There seems to be a new tasting menu popping up every week as chefs trade expansive menus for tightly curated courses. While not all fixed-priced menus are created equal and generally tilt toward the pricey side, these three prix fixe menus not only offer exceptional food, but the value lives up to its concept — whether it's a go-to neighborhood spot or an elaborate degustation menu.
Price-Friendly Pop-Up: The MINA Test Kitchen
This summer Michael Mina launched The MINA Test Kitchen, a family-style pop-up series that explores a new concept every three months. That’s right — the James Beard Award–winning chef is basically bestowing the city with a new restaurant every quarter. The first iteration, Middle’terranea, is a Mediterranean-inspired collaboration between Mina and chef partner Adam Sobel (RN74) to showcase the intersection of their Egyptian and Jewish heritages (respectively) with dishes such as grilled prawn shakshuka with fried quail eggs or swordfish served in the Egyptian “koshary-style.” At just $45 per person (with $30 drink pairings), this rotating concept considerably lowers the barrier of entry to experience Michael Mina's genius. Middle’terranea will run through the middle of October when Mina will unveil a new, still-secret concept.
2120 Greenwich St.; Buy tickets here.
Most Comforting: Trestle
Trestle, the latest project from the team behind Stones Throw and Fat Angel, bucks the pricey fixed-menu trend by offering a daily changing three-course menu for just $35 per person. The reasonable price alone is enough to get you in the door, but the charming neighborhood vibe and the ever-changing roster of family-style dishes like marinated calamari and roasted fingerling potatoes and short rib "pot roast" with potato gratin and roasted carrots will turn this Jackson Square gem into your regular date spot.
Insider tip: The $10 handmade pasta add-on is oh-so worth it. And wines by the bottle are never marked up higher than $40.
531 Jackson St.; 415-772-0922
Most Elaborate: 1601 Bar and Kitchen
At $95 per person with wine pairings at $62, 1601 Bar and Kitchen’s new omakase-style degustation menu is a splurge, but executive chef and owner Brian Fernando’s artful, fine-dining presentation of Sri Lankan–inspired delicacies make this seafood-driven menu worthy of your special occasions. And with 15 courses, featuring the likes of scallop ceviche, goat stew, house-smoked salmon, soft-shell crab and items you’ve likely never experienced, it’s one of the most creative and decadent in the city.
Insider tip: Vegetarians can request a vegetarian degustation for $80 per person.
1601 Howard St.; 415-552-1601