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Chef refusing to fillet a whole fish--OK or not?


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Chef refusing to fillet a whole fish--OK or not?

Denis | May 27, 2004 06:18 PM

I was at Taboon in Manhattan last Wednesday for a late dinner. My girlfriend ordered the whole branzino. It was brought out whole as billed, and she asked if they could fillet it for her. The waitress took it back, and then returned saying the chef wouldn't do it. Now I can see a chef who's put a whole fish on the menu refusing a request to fillet it and then cook the fillets, and I could maybe understand the kitchen refusing to do it if it was swamped (though it takes all of 30 seconds to do), but in the circumstances that actually obtained in our case, I just found the refusal unconscionable. Perhaps the rationale was "if we do it for you, we'll have to do it for everybody," but that just doesn't seem to me to apply to a request of this kind in any kind of legitimate restaurant, especially at 10:30 pm in a new place on 10th Avenue. What do you think?

For the record, she ate it without further complaint (after I had filleted it for her) and she thought it was delicious. I had a bite, but for my part I'm not a big fan of branzino for some reason.

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