Dear Dine

Dear Dine,

What if I don’t like a dish I am trying for the first time?

—Kevin

Dear Kevin,

Whether due to taste preferences or lack of cohesion within a dish, this is a dilemma everyone has reached at some point in their dining experiences.

Chef Oscar Hernandez of 712 Eat + Drink had great feedback as both an industry professional and as a diner. He said, “As an individual working in this industry, I would never send a dish back to a kitchen, because I know everybody has different taste buds. But I would probably ask more about the dish to understand the flavor profiles it’s intended to deliver. However, as a cook, I always ask for feedback on our food and service in order to improve it.” Any time you don’t care for the food, let the server know why and allow them the opportunity to suggest another item on the menu.

Dear Dine,

Should I expect different service if I am sitting at the bar rather than at a table?

—Brady

Dear Brady,

This question is a great one for debate as many diners have reported their best dining experiences sitting at the bar of a restaurant, while other times they have felt like a burden to the bartender.

Herbe Sainte has been successful in offering full service anywhere in its restaurant, whether the bar, tables, booths, or even the couch seating areas. As for a more casual spot, Andrew Miller, the General Manager at Barchen Beer Garden confirmed, “No, you should not get different service at a table versus the bar.”

Overall, expect the same service anywhere in each restaurant, and as always, if you have issues during your dinner, reach out to a manager and let them know your concerns.

Dear Dine,

What is the appeal of trying a prix fixe or chef’s tasting menu?

—Rachael

Dear Rachel,

The concept of a prix fixe or “fixed price” tasting menu has slowly trickled into our Midwest restaurant culture and is becoming a more common feature on both local and chain restaurant menus.

“I wanted the tasting to be more approachable and casual, as well as affordable,” said Benjamin Maides, Chef and Co-Owner of Au Courant Regional Kitchen. At the price of $60.00 for six courses and the fact that Au Courant offers a new menu every week, this tasting menu is a great deal for those who are adventurous and willing to try something new. “Omaha has embraced it, and it means people are becoming more adventurous, which is very encouraging in the culinary world,” said Maides.

Sage Student Bistro at Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for the Culinary Arts also offers a unique prix fixe menu that changes each week when classes are in session. For $30, guests enjoy a five-course meal that includes dessert prepared by student chefs. Prix fixe menus are not only affordable, but they often allow diners to try a good portion of the full menu.

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