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Check, Please!

Readers give our food critic something to chew on.

Q:I would like to locate a restaurant where the chef would be willing to accommodate someone with a low-sodium dietary restriction. I have found very few that offer more than a bone-dry chicken breast or fish fillet with steamed vegetables, and I'm looking for a little more excitement in flavor. My palette would greatly appreciate any suggestions you might have.

A:I posed your question to six of my favorite Denver restaurateurs, and all of them said the same thing: Call ahead. "What makes chefs crazy is when it's a Saturday night and someone comes in and says, 'I need this special thing,'" says Sean Kelly, chef/owner of Aubergine Cafe (225 East Seventh Avenue; 303-832-4778). "If they can call ahead and give us a heads-up, then we can try to do something about it." For instance, Kelly explains, while he doesn't salt the asparagus in a pasta dish, the vegetable has been blanched in saltwater ahead of time. "People have all sorts of dietary needs, and I think most restaurants try their best to help with that, but we can't do it at the last minute when the damage is already done," he adds. "If a person is willing to take that extra step and give us the courtesy of a warning, I think any restaurant is willing to make it happen. Within reason, of course."

 
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