I had been DYING to try the new tastes from Gerard Craft at Pastaria in Clayton. I had promised my boyfriend Ken a meal there for our anniversary back in September, but it took us until December to get there.
We went early – I had heard tales of people waiting. We arrived shortly before 6:15 and still found ourselves a packed house with a 25 minute wait. Definitely doable – I wasn’t too hangry yet. We took a seat at the bar and enjoyed a glass of wine until our buzzer rang.
Cute set-up, very sophisticated yet still rustic and cozy. Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the gluten-free options on the menu. My memory fails me when it comes to the GFreeness of all the salads, but I do know that the Mixed Greens salad was a go: red wine vinaigrette, pears, walnuts and goat cheese. It was crisply delicious – you can never go wrong with goat cheese).
The server confirmed that most of the pasta dishes were able to be prepared gluten-free, except for the usual suspects such as lasagna and the pistachio ravioli. (As always, menus change so please make sure to confirm with your server)
I went with the Garganelli – a twisted, tubular pasta with braised beef, olives and gremolata. The [homemade] gluten-free pasta itself was delicious – definitely doesn’t taste like your average store-bought, slightly sticky, slighty goopy, rice pasta. The dish was a bit citrusy, though it’s hard to tell if it was the pasta or the sauce. It was great, but I’ll likely try something different next time – perhaps the Pappardelle, with smoked pork, mascarpone, apples. The Garganelli dish was big enough to have a full second meal at home. Like most gluten-free pastas, the noodles got pretty hard when cold, but they regained their original consistency when microwaved.
We of COURSE had to have the salted caramel gelato – let’s just say, amazing. You’re not allowed to leave Pastaria without getting gelato.
Hats off to Gerard Craft and Pastaria for a great gluten-free experience. However – it’s one that will cost you. There is an upcharge of $6 for gluten-free pasta, bringing my entree to a total of $22. While I definitely understand that the pasta is homemade and gluten-free flours ain’t cheap, $6 seems a little high. Our gluten-free pocketbooks are hurting already. 🙂
Until next time,