This summer we ventured on a long trip visiting family on the east coast. It was the first time we've traveled extensively as a gluten-free and now dairy-free family. We are quite fortunate as our final destinations were loved ones who also lived a gluten-free lifestyle. A few times we ate out at restaurants. We had such a wonderful experience at one in particular, and I had to share.
Barkeaters Restaurant is located in a little town called Shelburne, Vermont where the grass is really greener. We called ahead to see what their menu options would be for our gluten and dairy free clan ranging from ages 10 to 80. Surprisingly, the staff person on the phone was knowledgeable, which gave me hope, and declared a variety of options. When we arrived a few hours later, we were greeted with warm hospitality and assurance that our table would be a safe place. The waitperson took our order as the chef discretely listened from behind the long and inviting bar. At this point I was beginning to relax knowing that they were taking us seriously with our gluten and dairy restrictions.
We ordered two soups to start...cooled zucchini and coconut curry lentil. Each soup was delicious with delicate flavor, mouth appealing viscosity, and perfectly seasoned. We all ordered the same entree...beef tenderloin topped w/caramelized onions; cauliflower and sweet potato mash, veg medley & balsamic drizzle. The chef substituted their traditional mashed potatoes, left off the fried shallots, and was careful not to finish the sauce with butter. As we were devouring our meal, I called the chef over to thank her.
Barbara Cote is the chef and owner of Barkeaters Restaurant. And, she is originally from Maine just like me! Chef Cote uses local resources to prepare refined, comforting, and mouth watering food with thoughtfulness for her customers to enjoy in heartfelt ambiance.
There can be challenges and perils with eating gluten and dairy free at a restaurant. Communication is essential. I always make eye contact with the server to be sure they are listening and understand the seriousness of my restrictions. I used to be embarrassed, but with experience I've become more confident and explain that I will be very sick if there is a mistake. I also want to be a strong role model for my daughter so that she will learn how to eat out on her own.
We had such a great time at Barkeaters Restaurant. And, the pièce de résistance was waking the next morning and realizing that I hadn't been sick the night before. Now that was a successful dining experience! I'd like to hear about your favorite restaurants...