Earlier this week I received an invite from Chef Paul Shufelt to come check out the menu at his new restaurant The Workshop Eatery. I was gutted when I had to miss his official opening/Bacon Day Dinner back in November and as a consolation had booked my ladies supper club in for mid-December.
Although my reservation with the girls was just a week away, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to preview the new menu.
While this downtown girl is sad he isn’t set up in my neighbourhood, Chef Shufelt is following a trend of offering high-end fare in suburban areas of the city. Located in the Mosiac Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce in Summerside in south Edmonton, Chef Shufelt has designed a seasonal menu at The Workshop Eatery featuring a number of great local suppliers.
The best part for me – loads of gluten free options!
Lately I have been annoyed when I call a restaurant to ask if they have gluten free options, and they respond yes, but really only have a 1 or 2 basic or side dishes I can have. (No joke – edamame beans and a side dish of white rice was offered to me as a meal choice recently). This is not the case at The Workshop Eatery. Two out of the three bar snack items are GF – including the devilled eggs with pickled mustard seed.
The menu features a convenient gluten free icon, but I learned that many dishes can be served GF or easily modified. From the small plates and shares section I chose the chicken liver parfait topped with Saskatoon jam which the kitchen sent out with gluten free toast. I am a big fan of pate and I found this version smooth, delicious, and I enjoyed a hint of sweetness with the jam.
Both the salmon & chickpea salad and Doef’s Greenhouse salad are gluten free options; however, we decided on the Riverbend Gardens Beets. The candy cane beets were beautiful – I found this vegetarian dish of roasted and pickled beets, fennel, Smoky Valley goat cheese and candied pecans full of flavour and visually stimulating on the plate.
My friend and dining companion Jess was kind enough to share two GF entrees with me. When she snuck a bite of the crispy leek garnish and was concerned they may not be gluten free. Thankfully Chef Shufelt was near by and said they were battered with corn starch – he tricked Jess because she thought they tasted like mini onion rings (and were too good to be gluten free).
Jess loved the Pork n’ Beans featuring an Irving Farms chop on sweetened great white northern bean cassoulet. It was juicy and cooked perfectly, but I actually preferred the Alberta Pickerel. Cornmeal crusted, creamed spinach, corn risotto, dried tomatoes, bacon ancho hollandaise, crisp leeks – I loved every element on the plate.
Two of the four dessert options, or Happy Endings as listed on the menu, were gluten free. The $9 desserts came in personalized jars – we tried the chocolate espresso mouse with a raspberry coulis first. It was nice, but I’m not a die-hard chocolate fan. It was the Workshop Honey & Yogurt Panna Cotta that won us both over – topped with house made apricot jam, pickled sour cherries, and candied pecans – it was my kind of dessert.
I had a chance to talk with Chef Shufelt after we ate and he walked me through the menu – letting me know that even though dishes like the token steak dish, pomegranate braised lamb shank, and duck could be served GF by providing alternative side dishes.
As a celiac my options are often limited to a select number of dishes, but at The Workshop Eatery there is a variety of dishes at lunch, brunch and dinner that are designed gluten free, or can be easily modified to be gluten free. Plus, I know that Paul understands the seriousness of my disease so I have trust in him to deliver me a safe meal. Thank you Chef Shufelt for creating a flavourful menu that gluten-free girls like me can enjoy! Really looking forward to trying brunch.
The Workshop Eatery
2003 91 St SW
Monday to Wednesday 7:30AM – 10PM
Thursday & Friday 7:30AM – 11PM
Saturday 10AM – 11PM
Sunday 10AM – 9PM
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