Pitcher & Piano, Bristol

logoWhen I left my old job last year, I decided to have my leaving drinks at Pitcher & Piano, which is located along Bristol’s waterfront.

Unfortunately this outing was subsequently the result of a negative review on this blog, due to their poor understanding of gluten free in relation to their own menu.

As a result, I hadn’t been back to Pitcher & Piano for food since then, however when Rich left his job a couple of weeks ago, he too had his leaving drinks there.

The restaurant is located in a great location in Bristol and it’s often a very popular and busy area, especially on Friday and Saturday nights so it always seems a good starting point for an evening out.

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Having had a look at their menu online, things seemed to have improved a lot in terms of their gluten free offerings, including the option of a gluten free baguette which is not something that you normally see in restaurants, so I thought it was only fair to give them a second chance.

p&pWhen we arrived we were very fortunate to be able to grab the one spare table that was available on the balcony area, as the top bar was closed off.

Since I was last there the restaurant has undergone quite a refurbishment and although it looks great, it’s also a bit of a shame as I matched their wallpaper the last time I was there (see pic)!

We weren’t aware that it was table service for food orders so Rich had gone to queue for food for ages, before being made aware of this when he eventually got to the front of the queue!

After queuing for so long, you’d think they could have just taken the order?! But they didn’t so Rich made his way back to the table and we had to wait ages to be served as it was a very busy evening in the restaurant. In the end I suggested that he asked someone in the upstairs bar if any of them could take the order, as although there were signs saying it was shut, there were people up there.

This finally worked and the waiter came down and took our order. This meant that I had the opportunity to be totally clear about what I was ordering. I ordered the P&P Chicken Club Sandwich on a gluten free baguette. As this came with mayonnaise, I also asked them to check that this was gluten free.

We had to wait a while for our food to come but when it did it looked great, although there was some confusion. The baguette came with a pot of mayonnaise so I queried this with the waiter (he was a different waiter to the one that took my order) and he said I couldn’t have it as it wasn’t gluten free. Okay fine, he took it off the board and it was left at that. I was concerned that the baguette could be a little dry without a sauce, but I thought I’d try it and see how I got on.

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I took my first bite and then had a bit of a meltdown…. My first bite contained mayonnaise! Not only was it a side to the meal, but it was also contained within the baguette itself. Having just been told that I couldn’t have the mayonnaise as it wasn’t gluten free, it would be fair to say that I panicked! I immediately went down to the bar area to try to find someone to complain to and when I found someone it turned out that he was actually the General Manager!

He agreed that it was totally unacceptable and that a new meal would be prepared, but I said my concern at this point was that I had been glutened! He said he’d come and grab the baguette, speak to the kitchen and then come back to me.

True to his word he came straight back to me and advised that the mayonnaise was in fact gluten free, but that there had been confusion between the kitchen and the waiters! This didn’t completely put my mind to rest as the confusion had been there in the first place, but it made me feel a little more at ease about the possible glutening.

When the baguette came back it had no mayonnaise on it all (which was a little confusing as it was apparently gluten free so surely I could have had it?!), but I was so hungry by now I just needed to eat! Fortunately it was lovely and I had no reaction to it afterwards.

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During this ‘situation’, I also commented to the General Manager about the gluten free baguette being served on a wooden board. If these are also used for serving gluten containing meals, then gluten could easily be stored within the wood as it is a particularly porous material. Yes the chances are probably low, but we all know cross contamination can often be a greater risk to us coeliacs, so serving the meal on a plate would be a lot better in my opinion!

The General Manager confirmed that he would feed this back as he anticipates that all Pitcher & Piano chains serve their gluten free baguettes in this way.

I have to say that although there was confusion and a bit of a meltdown moment, the General Manager was very quick to ensure that everything was rectified quickly and the staff were very attentive for the rest of our stay in the restaurant. Thank you! 🙂

If you’d like to find out more about Pitcher & Piano, you can visit their website, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook (Bristol specific page).

I’d be interested to hear from you if you’ve been to one of the Pitcher & Piano restaurants and have tried their gluten free offerings. What did you think? Would you recommend them? Please let me know by leaving a comment below! 🙂

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