Happiness is marrying a Chef who makes all the food for a glorious little restaurant. And after he falls in love with you, and starts to understand the effects of gluten on those who cannot eat it, he decides to make the damned fine food he makes gluten-free, where possible. Happiness is watching him tackle this little challenge, month after month, when he re-invents the menu whole cloth (depending on the wine region of the world the restaurant is featuring), and not see making gluten-free food as an obstacle, but as a chance to learn. A chance to become even better at what he loves.
Happiness is watching people come into his restaurant and eat his food. Most of them simply think they are eating incredible food. Some of them tell him it is the best meal they have ever eaten in their lives. But a few of them — and increasingly more every week — come in because they are seeking out food they can eat without worry of growing sick. They look at the menu, and notice the little sign on the bottom, and sigh with pleasure that almost every single item on the entree list is a gluten-free meal. Some of them have not eaten in a restaurant in five years, for fear of cross-contamination. Some of them cannot believe their luck. The Chef comes out of his tiny kitchen to peer around the corner at the diners, craning his neck to see every plate, verifying that they are all empty. Happiness is watching him, knowing that he does all this so he can give people joy.
Happiness is marrying the Chef, who is making the following menu at Impromptu Bistro this month….
IMPROMPTU SOUP OF THE DAY
let me tell you, his soups make me faint
MIXED GREEN SALAD
with soft chevre and champagne vinaigrette
PATE DU JOUR
have you ever had a chicken liver custard?
RUSTIC MEAT POT PIE
with autumn vegetables
PENN COVE MUSSELS
with rosemary, Dijon mustard, and cream
with wasbi, lemon, and sour cream
you can order this without the crackers and have it be gluten-free
ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST
stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese and spinach; potato puree; carrot sauce
WILD KING SALMON
served with sautéed boy choy, aromatic black rice, and a tamari aioli
served with macaroni and cheese (gluten-free on request) and arugula
SEARED LAMB CHOPS
served with couscous, grapes, slivered almonds, and a curry sauce
served with an onion tart and a blue cheese dressing
PASTA OF THE DAY
FISH OF THE DAY
GINGER CREME BRULEE
FLOURLESS WALNUT CAKES
CHOCOLATE PANCAKES WITH HONEY ICE CREAM
A few notes from me….
I have eaten almost everything on this menu, because he tries them out on us at home, first, to decide if he wants to serve it to his patrons. Oh, yes.
Anything baked, floured, or made into a pastry, he has made gluten-free. The tart you see pictured above? It’s a gluten-free crust. He worked from a recipe I concocted, with his help, and it is soft, flaky, and the perfect accompaniment to the sweetness of those carmelized onions. No one would know it’s gluten-free, except for those of us who need to know. He uses black rice flour to dredge the wild salmon, rice flour and sorghum flour to make the chocolate pancakes, and gluten-free breadcrumbs to make the veal meatloaf. (Oh baby, the meatloaf.)
If you really want the pasta of the day, he has gluten-free pasta in the back. And if you want the lamb, but cannot have the couscous, I am sure he would love to make you up some quinoa instead.
In short, he rocks.
Can you see why I’m marrying him?