In my regular experiences of eating out I have come across what seems to me to be a new phenomenon, the tasting menu. This is the menu option that leaves you in the hands of the chef, just tell them what you do not like or are allergic to and they will choose for you. This has advantages and disadvantages, generally depending on the quality of the restaurant you are in.
A bad tasting menu is one where the chef will just give you everything that is about to go off and any dishes that are not selling well on the standard menu. You can tell if this is the case if you get lots of the same type of course, such as two fish dishes or three starters in a row; and this is just lazy service. The great tasting menus are ones that have thought put into them and you can clearly see that the courses are chosen for variety rather than to get rid of left overs.
I would always say go for a tasting menu if you have the option; you will generally get more courses of a smaller size than the standard menu so you have more variety, and the chance to taste things that you wouldn’t normally choose. Try not to be too picky when you are ruling out foods; only state ones that you are allergic to or really hate the taste of as you may be surprised by options that you think you dislike. I’ve generally enjoyed these menus and find myself eating foods that I would never order from a standard menu, and really enjoying them – so give it a go!