Tag Archives: dessert

Smithy

23 Aug

IMG_0081.jpgLast week, we went out to dinner with some good friends. We decided to try Smithy as we hadn’t been there since it had transitioned from Somerset. I just love their outdoor patio. It feels like such a beautiful, serene nook of Santa Barbara. You easily forget that you are steps from State Street. I started things off with a bang when I ordered their “Ortega Undead II: The Resurrection” to drink. It was a yummy, spicy tequila concoction. I was pleased that our waiter was aware of which dishes were not gluten-free due to cross contamination (our table shared the brussels sprouts and the crispy papas which were not GF).  I started with the Grilled Corn. It was served with zucchini, swiss chard, green harissa and queso fresco. Although the dish was simple, the ingredients were so fresh that I found myself wanting to order another one of these. For my main dish, I was tempted by the fact that they had homemade gluten-free pasta available. However, I went with the scallops. IMG_0097.jpgThese were served with an english pea risotto, asparagus and sugar snaps. Once again, the combination of fresh ingredients and a great execution made me incredibly satisfied with my choice. We skipped dessert, but I was almost enticed by their GF chocolate cake that was being served that evening. To be honest, I didn’t find a huge difference between Somerset and Smithy. Regardless, we will definitely be returning both for the food and the ambiance.

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Oliver’s

12 Apr

img_6847-2.jpgMonday was a record-breaking warm day, so the idea of having an al fresco dinner as the day cooled off sounded really appealing. We decided to try Oliver’s since their outside patio always looked so nice when we would drive by. The entirely vegan menu has gluten-free items noted, but I made sure to check about cross contamination as we ordered our food. I was excited to find out that they use GF tamari rather than soy sauce.

IMG_6849 2.JPGWe ordered three things from the sides menu which happened to come out first: The Kung Pao Broccolini, Long Beans and Shishito Peppers. My favorite of those three were the shishito peppers which were perfectly cooked.

IMG_6850 2.JPGWe also ordered the artichoke “crab cakes” from the small plates menu since they sounded unlike anything we had tried before.

IMG_6845 2.JPGThe hearts of palm closely resembled the consistency of crab. I especially enjoyed the corn and the spicy aioli. For our main dishes, we ordered the veggie burger and the pad thai. The gluten-free option for the veggie burger is for it to be served with lettuce to wrap the burger in. However, once we saw the dish, it was clear that we would be fork and knifing the burger instead of attempting to pick it up.

IMG_6852 2.JPGThe burger was good, but I might try something different next time to mix things up. The pad thai was a generous portion.

IMG_6854 2.JPGYou might think that after ordering (and eating) so much food, there is no way that we would order dessert. You would be wrong. Both of the desserts they offered that night were gluten-free, so we went with the one that sounded more interesting to us – an apple crisp topped with coconut ice cream.

IMG_6855 2.JPGAs this was made with oats, I made sure to confirm that the oats were certified gluten-free. Our overall experience at Oliver’s was really good – the staff was helpful, the outdoor patio was beautiful and the food and drinks were tasty. I’m already looking forward to returning to the patio to have another Johnny’s Alive cocktail and a small plate or two.

 

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.

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.