FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
• What type of cuisine do you offer?
Since opening its doors, Tasting Counter has dedicated itself to creating award-winning 9-tasting menus utilizing impeccably sourced New England ingredients and influenced by culinary techniques and traditions from around the world. Everything, from various misos and chili paste, to oak-aged red wine vinegar and pine vinegar, is made in-house, a reflection of Tasting Counter’s mission to bring guests closer to the creation of fine natural food, served in harmony with fine natural beverage.
Our Tasting Menu appeals to curious diners. We offer a lunch and dinner tasting menu and accommodate all dietary restrictions and allergies with advance notice. The daily menu remains a secret until it is revealed, course by course, over the dining experience.
We strive for zero-carbon footprint, source 50% of our ingredients from Massachusetts, and offer 100% all-natural food and beverage.
• How do I make a reservation? / Why tickets in place of reservations?
We offer reservations for our lunch and dinner services in the form of “tickets”. You can purchase tickets for any meal seating here. Your ticket is all-inclusive of beverage, tax and gratuity so when you join us for your meal, you can leave your wallet at home. A dining ticket completely removes the financial transaction from the dining experience. Instead of reservations, all-inclusive tickets through our website are for set times, similar to going to a concert or show.
• Why don’t you take reservations for parties larger than four?
We have a unique space that is intimate by design so that every guest visiting Tasting Counter has a front row seat to the carefully choreographed dining experience our team creates during each service. As each course is prepared and served, there are myriad opportunities for guests to engage and interact with our team and learn more about cooking techniques, how ingredients are sourced, and their beverage pairings. While guests naturally share conversation with their dining companion(s), they often spend more time watching, eating, sipping, and chatting with our team- this is truly an interactive dining experience!
The u-shaped design of the counter ensures every guest has a fantastic vantage point from which to watch the chefs but also means that there are only two corners to comfortably seat up to 4 guests together.
For larger groups that wish to dine at Tasting Counter, we recommend considering a private event so that everyone may be seated together and the pacing can be set to accommodate all of your guests. You may find more information regarding Private Dining here.
• What are your health and safety protocols?
As of Friday, August 20, 2021, the City of Somerville has re-instituted an indoor mask mandate. All guests, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings when not actively eating and drinking. We are closely monitoring the latest information available concerning the spread of COVID-19 and our priority, as always, is the health and safety of our guests and team.
Our entire staff is fully vaccinated and will be maintaining mask wearing at all times during your dining experience with us.
• Is the restaurant wheelchair accessible?
Tasting Counter has a wheelchair accessible entrance that will lead you directly to our restaurant. Although the restaurant has counter seating, there is a section of the counter that can be lowered to accommodate up to 2 guests who require wheelchair access.
• Where do I park? / Do you offer parking?
There are a number of parking options available in the area surrounding the restaurant. As with any densely populated city, there are fewer parking spots than cars, and all options are on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please plan your visit accordingly and arrive to your reservation on time.
There is a private surface lot located at the end of Tyler Street just before you get to Dane Street. This lot is just a few minutes’ walk from the restaurant and offers parking for tenants and visitors of the retail complex on Tyler Street. Both lots offer parking on a first-come-first-serve basis, so parking is not always guaranteed. Note: the lot reads “Authorized/Tenant Parking Only” - this extends to visitors of the retail tenants so you are safe to park in any of these spaces.
There is street parking available on many streets surrounding Tasting Counter. During our 1-hour lunch service from 1pm to 2pm, street parking near the restaurant does not require a parking permit from the City of Somerville. City of Somerville permit-only parking begins at 8pm on Tyler Street and Properzi Way. Metered parking is available along Somerville Avenue, which is enforced only until 8pm. Please take note of all parking signs as violations are strictly enforced.
Additional parking and transit information can be found on our parking page.
• What is your cancellation policy?
Once purchased, all ticket sales are final and date and time changes cannot be accommodated. However, it is possible to transfer your ticket(s) to another individual for the original date and time purchased. The guest who originally purchased the ticket(s) must notify Tasting Counter of this transfer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (617) 299-6362.
• What happens if I’m running late?
We understand that sometimes people experience unforeseen circumstances. While we always do our best to accommodate our guests, if you are running more than 10 minutes late you will be served the course currently being prepared in order to maintain the dining experience for all seated guests.
Just like a performance or a sporting event, our service begins promptly at the specified time and the timing of each course and beverage pairing is carefully coordinated to ensure a beautifully paced dining experience for every guest.
We request guests arrive on time (or a few minutes before their ticket time) in order to maximize the dining experience. Guests should plan their arrival ahead of time by reviewing our transit options, driving directions, and parking information.
• What happens to my ticket in the event of inclement weather?
Tasting Counter will remain open unless the City of Somerville and/or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts declare a snow emergency. In that instance, we will make every effort to change tickets to a new date.
• What is the dress code?
We recommend business-casual attire. A jacket is not required however we respectfully request that our guests refrain from wearing tank tops, ripped or torn clothing, shorts, sandals or flip flops, sleeveless shirts, or hats.
• Do you offer gift cards?
Gift cards can be purchased online through our website. All gift cards are sent digitally to your email address. Physical gift cards are available upon request.