January 13, 2012

Low-So January Week 2: Chelsea Dines Out

Doesn’t that dish look succulent? Rich with colors and juices and, hey, even a side of gravy?

This is a meal worth talking about long after the food is gone. And that gravy boat has been emptied. (Straw please?)

And believe it or not, this beautiful plate is completely salt-free and low-sodium. Yeah, I kid you not. Thanks to Chris Consentino at Incanto restaurant, I’ve been eating this good at his table for almost four years.

The king of salty pig parts himself has happily (and successfully) prepared intricate low-sodium meals for me anytime I show up on his door step. It always blows me and my dining companions away.  And he often even takes the time to stop by our table to go over ingredients or make sure that I am ok with eating duck. (For future information: Yes, I am always ok with eating duck). And I whenever I dine out, especially with Chef Consentino, I never feel like a second-class culinary citizen. I always feel like a salt-free VIP.

But enough about my and my juicy duck.

Check out Chlesea’s wa-wa-wee-wa Wagyu. And her expertly navigated adventures dining out during Low-So January, Week Two.

Hi Low-Sodium Friends!

Week Two has been all about dining out and seeing which chefs could create culinary delights for someone skipping sodium for the month. I approached my first evening out on the town with a pinch of social anxiety. How would I properly explain what I can and cannot eat? Would the waiter take me seriously or roll his eyes when I started talking salt?

Wait…is he rolling his eyes at my shoes? How does he know they’re from last season? But I digress.

As a long-time friend of our favorite chef, I’ve seen her artfully explain the sodium situation at countless fine dining establishments, spring break staples in Cabo, and everywhere in between. It’s fair to say I posses a fraction of the charm SG has, however, so sweet talking is not always enough of a strategy to ensuring everything on your plate is low-so.

Lucky for me (and all of you), though, SodiumGirl has a solution. It’s 2012’s hottest accessory, takes about 10 minutes to get your very own, and costs less than $5 at your local Kinko’s.

Behold, the Sodium Begone Card (SBC), adapted from SG’s original masterpiece.

This, it turns out, makes kitchens very happy. I was blown away by how many restaurants responded with compassion and courtesy, thanking me for providing them with something they could take back to the kitchen to refer to while my meal was being made.

I decided to double up on SBCs, so I have one in my work bag and then other tucked away in a clutch (translation for dudes: that’s the small purse we take out at night), thereby increasing my chances of always being prepared to dine out.

Whenever possible, I called restaurants 24 hours in advance of a reservation and asked to speak to someone who could take note of a dietary restriction. This was also incredibly simple and appreciated by the chef.

From Birch and Barley’s dover sole with quinoa and shaved brussel sprouts, and Blue Duck Tavern’s Wagyu culotte of beef, to Circa’s garden omelet, and Hank’s Oyster Bar’s red snapper with sweet potatoes, I’ve been beyond impressed by each kitchen’s creativity and courtesy in the face of what some would (mistakenly) call a challenge. And I haven’t gone hungry once.

Today, the Low-So Jan tour goes west. I’ve packed my bags–suitcase and ziplocks stuffed with lowso treats alike–for a weekend on the golden coast. Can’t wait to see what California has in store for my SBC and me.

Thank you, Chelsea, for another inspiring week on the Low-So diet. And just a side-note, Salmon is totally fine to eat. Me (SG) just happens to be allergic to it. Along with mangos and nuts. Oh my. 


Pat January 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Your meals look yummy! I too have had great success with using a dining card in Seattle/Bellevue/Kirkland thanks to Sodium Girl.

Robin January 9, 2013 at 6:04 am

Thank you so much for listing DC restaurants, which is where we live. My husband has high blood pressure and for the past 2 weeks we’ve be almost exclusively salt-free and low sodium in our home. My husband has seen a significant change in his blood pressure readings from very bad to a daily good reading. We’d love to be able to go out to eat again and with the restaurants listed above it gives us some options. Even though my husband doesn’t enjoy cooking he’s stepped into the kitchen more. I am so grateful for finding your blog and look forward to purchasing your book when it is released.

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