A Prix Fixe menu, sometimes also referred to as a “set menu,” or “fixed menu,” is a menu which features a limited number of selections per dining course, all for a combined fixed price covering the entire meal. Often seen at upscale restaurants, a Prix Fixe menu typically includes an appetizer, main entree and desert, but may also include additional courses or wine pairings, all for a single price per guest.
“Prix Fixe” is a French term meaning “fixed price” that is derived from another French phrase, “Table d’hote,” which means “host’s table.” A Prix Fixe menu is meant to mimic the type of service received when dining at someone’s home, where the host prepares several courses of a meal and all guests receive the same dishes for each course; hence why it might otherwise be referred to as eating at “Table d’hote.” It is meant to be an inviting way to dine and should make diners feel welcomed and appreciated by the chef.
Prix Fixe menus are excellent for dining out with a date, or for trying new foods. Not having to pore over a menu to make a selection gives diners more time to enjoy the company of those they are dining with, and trusting the chef can be greatly rewarding when it comes to tasting delicious dishes one otherwise might not have ordered.
Restaurants offering Prix Fixe menus most often also offer an “a la carte” menu, (a more typical type of service in the United States,) which allows diners to choose their course selections from a more extensive menu for individual prices. For those who chose not to brave the Prix Fixe selections, the chef is usually happy to accommodate requests from the a la carte menu, or sometimes even will create something special for a guest who would prefer something that is not listed on either menu type.