5 Great Boston Tasting Menus!

Boston’s food scene is growing at a rapid pace. The new location de jour is Fort Point, home to restaurants brought to you by Ming Tsai, Barbara Lynch and a soon to be property from Mario Batali. The shadow cast by NYC is great and vast, but Boston is quickly catching up and becoming a food destination of its own! Tasting menus are popping up all over the city and expose Bostonians to some of the best food around.

L’Espalier was voted Boston’s Best Tasting menu of 2012 by Boston Magazine. It is no great shock considering the reputation the restaurant carries. L’Espalier has been awarded fifteen consecutive AAA Five Diamond ratings, fifteen consecutive Forbes Four Star ratings, and a host of Best of Boston awards. Chef Frank McClelland was also named a James Beard Best Chef in the Northeast region of the US. The acclaimed restaurant features two tasting menu options: the Chef’s Tasting Journey and the Seasonal Degustation. The Chef’s Tasting Journey is a multiple course menu uniquely designed to incorporate flavors, colors and scents of the different seasons here in New England. The Seasonal Degustation menu is a similar seasonal concept, but smaller in size and price. The two menus are priced at $200 and $110 respectively. Wine pairings are available as well, of course.

 A Boston tasting menu piece would not be credible without the mention of Menton: Boston’s only Forbes Five Star  and  is a Relais and Chateaux property. Menton also holds a AAA Five Diamond Rating and was a finalist in the James Beard Foundations Best New Restaurant list of 2010. If Barbara Lynch and all her success hasn’t piqued your interest, perhaps the newly appointed Chef De Cuisine will. You may recognize her from Bravo’s hit show, Top Chef. Kristen Kish was the second woman to ever be named Top Chef on the final episode of season 10 in Seattle. Tasting menus feature over ten courses and are priced at $155 per person. Wine pairings available as well.

If a tasting menu that is uniquely Bostonian, look no further than Craigie on Main. This restaurant lives and breathes farm to table cooking. They believe that menu construction should center around what’s fresh and seasonal on that day. Menu’s change daily and feature products from local farmers from around Massachusetts and New England. This does not stop at produce, meats, and cheeses. Beer, wine, liquor, and all components of a dish are sourced locally and organically as much as possible. This is not to say that the menus are limited and flat! Menu items have included veal sweetbreads, spice crusted venison leg and Maine mussels. Eight course tasting menus are priced at $118 and six course menus at $98. Fabulous, one of a kind cocktails along with complex wines and crisp beers also available.

Do you ever wonder how we can make New Yorker’s even more envious of Bostonians? Just tell them you can have a tasting menu at Market by Jean-Georges Vongerichten for under $65. You read that correctly: a five course tasting menu by Jean-Georges for $62 and an optional wine pairing for another $45. For any diner, foodie or humble home cook, this is a great opportunity for delicious, meticulously prepared food, for an excellent price. Jean-Georges has opened several James Beard “Best of” restaurants, published award winning cookbooks and continues to change and redefine fine dining all over the world.

A similar cooking and dining style present at Craigie on Main is that of Ten Tables. Krista Kranyak began her career at the tender age of 12 working on a farm in nearby Connecticut. From there, she developed a love for fresh food right from the ground. She opened Ten Tables in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood in 2002 and hasn’t stopped there. She now has three Ten Table locations in JP, Cambridge and Provincetown on Cape Cod. She also has a bar in JP as well as another neighborhood joint called Grassfed. Kranyak believes in “European shopping”: close to home and in nearby communities. Her food is deliciously prepared and showcases the food like none other. Her tasting menus are affordable priced at $42 and $32 for vegetarian versions.

All of these options will surely leave you satisfied. It might be a good idea to walk off your delicious meals in our charming South End neighborhood complimented by unique shops, boutiques and art galleries. If walking is too much, our hot tub is most definitely the perfect substitute!

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