We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Tasting Menu?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A tasting menu is a special menu offered in many fine dining establishments. It can be an opportunity for restaurant guests to have a nibble of almost all dishes offered at a restaurant, or it can be a way for a chef to demonstrate all that he/she is worth by creating small and innovative dishes that aren’t on the regular menu. Usually the tasting menu is what is called prix fixe or set price. This means people pay a single price to get to explore everything that is on the tasting menu, instead of ordering a la carte, and “everything” may be quite a few small dishes.

There are many restaurants that offer a tasting menu in addition to a la carte meals or more standard prix fixe meals that could include things like an appetizer, entrée, and dessert, at minimum. Typically tasting menus are much more extensive in scope than a simple three-course meal. Some restaurants may have ten or more dishes in this type of menu, and they might frequently be paired with different wines or other alcohol. If they are not, and people are interested in food/wine pairings, they ought to consider consulting the sommelier or wine expert of the restaurant to get recommendations on the most appropriate accompaniments to the chef’s food.

Though there can be an extensive collection of dishes on the tasting menu, they are usually alike in being relatively small. In fact, the more dishes there are, the smaller they tend to get. Chefs don’t want to overwhelm diners by giving them too much, but they also don’t want diners to leave hungry. Therefore the chef prepares each dish as a little more than a taste, and often a lot less than a meal, and when composing a tasting menu, one goal is to make sure the sum total of what is served is approximately equal to a three-course meal.

Another thing that many of these menus tend to have in common is that they can be expensive. In some of the finer restaurants in the world it is not uncommon to pay over $200 US Dollars (USD) per diner to sample a tasting menu. There are other restaurants where the prices are not as high, and it can be said prices vary. Part of the cost is perhaps due to quality of ingredients, which in finer restaurants may be exceptionally high, and also the extra work that goes into preparing multiple meals. Yet it should be noted that there are critics of the tasting menu, who lambast the majority of them by saying they are simply a way to spend a lot of money and are more about showing off one's ability to pay or charge that type of money, than anything else.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Grivusangel — On May 01, 2014

@Lostnfound -- You don't know what you're missing. At many upscale restaurants, you can ask for the vegetarian tasting menu, which avoids unpleasant surprises like variety meats. If you do the lacto-ovo menu, then you can still enjoy dairy and eggs.

I'm not much of a drinker, so I usually pass on the wine, which has earned me some strange looks, but it's my money and I'm not paying for wine I don't drink!

By Lostnfound — On Apr 30, 2014

I'm not sure I'm enough of an adventurous eater to try the tasting menu. I have a problem with variety meats, and I know many tasting menus feature things like sweetbreads and so forth. Not my thing.

I have been told that doing the tasting menu in an upscale restaurant is quite an experience, since it can feature things not on the regular menu, and also that diners doing the tasting menus are treated like royalty. Must be nice.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a DelightedCooking contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.