If you're going to a fine dining venue, you'll likely have to decide between opting for the set menu or ordering à la carte. It's best to know what you want before you arrive, so here's a quick overview of the benefits of each option.
The Benefits of Ordering the Set Menu
The set menu is sometimes referred to as either the table d'hôte or the prix fixe; no matter the terminology, it means that you will be provided with a multi-course meal in which nearly all of the options are chosen for you.
The main advantage of such a system is convenience, both for you and the kitchen. You receive a selection of the restaurant's finest dishes without having to think about what will go well together; the chefs won't need to spend extra time preparing unusual or unexpected requests, and less items go to waste since the amount needed is easier to predict. This ties into a further benefit of going for the set menu: cost. A set menu is likely to be much cheaper than going à la carte, and you'll know the exact price you'll be charged straight away.
Furthermore, chefs often use the à la carte menu to introduce a new item. You might have ignored the latest speciality if you saw it on the menu, but that doesn't mean you won't love it once it arrives.
The Benefits of Ordering À La Carte
Ordering à la carte, somewhat confusingly, means ordering 'according to the menu'; however, this means that you'll be able to pick and choose exactly what you want from that menu rather than having it chosen for you as part of the restaurant's fixed plan.
Going à la carte is a little trickier than opting for the set menu since it means that you need to make every decision for yourself, but it can be a good choice for foodies who know their way around their own palates.
Most importantly, you'll have greater scope to experiment with what you're eating. You'll be able to choose dishes from a large selection, then decide which sides, garnishes, and drinks would best complement them. Whether you want to indulge a certain fancy or display your knowledge to fellow diners, going à la carte is a perfect option.
Additionally, you'll be able to eat more at your own pace, and restaurants frequently offer larger portions when you order à la carte.
Ultimately, ordering the set menu is usually best if you'd like to keep your bill low and don't want to worry about having to put together an ideal meal. In contrast, going à la carte is great for people who know their stuff and like to experiment. The final choice remains yours, but you should now be better able to make it.Share
19 May 2016
When I decided to ask my girlfriend to marry me, I of course wanted the night to be really special. I knew she wanted to have a full movie proposal where we go to a fine dining restaurant, eat great meals and then have me get down on one knee and ask her to marry me. I checked which restaurants offered that kind of service and I even gathered some pictures from her favourite movie so I can get a place that perfectly matches what she was after. I ended up making this the perfect night. This blog is all about finding fine dining restaurants for the special dinners in your life.