Seated Five–Course "Tasting"

Menu: Shiraz NYC and Shiraz FL

Menu design: Yellow Owl Workshop

1) With a tasting menu, the traditional progression of a meal–light courses to heavier, more complex courses—doesn't necessarily apply. For example, instead of starting with a refreshing salad or a delicate soup, this menu's first course is warm, bold, and aromatic.

2) Each "Around the World" course is paired with a cocktail. Its ingredients enhance and supplement the flavors present in the food; this one incorporates flowery jasmine. Many mixologists have been experimenting with other perfume–y flavors like violet, rose, and elderflower—all have a light, sensual effect on the palate.

3) Picky eaters might be scared of lamb, but for seasoned sophisticates, it is clearly a fresher, more savory option than the usual beef or chicken. In general, lamb is always an elegant choice that's much more "fancy restaurant" than "banquet hall."

4) This milk–soaked dessert plays an important role in Latin weddings traditions–but you should also serve an American–style wedding cake. Guests love watching the cake–cutting, and you can give them boxed slices to take home.

TIP: Keep in mind that tasting menus work best for small, intimate groups. This nontraditional format may put off guests more accustomed to one–main–course dinners. The sophisticated, often global nature of the "tasting" concept is most appropriate for adventurous eaters–and completely lost on the very young.

TIP: It's always appropriate to offer a white and a red wine with the reception meal. The advantage of doing so here–even though this tasting menu features a cocktail pairing with every course– would be to keep guests with more moderate drinking habits happy. Some may not be keen on beverage experimentation (and mixing).

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