Walking into Balthazar in Soho, my expectations were that I was probably going to enjoy a pot of peppermint tea whilst Mr Lulu enjoyed a few plates of gluten-laden, butter soaked delights for dinner. I was happy with this because we'd been traipsing all over the city sampling every gluten free whim of mine and his patience and encouragement was nothing short of incredible.
But Balthazar delivered one of the best dinners of all of my adventures - probably because it was so unexpected, but also because what I tasted was warm perfection in a mouthful!
Once we sat down and got the menus I looked through and wondered vaguely whether or not they would be able to cater for my sensitive tummy.
After Mr Lulu made his order the girl turned to me to ask if there was anything I wanted. I had spotted the duck confit, knowing it was traditionally cooked in its own duck fat... Was this gluten & dairy free by any chance? No pressure I said, just curious. With a smile the girl said that she would check and she added that she was sure they could find me something to eat.
Within a few minutes she returned confirming that in fact, yes it was fine for me to eat. However the potatoes would have to be cooked in oil rather than butter. Oh joy!!! Potatoes!!! Rather than saying they would be omitted, they were willing to alter them for me. Being denied the humble spud is one regular disappointment that I hate to endure.
Suddenly Mr Lulu's dinner became OUR dinner and the smiles between us were electric with excitement!
And so it came - and there it was in all it's glory... Both crunchy and so yieldingly tender on the inside, the duck confit was exemplary. Served with a fresh frisée salad, sautéed mushrooms and my holy grail potatoes - it was one of the most satisfying meals of my trip.
Whilst there is no clear allergen menu it's clear that Balthazar know their stuff - all you have to do is ask.
Balthazar is located at 80 Spring Street, New York