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Opinions for Chef's Tasting

Every birthday my husband and I take each other for a chef's tasting. So far we have gone to Ten Tables JP, Bistro DuMidi & Troquet. Would love some suggestions. Can be anywhere in Boston. We basically like any kind of food.

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    1. The pasta table at the back of Giulia in Cambridge. You may need a minimum number of people though, not sure if its 4 or 6.

      1. Asta.. Best new chef's tasting we had this year. Enjoy Ribelle as well but not quite on point.

        1. TW Food in Cambridge.

          1. Would second Asta and (as always) note that they offer a couple, nonoverlapping, tasting menus but in the past have been happy to let couples/groups pick separate menus and share. Probably one of the best additions to the Boston dining scene last year, and (to me) well-priced for the execution and innovation on offer.

            West Bridge has a 5 course chef's menu for $65. Have not had it, but like the food there in general enough to think this is probably a good optioin (though i'd note ch impressions have been mixed)

            Not formal, but for something different, Bronwyn has a $45 4 course set menu of eastern european food that rotates pretty frequently (based on online menu stalking). some would i'm sure quibble this is just a pre fixe not really a tasting, but i think it's in line with say, doing the fourse course at ten tables as OP mentions.

            EXNE offers a 5 course and 8 course tasting menu (35 and 45 respectively) that i've enjoyed, though my experiences there have been more variable. I'd also expect to want to order a supplemental dish or two if you want to leave feeling full, but that still is unlikely to bring you above 55/60 pp.

            Giulia, in addition to the pasta table mentioned upthread, i believe offers a 4 or 5 course tasting regardless of where you sit, if you so choose. Most/all people i know (this board included) seem to really enjoy Giulia; it's on the top of my list of places to get to.

            Oleana- has a vegetarian mezze tasting. I'm sure other hounds can chime in on this one (alas, also haven't been here), but the general vibe from reading is that Oleana thrives/is a safe bet with their mezze (as opposed to the mains, which get a more mixed review), so if you don't mind swinging vegetarian for a night htis could be a good option.

            places with tasting menus i would not necessarily endorse:

            Journeyman has gone 'menuless', meaning they only have tasting menus. That has not gotten a lot of love on this board (myself included), but it's worth noting.

            Craigie on main has a six course menu for 98 and 8 course for 118. If you've been to Craigie recently I wouldn't go back for the tasting, but if you've never been might be worth it. Even better though, go on Sunday night where they have a discounted 6 course, the 'whim', that is (iirc) $57 (or 45 for 4 courses, something like that). the whim dinners i've typically enjoyed at Craigie, others have left me feeling like i could have spent my money better elsewhere. but my impressions on Craigie are admittedly old- pre Maws opening kt&t.

            one last note:

            based on the places offered above, i assume you're not looking to go crazy, but, because it is a tasting, in addition to the super pricy places listed by mrbojangles, there is of course the chef's menu at O Ya (285 at its priciest, i believe?). If money were of no concern, it's worth doing once.

            1. We had the tasting at Westbridge just this past weekend, and enjoyed it quite a lot.

              1. If you don't mind dining with other people I'd highly recommend the chefs table at The Dining Alternative. One of the best meals of my life.


                1. Journeyman is chef's tasting-only. You can request a vegetarian option, but that's the only choice you have.

                  1. Oishii does a great one if you like your sushi on the inventive side. Not quite as wallet emptying as O Ya.

                    1. ef, while i have not tried it, the Chef's Table at l'Espalier has, over the years, rcvd many raves from CH visitors and some locals.
                      IIRC, the tasting menus detailed recently that you would find through a CH search are:
                      l'espalier; craigie; OYa; Asta. i'm sure there are others as well. Maybe print out 8 diff menus and see which pop out at you, narrow it down, and ask on this thread for advice on the semi-final teams?

                      1. Thanks everyone. I think we'll try Asta!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: efbake

                          hmmm, i bet you're going to have a great time. hope you'll post back.

                        2. Thanks for everyone's recommendations. We did end up at Asta and truly loved it. We opted for the eight course with wine pairings and it was worth every penny. Our waitress was amazing, very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating. The sommelier was excellent, really took the time to explain each wine with excitement. Some pairings were actually with beer, which made my husband extremely happy.
                          I don't recall every detail of each course but some of the standouts for me were the Essex now! Which is what is seasonal at a local farm in Essex. That night it was a fried egg in maple water.. so delicious. We also loved the venison with pickled ramps, snail butter on chicken noodles, sunchoke with black trumpets and the celery root with truffles. Not necessarily in that order. They did have beef heart on the menu and we were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed it. It was on the smoky side and if I felt there was any down side it would be the texture was a little rubbery for me. For sweet we had herbed shaved ice with yogurt foam and a different spin on tiramisu with almonds and Grand Marnier. Both delicious.
                          Obviously we enjoyed our experience and would definitely go back. I highly recommend it!