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Travail - Prepare us!

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My sweetie has let the cat out of the bag. He's taking me to Travail for my b'day in a few weeks. It'll be a Saturday night so prepare us please:-) I know we'll be in for a long, LONG wait. Should we plan to arrive at 6pm or is later better? I understand we can bring our own wine. What is their corkage fee? We are planning to partake in their Tasting Menu. How crazy does that get, as I read about octopus. I'm not sure I could eat that. Are they able to handle food allergies? Is dessert included or do we pay for that separately? If it's separate, should we partake as I've read mixed reviews. Or, if we should partake, the sample platter or one option in particular (I cannot do dairy except butter.) Any and all tips are most appreciated:-) Thanks!

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  1. Reading more recent posts, I'm concerned that I'm going to go hungry since I am unable to eat dairy, except butter (Those tots sounds irresistible!) Perhaps, we should go elsewhere. So many other options, though. If you think we should, where?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Inasuitcase

      Best option that comes to mind is Saffron, since they have few dishes that are cream based, or that have a random cheese or egg thrown in the mix.

    2. Arrive at 4:30 - 4:45 for the doors to open at 5:00 for the shortest wait possible. If you go at 6, you'll be lucky to be seated at 8:30.

      I have no idea on their wine / corkage policy.

      Octopus, sweet breads, sometimes brain. They go a little more out of bounds in their tasting menu than what is available a la carte.

      I imagine they can handle food allergies, but probably not within the tasting menu itself. I know they can't make it vegetarian, they can do pescatarian, and I know they can do vegan a la carte, but I suppose it depends on the allergy and what is on the menu.

      The big tasting menu does include 2 desserts, I believe. I've never done it, so I order the Dessert Tasting, which is 3 or 4 courses depending, and in my mind, an incredible value. I've had it numerous times, and once in awhile an element or a dish might not be spectacular, but overall I've always been happy, and again it's a great value. It is also not a platter, it's a pre-dessert followed by 3 or 4 dishes.

      If you want to go still, I'd suggest getting several dishes off the main menu. The tasting is what is jamming the dining room for 2+ hours while everyone does it. They also do these dishes like a production line, so everyone has to wait for all of them to leave the kitchen. I'd rather have hot soup on my own than warm soup with everyone else.

      1 Reply
      1. re: semanticantics

        Thank you, Semanticantics! That is most helpful:-)

      2. Corkage fee is $10 per. Few dishes in the tasting menu are dairy based. You can expect a salad of sorts (beets, microgreends or tomatos), beef/steak tartare, soup (typically cream based), agnolotti (very buttery, but usually without cream), tofu, scallops, 1 or 2 pork dishes, steak, chicken, sweetbreads, sea bass, halibut, quail... or some variety of those dishes. Most could be made without cream and/or cheese, from my experience. Desert usually includes one "pre" desert and one regular desert course. The desert tasting menu would definitely have cream somewhere in it. When you show up and get seated, let your chef/server know of your dietary needs and they will take care of you.

        1. When we went a few weeks ago, one of our party of nine was a vegetarian. We all got the tasting menu but they made one of them a vegetarian tasting. For anything that involved meat, the great chefs just concocted something different. Our companion really enjoyed everything.

          There are some crazy foods in the tasting menu, but that's part of why you go....to try things that you would otherwise never try. My advice if you are really squeamish, is to not pay attention when they tell you what you're eating. Just eat it and enjoy. You can always find out afterward!

          2 Replies
          1. re: GutGrease

            GG,

            Good advise about self imposed ignorance. Our 15 year older perfectly enjoyed an appetizer of sweetbreads at Blackbird earlier this year. Later she found out what it was. Her facebook posting read "Had sweetbreads tonight. It was neither sweet nor bread."

            Dale

            1. re: GutGrease

              Very true. I never had sweetbread before, but I wasn't squeamish to try. However, if they hadn't told me that particularly dish was sweetbread, I wouldn't have guessed since it was quite yummy (when I had it, it was coated/fried).