Tag Archives: dessert

Somerset

22 May

IMG_1324.jpgLast week, we went on a much needed date night to the newer restaurant, Somerset. We sat in the beautiful garden courtyard which has gotten a major facelift since the Arts & Letters Cafe days. With tons of copper patio heaters to keep you warm, it is such a nice setting to spend a Santa Barbara evening out in.

Our waitress was familiar with Celiac Disease which is always reassuring. She walked me through the menu pointing out which items were truly gluten-free and which would have cross contamination. We started with the Spring Vegetables which came with fava tendrils, salsa verde and crème fraîche. I loved the freshness of this dish, especially the perfectly cooked brussels sprouts and asparagus. I then ordered the Burrata with grilled asparagus, prosciutto, mustard greens, cured egg yolk and pine nut breadcrumbs. For this, I had to omit the breadcrumbs. IMG_1326.jpgIn hindsight, I would have passed on this dish as it felt very similar to the first starter we ordered. I also had it without the egg yolk, so perhaps that would have added a little more complexity to the taste to differentiate it from the first dish. For my main dish, I ordered Braised Short Rib Osso Buco.

IMG_1329.jpgThis was accompanied by polenta, swiss chard, cipollini onions and a horseradish gremolata. The polenta was about 50% butter which was awesome, because butter. But it  also made it so rich that I had a hard time finishing more than half of the dish. I think that had I skipped the starters, I could have polished this off as the meat was so tender. I wasn’t planning on ordering dessert, but then our waitress alerted me that their Chocolate Walnut Torte was made using Thomas Keller’s gluten-free Cup4Cup flour mix. Sold.

IMG_1331.jpgThe salted caramel was a fantastic addition to the torte. The only part of the menu that we didn’t explore was the cocktail menu as I am currently not drinking. However, one of our neighboring tables had a frothy looking concotion that looked quite intriguing. The restaurant is definitely a littly pricy compared to your average Santa Barbara restaurant. But sitting in that courtyard is worth it, even if you only go for drinks and dessert.

Advertisements

Five Loaves Cafe

3 Jun

Soup Sampler

If you are visiting Charleston, you MUST make Five Loaves Cafe one of your stops. This casual, allergy friendly restaurant went above and beyond in accommodating our tricky group. After letting them know about our dietary needs, they brought out “normal” bread and oil and a separate plate of GF bread and oil. The bread wasn’t anything special (I believe it was Udi’s), but the fact that they served it along with its own safe olive oil was awesome.  I had read that their soups were great, but I was having a hard time deciding between the six gluten-free choices so I went with the three soup sampler. I chose the potato, cheddar and broccoli, the tomato tarragon with crabmeat and the carrot ginger. They were equally yummy and the perfect size. For my main dish, I had the Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Salmon.

Pumpkin Seed Encrusted SalmonEven though I didn’t taste much of the pumpkin seed, the salmon was cooked well and the accompaniments were light and fresh tasting. We couldn’t resist ordering their gluten free carrot cake for dessert.

Carrot CakeThis was a very good decision. We made quick work of the cake, finishing the meal on a high note. The menu at Five Loaves was so accommodating that we ended up getting take-out from there another day. I had the Rueben Sandwich on GF Bread which was pretty darn tasty… so tasty in fact that I ate it too quickly for a picture. There were about ten other things on the menu that I would have tried if we had more time in Charleston. It is so nice to find a place where you have as many choices as anyone else!

Outpost at the Goodland

25 Nov

kale chipsThe new hotspot these days is in Goleta at the Goodland Hotel. They have completely renovated the hotel and restaurant, Outpost, so that it feels as if you could be in a retro Palm Springs spot. When we sat down, we were served some fried hominy which our waiter said was gluten-free. However, after questioning the oil it was fried in, it was determined that it was not. Because of this, he brought me some kale chips that had not been fried in that oil for me to enjoy. My husband and I then split two salads, the Kale and the Brussels.

