|Visited On:||November 8, 2013|
|Gluten Free Menu:||Items marked 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, The Stubborn Goat gastropub opened after months of renovations to the old G Lounge space, and lots of hype from beer lovers and foodies. My experiences eating gluten-free at gastropubs have been mixed. Theoretically, a gastropub should offer high quality, made-from-scratch food, but we’ve encountered many gastropubs that offer the usual processed, frozen, and/or deep-fried fare, making them highly unsuitable for Celiacs. We decided to give The Stubborn Goat a chance to see if they were any different.
We arrived early on a Friday night knowing it was going to be busy. A very cheerful and outgoing server greeted us shortly after we sat down. He gave a spiel about what The Stubborn Goat is all about: a friendly atmosphere; amazing, local food; and craft beer. He also explained that their menu is focused on small plates that are intended to be shared. When I asked what dishes were gluten-free, he pointed to a small icon on the menu that signifies gluten-free options. They also have a gluten-free section in their beer menu that features several types of ciders as well as Nickel Brook gluten-free beer.
We started off with a beer for Michael and a Wyld Wood organic pear cider for me ($10 for 500 mL). We rarely have the opportunity to share small plates, so we decided to pick a few to try. Of the 23 small plates on the menu, 14 are marked gluten-free. Two of the three salads can be done gluten-free, as well as four of the seven entrées. The wood-fired oven pizzas and macaroni and cheese cannot be done gluten-free, however.
We decided on the cheese platter to start with ($15). (It’s not marked gluten-free on the menu, but can be done gluten-free depending on the cheeses that they have in house. The bread is always served on the side, completely separate from the cheese.) The platter that we had that day featured a goat’s cheese with ashes, the Norwegian Sky Queen, a fenugreek Havarti, an aged cheddar, and an aged Gouda. A sweet peach and fennel chutney and a berry coulis rounded out the dish. We really enjoyed all the components of this cheese platter, particularly the condiments. It would have been nice to have some gluten-free bread or crackers on the side, however.
Next, we chose the queso fundido ($12), a cheesy bean dip accompanied by handmade kettle chips. (The Stubborn Goat doesn’t have any deep-fried items – the fryer is used for potatoes only.) It was really good, with a layer of beans at the bottom, tangy goat’s cheese on top, and just a hint of spiciness.
We had trouble deciding on our final small plate, and finally chose the burrata ($16) on the recommendation of our server. This classic Italian dish features handmade mozzarella topped with balsamic vinegar and arugula, with a beet coulis on the side. It is served with garlic toast, so our server brought me some kettle chips as a substitution.
This dish was just as amazing as our server promised. The mozzarella was so fresh and moist, I believed his statement about it being handmade with each order. The balsamic vinegar was very high quality and brought out the flavour of the mozzarella. It was definitely my favourite dish of the evening!
A final note: Due to their focus on local, seasonal ingredients, The Stubborn Goat’s menu will change frequently. As well, I think that the menu we had was still not finalized. We’re looking forward to seeing what The Stubborn Goat cooks up next!
The Stubborn Goat
1579 Grafton Street (Downtown Halifax)