“The cocktail thing lost its luster because everybody was doing it and not that many people understood how to do it right“

This. Maybe I’m just putting up grumpy old man vibes early, but in the last few years I’ve stopped ordering cocktails from a menu unless I know it’s a bar program with real chops. I’ve had far too many five-ingredient drinks with house infusions and shrubs that taste sweet and one-note . We need less bar programs spitting out original, ho-hum drinks and just bartenders who know how to make (and serve) a good Martini.

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I just don't like tasting menus anywhere other than say, Nobu.

I don't like the pacing, the portions, or the pricing. But least of all, I don't like the assigned dinner guest that tells you the "seasonal blah, blah, blah". I have nothing against waiters, but it's too much interaction.

I crave normalcy. I hesitate to say 'simplicity' because it seems restaurateurs hear a word and take it to it's most logical extreme, and that's how we got deconstructed salads and steak served on wood planks.

There's a restaurant in Portland called Kachka, where they strike a gorgeous balance of high-end cooking skill, humble ingredients and variety. I'd love to see more restaurants in the US like theirs.

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Letting people choose what they want to eat is half the point of going out to dinner, right? I want chicken, she’s vegan, he wants soup - just let us choose what suits us.

That said I don’t mind a tasting menu every now and then, but it’s a different kind of experience that i’s specifically want to choose.

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I absolutely agree with this sentiment. My husband, teenage daughter, and I are big fans of Aaron Silverman’s Rose’s Luxury in DC and have gone since it first opened. One of the things we enjoyed most was that it was a small menu, but you could order whatever you felt like, and if that meant an oyster dish you liked so much that you wanted a duplicate, it was totally fine and encouraged. Since the pandemic ended, they’ve gone to a tasting menu format. Dishes are still delicious, just preferred the old format, especially since both Pineapple & Pearls and Little Pearl are also tasting menus (also, delicious!).

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