Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Bristol: Review

It's no secret that I love food.

And so, this new adventure of gluten-free (GF) dining has been quite the learning experience...I've had some good days, and some not-so-good days, for sure. I've been learning to not only read labels of pretty much every single item I consider eating, but I've also learned that, while dining out, it is up to ME to be my best advocate on what I can - or can't - have. If I leave it up to my server, I'm probably doomed...and unfortunately, I've learned this the hard way, when I've been "glutenized" - and left reeling with pain after a meal.


Eating in my own kitchen has been certainly easier than dining out, as I know EXACTLY what ingredients are going into my cuisine. It's when I go out to eat that I stumble...and so, I've been on a quest to learn as much as I can about local restaurants here in town and their gluten-free offerings. Honestly, although more venues are getting on board with a GF menu, there's still a lack of info out there for the average diner.

I've always posted dining reviews here on my blog, and I will continue to do so - with a twist. From here on out, my dining reviews will concentrate on GF I have to believe that there are others who are just like me....

Last night, Hubby and I headed to the Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City - a collection of diverse dining and entertainment venues that draws people of all ages from all over our area. We had 8:00 pm tickets for the Eagles concert, and I scored a 6:00 pm dinner reservation at The Bristol, an upscale seafood & steak restaurant that has been in business here in town for over thirty years.

I had checked out their website BEFORE we arrived at the restaurant, as I wanted to see if they had a dedicated gluten-free (GF) menu. I was thrilled to see that they did, indeed - and it didn't look extremely limited - unlike some restaurants I've dined at. There were a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts that would be "safe" for me to indulge in.

Hubby and I arrived at exactly 6:00 pm, and were immediately seated. The restaurant was absolutely packed, as it's only two blocks from the concert venue, and apparently, all 15,000+ concert-goers had the same idea: grab a bite to eat before the show. Even with the craziness of a full house, with hundreds of others clamoring to get in at the front desk, our server was calm, cool and collected. She quickly brought the GF menu for me, as well as the "regular" menu for Hubby. This picture of the GF menu is pretty poor, but it gives you a good idea of what they offer - and indeed, it was pretty extensive, considering it is GF:

We began our meal with some delicious cocktails: a chocolate martini for me, and a Margarita martini for Hubby:

The lighting was VERY low in the restaurant, so you'll have to excuse my crappy pictures.

Oh my goodness, this drink was good! Not too sweet - but strong enough that I had a good buzz going...squeeeeeee!!!!!! I am SO vivacious and funny when I have a buzz going...per me.

For a starter, I had the mixed greens salad:

This was a mixture of watercress greens, feta cheese, and pine nuts...topped with a delicious honey balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Going GF has pretty much insured that I will always have to have some sort of a vinaigrette dressing, and I found this dressing to be just the right mixture of sweet with tart.

For my entree, I ordered the filet mignon, with sides of mashed potatoes, as well as an artichoke:

The filet initially was a little too "pink" for me, but our server was very quick to take it back to the kitchen and have it cooked to my taste. It was tender, juicy, and flavorful - especially when dipped into that little bowl of mystery sauce (I believe it was honey mustard with a hint of horseradish). Nom nom nom. The mashed potatoes were to die for, and the artichoke was...there. I should have realized it would be swimming in butter, and when one does not have a gallbladder, butter is a four-letter word.

Upon the recommendation of our server, Hubby ordered the Barramundi, a white fish from New Zealand, along with some Butternut Squash Risotto:

He loved the fish, but found the risotto to be a little on the dry side...which is pretty typical for risotto offered in restaurants, we've found.

We skipped dessert, as I pretty much had cleaned my plate and was enjoying my chocolate martini - still. We also needed to get our butts in gear and walk across the street to the concert - it was going to be starting soon, and I didn't want to miss a MINUTE!

All in all, I give 5 stars to The Bristol. The service was prompt, courteous and attentive...and the food was delicious. It was also nice to have a bit of a choice while dining GF, as so many restaurants offer perhaps two entrees, at most, to choose from. Gah. We will definitely be going back to this little gem!


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