Recently, I had the opportunity to fulfill a long time dream. I travelled down I-87 towards the bright lights of New York City. Since the first time I saw FRIENDS or watched the movie The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe I have been fascinated with the city. It may have taken awhile but I finally reached NYC at age 23.
My only fear: finding places to eat that could accommodate my peanut and nut allergies.
So before I left, I did my research. I looked into several restaurants in the city (many including my favourite chefs from the food network). I knew I had to plan at least five dinners (some I made at the house I was staying at) and others were on the fly. However I discovered three restaurants that went above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to food allergies.
5 Napkin Burger: Located in Union Square on 14th street.
Delicious gourmet burgers are their specialty, but don’t let that fool you. They have dozens of menu items ranging from Tuna Tataki, to grilled shrimp. The pride themselves on homemade, handmade food.
When inquiring about my food allergies the server was more then willing to accommodate me. He brought me an allergen list, and asked if I wished to speak with the chef. He then assured me that they could guarantee me a complete safe meal for my peanut and nut allergies.
Mesa Grill: Located on fifth avenue
Iron Chef Bobby Flay brings his grill specialty to NYC and definitely does not disappoint. My favorite of all the meals I had while in the city by far. Since his expertise is grilled food, I enjoyed a steak that literally melted in my mouth.
I previously called the restaurant to make sure they could cater to my allergies, they assured me it would be fine. When arriving at the restaurant, I informed our server of my allergies who then proceeded to go over the menu with me to assure my safety.
I was able to enjoy everything offered even dessert. Tied together in an amazing atmosphere, I felt great knowing that I had made the right decision to go there.
Trump Grill: Located in Trump Tower on fifth Avenue
Trump Tower, home to Donald Trump himself hosts one of the most elegant restaurant/bar I’ve had the pleasure of stumbling on. While walking down 5th avenue I ventured into Trump Tower to see what all the hype was about. Letting hunger get the best of us, we saw they had a bar/grill. I immediately talk to the host about my allergies, who then let me talk to a chef and discovered that this would be a safe option for my food allergies.
I was fortunate to find restaurants that accommodated my allergies, but felt great that my research and ability to speak up to staff really paid off. I would advise others with allergies to follow a similar strategy of doing research, calling ahead, and talking to the wait staff/chef no matter which city you vist.
New York City is really for anyone. There is something there for everyone and it truly is the city that never sleeps. Don’t let your food allergies hold you back, from the Rockefeller center, NBC Tour, to the eerily real wax figures of Madame Tussauds. Words can’t explain how amazing it is! I ❤ NY!