After reading the reviews I decided to make reservations for 4. One of our party has a severe dairy food allergy and the dinner menu was not posted on the website, so while making the reservations I asked if they could accommodate non dairy. Based on what I was told the sampling menu would not work but there were items on the dinner menu that would work and the kitchen could make something as well. Most of the places in Portland can do this. (I.e.The Acadia last week)
Upon our arrival and our looking at the menu, there was nothing that would work. We asked if the scallops or meat items could be prepared in olive oil. We were told after checking with the kitchen that the chef was trained in Classic French style and that was not possible. We asked about a few other things and the chef was not accommodating on anything. The waitress suggested a green salad with a burger patty on top. "The dressing may have a little dairy." That would have been like a little pregnant. The thought of three people having a 5 course meal with wine while the guest of honor nibbled on dry lettuce and greasy ground beef with wine was not the image I had envisioned based on what we had been told. It seemed that the chef was using the pretext of difficulty of preparation as an excuse for laziness. Since members of my family have run successful restaurants in Chicago, I'm well aware of what's possible in the kitchen. That attitude may have reflected what they thought was French. My apologies to the French.
Meanwhile it seemed like management was working the room, visiting tables. Our table was avoided like a man wearing waders at a formal dinner. Management sometimes requires action and is not just a position.
The food there may be the best in Portland. We left without dining. Whether it is or not, after our treatment I could care less, and if you have a person with a special food requirement, maybe you shouldn't either.
We drove over to Jakes Crawfish, told the valet parking fellow that we were looking for a place to eat, even tough by now it was late. He ran over to the door and asked, came back and said they had a table for us. The waiter checked with the kitchen about non dairy. Our guest was happily accommodated with wonderful food, and the meal, service and atmosphere were all great. You can see why they have been there so long. They understand that the people who pay the bill are the ones who should be accommodated whenever possible, not the kitchen staff.
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