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The Hottest New Tasting Menus to Try

At these restaurants, the chef knows best

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Call 2016 the year of the tasting menu. Several chefs, both new and veteran, are offering multi-course, prix fixe menus. And no two tasting menu experiences are quite the same.

There's the very fancy and pricey (think Pineapple and Pearls or Metier). And then there are the come-as-you-are "value" meals at places like Boundary Road or Hazel.

While the tasting menu concept is nothing new, it seems more chefs have gotten in on the game. And there's no end in sight. In November, Chef Kwame Onwuachi is willing to bet that D.C. can stomach a $1,000 tasting menu for two.

So why exactly do D.C. chef's continue to gamble on tasting menus? One big reason is control. With a tasting menu, chefs are able to explore food in both a creative and constrained way. It also gives the kitchen time to develop a routine on dishes that may very well come to define the restaurant's reputation.

And whether it's three, six, eight, or 15 courses, chefs are ready to deliver a dining experience driven by their own unique interests. This map focuses on the newest ones in town; looking for something more tried and true? Consider these classics.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1789 Restaurant

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This Georgetown stalwart recently changed up its format to tasting menu-focused. Chef Samuel Kim serves a flexible four, five, or six course menu, priced at $85, $97, and $109 per person.

Boundary Road Restaurant

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Vegetarians will want to head to Boundary Road on Thursday nights for the "Eat Your Veggies!" tasting menu. The restaurant serves a rotating three course menu of veggie-only dishes for $30 per person, with an optional $15 wine pairing.

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Bub and Pop's

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It may not be the most intuitive place to find a tasting menu, but sandwich joint Bub and Pop's now has a supper club. Diners can try the multi-course menu with beverage pairings for an all-inclusive $165 per person. It's only available on Saturday nights. They seat six diners each evening.

Conosci

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Michael Schlow gives you a few choices for tasting menus. His options range in price and course load. At the low end, diners get five-to-seven dishes for $45 each.

Drift on 7th

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Drift on 7th recently brought back the six-course FishNook tasting menu that chef Ferhat Yalcin used to operate at its predecessor restaurant, Fishnet. It's $65 per person plus tax (gratuity not included), plus $35 for beverage pairings, for up to four people.

Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi

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Early this year, Fabio Trabocchi switched things up at his Italian restaurant, offering a variety of prix-fixe menus, including a "chef’s decadence” six-course menu for $120.

Hazel offers a relaxed take on the tasting menu. The "Chef 7" is a $46 per person meal, selected by chef Rob Rubba.

Eric Ziebold's Metier is a tasting menu for a special occasion. This $200 dinner experience features seven courses (and yes, there are Parker House rolls). An early talked-about dish: the poached Alaskan halibut, served with uni butter.

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Old Angler's Inn

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This month Old Angler's Inn in Potomac released a new chef's tasting menu. It's offered every Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The meal is four courses at $75 per person.

Pineapple and Pearls

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Chef Aaron Silverman's Pineapple and Pearls is winning the hearts and stomachs of Washingtonians who decide to throw down $250 for an all-inclusive dinner that includes tax, tip, and beverage pairings. Just be sure to snag tickets before you go. This is an online ticketed experience.

Chef Austin Fausett (formerly of Trummer's on Main) is working closely with sommelier Joe Quinn on a $135 tasting menu inspired by France's Loire valley wine region. The result is a progressive dinner with wine pairings for each course.

The Pig

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With a new chef at The Pig comes a new tasting menu. And it's an affordable one. Chef Nuvee Netayavichitr is putting together a new four-course meal that starts at $35, with wine pairings beginning at $15.

Official

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

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When watching the wallet, then The Source's three course tasting menu, located at the bar downstairs, might be a good bet. This $35 menu also let's diners choose between Chinese staples like dumplings and bao.

1789 Restaurant

This Georgetown stalwart recently changed up its format to tasting menu-focused. Chef Samuel Kim serves a flexible four, five, or six course menu, priced at $85, $97, and $109 per person.

Boundary Road Restaurant

Official

Vegetarians will want to head to Boundary Road on Thursday nights for the "Eat Your Veggies!" tasting menu. The restaurant serves a rotating three course menu of veggie-only dishes for $30 per person, with an optional $15 wine pairing.

Official

Bub and Pop's

It may not be the most intuitive place to find a tasting menu, but sandwich joint Bub and Pop's now has a supper club. Diners can try the multi-course menu with beverage pairings for an all-inclusive $165 per person. It's only available on Saturday nights. They seat six diners each evening.

Conosci

Michael Schlow gives you a few choices for tasting menus. His options range in price and course load. At the low end, diners get five-to-seven dishes for $45 each.

Drift on 7th

Drift on 7th recently brought back the six-course FishNook tasting menu that chef Ferhat Yalcin used to operate at its predecessor restaurant, Fishnet. It's $65 per person plus tax (gratuity not included), plus $35 for beverage pairings, for up to four people.

Fiola da Fabio Trabocchi

Early this year, Fabio Trabocchi switched things up at his Italian restaurant, offering a variety of prix-fixe menus, including a "chef’s decadence” six-course menu for $120.

Hazel

Hazel offers a relaxed take on the tasting menu. The "Chef 7" is a $46 per person meal, selected by chef Rob Rubba.

Metier

Official

Eric Ziebold's Metier is a tasting menu for a special occasion. This $200 dinner experience features seven courses (and yes, there are Parker House rolls). An early talked-about dish: the poached Alaskan halibut, served with uni butter.

Official

Old Angler's Inn

This month Old Angler's Inn in Potomac released a new chef's tasting menu. It's offered every Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. The meal is four courses at $75 per person.

Pineapple and Pearls

Chef Aaron Silverman's Pineapple and Pearls is winning the hearts and stomachs of Washingtonians who decide to throw down $250 for an all-inclusive dinner that includes tax, tip, and beverage pairings. Just be sure to snag tickets before you go. This is an online ticketed experience.

Proof

Chef Austin Fausett (formerly of Trummer's on Main) is working closely with sommelier Joe Quinn on a $135 tasting menu inspired by France's Loire valley wine region. The result is a progressive dinner with wine pairings for each course.

The Pig

Official

With a new chef at The Pig comes a new tasting menu. And it's an affordable one. Chef Nuvee Netayavichitr is putting together a new four-course meal that starts at $35, with wine pairings beginning at $15.

Official

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

When watching the wallet, then The Source's three course tasting menu, located at the bar downstairs, might be a good bet. This $35 menu also let's diners choose between Chinese staples like dumplings and bao.

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