Before there were one-night pop-ups, followed food trucks, and celebrity-chef-preferred dives, the best way to get a taste of something unique and fleeting was a sampling of a restaurant's creative favorites culled to create a tasting menu.
In France, it's referred to as a table d'hôte. In Japan, a teishoku. And, in Spain, the menú del día. Stateside, we simply call it prix fixe.
No matter what the name, it all means the same thing: a set meal at a set price -- and (most often) for a pretty darned good deal.
To get you pointed to the right prix, Clean Plate Charlie has found some of the best set menus around. From III Forks in Palm Beach Gardens to Coco Asian Bistro in Fort Lauderdale, here are our top picks for prix fixe fare this summer.
4. III FORKS
in Palm Beach Gardens
All summer long, both restaurant locations in Palm Beach Gardens and Hallandale Beach are serving a special, three-course summer menu
for $32.95 per person, with your choice of USDA prime tenderloin tips, ahi tuna, 12-ounce pork chop, or fresh catch of the day.
Here you can sample a $35 specialty, three-course tasting menu
Sunday through Thursday, during the summer months. For details and reservations, call 954-763-2777. Be there between 4 and 9 p.m. on Thursday when the restaurant features half-priced bottles of select red and white wine during happy hour.
This summer, this Palm Beach Island restaurant is serving a specialty prix fixe during its daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. For $25, choose from a list of appetizers, large plates, and desserts. Best of all, this one comes with a drink. We suggest the prosecco punch, a colorful and tasty libation topped off with a generous splash of the bubbly wine for a perfect finish.
Have the best Asian fusion has to offer with Chef Mike Ponluang's three-course prix fixe tasting menu. Offered throughout the summer from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, this $35 special gives you a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert from a specialty menu that rotates every few weeks. Options include creative twists on traditional favorites -- like pad Thai -- with Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese influences.
An honorable mention goes to CAFE MAXX
in Pompano Beach, which is hosting its Penfold's Grange Dinner on Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m. Penfold's Grange wine, a coveted South Australian shiraz, will be the spotlight of the night. Although this annual event is not a recurring special, it's a night worth indulgence when you will be able to enjoy a preview of the newly released 2006 Grange, along with several older vintages. To complement the selections, chef Oliver Saucy will be preparing a special five-course tasting menu to accompany each wine. This event is limited to 16 people and is priced at $295 per person. For reservations call 954-523-9463.
It's also worth pointing out SAIA
in Fort Lauderdale. This Wednesday, July 27, will be the final taste-test to experience chef Subin's SAIA Sensations, a multicourse tasting menu featuring miso soup, Asian-prepared lobster creations, sake pairings, and dessert for $35.
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