Last night for Valentine's Day, I went out to dinner at a wonderful upscale Italian restaurant right in the city. My boyfriend called ahead about the reservations, and asked if they would be able to accommodate my allergies. They said they would be able to! Fabulous!
When we arrived at the restaurant everyone was incredibly helpful and friendly. The server we had was wonderful about my allergies. He made me feel like I barely had to say anything. He seemed to already understood the severity. I gave him my Chef card. He came back and said that everything was all set. I didn't feel nervous or uncomfortable at all. Our reservation was pretty early (that was all there was left), but I think it worked to our advantage because they weren't stressed with orders in the kitchen. The food was flavorful and delicious. We were very satisfied by the entire experience!
After our lovely Italian meal, feeling extremely full, we met some friends out for drinks at a classy jazz club some blocks away from the restaurant. After walking in my high heels for what felt like about five miles, we finally arrived in time to take the seats our friends had saved for us at the bar.
Even after a few years of practice, I still find going out for drinks to be a bit daunting. I don't usually trust any mixed drinks. There are too many different mixes and liquors. I haven't tried enough different alcohols to make sure I am not allergic to some component of a mixed drink. I also worry about cross-contamination. I often choose either beer or wine instead. I still worry sometimes if I don't know the beer, and tend to stick with the ones I know. I am concerned less about wine, but do realize that some wines are now being labeled with fish and egg warnings on them. The first time I actually saw these warning was when I was living in Australia. Last night, I chose to get an individual sized bottle of champagne that I had drank there before.
It was nice to have a fancy night out with no allergy worries! This is not a frequent occurrence, so when it does happen, it really makes the whole night that much more relaxed and enjoyable!