes is unique (among kosher places) in the caliber of its beer list. If you have never tasted Delerium Tremens. Do!
Some specialty beers are large, like a wine bottle. Pardes is accommodating about bringing 4 glasses and a bottle. Treat the fine beers like fine wines. When your table finished tasting/sharing its first bottle, order a different to go with the next course.
One thing to note, and this is why I don't like to go there with people other than my husband: dishes come out when they're ready, not in any particular order, and not all at the same time for each person at the table. One person may get a dish, while others have nothing, the, someone else gets two things almost at once, etc. unless you're all sharing everything, this doesn't work well.
You don't have to share forks or plates, each person can take the food onto his/her personal plate directly from the serving dish with a serving fork.
Sometimes someone skips a dish, or just takes a bit at first to decide if they want more. I find it a perfect place to go as two couples, or a small group of friends. Because of the fun of using all the ordered dishes as share dishes.
The tasting menu Pardes discontinued worked this way.
When Pardes first switched to "small plates" we each ordered separately, and ran into the problem Gila describes. Ordering as a group makes it lots more fun, and a great way for two couples or a small group to go out.
Hi Devorah, I wrote about this earlier this year (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8842...). It happened in 2012.
Basically, I came to the conclusion that YOU DO NOT NEED A CHEF'S TASTING MENU TO APPRECIATE PARDES /emphasis.
While they no longer have a chef's tasting menu, everything is sized small to lend itself to buying a lot of dishes. The server will help you choose what you want to get an all-encompassing "chef's testing menu" without it being a chef's tasting menu.
I would absolutely say that you should go to Pardes, buy all the recommended dishes, and enjoy your "chef's tasting menu."