Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Clean Plate Club

I was lucky enough to go out to eat at two amazing (and super expensive) restaurants within the past week. Mind you, I don't normally eat like this (or eat out all that much anymore) but the experiences I had will surely tide me over in the going-out-to-eat department for awhile.

This post might be a bit boring for those that don't live in the Boston area, but if you ever do visit Boston, pleeeeeease try these restaurants. They take food allergy issues very seriously. In fact, Rialto has a gluten-free menu.

Rialto at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge

Aujour'hui is as swanky as it gets. I went on a Wednesday evening with my Mom and cousin who was in town on business. Besides the great company (I hadn't seen my cousin in over a year) the experience was, well -- divine. The waiter was very attentive and really listened to my dietary restrictions. I ordered dishes off the menu that looked gluten and dairy free, but made sure to find out if they were, in fact, made with either food. I got a simple salad of field greens to start and my main course was a Florida grouper that was cooked to perfection. The entree was altered a bit because the normal dish included butter, so it took a bit longer for us to get our meals, but that was quite alright -- we had plenty to chat about. For dessert I had a bowl of mixed berries which was a perfect way to end the meal. I briefly looked at the dessert menu and if I could eat dairy there would be a few things I could have had. My Mom and cousin got some amazing looking food, including a lobster bisque which was poured from a le creuset at the table and chocolate souffle with a warm, vanilla sauce.

I had heard good things about Rialto from the local, gluten-free community prior to my arrival. I went on a Monday night to celebrate my brother-in-laws 30th Birthday and it was quite busy, which is a good sign. Also, the head chef was walking around the restaurant and talking with customers all night -- another tip off we were in for a treat. My dear sister made the reservations and made sure the restaurant knew that three gluten-free people would be in attendence. I cannot get over the venison that I had. I've had venison maybe once before, but never like this. It was cooked medium-rare and served with a reduction (I'm guessing red wine), roasted chestnuts, onion and a chutney of some sort. I'm totally butchering what was exactly in it, but I'm guessing there was crack in there too, because it was so darn good.

*How could I even write this post without thanking Mom and my sister for taking me to such nice places. Seriously, I haven't eaten out safely and deliciously in a long, long time.

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