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Mar 16, 2009 11:35 AM

Dinner advice for party with one severe allergy sufferer?

I'm being tasked with finding a restaurant for a company party next month. While the majority of the people in our party of 12 are very adventurous eaters, sadly one member has a whole host of allergies (wheat, corn, fish, several vegetables and fruits).

My question for you is can anyone think of a decent restaurant that can work with us to provide a menu for this person while allowing the rest of the party to choose a traditional menu? I was thinking of something like Rouge Tomate, but I haven't heard back from them and I'm getting close to a booking deadline.

Oh, I'm looking to spend around $100/person on food and drinks, which sadly also limits us. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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  1. As odd at it sounds, Blue Smoke is very accommodating to allergy sufferers, assuming the person in question can eat meat of some sort. The rest of the party should enjoy Blue Smoke as well and it should suit your budget.

    1. It totally shocks and pisses me off that a restaurant would not call you back about an inquiry for a party of 12...In this economy! Wow. Sorry to hear that.
      On that note, here are some places with ample space (and menus that I would assume would be accomodating):

      Marc Forgione
      Cookshop/Five Points/Hundred Acres
      Landmarc (Time Warner location)

      1. With regard to "assuming" that menus would work, the problem is that often there are "hidden" ingredients that aren't apparent when reading the menu. I think it's important to call the restaurants, explain what foods a verboten, and make sure the allergic person can be catered to. Some restaurants may decline to accept the reservation -- even for a group this large in this economy -- if they feel they cannot do so or don't want to take any risks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: RGR

          Right - I'm looking for a restaurant that doesn't mind a dialogue regarding the situation, especially since it would probably involve a back and forth with one of the chefs. Some of the higher-end places I'm sure would have no problem, but they're out of our price range.

          We've gone to nicer places in the past and most of the times this person ends up eating a piece of grilled chicken breast and a bowl of unseasoned rice, which has to get boring.

          1. re: lambretta76

            Perhaps Bar Breton might be a good option. The galettes are made with gluten-free flour, so depending on the fillings, your colleague might be able to have some of them. There may be other dishes on the menu that would work; for example, the duck with lentils.

            Chef/owner Cyril Renaud is a really nice guy, so call and ask to speak with him. I feel certain if it's possible for him to accommodate your friend, he'd be willing to do so.


        2. I would recommend finding a resto that has a gluten free menu and go from there. Stanton Social Club does China Grill (maybe too expensive?) Blue Smoke does as well, and they are very accommodating. Atlantic Grill, while no g/f menu per se has always been very accommodating as well--lots of fish, I realize, but many other solid options as well.

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