Dinner party vs. diet restrictions

  1. You're invited to a dinner party, and you have no idea what the host / hostess is serving.

    You're vegetarian / you keep kosher / you don't eat Canadian cod / you're horribly allergic to pine nuts.

    How do you let them know? Do you tell them as soon as they invite you or do you call them back?
     
  2. It's the host's duty to create a menu that suits all guests invited. So as soon as you rsvp you should tell the host about any diet restrictions.
     
  3. Personally, I would keep my diet restrictions to myself. The hostess will catch on when you are there and then plan accordingly for the next dinner party. I've never been able to imagine a good way to say, "Oh, by the way, I only eat this/that so please edit your menu."
     
  4. I'd let the hostess know in some cases, serious food allergies, or being a vegetarian. Personally I'd want to know if I was preparing a meal, I imagine it would be stressful if someone showed up and then couldn't eat anything. I always ask my guests if they eat the fish or meat I'm serving.

    But for example if you keep Kosher I can't imagine that you could accept an invitation because you wouldn't be able to eat a meal prepared with non-Kosher pots and pans.
     
  5. I say eat beforehand...that way if there is nothing edible...just say that you are ona wine/champagne/possibly beer diet that night!! If all the food is good...then everyone will be suitably impressed with how small a portion you eat...and you can brag that this is how you keep in shape! No one needs to know that you ate beforehand!!!
     
  6. ^^Ditto the eating beforehand thing! I guess it also depends on how close you are to the host. If you are not close friends, I would not say anything. Also, the size of the dinner party matters and the number of dishes and who is doing the cooking (caterer or the hostess).

    Besides, the point of a dinner party is not the food and anyone who goes for the food is probably not a very good guest! As long as the company is enjoyable it hardly matters what's being served!
     
  7. If you have a true food allergy I think it would be fine to mention that when you RSVP. If you simply don't like brussel sprouts because you think they are foul.. wouldn't mention that one.
     
  8. I think it's your responsibility to tell the host if you have food allergies as soon as the invitation is extended. This goes for 'keeping kosher' too. I, for one, have no idea what that means, so as a host I would want to ask questions about what to prepare for you. Years ago we invited some people to dinner, and this guy asked if he could bring his girlfriend. Of course we said 'sure'. The DAY before the party, he informed us of his girlfriend's laundry list of food allergies. Great. Thanks. I have one day to CUSTOM MAKE all her food. Then, the *lady* didn't even show. Needless to say, I was pissed.

    As far as foods you just don't like to eat, well, I guess we all have our aversions, and I would just try to be grown up about it. I don't agree that you should eat before hand... if you're invited to someone's house for dinner, even though the food is not necessarily the Main Event, that host did still go to the trouble to share a meal with you (whether they prepared it or catered it) and isn't going to be very happy to see you sip a drink all night. If it's a BIG party and you can get lost in a crowd and everyone will assume you were eating while you were on the other side of the room, then no biggie. But if you're sitting at a table with people, and you're the only one NOT eating, well I would see that as rude.
     
  9. I think you should probably call the hostess right after you RSVP to tell her of your dietary restrictions. Just say something like, "Thank you so much for inviting me to your dinner party, and I'm sure everrything will be fabulous and beautiful, just as it always is. But I wanted to let you know that I'm allergic to pine nuts, in case you have a dish containing them. Please don't work yourself into a frenzy to come up with a special menu for me or anything--oh dear, no--but i wanted to let you know in case that you noticed i wasn't touching the dish, that it's not because i dislike the food, but it's because i can't touch it for mother-nature reasons."
     
  10. Beautiful.
     
  11. Lots of great posts here! I'll echo that it's up to the guest to RSVP, tactfully if there is truly a food allergy or vegetarian, Kosher or other restriction.

    A good hostess always has an alternative or Plan B just in case. For instance, I've made half meat/half veggie lasagne before. And I love oyster stuffing at thanksgiving but not everyone likes seafood so half of it is plain. And if someone's a vegetarian they can load up on side dishes and more salad.

    However, it's rude for a guest to RSVP with things you're "mentally allergic" to, such as you don't like broccoli, etc. Hey, when you're a guest you should be gracious, appreciative and come ready to mingle...and eat!
     
  12. I think if you are on a diet or are doing something that is not completely necessary (and the host is not a great friend) I would just try my best to go there and eat from what they serve.

    But havin a food allergy is COMPLETELY a different story. If you are allergic to something you should never feel bad to tell someone because many times it is life/death situation.
     
  13. Oh, of course you don't tell the hostess you don't like something. "Thank you for inviting me. By the way, I find yams to be absolutely VILE!" Yeah, watch how many people invite you back.

    I was always taught to take a 'no, thank you portion' - If you don't like yams, don't feel obligated to pile your plate with them. Take a small spoonful. Who knows, you might like the way they make yams. If they have mashed potatoes, go for those . . . as well as, not instead of.