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Would You Eat at a Restaurant With No Menus?

Recently Mouthing Off, Food & Wine's blog, chatted about the menu, or lack thereof, at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The restaurant of James Beard Award winning chef Dan Barber stopped using menus a year ago. Instead, diners are presented with a list of in-season ingredients. They select either five or eight courses and let the waitstaff know of any off-limits foods. The kitchen has total control over a patron's meal. Considering I'm an adventurous and sometimes indecisive (I want to try everything!) eater, I would love to eat at a menu-free restaurant — especially if the chef is as acclaimed as Barber. How about you?


danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
I have some food issues (intolerances and texture issues), so this isn't a good idea for me. I'm also a vegetarian, which wouldn't work in most restaurants.
marie-lee marie-lee 8 years
Not something I'd want to try somewhere local but I love the idea. I have so much trouble deciding what to choose when I eat out. The chef choosing for me sounds like a much better option.
LOVErickii LOVErickii 8 years
my extended family and i went to a restaurant like this last year for fathers day. they had their entire menu on chalk boards like one would put specials on and we told them anything we wouldn't want to try/ really would like to otherwise they had free reign in picking a 3 course meal for us. It was really good, we got to try thing's we otherwise would never have and i think the main goal of the restaurant was spending quality time with our family while eating amazing food not a dine and dash kind of thing...
specialksgurl specialksgurl 8 years
I am a pretty picky eater and I like to order. Ordering at a restaurant gets you all geared up for the meal. :) Plus it's fun!
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
I think the idea of ordering by ingredient instead of set item is genius, esp. since you can say what's off limits. I would LOVE to try this.
MrsPip MrsPip 8 years
I was lucky enough to dine at Blue Hill and would definitely eat there without a menu. It was the BEST meal we had in NYC. Would love to go back and see what kind of meal we would get, as we were there when there were menus.
mlen mlen 8 years
i am picky but at the same time, if i could give them a small list of the things i hate the most (seafood, tomatoes, and maybe one or two more things) then i'd be willing to try it. maybe i'd discover something new
amofoz amofoz 8 years
Lol, Spectra!
darlene darlene 8 years
No because I am picky
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
This sounds like a great idea, given the fact that you can list a few ingredients that are off limits.
eastcoastgirl eastcoastgirl 8 years
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I like the concept, but I'm too picky of an eater to actually do this.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've eaten at a restaurant with no menu before. Well, to be honest, the menu was written entirely in Vietnamese so we just told the waiter to tell the chef to bring out a selection of things that were good. And all of them were, even though I'm not really sure what we ate. For all I know, I was eating a deer penis or something, lol. It was very Andrew Zimmern.
vohrtex vohrtex 8 years
We ate at Blue Hill in NYC. My wife is vegetarian, and they had nothing on the menu vegetarian. I informed the hostess when we made the reservation and she said not to worry. When we arrived the chef came out and consulted, asked what she liked and didn't, and made her 4 courses on the fly. It was a dream. The people at the next table asked her what she had ordered. When I ate at Chez Panisse, It was the same way as Stone Barns, but no substitutions. Eat what they want to serve you today. But you can't eat like this if you are picky. It was great, but only people with broad palate should bother. You can't be say you won't eat liver or sage and expect to have every course suit you. I loved it, my wife wouldn't.
soapbox soapbox 8 years
I'm far from a picky eater, so I think this is a great idea.
mswender mswender 8 years
I think it would be amazing as long as my seafood allergy was taken into consideration and I would just hope the chef would avoid sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary!
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
Sounds cool! I agree that you could only do it at a certain kind of restaurant but I love the idea of letting the chef makes what he wants--I feel like you would get something totally delicious! I read that Jamie Oliver will always order a chef's salad when he eats out--even if there's not one on the menu--because he thinks it's a good, simple way of seeing what a chef is all about. I guess this is kindof like that!
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
My cart guy never has a menu....
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I think it definitely depends. If it was someone I knew had a great reputation, then yes, I think it would be fun.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I would love it! If you don't like what they are serving, perhaps you should expand your horizons and not be so picky. It's a James Beard award-winning restaurant and chef! geesh!
doogirl doogirl 8 years
No no no!!! What if you didn't like anything they served? Who cares if it's made with passion if it tastes like feet!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that at certain places it's ok. you're going there for an experience anyway - so this is something that's kind of fun and new. i think that at a 'normal' place it would be a catastrophe
Brandi13jrm Brandi13jrm 8 years
Pretty cool and I like that you can tell them foods that are off limits... which is especially good if you have food allergies!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
that would be fun! that way you KNOW the food is made with passion!
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