Food Allergy Counseling

Food Allergy Counseling
Sloane Miller, Food Allergy Counselor (Picture © Noel Malcolm 2013)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bar Jamon

Does a Nor’easter stop Allergic Girl from leaving the house? No way!

Sunday afternoon, D. and I participated in a sherry wine tasting at Bar Jamon, the teeny outpost of Casa Mono, all part of the Batali food empire.

We tried nine sherries from Fino to Oloroso to Pedro Ximenez. Surprisingly, as it wasn’t explicitly advertised as even a possibility and not mentioned when I made my reservation, they brought out gorgeous tapas to taste with the wine.

They were traditional tapas, which meant fishy and nutty. Oh boy. Once I alerted the team about my inability to dine, they asked *how* allergic was I to nuts and fish? I said one word: dead. That got the message across. Very clearly.

Was that extreme? Yes, probably. However, I was puzzled by the "how much” question. Not puzzled, perturbed. Would, say, a tingling mouth, systemic hives or numb extremities be an acceptable risk for the resto or the diner? No, of course not. Was their question to suss out the allergy versus she just doesn’t like those things issue? Maybe. From a resto's standpoint, perhaps it's a valid question, given how many diners think it’s okay to say they’re allergic to a food simply because they don’t want it. (I could get higher on my soapbox on that issue but I will refrain right now; I’m still filled with sherry-love). But it pissed me off a little.

I had told the reservationist about my allergies which was not communicated to the tasting coordinators, natch. So they accommodated me as best they could and what there was was very yummy. I had some Manchego cheese with quince paste and some jamon but couldn’t really indulge in the full tapas tasting. And it was an amazingly indulgent little menu: almonds, olives, jamon, roasted artichokes with romanesco sauce, fried whole anchovies over salad, chorizo with roasted red peppers, foie gras with sherry vinaigrette, duck breast with sherry soaked raisins, chocolate with churros, and cinnamon ice cream with the finest Pedro Ximenez poured over it.

This was part of wine tasting series they will be having once a month through the end of summer. Roses are next and we’ve already signed up!

2 comments:

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm glad they were able to accomodate you and I don't think "dead" was too drastic of a response. I use "potentially deadly" for my son all the time. It's honest and gets the point across to where EVERYONE can understand it.
It is disheartening that your allergies weren't communicated ahead of time. Just goes to show that we have a long way to go in educating the masses.

Allergic Girl said...

a loooong way to go indeed.

but aside from the food the experience was really enjoyable and i'm glad i went. [i think i said that in the post].

but yeah it's a shame that so many have no clue about something so basic as allergies.

onward allergic soldiers!