We’re going to exercise Editorial Privilege today and write about a new restaurant we tried this last Friday that is (gasp) outside of Wallingford.
Dining out can be a tough affair for us, as Mrs. Wallyhood has celiac disease. If she eats anything containing gluten (found in wheat, barley, oats and rye), she’ll be ill for days, and wheat is one of those insidious ingredients that sneaks its way into more than you’d imagine.
So, as we poked around for a place to eat for our sixth wedding anniversary (thank you very much), we knew it would be tough going. We threw out a request for suggestions to Facebook and friends nonetheless and Skelly and the Bean, which just opened its doors a month ago, came back with some positive recommendations, so we decided to give it a shot.
Such a treat. First, the gluten thing: the waiter easily ran through the items on the menu that were gluten-free and then, treat of treats, brought us out two baskets of bread: one with gluten and another without. Miraculously, both were delicious.
The meal itself was sumptuous: the melted, creamy Samish Bay Mont Blanc cheese turned the Grilled Apple Napoleon Salad into a delicious decadence without being too heavy, and the garnishes alone on the Maud’s Burger (house-made cherry tomato ketchup, pickled cauliflower, truffle fromage) was enough to keep us in smiles.
Oh, and the Butgtered Scotch Pudding (yes, that’s buttered scotch, as in Lagavulin 16 year Scotch) was head-spinning heavenly.
And the place has a nice philosophy behind it, as well: much work and financing was donated, invested or bartered by friends and enthusiasts from the community.
In another twist, Chef Zephyr Paquette is giving back: the restaurant is opening its kitchen to amateur chefs on Monday and Tuesday nights as an “incubator”. One night featured raw and fermented foods, for example, and upcoming Monday / Tuesday nights include “Entropia” by Shauna Scriver and Mary Lokar, Kedai Makan with Kevin Burzell and a Washington Food Artisans dinner with Leora Bloom.
The bill for two people, including cocktails, dessert and coffee came to a reasonable $100. For a gluten-free eater starved for quality eating out, well worth it. For a gluten-full eater, just as worth it.
(Photo by Suzi Pratt, with gracious permission)