sitnspin wrote:To me this is a big deal. ... Our server said this has come up many times--She said her manager told her people dining at Sardine should expect pork products in their food, as it's a "French bistro" and that's the foundation of their cooking ...
This really is
unprofessional on their part. Firstly, on the part of the waiter, since she didn't know whether the dish contained pork. Maybe there's some kind of communication problem between the back of the house and the front, but a good waiter should feel, at least, a pang of humiliation if s/he can't speak with authority on the how the food is prepared. "Does this dish contain corn starch? Does this dish contain lemon juice? Vinegar? Pork? Cream? (How much?) Shrimp or shellfish stock?" ...
As for their understanding of French cuisine, it's pathetic if one judges by their mealy-mouthed rationale. But more likely it was just that Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a rationale. Pork with seafood is not all that common in French cuisine, as far as I know Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a possible exception being traditional cuisine around Lyon, which, frankly, is less interesting and not at all
oriented toward seafood. But this point is secondary.
What's important is that any good restaurateur in the U.S. is ready and prepared to divulge to customers any potentially problematic ingredients Ã¢â‚¬â€œ more so than would be the case in France, for sure. You don't need to broadcast
the presence of unusual ingredients, but something like cow tongue in a shrimp appetizer or lardons in a crab dish, merit some kind of notice. And there's no reason why telling customers about an unusual ingredient can't be a perfect segue to enticing them to try something new.
Sadly, the lardon movement, so warmly embraced by Lardines
is generally a T.V.-celebrity-chef convention that seems to have originated from regional Italian cuisine. It is what it is and Ã¢â‚¬â€œ according to your sensibilities Ã¢â‚¬â€œ maybe the best thing ever
. But there's no reason to by snobby or sneaky about it Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or just plain lazy.
(If it's a first date, just spit it out: "I've got lardons." The rest will be history.)