For all my mini-griping about Frank Bruni’s odd restaurant review choices and star giving, he has written a few articles shedding light on dining issues in a way I can’t remember past reviewers doing. Bravo Bruni!
Last week was especially poignant as he wrote about dining options for the wheelchair-bound here in NYC. He quickly discovered how few true options there are. When I reflect upon it, I can't recall the last time I ate in a resto and saw someone enter or exit or even be there in a wheelchair. And I eat out, often. (Ah, I need to amend that, I did see someone once at Otto Entotecca years ago, in a wheelchair and it turned out to be a friend of the family, who’s a famous writer. Do the wheelchair-bound famous count, since the well-known and well-heeled get special treatment anyway?)
According to Bruni’s anecdotal evidence, many places which claim they’re accommodating to the disabled turned out to be less than adequate. Sound familiar? How many times have I written about restos that talked a good allergic game only to be disappointed by front of house cluelessness, the lack of suitable allergy-free meal choice, low staff awareness and/or the dreaded eyeroll? But then again I can walk out and leave at any time without the need for an elevator or ramp or assistance.
Reading the NYT article only underscores how much more awareness for all special needs diners should be happening on all levels. A movement is surely afoot folks: get on board!
PS I was not the only one who was moved by the September 12th Bruni blog post. He revisited it today September 18th, read on Macduff.