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Tasting Menus

Published August 4, 2009 at 11:53 p.m.


Nowadays, many Vermont restaurants offer prix-fixe menus, which allow diners to sample a handful of courses for less than it would cost to order them à la carte. But foodies looking for an over-the-top eating experience have another, rarely advertised option: a chef’s tasting menu.

If you call well in advance and make a special request, many fine chefs will enthusiastically prepare a five- or even seven-course meal composed of bites of their best offerings. Sampling dishes not listed on the regular menu is part of the thrill, as is knowing that the chef is paying special attention to your food. At the end, assuming you’re pleased, don’t forget to send the kitchen your compliments.

For a serious dose of amour, gourmands need look no further than The Pitcher Inn in Warren. There, the chef’s tasting isn’t offered in the dining room. Instead, those who wish to partake sit at the wine cellar’s sole table (pictured), where servers and sommeliers attend to their every need. Très romantique.

- Suzanne Podhaizer