Kale SaladFor the kale salad, we had to omit the tortillas that usually are included. Of the two salads, I preferred the brussels.

brusselsI found that it had a little more flavor than the kale. There is also something about brussels that make me instantly like any dish that they are in. For my main dish, I had the Roasted Chicken which was just okay.

roasted chickenThe reason I would come back to Outpost besides the cool setting was the dessert. We shared the puppy chow. Next time, I am getting my own.

puppy chowThey used gluten-free chocolate rice chex and mixed in some peanut butter and a whole lot of powdered sugar. It was AWESOME.

Napoléon’s Macarons

6 Feb

MacaronsWhile downtown last night, we stopped in to what used to be Ben & Jerry’s at the Paseo Nuevo Mall. It is now Napoléon’s Macarons. As a HUGE fan of Ladurée’s Macarons, I was excited to try these. There was a big sign that greeted us letting us know that they were all gluten-free.

GF MacaronsWe ended up getting a box of different flavors – Passion Fruit, Raspberry, Pistachio, Chocolate and Salted Caramel. The consistency wasn’t quite like the Ladurée macarons. The salted caramel and chocolate flavors actually felt a little chewy but it might have been because it was the end of the day. It was still nice to have a GF snack option downtown!

 

The Bourbon Room

24 Oct

GF Cheese PizzaTonight, we headed to The Bourbon Room as I was craving a burger. I had heard that they offer gluten-free rolls for their burgers so I was very excited. Once we got there, I found that in addition to the rolls, they also had GF pizza! Since I am eating for two, I rationalized that it was totally normal to order two main dishes. The gluten-free cheese pizza was pretty good. The waitress assured me that they cook it on a different surface than their regular pizzas. The crust was on the thin side and stayed together well. I also ordered a cheeseburger on the GF bun.

GF CheeseburgerI couldn’t have the fries since they were in contaminated oil, so I got a side salad without the croutons. It was so nice to be able to have a burger with a bun! As I had just consumed a whole lot of food, I turned down dessert as tempting as it sounded. Our waitress had informed us that they had a GF chocolate chip cookie pie. This is definitely a reason to return!

As a reminder, we will be holding our Fall Gluten-Free Santa Barbara Meet-up on Wednesday at Shoreline Park. For more details, please visit our Facebook page.

Sides Hardware and Shoes

8 Mar

Carrot SoupWednesday was one of those overcast days that almost beg you to have soup. Lucky for me, at Sides Hardware and Shoes, their special soup for the day was a fantastic carrot soup with ginger cream and chive oil. I started with a cup of it, instantly regretting that I didn’t just order a gallon of it as my order. For my main dish, I initially was going to order the shrimp tostada but they fry the corn tortilla in contaminated oil. Instead, I had their fish tacos.

Fish TacosThese were served on fresh corn tortillas and had fresh albacore tuna, cabbage, guacamole, salsa and a chipotle aioli. There was a lot of fish with the tacos so I filled up pretty quickly. However that didn’t stop me from trying their gluten-free dessert, macaroon sandwiches.

Macaroon SandwichesThese coconut macaroons were filled with dark chocolate and coconut swirl sorbet. I am not a huge coconut fan and I was pretty full at this point so I only had one. But for those coconut lovers, this would be a great dessert to share!

 

Montecito Wine Bistro

29 Oct

This evening, we decided to try Montecito Wine Bistro. I started with the Nova Scotia Mussels Arabiata. These had roasted garlic, chili flakes, tomato, pinot grigio and saffron. For my main dish, I was intrigued by the Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghettini. Rather than order that though, I got the Red Quinoa, Sprouted Mung Bean and Stir Fried Organic Kale.

This had grape tomatoes, roasted corn, red onion and avocado with a cilantro lime vinaigrette. I really enjoyed this dish. It felt very healthy but was quite filling at the same time. I could barely finish the entire thing. We weren’t going to order dessert but then we saw the dessert menu which had the following item: Gluten-Free Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae with McConnells Bistro Neapolitan Ice Cream.

This was an unexpected treat. My only complaint for this dessert was that the strawberry was overwhelming. I think it would have been much better without it! I asked where they got their GF brownies and cookies, and apparently they make them there.

On a totally unrelated note, I have lots of family and friends that are in the path of Sandy back East. I hope everyone is staying safe! It may have been 75 and sunny here in Santa Barbara today, but we were thinking of you!