Chef Paul Qui's Austin flagship Qui is joining the growing list of restaurants that are switching to a tasting menu only format: Qui tells Eater Austin that the restaurant's main dining room (and upcoming 10-seat "tasting room") will both eschew a la carte dishes by the end of this summer. In Qui's tasting room, menu prices for the 20- to 25-course menu will "hover around the $100 range," compared to $60 or so for a more modest menu in the dining room. The restaurant's a la carte menu, however, will still be available at the patio and bar, where it'll actually expand to include additional items by July 6.
In recent months, chefs like David Kinch (Manresa), Ari Taymor (Alma), and Tory Miller (L'Etoile) have all adopted the tasting menu format. Earlier this week, Miller explained the growing trend by suggesting that tasting menus better showcase the abilities of a restaurant: "It's like when a friend or a fellow chef comes in, and you send them all this food because you want them to experience the restaurant," Miller said. "Why shouldn't every guest get this?" Qui's tasting menu format will start later this summer.