OK to ask for a restricted tasting menu?
I am a big fan of chef creativity, never had a tasting menu at a restaurant but would like to try. However, I do keep somewhat Kosher -- I'll eat in places without a kosher kitchen, but won't eat any unkosher animals (e.g. no pork, shellfish, or rabbit). In say an 8-course tasting menu, at least one or two of these courses is bound to have something I can't eat. Is it OK (I assume I'd have to call ahead) to ask for a tasting menu excluding the above ingredients? Or would most chefs refuse to do a custom tasting menu like that?
At my favorite sushi place (Kaito in San Diego), I generally get an omakase with no shellfish, but I feel that is not being as restrictive and they are known for being responsive to customer requests.
I don't think most chefs would honor such a request. In some restaurants (Babbo for example), the tasting menu requires the participation of the entire table. I am guessing because it would be too labor intensive to do otherwise. Therefore, I would guess that they would not be accommodating based on dietary restrictions.
Should be absolutely fine with most places - but mention it at the time you make a reservation.
There's a couple of things we don't eat and have never had a problem with changes being made to the menu.
That said, one of my favourite places offers a "surprise" tasting menu and clearly states that no adaptations will be made. I've never had a problem and, only once, there's a been a single dish that my partner couldnt eat (no big deal when 13 courses are being offered).