Tasting experiences at restaurants are becoming a larger trend, even if you're not dining at an award-winning establishment. These special dining experiences allow you to try multiple things on the menu for one set price, or have a completely chef-curated meal with multiple courses that are not available on any other parts of the menu. Many people seek out tasting experiences as a way to treat themselves as foodies and really see what a chef can do when they aren't limited by a set menu. If you're looking for the best tasting experiences that are a must-try in your home state or anywhere else you may be traveling in the coming months and years consider these options, which are the best in every state.
ALABAMA: Tasting TBL in Birmingham
Hoover, Alabama is home to Tasting TBL, a Friday and Saturday night-only supper club where diners are treated to a tasting menu at a communal table with other guests. Each week the menu is different based on the seasonality of ingredients and what the chef wants to do with them.
ALASKA: Seven Glaciers in Girdwood
Seven Glaciers at the Alyeska Resort has a four- to five-course chef's tasting menu that's composed of dishes made with native Alaskan produce and proteins. The tasting experience is paired with a wine tasting from the award-winning wine list.
ARIZONA: LON's Restaurant in Paradise Valley
LON's Restaurant at the Hermosa Inn has a dedicated seasonal tasting menu that rotates throughout the year. Items that have been featured on the menu in the past include ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, and a tomato and watermelon salad.
ARKANSAS: Ciao Baci in Little Rock
Ciao Baci is an eclectic restaurant in Little Rock. Each night the chef creates a five-course tasting menu based on what they think diners should enjoy and the progression of which the meal should be eaten. The meal is also a major deal at just $45.
CALIFORNIA: Providence in Los Angeles
Los Angeles is full of fine dining restaurants but one of the best with a tasting experience is Providence. The tasting menu highlights fresh seafood and ends on a sweet note with house-made Hawaiian chocolate.
COLORADO: Rioja in Denver
Colorado's food scene is booming and one place that's worth checking out for a tasting experience is Rioja. While menus are never shared before dinner online, you can request a tasting experience once you're seated at the restaurant.
CONNECTICUT: Olea in New Haven
Olea, in New Haven, specializes in modern Mediterranean and Spanish cuisine. Tuesday through Thursday you can indulge in a multi-course chef's tasting experience for just under $70. Everyone at your table must participate, and wine pairings are available.
DELAWARE: CIRO Food and Drink in Wilmington
CIRO Food and Drink is a casual eatery where the chef's tasting uses hand-selected ingredients, most of which are sourced from farms in Delaware. The experience is $99, but you can also opt for a smaller multi-course meal, where four courses will set you back $49.
FLORIDA: Kabooki Sushi in Orlando
Orlando is home to a plethora of restaurants with tasting menus but none are as well done as the Omakase experience at Kabooki Sushi. The 17-course, chef-driven experience takes diners on a tour of Japan as they sample traditional street foods, fresh nigiri, and Japanese A5 Wagyu.
GEORGIA: The Alden in Cambridge
The Alden in Chamblee is a foodie dream. The chef prepares a tasting experience nightly and guests can opt to sit at the 11-seat chefs counter to get a good view of all of the action in the kitchen. Previous menu items have included lavender baked chicken and seared scallops.
HAWAII: PAI Honolulu in Honolulu
PAI Honolulu has a few options for tasting menus. There's the traditional chef's experience and a create your own five-course meal from a pre-fixe menu. The chef's experience is eight courses and changes seasonally. Dishes from past menus include lobster with truffle corn soup and brisket gnocchi.
IDAHO: Candle in the Woods in Athol
If you're looking for a unique tasting experience head to Candle in the Woods. The restaurant changes its 12- to 14-course menu daily based on what's available. Dinner is served at a large community table where people are meant to interact with others while enjoying the tasting experience. The experience also includes wine pairings with a set price of $140.
ILLINOIS: Alinea in Chicago
Multi-course tasting experiences are a highlight at Alinea. Plan to spend at least three hours at the restaurant because the menu ranges from 19 to 25 courses with dishes that include a lot of exotic ingredients and dry ice for a dramatic effect.
INDIANA: Provision in Indianapolis
Provision in Indianapolis is known for its sustainable chef's tasting menu. The six-course tasting is $89 without a wine pairing and is composed of dishes like lobster risotto and Japanese A5 Wagyu.
IOWA: Proof in Des Moines
At Proof there are two ways to enjoy a tasting experience. The first is a traditional seven-course tasting, and the second is a blind tasting where you don't know what will be brought out next. Either way you go, the tasting experience is done to perfection.
