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Chicago Area Ingredient Substitutions

Brasserie Ruhlman and no substitution policies

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Brasserie Ruhlman and no substitution policies

JJ. | May 11, 2008 05:17 PM

I dined at Brasserie Ruhlman this past Saturday night. I thought the space and food presentation were great, but the quality did not quite match up (particularly to the prices). What slightly irked me was their blanket no substitution policy. For example, I ordered mussels and fries. Even thought the fries are a completely separate side dish (but part of the entree), I could not substitute for a different potato. One of my companions ordered another entree that came with a side of asparagus, but could not substitute for a different side of greens.

For the most part these sides had nothing to do with the integrity of the dish, so I don't think this is the chef standing on principle. And even a place like Trotter's will usually accommodate diners if they have a particular aversion or preference. Rather, at least here, it simply seems to be a way to hike up bills at an already (arguably) over-priced restaurant.

I wonder if anyone else has a take on this, and whether I am right to be irked by this policy, and whether there are other places in town that adhere to such a strict no substitution policy.

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