LibertyPound ToastHarry’s Continental Kitchens was another foray into the GF dining options in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. There are lots of restaurants to explore on Siesta and Longboat Keys,

Shrimp-cargot

Shrimp-cargot

about a 30 minute drive from Bradenton. Harry’s looks nondescript from outside. It’s tucked behind the Harry’s retail store and has some tables outside. The inside is really quite lovely though. The back dining room is all white with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking a very tropical and lush garden area. It feels elegant and upscale. The wait staff was very professional.

We were thrilled that they have a separate GF menu.Our meal began with some GF bread served with butter and roasted garlic.

Grouper with risotto

Grouper with risotto

To be honest, it was toasted commerical sliced GF sliced bread – essentially toast- but we were still thrilled to have it. We were also happy that my husband’s iced tea came with a pitcher of simple syrup for non-grainy sweetening. We were off to a good start.

We started by sharing the shrimp-cargot – a take on escargot. 10 shrimp were cooked in butter, cheese and garlic in a traditional escargot dish. It was decadent and delicious. I had the grouper with tropical risotto and it was fantastic. The risotto had tiny piece of pineapple in it. The dish came with a mango gastrique that added a nice flavor. I am going to have to go back here to have this again. The husband got the pomarola pasta with shrimp.

Shrimp pasta

Shrimp pasta

This would have been good, however the GF pasta wasnot even close to al dente and was actually crunchy. It was almost inedible.  The flavors were good however. There were no GF dessert selections other than ice cream – a disappointment. I continue to be frustrated by restaurants who make such an effort to have a robust GF menu but then forget about dessert.

Overall we give Harry’s high marks and will likely come back here on our next visit.

Caesar salad

Caesar salad

We’re going to be spending a lot more time in the Sarasota area since our daughter is moving there for med school. Our recent visit to find her an apartment gave us a chance to

Grouper

Grouper

start scoping out the gluten free dining options. Our first try was at YachtSea Grille in Bradenton. It sounds like it’s in a lovely location (right near the water) but in fact it’s basically situated between a highway and a parking lot with no view. That didn’t deter us and we were thrilled they had a separate gluten-free menu. There is a large outdoor area that is enclosed with a tent-type enclosure. The indoor area by the bar is very small.

We started with Caesar salad, however both our salads came out with croutons, even though we asked for gluten-free menus and specifically told the waitress we were gluten-free. They offered to make new salads, but since we are just intolerant and not celiac, we just picked them off. The salads were good other than that. The husband got the ribs, which were smoky and good. The waitress however asked him how he wanted his ribs done – a very odd questions since ribs require slow roasting or smoking and must be cooked in advance.  I had the macadamia encrusted grouper which came with a lemon basil aioli. It was nice to have something gluten free that had a crunch to it! The fish was cooked nicely and the sauce was a nice variation on tartar sauce.I had fries as a side and they were good.

We were thrilled to see that the menu had a gluten-free brownie sundae as a dessert. Finally, something other than ice cream or creme brulee as an option. The menu also LibertyPound Ribsoffers GF buns for their burgers. We would definitely come back here for a casual dinner or lunch, but it’s not a place that lends itself to relaxing and enjoying a view.