While some chefs who switched to the tasting menu-only format in 2014 ultimately found themselves backtracking slightly, two major players in the NYC area have announced they're jumping on board the tasting-menu trend. Today, Cronut king Dominique Ansel announced his upcoming made-to-order bakery will feature a six-course dessert tasting menu, complete with cocktail pairings for each course. According to DNAinfo, the tasting will be available only at the bakery's 10-seat "chef's table," and promises courses like "'Bread and Butter,' made from yeast ice cream and brown butter mousse," and an "Alphabet Soup Style" il flottante. The $65 dessert tasting would be available by reservation only, with two seatings available after the larger cafe closes for the day, at 7p.m.
Ansel's tasting menu might feature "Bread and Butter" ice cream and il flottante served "Alphabet Soup Style."
Meanwhile, in Jersey City, Thirty Acres owners Kevin and Alex Pemoulie announced they'll also switch to the tasting menu-only format starting February 5. In an email blast, the Pemoulies write that the restaurant's "eclectic" menu will get an overhaul, admitting the constantly changing menu has "sometimes made the ordering process confusing." The $75, five-course tasting menu, according to the Pemoulies, will streamline the ordering process, while a smaller menu of small plates will still be available at the bar. "The last thing we wanted was for our guests to be uncomfortable navigating our menu," the Pemoulies write, noting the change comes after "much brainstorming, deep thought and a little secret customer polling."
Since mid-2014, chefs have been switching to the tasting-menu format en masse, with chefs like Paul Qui (Austin's Qui) and Michael Mina (San Francisco's Michael Mina) dropping their a la carte formats in recent months.