|Bluestem tasting menu items|
Both tasting and prix-fixe menus can be found in cosmopolitan KC. They are different; for starters, most people here can pronounce “tasting.” Not so for prix fixe – which is enunciated as pre (pause) fix. And all it means is a fixed price for typically three courses. It’s normally a few to several dollars cheaper than ordering à la carte.
Prix fixe has been a staple in Europe for years, especially France, where they don’t need pronunciation lessons and are pretty horrified to discover it sometimes is even written here as pre-fix. (Not anywhere really good, however.) It has advantages: for the restaurant, the choices are more limited so there’s less cooking, less chance for left-over ingredients; and for the diner, it’s less expensive and often consists of what the restaurant does best. But most restaurants offer this selection in addition to their à la carte items so the advantages are less pronounced to the restaurant anyway.
We’re especially used to seeing prix fixe on holidays – Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. Because such events usually include something special, and because they occur on a holiday, they are usually not a terrific bargain. Or a bargain at all.
Prix fixe is a good thing for those of us who don’t want to worry about all the choices and prefer limiting ourselves to the chef’s choice or maybe a couple of different choices (particularly for the main course). But several Kansas City restaurants do have a prix fixe menu selection year round, sometimes only on specific days of the week. For instance, Julian offers one on Monday and Tuesdays, Webster House has their 2 for $20 on Wednesdays, Café Provence offers one on Tuesdays, and 801 Chophouse has a yummy one for Sunday dinner.
Restaurant Week has spawned the re-emergence of prix fixe; some cities' dates are on-line at Chris' Corner. There are probably additional cities offering more than one Restaurant Week; you may want to take advantage of these in your travels. Most cities try to do them at the approximate same time each year; the prices vary somewhat; and despite the carping you might see on the internet, they are a pretty good way of tasting a restaurant’s offerings that you might not otherwise try.
|Dinner for Two at Hereford House|
Whether you choose à la carte, prix fixe, or a tasting menu, isn’t it nice to know that the choice can be yours?
|Prix Fixe, Tasting, Dinner for 2 or Continuous||Courses||Price per Person||Lunch or Dinner||When Offered|
|801 Chophouse||Prix Fixe||3||$33||D||Sunday|
|Bluestem||Tasting||3, 5, 10||$65-$100||D||Tues - Sat|
|Café Provence||Prix Fixe||4||$38||D||Tuesday|
|Chez Elle||Prix Fixe||3||$25||D||Friday & Saturday|
|Fogo de Chao||Continuous||Multi||$19.50-$44.50||L,D||Mon - Fri; Nightly|
|Gaslight Grill||Prix Fixe||3-4||$22.25-$23.95||D||Sunday|
|Hereford House||Dinner for 2||4||$65 (for two)||D||Nightly|
|Julian||Prix Fixe||3-4||$30-$35||D||Sun - Tues|
|Le Fou Frog||Tasting||5||$65-$85||D||with 24 hour notice|
|M & S Grill||Prix Fixe||3||$28.99||D||Sun - Thurs|
|Ophelia's||Tasting||3||$29||D||Mon - Sat|
|Pachamama's||Prix Fixe||3,5||$23, $55||L,D||Tues - Sat|
|Piropos||Prix Fixe||2,3||$16, $38||L,D||Seasonally|
|Room 39||Tasting||4||$39||D||Mon - Sat|
|Tasso's Greek||Prix Fixe||5||$32||D||First Thursday|
|The American||Tasting||5-12||$65-$120||D||Mon - Sat|
|The Melting Pot||Prix Fixe||3-4||$19.95-$48.95||L,D||Fri - Sun; Nightly|
|Webster House||Prix Fixe||2||$20||D||Wednesday|