Earlier this week we enjoyed a delicious 8-course tasting menu at Autre Monde in Berwyn, http://www.autremondecafe.net/dinner-.... The tasting menu is simply the chef's selection of various dishes otherwise available on the a la carte menu. So there is none of the breathless descriptions and instructions from the waitstaff that often accompany the more involved tasting menus at the restaurants that serve $100+ all-tasting menus. Just scrumptious selections of a multitude of the menu offerings at a very fair price.
The evening we were there, our 8 courses consisted of:
Pinxto of ground lamb with mid-eastern seasoning
A pasta course called "carzetti stampatti"
Soft-shelled crabs -a daily special that we specifically requested
Roasted whole yellow tail
Dessert - one each of the olive oil cake, vanilla panna cotta, and chocolate hazelnut pot de creme
This was an absolute feast and a bargain for $49 each. Of those courses, the pasta, pork, and olive oil cake were probably the standouts, but every course was a winner. Two other bonuses of ordering the tasting menu: The menu is primarily a "small plates" format. There were 3 of us and each course was designed to be easily divided in 3rds -- e.g., 3 pieces of the lamb, 3 crabs. Second it exposed us to dishes we would not have ordered if left to our own selections -- especially the pork entree.
One caveat to out-of-towners -- Unless you have a car, this is probably not an option for you.