Serious Eats: Talk
How far off-menu should a restaurant be expected to go?
In the Virgin Mary debacle at the French Laundry that Anniem has posted about, some people said that the FL should have juiced some tomatoes for her or they should have run to the store for a variety of juices for her to choose from, while others have said that if they didn't have it, that's the end of it.
But really, how much would you expect them (or any similar restaurant) to do?
What if someome asked for ketchup or salsa or hot sauce? What if they looked at the menu and said, "Hey, they have basil and pine nuts and cheese and olive oil. I think a pesto would go better with this dish than the fruity sauce they're offering." Pesto could be made in-house in a matter of moments, but would you expect them to do so? The menu currently online lists a "ranch dressing" on one item. Would it be out of place to ask for a drizzle of oilve oil instead?
Would you expect more or less jumping through hoops for a fixed-menu restaurant like FL, or for a place with a variety menu selections?
I'm not sure yet where I stand on this. For the most part, I'm willing to eat the meal the as the chef has designed it. If something isn't available, I don't expect them to make it special for me. On the other hand, it would be darned impressive to think that the kitchen was willing to go that extra mile.