I did a daring thing last night. I wung it. No, not Wang Chung’ed it.
I wung it: going out to a new, untried, untested restaurant. Dell'anima.
Without calling ahead.
I know. Super daring. (*I am not recommending that YOU do this, just letting you know what I did.*)
It was a small group for dinner: Allison, her fiancé Brad and Allison’s cousin Matt. (Hi guys!)
I arrived much earlier than the reservation and everyone else in order to talk with the manager and to assess. The food is Italian; I had scanned the menu online and saw they had veggies, which is always my fallback posish.
Upon arrival, I smiled, a lot, and asked to speak to the manger, who happened to be at the host station. (What I didn’t know until this morning was the manager is also co-owner, Joe Campanale.)
I spoke with Joe, told him about my allergies and he said he would speak with the chef directly (who is stationed in a very open, very hot kitchen in the back of the small restaurant). Joe said he understood the seriousness of the situation and would make sure, “that certain foods didn’t touch my dishes”. He also said he would have the chef go through the menu and indicate which items were safe for me.
As we were being seated, Joe found me, said the waitress had been briefed and would go over my AG friendly menu at the table, which is exactly what she did. Discreetly. So discreetly that the others thought she was telling me the specials, which she was, in a way: a specials list just for me!
I ordered the chicken, which was spicy and smokey, more paprika than pepper flakes and super yummy over a bed of braised escarole and golden raisins. Simple. And no issues last night or today.
Joe swung by our table after service to make sure everything was alright. I thanked him, told him the waitress did a great job, asked him to thank the chef for taking care of me and thanked him for being able to accommodate me.
It ended up being such an easy evening. No drama, no eye roll, no questions marks: just clear communication, delicious AG friendly menu options and a lovely dinner. It should always be this easy.
Thank you Dell'anima team!
38 Eighth Ave.,
New York, NY 10014