A Good Niche for Celiacs

Visited In: April 2011
Gluten Free Menu: No
Server Knowledge:
Server Attitude:
Variety of Gluten-Free Options: 1/2
Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating: 1/2
Price Range: $10-$20 (plus drinks, tax, and tip)

I haven’t been posting very many reviews lately, and that’s because Mike and I are working on buying our first house, and sticking close to home to save money! However, we did venture out to Niche a few weeks ago. Located at the corner of Barrington and Spring Garden (in the basement of the Maritime Building), it’s not a place that we go very often. However, they do have a nice atmosphere, excellent drinks, reasonably priced food, and jazz music on the weekends. We figured that it was a good spot to grab a bite to eat on Friday night.

When we arrived, we were seated quite quickly, although we were squished into a little side table for no apparent reason. Drinks were first on the list; I got a Coconut Woo-Woo ($9) and Mike got an Icebreaker ($12). Our waitress seemed a bit… well, stunned, for lack of a better word. However, she was able to point out a few gluten-free items on the menu: most of the salads, as well many of the entrees. I really had a hankering for nachos ($11.50) so I asked her if they were gluten-free.

After checking with the kitchen, she said that the chips are gluten-free, but fried in with other gluten-containing foods. She said also that a regular customer who has Celiac disease gets the nachos every time he eats there and has no issues. Since their menu doesn’t have a whole lot of fried items on it, I decided to chance it (cheese only of course!). Mike ordered the chicken and butternut squash risotto ($16.95).

We enjoyed our martinis, got caught up on the week, and it wasn’t long before our food arrived. My plate of nachos was huge – we could easily have shared it for a lunch. I was really nervous about the jalapeno-Havarti cheese advertised on the menu, since I’m almost phobic about vegetables (jalapenos in particular). I had figured, though, that they would probably skimp like most restaurants and just use cheddar (also advertised in the menu as a topping) and mozzarella. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had actually used excellent quality cheddar and jalapeno-Havarti. The peppers just gave it a nice kick without blowing your face off, and both cheeses were of good quality and not terribly greasy. The chips were nice and crunchy, too. Mike tested the salsa and said was more like a pico de gallo – very good and definitely made in house.

He found the risotto to be just OK. The flavours were good, but the consistency and temperature was very inconsistent. Perhaps it had been cooked earlier and re-heated in the microwave? Or perhaps he has just been watching too much Gordon Ramsay! He helped me finish my nachos instead. J

We were pretty full from dinner so we opted to skip dessert and went mini-golfing instead. We had a pretty good time at Niche and definitely will be coming back for the martinis and jazz music, if nothing else.

Niche Lounge and Supper Club
1505 Barrington Street (Halifax)
902- 422-3633
Web Site: http://www.nichelounge.com/


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