|Visited On:||June 7, 2013|
|Gluten Free Menu:||Options included on regular menu|
|Variety of Gluten-Free Options:|
|Overall Gluten-Friendly Rating:|
|Price Range:||$10-$20 per person, plus drinks, tax, and tip|
Last month, Chives head chef and owner Craig Flinn opened 2 Doors Down, just (you guessed it) two doors down from his much-loved Chives restaurant. It focuses on local flavours just like Chives, but offers a more casual dining experience. We just had to check it out!
2 Doors Down is a small space, with a chic-rustic sort of vibe and super friendly staff. We were seated quickly and offered drinks. Mike chose a seasonal rhubarb mojito ($9) while I opted for the sangria ($8). We were also informed that the fryer is out, meaning no French fries, poutine, or calamari. (As well, although the poutine is marked as a gluten-free option on the menu, it is cooked in the fryer with the calamari, meaning the fries are likely a no-go for Celiacs. I found this rather disappointing. However, they do have some other great gluten-free options, including mussels, a smoked pork chop, vegetarian burger, curry, butter roasted salmon, and a farmer’s market soup.)
Michael really wanted to try their “Pie in the Sky,” which is a pot pie that changes weekly (and is not gluten-free). (The day that we were there, it featured braised lamb and was priced at $19.) Since the dish takes 35 to 40 minutes, we ordered The Ploughman ($12) to start, which is a platter of pork terrine, cheeses, ham, pickled vegetables, grainy mustard, and some other treats. Although everything I just listed is gluten-free, wheat bread is served with it, but they simply put that on a side plate for Michael. I ordered the old school cheeseburger ($16) with a gluten-free bun. Both of our meals would normally have come with French fries, but due to the fryer issue, a green salad was included instead.
The Ploughman was a perfect appetizer. We really enjoyed sampling the different products, particularly the giant slab of Old Growler and the honey-cured ham. However, Michael found that the wheat bread was a little dry – some butter would have been nice with it. It would have been nice to have some gluten-free crackers or bread with it as well.
We had just polished off the last of the cheese when our meals arrived. Michael’s meat pie looked like something out of a magazine. It had a crisp crust, plentiful filling, just the right amount of broth, and was served in a small cast iron pan. My burger was absolutely amazing. The gluten-free bun was just the right size, plus it tasted great and had a normal texture. The burger itself was juicy, cooked perfectly, and not too dense. The burger sauce and various accompaniments (including vegetables and cheese slice) were all in the right proportion and contributed beautifully to the dish. The big surprise for both of us was the green salad. The dressing that came on it was nothing short of spectacular, and it definitely rounded out the meal.
After all of that, I was far too full to attempt dessert, although they do have a flourless gluten-free cake on the menu. Michael couldn’t resist the strawberry-rhubarb cheesecake, though. This slightly deconstructed version (with layers of creamy filling and strawberry-rhubarb fruit, topped with graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream) comes in a mini Mason jar, making it the perfect portion size. I really thought that he was going to lick the jar clean! It’s a must-try if you’re not gluten-intolerant.
Our dinner experience at 2 Doors Down was everything I hoped that it would be, and more. We loved the focus on local, seasonal ingredients and products. (Michael was particularly taken with the Hell Bay English ale. I see a trip to Liverpool in our near future!) Our server was attentive, helpful, and casual, without being over-friendly. We enjoyed a leisurely meal and never felt rushed, although the lineup was out the door at one point. After just one visit, 2 Doors Down is already a favourite!
2 Doors Down
1533 Barrington Street (Downtown Halifax)
Web Site: http://www.go2doorsdown.com/