Tag Archives: dinner

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.

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Little Kitchen

11 Nov

littlekitchenWhenever I see gluten-free bread listed on a menu, I am always skeptical. More often than not, it is prepared with no consideration to the people that actually will get ill if they consume gluten. So when I visited Little Kitchen in downtown Santa Barbara, I was pleasantly surprised. Upon asking the owner how they prepare the sandwiches with gluten-free bread, she asked if I was celiac and then explained that her good friend is as well. She then assured me that my sandwich would be prepared in a clean pan rather then the usual flat top. Additionally, she proactively walked over to the chef making the food to have him change his gloves and clean the work space. I ordered the Vineyard Chicken Sandwich with chips (the fries are made in a contaminated fryer). It had organic chicken with a balsamic glaze, goat cheese, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, tomato and rosemary garlic aioli served on BFree’s GF Brown Seeded Sandwich Bread. I had never had this GF bread before but found that it had a really good consistency and taste. The restaurant itself has a super cool decor. It is located right next to the Kitty which seems perfect as they also offer up a very appealing late night menu. I can’t wait to go back to try their grilled cheese (hello Sriracha mayo)!

Alcazar

12 Nov

Pollo Con Crema Tacos

Last week, I wanted nothing less than to have to cook for dinner. So we ventured out to Alcazar located on the Mesa.We got there right when they opened, so we had our waitress’s undivided attention when explaining our family’s dietary needs. She knew her stuff, letting me know that the fryer was contaminated with gluten without me having to prompt her. I started with the Pollo con Crema Tacos. These were my favorite of all the things we ordered. Sadly for me, my daughter also loved the chicken so I didn’t end up having too much. We all shared an order of the Manchego y Guava Membrillo.

Manchego y Guava MembrilloI will enjoy eating Manchego cheese any day and in any form. The guava paste was firmer than I had anticipated. I could have done without it though and just eaten a hunk of the cheese. We also shared an order of the brussels sprouts.

Brussels SproutsAfter numerous attempts at cooking brussels sprouts perfectly, I still haven’t succeeded. So it was nice to enjoy them prepared by someone that knew what they were doing. The last thing I ordered was some spinach/bacon/mushroom/bean dish with a garlic butter sauce.

Spinach dish

The words bacon and garlic butter sauce were the reason I ordered the dish. I found it to be pretty bland though with the spinach in a strange not-quite-wilted form. Overall, I found the food okay. I would definitely try it again though since our waitress was so well-informed and there was a lot of variety on the menu.

As a reminder, Gluten-Free Santa Barbara will be meeting this Sunday at Lilac Patisserie at 11am. Come stop by and have some breakfast, lunch or cake! I will be giving out extra cases of gluten-free travel soy sauce packets left over from my trip to Japan!

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.

Grillmarkaðurinn

29 Aug

Green SaladMy favorite dinner spot in Iceland was Grillmarkaðurinn. The inside of the restaurant was super cool, feeling like it could have been in New York. I found the waiter to be very understanding of the gluten-free diet. I started with the Green Salad which had a lot more to it than I was expecting of a side salad. For my main dish, I had the vegetarian Peanut Steak.

Peanut SteakMade entirely from nuts, beans and vegetables, this was very generous in size. My favorite part of the meal, however, was the Grilled Corn with Icelandic Butter.

Grilled CornPerfectly charred, this corn was unbelievable. Even though I was full, I considered getting a second order of it since it was that good.

S.Y. Kitchen Round 2

28 Jun

ArtichokeThis past week, we went back to S.Y. Kitchen with my parents. The meal was just as tasty as the first time we went. The table shared an order of the baked artichoke. This was beyond awesome. It was prepared with parmesan and fresh thyme. I also had their special avocado salad.

Avocado SaladThis was big enough that I wished I hadn’t ordered a main dish. But I did. For my entrée, I had the Oak Grilled Prime Natural Angus New York Steak.

Angus New York SteakThis was served with arugula, parmigiano and balsamic. It was very good but I ended up taking most of it home since I was pretty full at this point. That didn’t stop me from ordering dessert though. They have one gluten-free labeled item on their dessert menu. It is an almond chocolate cake.

Almond Chocolate CakeI liked that it wasn’t too chocolaty. This restaurant is becoming my favorite reason to take a drive to the wine country!