KANSAS: The White Linen in Topeka
The White Linen in Topeka is known for its French-contemporary take on a chef's tasting dinner. Each month the tasting experience changes, but it's always five courses. Dishes in the past have included autumn squash soup and apple cider-braised pork belly.
KENTUCKY: 610 Magnolia in Louisville
Located in the heart of Louisville is 610 Magnolia. Every week there is a new tasting menu that utilizes ingredients from local produce purveyors and responsibly raised animals. Because there's a new menu every week the number of courses and price will vary, but that also means that you can eat here multiple times and never have the same menu.
LOUISIANA: Restaurant August in New Orleans
In the middle of the New Orleans Central Business District is Restaurant August. The stunning contemporary creole restaurant has a five-course tasting experience that's chef-led and chef-curated every night. The meal is $110 per person.
MAINE: The Well at Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth
Dining right where some of your food is grown is a special experience that can be had at very few places, but The Well at Jordan's Farm is doing just that. The chef's tasting menu at the restaurant showcases the best that the season has to offer. Just be sure to make a reservation because the restaurant is not currently accepting walk-up guests.
MARYLAND: Charleston Restaurant in Baltimore
Baltimore is home to more than just crab cakes and sports teams. For an elevated chefs tasting experience consider a night at Charleston Restaurant, where guests can choose from three to six courses to make their own custom tasting menu. Each season the menu changes so this is a spot that you can return to every few months to have a completely different meal.
MASSACHUSETTS: Tasting Counter in Somerville
Tasting Counter is a unique dining experience as it does lunch and dinner tasting experiences. The menu changes with the seasons and you will need to reserve your spot early since there are only a limited number of seats at the countertop. And thanks to the all-inclusive ticketing system there's no need to tip or wait around for a bill since all of that is paid in advance.
MICHIGAN: Marrow in Detroit
Marrow in Detroit offers a pre-fixe, five-course tasting menu. Each course typically has two options to choose from, most with vegetarian options except for the first course which is a house-made charcuterie board.
MINNESOTA: Tenant in Minneapolis
Tenant is the quintessential tasting experience dinner, where everyone in the restaurant is having the same meal as you. The six-course meal has dishes that rotate regularly based on the seasons. The casual meal is $60 per guest.
MISSISSIPPI: Elvie's in Jackson
The tasting menu at Elvie's is inspired by traditional French bistro food with a distinctly Southern twist. The seven-course tasting menu includes items like crab soufflé and squash bread pudding.
MISSOURI: Corvino in Kansas City
Corvino in Kansas City is known for its vegetarian tasting dinner, which is made up of ten courses. Some dishes that have been served on past menus include chanterelle and farro verde, and a brie donut with a lemon marmalade.
MONTANA: Cafe Kandahar in Whitefish
Cafe Kandahar allows diners to pick their own tasting experience of two or three courses based on the chef's seasonally inspired menu. Dishes that often grace the menu include grilled octopus and elk tenderloin.
NEBRASKA: Au Courant in Omaha
Traditional European dishes are served in a casual, cozy setting at Au Courant. The chef's tasting experience consists of six courses for $75. The seasonal menu changes often with dishes like oysters mignonette and crab and corn gazpacho.
NEVADA: Wing Lei in Las Vegas
Wing Lei in Las Vegas offers an Imperial Peking Duck tasting that's made up of five duck courses and one dessert course. Some of the guests' favorite dishes include a table-side Peking duck carving, duck fried rice, and duck and foie gras shumai.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Stages in Dover
While exploring Dover be sure to stop in at Stages for its chef's tasting menu. Each night the restaurant serves a tasting experience of eight to ten dishes made from ingredients from the nearby chef-owned farm or the chef's foraging, which are brought in almost daily.
NEW JERSEY: Elements Restaurant in Princeton
If you're looking for the best in seasonal tasting experiences in New Jersey look no further than Elements Restaurant. The chef's tasting menu is made up of ten courses ranging from seafood to lamb to dessert.
NEW MEXICO: Sazon in Santa Fe
Sazon is a traditional Mexican restaurant that serves a chef's tasting twice each day. Reservations for the nine-course meal are required and you can add on a tequila, mezcal and wine pairing for an additional fee.
NEW YORK: Le Bernardin in New York
New York is a culinary capital of the world, and one spot for top-notch tasting experiences is Le Bernardin. The seafood heavy menu has eight courses with dishes like poached lobster with chanterelle and baby turnips with truffled lobster jus.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Bardo in Charlotte
Bardo is known for its multi-course tasting experiences where guests can choose from a three-, five-, seven- or 12-course meal. The 12-course experience includes nine savory courses and three desserts for $125.
