Visiting dietitians keep special requests to a minimum while in Denver

The annual American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo is drawing to a close in Denver. One of the world's largest organizations of food and nutrition professionals, the ADA focuses on the latest food-service trends and nutrition science information.

Naturally, I was curious to find out if convention attendees practiced what they preached. So I called Fruition and Bistro Vendome, two restaurants listed in the ADA's Denver dining, to find out more about the convention-goers' eating habits.

"We did see quite a few more large-party tables over the last few nights from out-of-towners, especially the Eastern seaboard, but they did not say if they were with the convention," says Fruition owner Paul Attardi. "If they were, they did not change their diets. No single special request, no gluten-free -- and they all drank like fish."

Gordon Cresswell, assistant manager of Bistro Vendome, saw business double Sunday and Monday because of the ADA. "They were a great group of people, a lot of large parties, one of the better conventions we had all year," Cresswell says.

It seems that most dietitians leave their work at the office -- or convention, as the case may be -- since substitution requests were limited at the French bistro. "I was a little surprised," Cresswell adds. "We did see a lot of requests for dressings on the sides, taking cheese out, but nothing too crazy."

But the restaurant did do a special walnut menu for the California Walnut Board group, in conjunction with the ADA meeting -- and it included a walnut soy flan.

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