Fireside Leaves Celiacs Cold

Visited In: January 17, 2010
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude:
Variety of Gluten-Free Options:
Overall Gluten-Friendliness:
Price Range: $10-$15 per person (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere at the Fireside – it’s a warm and cozy spot with plenty of delicious martinis and big comfy chairs. It was actually the first place that I went when I turned 19! (That was so long ago that I was able to catch a ride on a dinosaur!) So when my best friend Alice suggested meeting there for drinks, I was more than happy to oblige. While we were there, I decided to check out their gluten-free options. Sadly enough, their gluten-free “menu” is much smaller than their martini menu.

After grabbing a small table near a fireplace and ordering drinks, Alice and I started searching for an appetizer in their menu. It became obvious to me that my choices were going to be limited. We settled on the Baked Goat Cheese to snack on and requested that the breadsticks be served on the side due to a gluten allergy. She agreed but set the expectation that they would not have anything to replace it. (I personally find it hard to believe that they couldn’t dig up some carrot sticks or something, but whatever.)

Alice then asked what else the server could recommend that I would be able to eat. Our hostess seemed fairly knowledgeable and explained that the only other suitable appetizer would be steamed mussels. (Yuck!) Any of the salads could be made gluten-free, but the only entrée she could suggest was baked haddock. No desserts were available gluten-free. She seemed genuinely sorry that there wasn’t more to offer.

I think Alice was honestly astonished at the lack of options. I was disappointed but not surprised. I was very surprised when the appetizer arrived, though. Upon delivering the food, our hostess announced that she wasn’t sure what was in the crust so she had the kitchen prepare it without it. (Apparently the kitchen didn’t know either. The menu stated that it was “encrusted in fresh herbs.”) So, we were presented with a pile of malformed, warm, unseasoned goat cheese on top of three slices of tomato which were sitting in herbed olive oil. I ate the cheese with a fork while Alice spread the cheese on the breadsticks. It was interesting, to say the least!

We enjoyed our martinis, but I’ll make sure that I don’t go to the Fireside hungry, since I’ll likely leave the same way.

The Fireside
1500 Brunswick Street (Halifax)
902-423-5995
Web Site:
http://www.thefireside.ca

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