10 Tips for Attending a Tasting Event

10 Tips for Attending a Tasting Event

This Thursday I’ll be attending “First Bites” at Chicago’s Union Station for Restaurant Week 2013. This is the fourth year I’ve attended the event, and over the years I've gained some great knowledge when it comes to knowing how to attend a tasting event. Attending an event with 50 plus restaurants is all about portion control. Most of the restaurants do that for you providing small one-bite portions, but 50 different bites can add up. See read my tips below on how to make it through the whole event satisfied and full, but not too full!! Since the event is completely sold out make sure you attend Chicago Restaurant Week 2013 to try some of the best items that Chicago restaurants have to offer!

  1. If there is alcohol involved, try and limit it to a drink or two- it will just fill you up leaving less room to try food
  2. If something comes on a bun, forgo the bun unless it has condiments on it, in which case try and scrape most of the condiments onto the item inside, or eat it open faced
  3. Choose one favorite from the sweets table, I'd suggest getting your fix with one of the restaurants offerings and not a company or sponsor
  4. Take just one bite of everything, I guarantee you’ll get a full mouth of flavor and will be able to try most of the restaurants, and if you’re not full at the end, you can always go back for more. The French have an “amuse bouche” and the Spanish have “pinxtos” but the Americans, we have no such thing as a “one-bite,” and trust me of all people, we need to
  5. If a restaurant is offering a dish that you’ve tried before at their restaurant, or it’s very similar, just pass it up, unless it's like the best thing on earth
  6. Make a list of all the restaurants you want to try, especially ones you’ve never been to before, that way if you get full and can’t try everything at least you crossed the most important ones off your list
  7. Don’t rush through, you won’t be enjoying each bite and flavor and the slower you eat you realize how full you are so you don’t stuff yourself silly and end up feeling regret
  8. If a restaurant is offering any spin on cheese and crackers, just pass it up- these offerings just usually fill you up without offering any new flavor
  9. Don’t feel bad about asking the chef how something is prepared, they are often waiting for someone to ask rather than just grab and go
  10. If you're on a diet, give yourself a little leeway to splurge

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