Food allergies can be a slippery slope and, fortunately for me, one I've never had to scale. I don't know what I'd do. Even the best laid plans can go awry and, really, depending on the allergy I am not so sure that I'd ever take the chance on eating at a restaurant again. Awhile back, however, I was invited by Goose Valley Rice and Chart House to attend a gluten-free dinner and I wanted to see just how good a multi-course meal could be prepared this way. I was game.
We began with this appetizer plate: Ahi Tuna Nachos, Jasmine Rice Boulettes, Snap Crackle Pop Shrimp and Citrus Chili Sauce. Nice variety, everything done well and great presentation.
Our second course was this Chicken Consommé: Steamed Basmati & Wild Rice Fusion and Julienne Vegetables. Nice palate-clearing dish in a very light broth.
Our third taste was this Seafood Risotto with Saffron Infused Arborio & Wild Rice Fusion and Basil Oil Drizzle. This was one of my favorites. I liked the scallop tucked inside the shrimp and although the risotto had a slightly different texture it was still good.
Our fourth course Miso Glazed King Salmon with Sesame Fried Brown & Wild Rice Fusion, Braised Bok Choy and Micro Wasabi Greens. The salmon was firm, the glaze had that nice, umami rich complexity we love.
The rice fusion was served in this clever, small take-out box. So far, we could get used to eating gluten-free.
The next entree was a Blackened Sea Bass with Rice & Bean Fusion, Mango Salsa and Remoulade Sauce. The Bass was great. I was not a fan of the rice fusion.
This Braised Beef Short Rib was accompanied by Wild Rice Pilaf, Roasted Baby Carrots and Cabernet Reduction. The short rib was rich and full on flavor. The pilaf was, again, a different texture than we were used to due to the wild rice but still good.
Our Dessert sampler included a Rice Pudding, Whipped Cream and Cinnamon and Chocolate Peanut Crispy Cake. My favorite was the cake, although I have to say the others were nice, as well.
Overall, this was a great example of how gluten-free dining is really taking hold at local restaurants, especially seafood eateries. It showed that more attention is being paid and it is most likely that more gluten-free products and menus will continue to be developed over time.