NORTH DAKOTA: HoDo Restaurant in Fargo
North Dakota isn't known as a foodie destination, but one spot in the state that does offer a tasting experience is HoDo Restaurant. Each of the dishes can be customized to what you enjoy and served as a surprise.
OHIO: Dante in Cleveland
Dante is named after Michelin-starred chef Dante Boccuzz. The modern American restaurant serves multiple tasting experiences including a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free five-course menu for $89.
OKLAHOMA: FarmBar in Tulsa
Farm Bar is a 32-seat restaurant that serves farm-to-table cuisine from farms and dairy purveyors in the area. The ten-course menu is currently using items like tomatoes, goat cheese, and edible flowers in dishes.
OREGON: Nomad PDX in Portland
Nomad PDX is known for its daily tasting menu where no two dishes are ever exactly the same from day-to-day. The small restaurant is serving dishes like truffle potato and celery root, and sunchokes with barley ice cream.
PENNSYLVANIA: Vetri Cucina in Philadelphia
For $135 you can indulge in a four-course tasting experience of modern Italian cuisine. The menu at Vetri Cucina rotates often but one dish that's always on the menu is the swiss chard gnocchi with shaved ricotta salata and brown butter.
RHODE ISLAND: Gracie's in Providence
Providence is home to Gracie's where you can choose to participate in a five- or seven-course tasting menu for $100 or $135, respectively. The menu is seasonal American fare with dishes like scallops and goat cheese cheesecake.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Wild Common in Charleston
Every day the chef at Wild Common creates a new four-course tasting experience for $75 per person. Some of the dishes that have appeared on the menu in the past include Korean bbq duck steamed buns and Atlantic halibut with roasted garlic brown butter.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Ode to Food and Drinks in Sioux Falls
Ode to Food and Drinks in Sioux Falls hosts chef's tasting experiences throughout the year. These special events include five off menu courses paired with wine. Each table participating will be visited by the chef and the wine expert for the evening to tell guests about each dish.
TENNESSEE: Bastion in Nashville
Part bar, where loaded nachos are the star, and part tasting menu-driven restaurant, Bastion is the spot to be in Nashville. The tasting menu is a five-course dinner where everything is seasonally driven and changes often. Recent dishes have included steamed halibut with celery root, and tri-tip with bok choy.
TEXAS: Barley Swine in Austin
Barley Swine has a seven-course tasting menu that includes dishes like beef tartare with bone marrow hot sauce, a 30-day aged Akaushi Ribeye, and a poblano Texas sheet cake with peach sorbet and peach chammy jam.
UTAH: Table X in Salt Lake City
Table X in Salt Lake City uses ingredients from local farms for every dish. In fact, from the bread service to the final spoonful of dessert, everything is made in-house. The nine-course tasting experience can also be done as a vegan tasting meal with items like basil risotto and an olive oil cake.
VERMONT: A Single Pebble in Burlington
At A Single Pebble the entire table will take part in a nine-course tasting experience that is meant to be shared family style. While there's no set menu the chef does take great care in creating the dishes that are often off-menu.
VIRGINIA: 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church
2941 Restaurant is located in Falls Church. The five-course, $105 dinner is available Tuesday through Saturday where guests get to choose from two different dishes for each course. Menu items that have pleased diners in the past include rice noodle tacos that are filled with Brussels sprouts and a caramelized apple-spiced eclair.
WASHINGTON: Altura in Seattle
Altura is known for celebrating the foods of the Pacific Northwest through Italian cooking. The tasting menu at the restaurant uses everything from freshly caught seafood to foraged mushrooms to create a meal that's worthy of enjoying again.
WEST VIRGINIA: The Forks Inn in Elkins
Elkins is home to The Forks Inn. The restaurant has a six-course tasting menu that includes an appetizer, soup, salad, sorbet, entrée and dessert. The soup that's typically on the menu is a lobster bisque that's perfectly creamy and silky with large chunks of lobster in each bite.
WISCONSIN: Nook in Madison
Nook in Madison is a family-owned 12-seat restaurant serving a fantastic tasting menu. Each menu has between 10 and 14 courses. The experience starts with shared snacks and drinks then the plated meal starts shortly after. The entire experience is $90 per person.
WYOMING: Gather in Jackson
While touring Jackson be sure to stop at Gather for the chef's table dining experience. The menu is made of seven courses that may include dishes like baby back ribs with pork butter and pickled cucumber or red wine-marinated bison.
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