Merci Montecito

28 Jan

IMG_8696D.jpegI am pretty sure I have found my new favorite dish in town. A friend and I decided to try Merci Montecito after hearing good things about it. Everything in this little restaurant located in the Montecito Country Mart is designed beautifully from the flatware to the glass water bottle options. After talking to the person behind the counter, I found out that their Chicken Paillard is gluten-free. They use tapioca flour and Udi’s breadcrumbs in this perfectly cooked dish. As there was lots of delicious looking gluten-free options and I am very indecisive, I also ordered the Trois which is three items from their salads + vegetables and grains + legumes sections of the menu. I chose the Gigante Beans with summer squash, basil and preserved lemon, the Persian Cucumber with peanut, sesame oil, green peppercorn and toasted garlic and the Kale Salad with avocado, pistachio, fennel and farmer’s cheese.IMG_8699D.jpegI liked the heat of the cucumber along with the toasted garlic, but my favorite was the kale salad. When I ordered the salads, I was told that all of the ones that were in the case that day were gluten-free, even though not all of them were labeled as such. When I asked why they weren’t all labeled GF, I was told that they only put the GF on the items that typically weren’t so that their customers would know. This seems like a horrible idea. You should label the items that are gluten-free whether or not those items are “typically” safe or not safe. I confirmed the ingredients and preparation for the three items I selected, but it definitely leads me to believe that they need to rethink their labeling strategy to avoid miscommunication. When you have celiac, you can never make assumptions about your food whether it is labeled GF or not.

2 Responses to “Merci Montecito”

  1. annmarie at 10:39 am #

    so enjoy your posts and blog. we met a long time ago at the gf Facebook group in SB.

    • glutenfreeinsb at 11:15 am #

      Hi Annmarie! Thank you for your note. Are you still living in Santa Barbara? Maybe we will bump into each other at Lilac one day!

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