View Full Version : V&A Chef's Table
08-13-2002, 10:20 PM
Just wondering if any of you would share your experiences with V&A's chef's table. We are thinking of making reservations during our honeymoon. How far in advance can I make the PS, also what is the average cost? We always try to have one extraordinary meal when we go away - and this seems like a truely memorable meal for one of our first days as husband and wife!
08-14-2002, 08:24 AM
the chef's table can be reserved 180 days out. our bill, w/out wine pairings, but inclusive, was 300$/couple. ifyou are looking for romance, you might want to consider the main dining room. soft lighting, harpist, and very intimate. remember this is a working kitchen, but it is a neat experience!:p
08-14-2002, 12:44 PM
If you are a foodie -- one who loves the slicing, dicing, rinsing, mincing and sautee-ing of all manner of food, and is eager to see how it's done by some superb chefs -- then you will enjoy the Chef's Table immensely.
If you are looking for a quiet romantic dinner, you won't.
The Chef's Table is a kitchen experience -- tile floors, stainless steel counters, flourescent lights, lots of strangers running around. You get some exclusive attention, yes...but the experience is not what I'd describe as magical.
Instead, head for the main dining room, and the low lights, hushed atmosphere, plucking harp and flickering candles that add up to a pure romantic dinner. It's delightful. You'll be pampered, and feel like a king and queen. (Dare I say, like Victoria and Albert?) ;)
08-14-2002, 02:07 PM
Just ate there exactly one week ago tonight with my new bride. We should have a trip report including all meals up in the next few days.....it's quite a handful but trust it will be done.
It was our second time in the kitchen and it couldn't have been a more pleasurable experience. With wine flight and gratuity, we spent $413.44 for the two of us and don't regret a single penny.
My husband and I ate at the Chef's table for our 15th annivesary in June. We LOVED it. We shared one premium wine pairing, so we each had half a glass with each course and that was a gracious plenty for me. We had two amuse bouche, and one was the caviar - first time for me and I liked it, then all the courses, including 2 entree servings on each plate and three full desserts to share. We were absolutely stuffed even though each individual course seemed smallish (well, except for that double entree and all of those desserts!) We did not feel that we were at all in the middle of the kitchen. In fact, if you really want to see what is going on, you'd almost have to stand up and walk to the railing. The eating area is surrounded by hard walls on three sides and is only open to the kitchen on one, and part of that faces the sides of cabinets. The chef just took over and brought us all of our food so we didn't order from a menu, but Wow! There must not be anything bad. He walked over to explain each course. I have to say that I don't think it cost any more than eating in the dining room and ordering the caviar for $25 or whatever it is, and you get a lot more food. If getting to try everything (or almost) is appealing to you, the chef's table is a great treat.
08-14-2002, 06:26 PM
We did it about 4 years ago. The following info about PS for the chef's table was current then, but you should double check to see if anything's changed. As I recall, they only had one seating a night, and it was only available 5 of the 7 nights. There was a much longer window on when you could call than for usual PS -- 180 days I believe. We wanted it for a particular night, and so I called exactly 180 days before, at about 2 mintues after 7:00 in the morning. No dice -- too late, someone else had gotten it just before us. So, I called the next day right at 7:00 and got it for 180 days later. I seem to remember there was a separate number to call for the reservation.
It really is an excellent experience. Once you decide to do it, don't read too much more about it, as there may be a few surprises you might not want to know about in advance. It's an eye-opener in terms of how a major resort kitchen operates. We got in just as the prep work was being completed, and were there through the first seating and up to about the entrees on the second seating. So we got to see just about everything -- the frustrated waiters, the returned meals, the crush on the grill guy of 18 items on the grill at once, the letdown right after the initial desert crush before the second appetizers etc.
Whether or not you will find it romantic depends on your view of romance. It is very interactive, and there's sort of someone around all the time, although the table is set off just a little so you can have privacy if you talk quietly. There are many reminders that you are in the middle of a working kitchen -- for example, they had foie gras the night we were there, so there was a 5 gallon clear bucket with goose livers soaking in milk in front of us. I can understand why some might not find that romantic; it was right up our alley, though.
As for the food, if you're a hard-core restuarant connoisseur, you might be somewhat disappointed. Most every dish is excellent, but there's really no overall coherence to the entire meal. It's most a big food orgy, not necessarily a balanced menu of integrated courses. (Although you do have the opportunity to meet with the chef beforehand, and you could construct it a little differently from how they suggest it if coherence was your goal.) If you like to try lots of different things, and don't really care whether the chipotle-lime-cilantro duck goes with the later course of burgundy mushroom venison (just making that up, I don't remember what our actual courses were), then it's a great place. It was not cheap -- in fact, it darn near broke the bank. HTH
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