We are a society that loves to eat. We love food of all kinds, and we have made eating a big part of a romantic relationship by emphasizing going out to eat as a date activity. This is true for early dates as well as for couples who have been together for a long time – the dinner date knows no bounds as far as age and how romantic it can be for any stage in a couple’s life.
But with this emphasis on food as a part of romance comes a danger for certain people: the rise in awareness of food allergies has made eating out a difficult activity for many. If your partner has an allergy to milk, eggs, or peanuts, or cannot tolerate gluten or lactose, or has to eat a restricted diet for other health reasons, it can make the connection between food and romance hard to make and enjoy. But with a little creativity and effort, you can give your lover a dinner date to remember, and make it a safe and delicious one as well. There are a couple of ways to go about the process of a special dinner date as shared by a couple of recent readers stories that got mailed to me.
Bob and Carol’s story
Bob had only met Carol a few weeks before they started dating, but he immediately knew that she was special, as he explained to me in his opening email. He loved doing things with her, and they had gone on several dates centered on fun activities. Their romantic times together had been wonderful, but he wanted to make a grand romantic gesture for their first dinner date.
The problem was that Carol had celiac disease, which made her have to avoid any food with wheat, barley, or malt in it. This severely limited their possibilities as far as eating out, even though Carol had learned enough to be able to make do in most eating situations.
Bob decided that he would hire a specialty chef to make them a private dinner at home. He knew that with a bit of research he could come up with an outline for a menu, and then find a cook at home caterer who would come in and make an entire gluten-free meal just for them. Since he had learned about gluten and what foods it was in, it was an easy matter to plan a menu – he wanted something special that Carol couldn’t get at any of their regular places.
After looking online for caterers who would cook at your home and reading the reviews, he found one who knew exactly what he was talking about. He met with the chef and together they planned a menu with an appetizer, a main course, dessert, and of course wine and an after dinner drink – all of which were gluten-free, made by their personal chef from the finest ingredients, and enjoyed in his home by candlelight with music and a loving ambiance. Carol was very impressed, and they both had the most romantic evening of their relationship so far – and, as he told me, are looking forward to many more to come!
Ted and Alice
As a long-married couple, Ted and Alice had been through a lot of good times, and prided themselves on being able to keep the romance in their relationship. When they had to move to a small town to follow Ted’s job, he knew that he had to do something special. Alice was gluten intolerant, and they had developed a list of places to go out to eat for romantic dates in their old hometown. But this new city, Carrollton, had limited opportunities for an allergen-free evening of food, fun and romance. So, he decided to meet with the manager of the best place in town and discuss his idea.
Ted told Tom, the manager of the restaurant, his plan. He would come up with a menu, and supply some of the gluten-free ingredients if Tom’s chef would cook the meal. Tom liked the idea, and they created a dinner based on a special pasta and chicken recipe that Alice loved. Ted brought the wheat-free pasta and other necessities to the place after asking Alice out for a special dinner in their new living situation.
As the waiter greeted them by name and brought out the appetizer, Ted knew he had done the right thing – Alice was going to feel right at home in their new hometown. They had a wonderful romantic dinner together, and Tom told them that he had decided to start making special dishes in his restaurant for those like Alice who had special dietary needs. So if you are a resident of Carrollton you have Ted and Alice to thank for the new gluten free options!