You’ll eat it my way

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:51 am

Gillian Clark is the chef and co-owner of Colorado Kitchen in Washington, D.C. Inan open letter to the Washington Post, she explains why she refuses most every request for special service at her restaurant. It’s quite a good read, and the resulting MetaFilter discussion is worth checking out as well.

The servers often hate to say no to the customer that insists that I broil the crab cakes or deep fry their flounder. I explain to them that they are in my restaurant. And they must have the flounder the way I make it. Personally, I prefer the way Herbert von Karajan conducts Beethovenís Third Symphony. But I would never ask Zubin Mehta to finish the Adagio with the hesitant 3/8 that Herb finishes with. Nor would I stop a production of Hamlet and ask them to insert a couple of lines from Macbeth because I think they go well in there.


  1. What’s the big problem? Why not put a politely worded “no substitutions” notice prominently on the menu? That gives the server something to point to, and gives people fair warning, in time for them to go somewhere else if they can’t find something they like.

    By the same token, why can’t more restaurants do what a brave restauranteur in England’s Lake District does: post a sign on the door that says “In order to ensure a pleasant dining experience for all our patrons, we do not allow children under 12 in the dning room after 6 pm” The wait staff are always niceto those who try to get in anyway,politely referring them to nearby establishments that do allow children. HOORAY!

    Comment by Anonymous — 6/5/2003 @ 1:26 am

  2. Just to answer the Reader Comment dated June 5th, we do have “no substitutions” printed on our menus. It doesn’t work.

    Another FYI is that the article wasn’t exactly 100% accurate. We do substitute when it makes sense. We try to accommodate allergies when we can.

    Comment by Robin Smith — 9/28/2004 @ 11:42 am

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